Critical Response to the Tao Te Ching Essay
There are countless ideas (with regards to ethics) within the text, however, for this paper I will be focusing on six. Those ideas (in no particular order) are selflessness, moderation, embracing the mystery, non-control, detachment, and humility.
“The Tao is infinite, eternal. Why is it eternal? It was never born; thus it can never die. Why is it infinite? It has no desires for itself; thus it is present for all beings. The Master stays behind; that is why she is ahead. She is detached from all things; that is why she is one with them. Because she has let go of herself, she is perfectly fulfilled.” (Chapter 7, Mitchell) A basic tenet of the Tao is a redefinition of “self” or “ego”. I believe this passage to mean that in order to see ourselves, we must stopping seeing ourselves as different from every other “self”. I don’t believe that the goal of the Tao was to erase the “self” (because that’s impossible). The goal instead is to keep our attention on the greater whole.
“Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will unclench. Care about