Tao Te Ching

Verse Twenty Three – 23

To speak little is natural.
High winds do not last all morning.
Heavy rain does not last all day.
Why is this? Heaven and Earth!

If Heaven and Earth cannot make things eternal,
How is it possible for man?
He who follows the Tao is at one with the Tao.
He who is virtuous experiences Virtue.
He who loses the way is lost.

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.

He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.

In this verse, Lao Tzu emphasizes the importance of simplicity, particularly in speech. He uses the analogy of natural phenomena, such as strong winds and heavy rain, to show that even the forces of nature are not eternal or constant. Therefore, it is unrealistic for humans to expect to achieve permanence.

The verse encourages the reader to be in harmony with the Tao, Virtue, and even loss. By being in sync with these elements, one can experience their true essence. The final line is a reminder that trust is vital in relationships – if one doesn’t trust enough, they won’t be trusted by others.



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