Secret Enlightment–Chapter 65– Tao Te Ching
Chapter 65 — Tao Te Ching
We should not take every line of the Tao Te Ching as great wisdom. The wisdom comes from seeing a few line together. It is better when we look at the full verse. This chapter is a good example. Lines 1 and 2 are contrary to what we think is right.
Those of ancient times who were adept at the Tao
Used it not to make people brighter
But to keep them simple
The difficulty in governing people
Is due their excessive cleverness
In Ancient Times
Let’s look at what could have been the author’s intent, Is he really saying keep the people uninformed? That could have been, or it may be the Taoist way, you don’t teach but people will learn by leaders example. Some translators say the word knowledge (of worldly things) instead of cleverness. SU CH’E says, “What the sage values is virtue. What others value is knowledge. Virtue and knowledge are opposites. Knowledge is seldom harmonious, while virtue is always harmonious.”
All of that above can get confusing, Taoism is considered as an intuitive religion so we use our intuition about its meaning. I understand this to say that in the past, rulers did not want to educate the population because it makes them difficult to govern. Because it was in the past does not mean it is correct. We see the same in modern times. In various places when people are given knowledge they become difficult to control. We saw this under Sadum Hussian, in China under Mao and today in the United States as people gain knowledge of police shooting governing has more become difficult.
In a personal spiritual way our lives become more complex (difficult) the more knowledge we gain.. We should value Virtue, like Su Che states that “virtue is always harmonious.” Lao Tzu gives us two standards how to govern the state and the state of our life.
Therefore, using cleverness to govern the state
Is being a thief of the state
Not using cleverness to govern the state
Is being a blessing of the state
Two outcomes will be realized depending if we use cleverness or not. One that brings blessings or one that robs us. On the first reading we would think sure we have seen cleverness ruin a state or life. This concept is expanded beyond cleverness Some translations use the word knowledge instead of cleverness. I think both words work whether we are or are not using cleverness in the state or our lives. The symbol used in the original text for cleverness is “chih” meaning a knowledge learned from books as opposed to direct knowledge or experience. ( B) mentally from the mind, according to the rules— without compassion or heart. Therefore if we want blessings in our life we will value virtue over knowledge, we will avoid cleverness we will value the thoughts of the heart over the thoughts of the mind and we will value our intuition over logic.
Know that these two are both standards
Always knowing these standards
Is called Mystic Virtue
Mystic Virtue: Profound! Far-reaching!
It goes opposite to material things
Then it reaches great congruence
Recognizing these two principles is to know a natural pattern. To know this natural pattern is to understand a profound virtue. This profound virtue is deep and far reaching! All things return to the source, thus obtaining complete harmony.
We know these two concepts, but ALWAYS knowing (and acting accordingly) is call Mystic Virtue. Mystic Virtue is discussed in Chapter 51. One writer called the Mystic Virtue like Nirvana. As described by PHILOS SOPHER in his translation of verse 51 makes it sound like something special “Therefore all things arise from Tao. By Virtue they are nourished, developed, cared for, sheltered, comforted, grown, and protected. Creating without claiming, doing without taking credit, guiding without interfering, this is primal Virtue.”