The Tao of Power is a translation of Laozi’s Chinese epic Tao Te Ching into English by an exceptional woman whose nom de plume is R.L. Wing. The verses I have chosen here are relevant to what I consider the basics of The Tao: Path, Polarity, Pattern. What I hope to do here is relate selected current events to these three fundamental principals.
Translation: When a country is divided: fields are overgrown, stores are empty, clothes are extravagant, sharp swords are worn, food and drink are excessive, wealth and treasures are hoarded.
Is the controversy over the Second Amendment an issue of freedom or division with regard to the need for each citizen to wear a sharp sword?
Is our crumbling infrastructure a symbol of “fields overgrown”?
Are the empty calories sold cheaply and abundantly an example of “stores are empty” yet food and drink are excessive?
Are the cheap textiles made by exported slave labor why we have extravagant and excessive clothing?
Illegal immigrants and excessive crimes point to poverty in a country of wealth and treasure being hoarded in a country of plenty, is this a fair assessment?
Commentary: The path of least resistance is level and even, but for many the bypaths are tempting.
Translation: Plan the difficult when it is easy. Handle the big when it is still small.
Could gun violence be better controlled if gun control had been attempted long ago?
Would immigration be less of an issue if NAFTA and WTO had been uninitiated and global corporations had been less profitable?
Commentary: Just as a river finds its way through a valley of boulders, Evolved individuals work their way around areas of resistance, knowing they will ultimately wear them down.
Translation: Evolved individuals produce but do not possess. Act without expectations. Succeed without taking credit.
Is it possible to benefit from one’s productivity without possessing it?
What are the results of expecting nothing from anyone versus equitable reciprocity?
Can one succeed in today’s work force without taking credit?
Translation: When something increases something else decreases.
Is there such a thing as win/win? Lose/lose? No fault? Or is everything win/lose, biggest loser and your fault?
Commentary: All things are interconnected and interdependent and from this concept comes the behavior of polarity.
Translation: What is small becomes attainable.
Can a situation that exceeds one’s capacity to understand it become too big to control?
Do things that are out of balance or out of harmony become entities with their own momentum?
Commentary: The Taoist goal is to control cause and effect by transcending it through balance and harmony with the environment.