Tao Te Ching Verse 27 – Does this verse contradict itself?

Tao Te Ching verse 27 week 29 Saturday Morning Mastermind

Tao Te Ching Verse 27

Meet us here for the Saturday Morning Mastermind LIVE broadcast
July 2nd at 10am EST – This week’s topic: How to keep your calm in a world filled with terror
 Chapter 27 of “Change your thoughts, Change your life. Living the wisdom of the Tao” by Wayne Dyer

Does Tao Te Ching Verse 27 contradict itself and what we’ve learned in this book so far?

How can a ‘Master’ or ‘Knower of truth’ go through life without doing harm if he thinks he is better than someone else?

At the beginning of this verse Lao Tzu talks about the ‘Knower of truth’ being able to “travel without leaving a trace”, speaking “without doing harm” and giving “without keeping an account”.

Throughout the Tao Te Ching he’s mentioned the Master as one who is able to live in complete harmony with the way of the Tao. In verse 25 he reminds us of the greatness within everything. He said “The Way is great, heaven is great, earth is great, people are great” “To know the way, understand the great within yourself.”

It seems he’s been telling us all along that all things are perfect just as they are and if we want to live in harmony with each other we must recognize the greatness in ourselves and each other.

In verse 24 he tells us that “He who is self righteous is not respected” and in verse 22 “The sage embraces the one. Because he doesn’t display himself, people can see his light. Because he has nothing to prove, people can trust his words. Because he doesn’t know who he is, people recognize themselves in him.”

tao te ching verse 27
Yet at the end of Tao Te Ching Verse 27,  he says ‘What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job?’

How can you be a master if you think you are better than someone else? How can you not be self righteous if you think your job is to ‘fix’ bad people? How can you see yourself as a teacher unless you think someone else must be taught a ‘better way’?

I think a true master or knower of truth would not see anyone(or thing) as good or bad. He would not see himself as a ‘teacher’. He wouldn’t “know who he is”

I think he (or she) would always see himself as a student, always learning, and never fully understanding all there is to know. He would share what he learned with others but not because he thinks they need to be fixed. Only because he knows that sharing the lesson helps him to understand and learn more when discussed with others.

Others might see him as the teacher just like I see trees and nature as messengers of knowledge, but he would not assume the role of teacher or call himself a sage or master.

Although I don’t believe anyone, master or not, can travel through life without leaving a trace, I do think it’s very possible to speak without doing harm and give without expectation.

I think true mastery is the ability to let go of all the stuff that causes us to think we are better in some way that anyone else. When we are fully able to be OK with others no matter what they say, how they act, what they believe, who they are, where they come from, how much they have or don’t have, what they look like, etc, etc… That is when one has achieved true mastery.


What do you think?

Join us this Saturday July 2nd at 10am EST, 7am PT for week 29 of our Saturday Morning Mastermind study of “Change your thoughts, change your life. Living the wisdom of the Tao” by Wayne Dyer

We’ll be discussing Chapter 27: Living by your Inner Light Tao Te Ching verse 27

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What do you think Tao Te Ching verse 27 is trying to teach? Do you think it’s being contradictory? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below…