Essay on Discussion Questions 4
1.) According to Lao-tzu, what must the ruler provide the people with if they are to be happy? “Try to make people happy, and you lay the groundwork for misery.” According to Lao-tzu, in order to make the people happy, the ruler must stop insisting that they find happiness. In verse 66, Lao-tzu describes, “All streams flow to the sea.” By saying this, he is describing that a government must take a position underneath its people in order to ensure their happiness. The government must follow its people, and provide a sense of trust within the governed.
2.) To what extent does Lao-tzu concern himself with individual happiness? Lao-tzu concerns himself with the three values of simplicity, patience, and compassion. As …show more content…
4.) Why does Lao-tzu think that the world cannot be improved? According to Lao-tzu, the world cannot be improved. This is because Lao-tzu sees the world as a scared place that cannot be tampered with. “There is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind, a time for being in motion, and a time for being at rest.” Lao-tzu describes these times and how the Master must not control them in order to keep the center of the circle in tact. There is a time and place for everything. “Improving” and changing the world disrupts the flow of those things, and is the first step towards chaos.
5.) Which statements made in this selection do you feel support a materialist view of experience? Can they be reconciled with Lao-tzu’s overall thinking in the selection? A materialist says, “All that you see, that is all that reality is. This is all; there is nothing else to life.” A spiritualist claims, “This is not all, the visible is not all, the tangible is not all.” Lao-tzu was born