Lao Tzu’s Trash-Salad

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According to a passage, which I’m going to paint in a more vibrant light while still retaining its pith, a passage in either the Tao Te Ching or the Zhuangzi (I’m not certain which it is), Lao Tzu, being as resourceful as ever, thought it fit to scrounge up a salad for his sister in hopes that her venerable hunger can reach a veritable satiety, at least to the extent which a salad from trash can achieve.

During which resourcefulness, Shih-ch’ing Ch’i observed such indignity in Lao Tzu’s scrounging and further observed the salad’s devouring by Lao Tzu’s sister. Ch’i confronted Lao Tzu about his actions by proclaiming that Lao Tzu was inhumane, yet Lao Tzu said nothing. Ch’i came back the next day and felt differently about Lao Tzu due to Lao Tzu’s non-retaliation and overall inaction.

To explain, Lao Tzu said that he “submitted” to Ch’i’s labels and took on whatever came with them. He didn’t let them affect his virtue but instead he accepted it in the world of men, just like everything else that happens to him. This idea of Taoist acceptance goes hand-in-hand with the concept of double injury, and although it is an action, it is with inaction, which I can justly explain by likening such acceptance to a man on a deathbed.


 

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Published by

Hui Ho

I attend the University of Rochester and plan on majoring in philosophy. I try to talk to many people about Taoism to see their perspective, but that often can't be done because most don't know what Taoism or eastern philosophy teach. So, I contribute to taopracticed.wordpress.com to help others know the merits of eastern philosophy, and more specifically the philosophy of Zhuangzi.

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