Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 63

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Practice non-action.
Work without doing.
Taste the tasteless.
Magnify the small, increase the few.
Reward the bitterness with care.

See simplicity in the complicated.
Achieve greatness in little things.

In the universe the difficult things are done as if they are easy.
In the universe great acts are made up of small deeds.
The sage does not attempt anything very big,
And thus achieves greatness.

Easy promises make for little trust.
Taking things lightly results in great difficulty.
Because the sage always confronts difficulties,
He never experiences them.
*

Interpretation by Gabriel Raam:

Like many of his verses, this one has in it contradictions, paradoxes. But here the degree and the amount of turning things upside down is above and beyond anything written before. I fact the verse is taking known and accepted beliefs that we live by and presents to it its opposite.
It seems that his object in this verse is to put the opposition to the general way of going on top.
Now why is he is doing it here and why so intensely?
Well, there is a message we get when we add all the examples and trying to figure out – to what direction are they leading? To what kind of state of mind about life?
Well what he is saying is that we live our live in an opposite angel to truth, what we mean and what we get are two opposite things, in fact we live in a world of upside down, everyone walks with their head down and their legs up.
For example, a quote from the verse:
“Easy promises make for little trust.
Taking things lightly results in great difficulty”.
But then, soon enough he introduces the sage, the one who reached the level of the Tao, and he has got the ability to reverse things again to their original high order, but is almost an impossible task as the opening lines say:
“Practice non-action.
Work without doing.
Taste the tasteless.
Magnify the small, increase the few.
Reward the bitterness with care.
See simplicity in the complicated.
Achieve greatness in little things”.
But only he can restore, reverse and bring back the sane and the upside down mentality.
One ability he has is written in the following lines:
“The sage does not attempt anything very big,
And thus achieves greatness’’.
So, here we meet a different kind of a sage (a wise Tao illumined man), a sage as a rebel, a rebel against what he sees as not only a wrong way of goings on, but actually and opposite way to what should be the way of going on, which makes him not just a rebel but a radical one because he doesn’t only sees people as far from truth, he sees them as living a life which is opposite to truth,… which makes his task as a reversing radical rebel most difficult.

This is relating to a story about King Arthur and his knights of the round table:
King Arthur asked his knights the following: “Imagen that you are in a large hall, one wall is white the other is black, the white wall symbolizing God, the black symbolizing all which God isn’t, now position yourselves in relation to the two walls. Most of the knights were standing away from the white wall and their face is facing it, which meant that they are far away from God but are on the way to him, no, said the King, and he positioned them close to the white wall and their back is facing it. And he said: “the way you are is very near the white wall but you are facing the opposite direction, all you need to do is turn around…”
Again, we meet here the theme of turning to the opposite direction.

When you meet a confused friend, or a psychotherapist meets a patient, he needs to know that if he remains in the same plans of understanding and dimension as was presented to him – no penetration into the meaning level would be made, he should know that somewhere in his unordered words there is a reversal point, and only when they find and touch it then the whole scene rolls over, stands on its head and only then everything becomes totally clear.

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