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"Those who know when to halt are unharmed."

Tao Te Ching - Chapter 44

Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu.

The Taoist Classic by Lao Tzu
Translated and Explained


44

Your name or your body,

What is dearer?

Your body or your wealth,

What is worthier?

Gain or loss,

What is worse?


Greed is costly.

Assembled fortunes are lost.

Those who are content suffer no disgrace.

Those who know when to halt are unharmed.

They last long.



Life Is the Treasure

What we know of is this life we are born into. Everything else is uncertain. So, why do we risk it by filling it with things that we don't really need? The only real treasure is life itself. Nothing else can possibly compare to it, much less surpass it.

       But we easily forget that, when pursuing one or other superficial happiness.

       True, it has merit to value one's name enough to make sure that others do it, too. With our words and deeds we decide how others will value us. Lao Tzu would add that our silence and the things we refrain from doing will influence our reputation even more.

       On the other hand, when we make it our quest to reach fame and to receive praise that far exceeds what others get, then we put ourselves at risk, and forget that our names can never be more precious than our lives.

       It's even more absurd when we devote our lives to assembling riches. When struggling to gather and keep a fortune, where's the time to enjoy it? You can't take it with you when you die. So, you risk spending your life chasing a longing that is never satisfied. Anybody pursuing that path is a victim of the fact that with wealth, there is never enough.

       So, when you gain you are not pleased, and when you lose you are not pleased. Where's the pleasure? Greed is costly on one's peace of mind, and there is no reward for it. If you get rich enough, your name may be known and uttered with respect, even for generations to come. But your own life is pawned.

       Enough is enough, and that's surprisingly little. When we are aware of this, we are practically invulnerable. This we can only be if we learn to value the fundamental asset we are given by living. Even in meager circumstances, our opportunities for great experiences and a truly rich life are as good as limitless.

© Stefan Stenudd.

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Tao Te Ching Explained


Preface


Introduction


Literature


The 81 Chapters of Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
translated and explained by Stefan Stenudd.
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Tao Te Ching Explained


James Legge's Tao Te Ching


Aleister Crowley's Tao Te Ching


The 1st Chapter of Tao Te Ching in 76 Versions


Lao Tzu - Legendary Author of Tao Te Ching





My Taoism Books:


Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Te Ching

The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Taoist philosophy classic by Lao Tzu translated, and each of the 81 chapters extensively commented. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

       More about the book here.


Tao Quotes - the Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Quotes

The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. 389 quotes from the foremost Taoist classic, divided into 51 prominent topics. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

       More about the book here.



My Other Websites:


I Ching Online

The 64 hexagrams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.


Qi Energy Exercises

The ancient Chinese life energy qi (chi) explained, with simple instructions on how to exercise it.


Life Energy

The many ancient and modern life force beliefs all over the world explained.


Creation Myths

Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal.


Taoismen på svenska


Other Books by Stefan Stenudd:


Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Cosmos of the Ancients

The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


QI - increase your life energy. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Qi - Increase Your Life Energy

The life energy qi (also chi or ki) explained, with exercises on how to awaken, increase and use it. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Aikido Principles. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles

Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art
Aikido principles, philosophy, and basic ideas. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker

Fiction. A brunch conversation slips into the mysterious, soon to burst beyond the realm of possibility. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction. Stefan Stenudd


About me

I'm a Swedish author and aikido instructor. In addition to fiction, I've written books about Taoism and other East Asian traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. Click the image to get to my personal website.

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