Tao Te Ching
THE TAOISM OF LAO TZU
Fake Lao Tzu Quote
"Give evil nothing to oppose..."
This is NOT a quote from Tao Te Ching:
"Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself."
Evil is a vague concept. What is evil to one may be benevolent to someone else. Really, what is evil? In Christianity it forms a polarity with its opposite good, like black and white — but among people it is mostly a question of nuances of grey in between the extremes.
An important question arises: are there evil people, or just evil deeds? Just about every action movie is based on the concept that some people are evil to the core, living their lives trying to cause pain and mayhem, as if it were their nutrition.
I think that is how we mostly are and act — driven by events out of our control. It is also implied by Christian dogma. Otherwise it could not claim that everyone, no matter what, can be forgiven. In Christianity, only the devil is evil to the core — and even that can be debated. He, too, is believed to be part of God's plan.
Tao Te Ching implies that Lao Tzu had a similar view. He did not talk about evil, but about such things as confusion, emotions, and ignorance. People — and especially their rulers — just needed to discover and follow Tao, the Way, and they would all be gentle. Chapter 32 states about the Way (my version):
On this website I express doubts about his versions of several parts of Lao Tzu's text. Mitchell takes considerable liberties to make Lao Tzu say what he thinks the ancient thinker should. In this case he has gone so far that it makes no sense to compare just the last lines with other versions, so I will use a bigger portion of the chapter for comparison. Here is Mitchell's version (page 60):
The ghosts that Lao Tzu spoke of are kuei, restless spirits of deceased ancestors. When the land is ruled by Tao they have no reason to interfere, but they do not disappear. Occurrences of what we call the supernatural are extremely rare in Tao Te Ching. Lao Tzu focused on the real world and real people.
For more about Stephen Mitchell and his version of Tao Te Ching, see the chapter A good traveler has no fixed plans.
September 14, 2020.
More Fake Lao Tzu QuotesThere are many more fake Lao Tzu quotes examined on this website. Click the header to see a list of them.
Fake interview with the authorClick the header to read a "fake" interview with Stefan Stenudd, the author of Fake Lao Tzu Quotes.
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