26 December, 2011

The Book Tao Te Jing

Tao Te Jing is one of the most important books of the world. In the year twentieth third of the reign of Zhao, Lao Tse perceived that war would end up destroying the place where he lived. Because he had spent years meditating on the nature of life, he knew that in certain moments it is required to be practical. He decided, then, to take the simplest decision to move away.

He took his small belongings, and parted in the direction of Han Keou; at the city's exit gate, he found a guard.

"Where is so important sage going to?" asked the guard.

"Away from war."

"You cannot leave like this. I'd like very much to know what was that you learned in so many years of meditation. I will only let you part if you share with me what you know."

Just to get rid of the guard, Lao Tse wrote right there a little book, the only copy he handed to him. Then, he continued his trip, and never more was heard of him.

The text of Lao Tse was copied and recopied, crossed centuries, crossed millennia, and came down to our time. It is called Tao Te Jing, it is published in Portuguese by several publishing houses, and it is a obliged reading. Here goes one of its pages:

He who knows others is wise,
He who knows himself is an enlightened,
He who conquers others is strong,
He who conquers himself is powerful,
He who knows happiness is rich,
He who keeps his way has willpower.

Be humble, and will remain whole,
Bend, and will remain erect,
Empty yourself, and will remain full,
Wear yourself out, and will remain anew.

The wise does not exhibit himself, and therefore he shines,
He does not make himself noticed, and therefore he is noticed,
Does not praise himself, and therefore he has merit,
And because he is not competing, nobody in the world
can compete with him.

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