Friday, November 1, 2013

Inspired by Tao Te Ching - chapter 30


以道佐人主者,不以兵強天下。其事好還。師之所處,荊棘生焉。大軍之後,必有凶年。善有果而已,不敢以取強。果而勿矜,果而勿伐,果而勿驕。果而不得已, 果而勿強。物壯則老,是謂不道,不道早已。

My translation of Chapter 30 of Tao Te Ching

A man in Tao
will not change things by force
Mission accomplished
yet morale declines, tasks unattended to.
Invest in wholesale change
resources depleted.
Let fruit ripe naturally 
instead of by force.

To bear good fruit, one must not be boastful
To bear good fruit, one must not rage a war
To bear good fruit, one must not be haughty
To bear good fruit, one must not use strong force.

Everything grows from strong and mature
to weak and old
It is not Tao.
It was not Tao a long time ago
when it began to grow strong.

Paul's comment: According to Karl Popper, historicism will always fail (He laid out his argument in his seminal book: The Poverty of Historcism). The world and our society is never going to bend to any prophesy of macro-change, be it idealism of Hegel or materialism of Karl Marx.

Although approaching the issue from a different perspective, Lao Zi would probably agree with  Popper's proper tool of change: piecemeal social engineering. Lao Zi would add: Keep it low-profile!


  1. Many thanks! This post seems to have done the trick!

  2. You have done it too Matthew, thanks!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...