65 – The Great Harmony of Tao

Full Moon Over the Ocean

The ancients who practiced Tao
did not use it to enlighten people,
but kept it secret.

People are difficult to govern
because they are too clever.

Those who use cleverness to govern nations bring problems.
Those who lead with simplicity bring blessing.

To know these two ancient principles
is to understand the model of the Universe.

Constant attention to this pattern
is called Te or profound virtue.

Profound virtue is deep and far reaching
and returns things to their source, to Tao.

This realization is the great harmony of Tao.


Read the essay for Chapter 65




  1. Beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    NatashaMay recently posted…# 16 Leslie Susskind Kids Can $100 Book BlastMy Profile

  2. I’m not sure I understand this one, Amy, and was sorry not to see your interpretation as part of this verse. I get the ‘cleverness’ reference, but am curious what your take is on keeping the Tao secret.
    Nanette Levin recently posted…Don’t worry, be happy; control stress with your imaginationMy Profile

    • Yes, Nanette. I am almost caught up with my chapters and my essays. Originally, I just did the chapters and then I started doing the essays later on, so I am still a few behind on the essays. It is coming. But since you asked, I will tell you a bit of what I think of this one…

      I had a hard time with this one too. In the US, we are all about intelligence. I think what he is saying here is that intelligence gets in our way much of the time. It is like the story of the teacher who asked his student if he wanted some tea. The student said yes, so he poured the tea until it was running down the sides of the cup. When the student asked what he was doing, the teacher said that he was trying to pour in more tea, but the cup was already full. It’s like that. Stay empty.

      The ancients kept these principles secret. In the West, we don’t do that. We want to know everything. The hazard with knowing everything is that our cup is full, or at least we fill it with our own understanding and are unprepared to receive the understanding that is to be passed down to us. This is human nature. We get a tiny taste of knowledge and suddenly we know it all. It is better to stay in the “I know that I don’t know” place. Not as comfortable, perhaps, but it leaves us open to higher understanding.

      As for keeping the Tao secret, lol… I clearly am not up for that. I am a beginner. I will not profess to be otherwise, but I love this work and I think that it should be shared. I think these words hold incredible beauty and perhaps if just a few of us can grasp some meaning in them, we can impact others with these great ideas. At first, I struggled with the idea of writing my own version of this book. I wondered, “Who am I to be writing this?” I am not a scholar and it is usually the scholars that do this kind of work. But then I realized that it would be good for me to do this…for myself, for my own development.

      For the first few months, I did not tell anyone that I was doing this. I just wrote. It got kinda lonely out here and then I saw the July UBC and I joined it. That was my big coming out. This started out just as a little challenge that I gave myself to do this in 2012. My goal is to complete the entire 81 chapters in 2012, writing one new one every 4 – 5 days. I did not trust myself to go through with it, so I kept it hidden at first. Now it is a part of me and I have learned to trust myself more. I have also learned to trust my intelligence, but also to remember that I don’t know much either. It is a fine line. Hope this helps. Thanks so much for your love and support, Nanette. I so appreciate your presence. You help me to keep moving forward.

  3. Interesting. I LOVE to learn especially about Tao Te Ching.
    Ali Bierman recently posted…Relationships: Heal One to Heal Them AllMy Profile

  4. Intelligence often gets in the way of wisdom. That is what I read in this section. Thank you for sharing. Interesting that it is number 65. Yesterday I posted a New Free gift, a book with 65 Playful Moments. I just felt it needed to be 65 … hmmm I wonder what number 65 signifies?
    Kama recently posted…Comment on You Can Play Your Way To Confidence by KamaMy Profile

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