Each week we address one chapter of the Tao Te Ching. The Tao Te Ching can be obscure, especially if you think you're supposed to understand what it's saying! We find it easier and more instructive to simply contemplate how the chapter resonates with your personal experience. Becoming more aware at this fundamental level simplifies life. This approach conforms to the view that true knowing lies within ourselves. Thus, when a passage in the scripture resonates, you've found your inner truth. The same applies for when it evokes a question; questions are the grist for self realization.
One who assists the ruler of men by means of the way does not intimidate the
empire by a show of arms.
This is something which is liable to rebound.
Where troops have encamped
There will brambles grow;
In the wake of a mighty army
Bad harvests follow without fail.
One who is good aims only at bringing his campaign to a conclusion and dare
not thereby intimidate. Bring it to a conclusion but do not boast; bring it to
a conclusion but do not brag; bring it to a conclusion but do not be arrogant;
bring it to a conclusion but only when there is no choice; bring it to a
conclusion but do not intimidate.
A creature in its prime doing harm to the old
Is known as going against the way.
That which goes against the way will come to an early end.
Read commentary previously posted for this chapter.