Lao Tzu’s view on Human Nature | March 18, 2010

          “When there is no desire, all things are at peace.” Lao Tzu views humans as very materialistic, and selfish; who want power. We try the easier more convenient way to get it; the easier way is through fear and greed. This materialism leads to evil things; Lao said “If you overvalue your possessions people begin to steal.” To gain true happiness and to become truly powerful and a better person, you must free yourself from these things, but human nature gets in the way. We are naturally selfish, because it gives us a false sense of power.  Lao said “The great Way(The Tao) is easy, yet people prefer the side paths.”; in this he was commenting on how people so easily prefer to go around the true way. Lao commented on our selfishness saying “The ordinary man keeps reaching for power; thus he never has enough.” Lao believed we are the ordinary man, who is selfish, and even though may have power, it will never be enough; and we keep trying to get more and more, leaving us unsatisfied. Also, Lao Tzu thinks human nature is too restless and tries too much to find peace, we cannot find it because we are restless. He said “”If you let your restlessness move you, you lose touch with who you are.” Restlessness is not productive; in fact, its doing nothing is productive. Lao stated “The master does nothing, yet he nothing undone.” Trying to control, which is along the lines of trying to have too much, is also in human nature. Just as the quote above about the man who tries to reach for power, yet he does not have. Lao says “Stop trying to control.” He says this with the understanding that the world has a natural balance and it will control itself, and at the same time, control will naturally come. “All streams flow to the sea, because it is lower than they are.” He says this to show that the sea is greater and controls the streams, yet it doesn’t try to control the streams and it does not force the streams control.


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