Essay Enlightenment from The Tao Te Ching

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Enlightenment from The Tao Te Ching

The Tao Te Ching can be helpful to all, and the reading of it may be enlightening. Reading the Tao can give much insight on the challenges and dangers that humans must face in this world, how a person should live his life, the dangers of a powerful ruler, how the state should rule, how citizens should serve the state, and the messages or forewarnings for us today.

Mankind has the tendency to be self-conscious, greedy, and materialistic, and human history shows this to be the case in all societies. Even in China they suffer from the selfish aspects of humans. The Tao states on page 9, “Chase after money and security/and your heart will never unclench.” It is natural for people to
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On the other hand the Tao explains that one should lead a simple lifestyle. A simple life, is just that, simple. A person can lead a very enjoyable life if one does not have worries about money. The Tao states on page 8, “In dwelling, live close to the ground./In thinking, keep to the simple./In conflict, be fair and generous./In governing, don’t try to control./In work, do what you enjoy./In family life, be completely present.” When one keeps their living conditions simple, are fair to others, and enjoys their work, life can be very fulfilling. The Tao states that the family arrangement is the most honorable virtue, and each family member must contribute to family unity according to page 54, “Let the Tao be present in your life/and you will become genuine./Let it be present in your family/and your family will flourish.” Having a successful family life should be everyone’s goal, but this simple statement is rarely what we see in the western world today. Instead of unity we either see one out of every two marriages ending in divorce, or we see disunited families. Rarely do we see united families, and when we do it is very refreshing.

A ruler, in China, is the most honored person in the Chinese society, but the ruler has an obligation to be a moral and upright individual. The Tao addresses these individuals on page
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