Power & the Tao Te Ching

Inital Post Due on April 5, 2019
Final Posts Due on April 10, 2019


“Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Have the patience to wait! Be still and allow the mud to settle.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Using the Tao Te Ching as your sole source, define how power is defined for at least one of the three schools of Taoisms: Efficient, Augmented, or Vicarious.

Your initial response should supply a quote from the text as well as your analysis. 

When responding to another’s response, you should either support or argue against their interpretation by utilizing a further quote as well as supplying more analysis.



  1. This quote represent the Efficient Power which is the philosophical path of Taoism. In it they try to teach how to conserve the te which is the virtue or the power by people are ruled whereas the other trying to increase it. For it that path expanding power efficiently. Is the one of the three path that can be used easy in ordinary life.

    “Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness. ​
All can know good as good only because there is evil.
    Therefore having and not having arise together. ​
Difficult and easy complement each other. ​
Long and short contrast each other: ​
High and low rest upon each other; ​
Voice and sound harmonize each other; ​
Front and back follow one another.
    Therefore the sage goes about doing nothing, teaching no-talking. ​
The ten thousand things rise and fall without cease, ​
Creating, yet not possessing.​
Working, yet not taking credit. ​
Work is done, then forgotten. ​
Therefore it lasts forever.” (Page 3)

    In this quote they explain that all the things bad and good are complemented and for understand and like that good things you need to know the bad first. Also they teach you to life in the present not in the future or the past with the last sentence, and to don’t be mean with the things that you do good, share it with more people and make more people happy.

    1. The Tao isn’t just the embodiment of good and evil, it is the embodiment of opposites. The realization that everything is connected and something is nothing without its opposite.

    2. Now that I read that again I think that you have reason; but the point that I wanted to explain was that to know better something you should know first its opposite. And I think that it is a good example to explain bad and good because if you want to know how good things feels you should understand first how bad things do it.
      “Rule a nation with justice. ​
Wage war with surprise moves. ​
Become master of the universe without striving. ​
How do I know that this is so? ​
Because of this!
      The more laws and restrictions there are, ​
The poorer people become. ​
The sharper men's weapons, ​
The more trouble in the land. ​
The more ingenious and clever men are, ​
The more strange things happen. ​
The more rules and regulations, ​
The more thieves and robbers.
      Therefore the sage says: ​
I take no action and people are reformed. ​
I enjoy peace and people become honest. ​
I do nothing and people become rich. ​
I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life.”
      I think that this quote, maybe explain better one of the points that I tried to explain and also what you correct about it. To understand good you have to understand evil, because that make the balance possible. The universe need the opposites to because it try to find the balance and if you try to change it doing more good things some else is going to do bad things about it, or if you find more answer about the universe, more questions will appear.

  2. “When you are at one with the Tao, ​
The Tao welcomes you. ​
When you are at one with Virtue, ​
The Virtue is always there. ​
When you are at one with loss, ​
The loss is experienced willingly.”(12, tao)

    In passage 23 of the Tao Te Ching it says that the path to power is a path of acceptance. Like the great river life will take you where it wants. You can fight it but you will get tired and it will take you down river. When you are accepting of that great river that is life, when you are at one with the virtues of it and at the same time the loss, they do not appear as surprises. One who accepts lose never truly loses, and one who accepts virtue is always virtuous. One who doesn’t fight the river but uses it and flows with it is one with true power. When you are on with life you are at one with the true power of it.


    1. I like your explanation of Tao and life and how you say that life is a river and we flow we are going to find a great power and it will be better that if we try to fight against the river.

      “The great Tao flows everywhere, both to the left and to the right. ​
The ten thousand things depend upon it; it holds nothing back. ​
It fulfills its purpose silently and makes no claim.
      It nourishes the ten thousand things, ​
And yet is not their lord. ​
It has no aim; it is very small.
      The ten thousand things return to it, ​
Yet it is not their lord. ​
It is very great.
      It does not show greatness, ​
And is therefore truly great”
      (page 18)

      These quote explain the same, the Tao is everywhere, and everything depends of it, but it isn’t it’s lord; although he isn’t the lord of everything, it is great and everything come back to it, because it is truly great. That are the reasons why I think that these quote complete what you explain about the river and life.

    2. Yes I agree. The Tao does not have an agenda, it does not seek to accomplish things it just does. It is simply the bigger picture. It is your life and all things around you and their flow.


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