Lao Tzu's Analysis

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Throughout the course of Cultural Perspectives, many texts and authors who have contributed to the Great Conversation have been discussed. Ultimately, each author is attempting to find his or her summum bonum or “highest good.” Although each author has a different definition of summum bonum, the majority agrees on the method required to attain the highest good: balance. Whether that balance be implicitly or explicitly accredited for the summum bonum differs for each author. Lao Tzu’s thoughts on balance earn the Tao-te-Ching a significant spot in the Great Conversation. The Tao-te-Ching’s vast intertextuality is apparent and further contributes to the relevance of Lao Tzu’s work. While discussing balance, Lao Tzu focuses on the Taoist …show more content…
The three cornices Dante is referencing are the Slothful, the Avaricious, and the Lustful. These deadly sins represent Dante’s version of excess love. When one synthesizes all of Dante’s loves, one finds that Dante’s ideas agree with Aristotle’s and Lao Tzu’s. Pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, lust, and love seem to be completely unrelated and opposites; however, Dante argues that all seven of them are related and stem from love; however, some lack love, while others exceed love as previously discussed. Dante’s true summum bonum, love, is found when all seven of the deadly sins are …show more content…
His ideas on balance can be found by analyzing Jesus’s beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. According to Jesus, the summum bonum is to be, as he says, “blessed” (New Revised Standard Version, Matthew 5. 3-11). Being blessed to Jesus is the equivalent of having natural love to Dante, being virtuous to Aristotle, or living in the Tao to Lao Tzu. This is Jesus’s middle ground. Although Jesus’s ideas on balance are similar to the aforementioned philosophers, Jesus’s balance is a little more complex than excess, lack, meet in the middle. Jesus’s balance requires a person to be lacking, then he provides them with the excess, so the person can reach the middle ground of being blessed. An example is Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” In this case, the person must be meek. A few synonyms for meek

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