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"He is also good to those who are not good."

Tao Te Ching - Chapter 49

Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu.

The Taoist Classic by Lao Tzu
Translated and Explained


49

The sage has no concern for himself,

But makes the concerns of others his own.


He is good to those who are good.

He is also good to those who are not good.

That is the virtue of good.

He is faithful to people who are faithful.

He is also faithful to people who are not faithful.

That is the virtue of faithfulness.


The sage is one with the world,

And lives in harmony with it.

People turn their eyes and ears to him,

And the sage cares for them like his own children.



The Concern of the Sage

Tao Te Ching has great similarities with at least two other ideals – that of Zen and that of Christianity as expressed by Jesus in the Gospels. This chapter is a clear example of the latter.

       There is reason for caution when finding similarities with what is part of one's own culture and tradition. We in the Western world have a tendency to compare everything we meet, no matter how exotic, with the concepts familiar to our own culture.

       This is particularly true when we examine other religions and their gods. Actually, some of these traditions can only be called religions with quite a stretch of the imagination as well as the definition. The same is true for what we call gods.

       But the similarities between the words of Jesus and those of Lao Tzu are so evident that I dare to point them out.

       In this chapter, when Lao Tzu says that we should be good even to those who aren't, and that the sage cares for other people as if they were his own children, then it's almost as if he spoke the words of Jesus. Well, considering his seniority in time, it would be more correct to say that Jesus spoke as if quoting Lao Tzu. There are several chapters of the Tao Te Ching giving the same impression.

       The self-sacrificing attitude Lao Tzu demonstrates in this chapter, is so familiar to our Christian tradition that there is no need for me to expand on it. We should set our own needs aside for the benefit of our fellow men. It's easier said than done. But if we all do it, Paradise on Earth is around the corner.

       We should volunteer to show goodness and faith, without demanding the same in return. If such qualities are not unconditional, we remain in the paranoid world of everyone waiting for everyone else to lay down arms before we do so ourselves.

       Lao Tzu describes this unselfishness as virtue, te, the second word in the title of his book. Virtue is the course of action, or non-action, necessary to live in accordance with the Way. It's not a method to reach success or praise, but it will lead to those things as well. Primarily, though, it's what should be done in order to accept what is natural.

       It's what we do when we don't struggle to counter the natural course of things. That's why we mostly need to refrain from action, and accept what occurs.

© 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.



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

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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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