December 18, 2008

Tao Te Ching Wisdom 33

Posted in Character, Literature, Quotes, Sufism at 6:27 pm by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

I have been reading different books and one I have decided to reread (for the fourth time) is Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu. It is the primary scripture for followers of Taoism. I find it very interesting compared to the Old and New Testament. I read one chapter that I loved and wanted to share. (I am looking for a better translation) I think there are many Islamic elements in it:

Wisdom 33

Knowing others is wisdom.
Knowing oneself is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires power.
Mastering the self requires strength.

He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will [power].
He who stays where he is endures.
If you die without loss, you are eternal.



  1. Le Mystique said,

    Question 1: Is there any difference b/w power and strength?
    Question 2: Could there be anyone who dies without a loss?

  2. faith786 said,

    In response to your questions:

    1) In the Taoist (is that a word?) philosophy, power can be in reference to physical strength/influence. Strength is seen as more of internal mastery, psychological and spiritual strength, etc.

    2)Taoism is famous for having sayings that some of them *literally* don’t make sense. In terms of Taoism, loss is seen as being attached to the physical. So if die without any attachment to this world, your soul can transcend reality (which can be interpreted here as eternal). So yes, for Taoist mystics, they can die without loss. (Whether or not it can be verified is less certain.)

    Islamically, I think that the only true form of loss is to have anything take you away from God. So is there someone who died without loss? Prophet Muhammad and perhaps many sahabahs, and other noble people. But that last line is something that is very much debated in what it means and it can be subjective to each individual reader.

    Hope I helped! (And I am an amateur in theology, so you should take whatever I say with a grain of salt.) Thanks for checking out my blog!

  3. Le Mystique said,

    Thanks for the answers. It really helped.
    Reading few of your posts and skimming through some others, I can safely say that you are no amateur.
    Please do keep reading and sharing the gems of wisdom. After reading your comments above, I am guessing you too seem to be interested in philosophical side of theology and I admire that. I also like the fact that your reading shelf is not limited to the Islamic literature alone. Surely we can learn a lot from others; even atheists/agnostics I would say.
    (sorry for the ramblings..)

  4. Noreen said,

    I agree! That is why I keep stalking your blog–I think it has a perspective you can’t find anywhere else on wordpress.

    Do you plan on putting up quotes/explanations of other religious texts?

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