Chapter 77

The Rambling Taoist is posting a commentary of the Dao De Jing on his blog.  I am attempting to do a commentary for Chapter 53 & 77 from Ellen Chen’s translation

The way of heaven,
Is it not like stretching a bow?
What is high up is pressed down,
What is low down is lifted up;
What has surplus is reduced,
What is deficient is supplemented.
The way of heaven,
It reduces those who have surpluses,
To supplement those who are deficient.
The human way is just not so.
It reduces those who are deficient,
To offer those who have surpluses.
Who can offer his surpluses to the world?
Only a person of Tao.
Therefore the sage works without holding on to,
Accomplishes without claiming credit.
Is it not because he does not want to show off his merits?

Her general comment is:

Heaven promotes equality, whereas humans are the cause of inequality in the world.

Nature acts as a pendulum – never swinging into irreversible excess.  Man goes too far to excess and causes deficiencies.  Global Warming is a blatant example.  We may be sowing the seeds of our own extinction with our over use of the planet’s resources.  Nature will recover; we may not.

It is better to not have more than you need and to not go to excess.  It is better to let your accomplishments speak for themselves, than to build up your ego claiming merits for what you do.  Nature claims no credit; we are all here in Nature.  We must learn to live within the Carrying Capacity of the planet.


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