Tao Te Ching #48

In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.

Translation by Stephen Mitchel.

As a software engineer, I understand that “simple” and “easy” are not the same thing; in fact, usually to arrive at simple is very difficult. Antoine de Saint-Exupery said:

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

We live our lives striving for more, collecting more, gathering more. Bigger, better, faster, more. Then how often do we step back and look at what we’ve amassed and feel overwhelmed and wonder how did we get here? Be it the amount of stuff in our houses, or the number of things we do in our lives, our constant running around and “having no time” and “being so busy”.

Strip away, discard. You’ll discover what’s extraneous, you’ll retain what is necessary. The simpler life becomes (or perhaps think of it as the less complicated you make your life), the more we can enjoy it.

2 thoughts on “Tao Te Ching #48

  1. Pingback: Mixed Martial Arts Serendipity « Stuff From Hsoi

  2. Pingback: Simplicity « Stuff From Hsoi

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