28 January 2013
The Sacred Words of Lao Tzu
“Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river.”(89) This quote can help
explain the Chinese belief of Taoism which is a universal theme to the ancient book,
“Tao Te Ching” authored by Lao Tzu. In this essay I’m going to show how Lao Tzu uses
paradox, metaphors and nature to make “Tao Te Ching” a universal and timeless text.
“When I let go of what I am/I become what I might be.”(45) The author uses a
paradox to simplify and make the reader think outside the box. He wants the reader to
take the words in the text deeper and not just read the words for what they are.
“The world has a beginning/we regard it as the mother of the world/having its
mother we can know her children.”(64) Lao Tzu relates the world with mother because
mother is a term everyone is familiar with. Mothers nurture and raise their children in
a similar way that we are nurtured and raised by our surroundings and the world around
us. This metaphor allows us in modern day era to understand what Lao Tzu was trying to
portray thousands of years ago.
“Nature does not hurry/yet everything is accomplished.”(33) Lao Tzu is
explaining in this quote that we should slow down a little bit in life. If we slow down we
will enjoy life more and still accomplish everything we want to. Nature is referred to
extensively in “Tao Te Ching” to make the text very relatable everyone, anywhere in the
world and any time period.
As you just read, I used quotes from “Tao Te Ching” of a paradox, a metaphor
and nature to show how Lao Tzu uses them to portray his words in a more spiritual
manner. Lao Tzu makes his ancient text timeless by relating back to nature which is
relatable to readers in any country and any era.