Thursday, 26 January 2012

Verse 57


If you want to be a great leader,
you must first learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
and the world will govern itself.

How do I know this is so?
Because in this world,
the greater the prohibitions,
the less virtuous people will be.
The more advanced the weapons of state,
the less secure people will be.
The more laws are posted,
the more thieves appear.

Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.

In this section of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu returns his attention to aspects of leadership and finding a means to govern that is in harmony with the Tao.

It would indeed be advantageous if our leaders paid heed to this ancient wisdom, for most the time our countries are governed with the exact opposite approach.

Leadership that is aligned with the Tao displays the characteristics of non-interference, equanimity, non-grasping and allowing. It’s abundantly clear that the more rigid and authoritarian the state, the more dysfunctional, disharmonious and unsustainable it is.

Nature itself is the greatest governor of all and it is nature that reflects the harmony and perfect balance of the Tao. It leads without effort, without the need to control or unduly shape its constituent parts. There is no clinging to concepts or imposing rules, for when all is allowed to be as it is, all flows in perfect harmony and governs itself.

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