Book Summaries Philosophy

Tao Te Ching Summary (8/10)

The Tao Te Ching was written by Lao Tzu, and according to legend, he wrote the book for a stranger who asked him to help him become wise. Lao Tzu communicated what he had learned when he left society to live by himself, and the result is an illuminating text that continues to be relevant today.

I have summarized the book into the 5 ideas that stood out for me.

Idea 1: Avoid Labels

We are used to classifying behavior as good or evil, but Lao Tzu urges us to reconsider this tendency.

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Idea 2: Be Fluid

A central theme in the Tao Te Ching is to be soft, fluid, changeable. To be fluid means to be like a child, who has not yet developed self-awareness. 

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Idea 3: Empty Your Mind

This idea is about nothingness, particularly emptying the mind of its preconceptions about the world.

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Idea 4: Know Yourself

Rather than try to influence others, study and manipulate them, focus on knowing yourself. 

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Idea 5: Fear is an Illusion

One of the most difficult things is to recognize that fear is a result of your own expectations.

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"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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