Lao Tse and Hard Truths

In Uncategorized on 20/02/2011 at 7:32 am

MM seems to follow the principles of the  neo-Confucian, Legalist school of Chinese philosophy. There is another strand. This is what the Tao Te Ching has to say abt the difference between “hard” and “soft”.

The living are soft and yielding;

the dead are rigid and stiff.

Living plants are flexible and tender;

the dead are brittle and dry.

Those who are stiff and rigid

are the disciple of death.

Those who are soft and yielding

are the disciples of life.

The rigid and stiff will be broken.

The soft and yielding will overcome.


When life begins

we are tender and weak

When life ends

we are stiff and rigid

All things, including the grass and trees,

are soft and pliable in life

and dry in brittle in death

So the soft and supple

are the companion of life

While the stiff and unyielding

are the companions of death

An army that cannot yield

will be defeated

A tree that cannot bend

will crack in the wind

Thus by Nature’s own decree

the hard and strong are defeated

while the soft and gentle are triumphant

Tao Te Ching

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