Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 60


Ruling the country is like cooking a small fish.
Approach the universe with Tao,
And evil will have no power.
Not that evil is not powerful,
But its power will not be used to harm others.
Not only will it do no harm to others,
But the sage himself will also be protected.
They do not hurt each other,
And the Virtue in each one refreshes both.


Interpretation by Gabriel Raam:

He begins in the first line which is a forward to the whole verse, it is saying that what is about to be something very high (ruling a country) could be very easy (just like cooking a small fish). But from now on he becomes enigmatic, for immediately, in the second line he puts in front of the reader a very high goal, which becomes to be the reversal point and the center of gravity for the whole verse. And it is: to approach the Universe with Tao, he does not go on to explain how to do it, and what he exactly means by that statement, he leaves it enigmatic or being touched often all through the book. But he puts a condition a threat to this great al embracing statement, and it is: evil. The fight and winning against evil. And the it is a magical circle or the snake swallowing his own tail, or the problem of the chicken and the egg. For he goes back to give the solution to the problem of the evil and it is the statement from before: to approach the Universe with Tao. Only living with and by the Tao can overcome evil.
What does he mean by evil?
Early Taoism showed remarkable stability in its basic ideas of the origins of evil and how to deal with it. Basically, evil is seen as anything that undermines or is antipathetic to life. I see evil mostly in the forms of: blaming, condemnation, abandonment, humiliation, cruelty, having control over others, using others for your own needs, maltreatment of a close soul. Avoiding a cry for help and attention.. Inhumanity, alienation abuse, and mostly – the unending deafening cry for compassion and more compassion.
Evil as evil is one of the main causer’s of human sufferings in the world. And as he mentions in previous verses human will power is one of the main participants in this evil. Lao Tzu is deeply concerned with the elimination of the evil from the world.
After one can approach life with the Tao evil will do no harm and the sage will be protected from the evil. Than there would be no antagonism between the sage and the people in the absence of evil.
And the last thing that happens in the absence of evil is lovely: and it is to do with a subject close to his soul: virtue, he writes something magical: the absence of evil is a healing process which is taking place between the sage and the people around him.

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