Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Taoist President

Over the past 200+ years, each time a new presidential administration comes into office everyone is filled with hope for a new beginning and a new chapter. At this point in history with our nation beset by a multitude of serious problems, the previous statement is even MORE true.

But what if Barack Obama decided to seek the counsel of Lao Tzu instead of the usual gaggle of political insiders. What kinds of advice would this ancient Taoist sage have to offer? How would a Taoist presidential administration differ from the ones of the past?
Not exhalting the gifted prevents quarreling.
Not collecting treasures prevents stealing.
Not seeing desireable things prevents confusion of the heart.

The wise therefore rule by emptying hearts and stuffing
bellies, by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.
If men lack knowledge and desire, then clever people will not
try to interfere.
If nothing is done, then all will be well.
~ Three ~

Better stop short than fill to the brim.
Oversharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt.
Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it.
Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow.
~ portion of Nine ~

The universe is sacred.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it, you will ruin it.
If you try to hold it, you will lose it.
~ portion of Twenty-Nine ~

Peace is easily maintained;
Trouble is easily overcome before it starts.
The brittle is easily shattered;
The small is easily scattered.

Deal with it before it happens.
Set things in order before there is confusion.
~ portion of Sixty-Four ~

A good soldier is not violent.
A good fighter is not angry.
A good winner is not vengeful.
A good employer is humble.
~ portion of Sixty-Eight ~


  1. You forgot my favorite:

    Ruling a country is like cooking a small fish...

    I love that one.

  2. Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu - chapter 60 (my favorite!)

    Ruling the country is like cooking a small fish.
    Approach the universe with Tao,
    And evil will have no power.
    Not that evil is not powerful,
    But its power will not be used to harm others.
    Not only will it do no harm to others,
    But the sage himself will also be protected.
    They do not hurt each other,
    And the Virtue in each one refreshes both.

  3. That's a pretty interesting thought . . .

    It's not often that we see great leaders. I'm not really ready to drink the "O" kool aid full tilt yet, but I hope the guy will do a great job . . .

    By the way - I just set up an rss feed reader as my homepage, but I can't find the link for your rss. Can you drop me a comment over at http://www.taoisttraining.com with the feed url so I can keep up with your blog?




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