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what is the effect of the paradox taken from passage 22 of "Tao Te Ching?"?

passage 22: if you want to be reborn, let youself die. if you want to be given everything, give everything up.


  1. Let go of everything to receive everything.. “If you want to be reborn, let yourself die.” Lose your old ways let your character in the past be your past. “If you want to be given everything, give everything up.” I think what they mean is when you give everything away and have nothing you’ll appreciate the things you had/have and they will become your everything.

  2. Means you have to go into the silence of thoughtless awareness.
    To get there you let go of what you think you are(let yourself die/ give everything up) to find out what you really are (be reborn/given everything). It’s not about material possessions or literally dying.

  3. You must let go in order to receive.
    Gerard- this is the religion and spirituality section, not the Christians only section. If this makes you uncomfortable, you may want to look for a Christians only forum.

  4. You can’t be born if you’re already alive.
    You can’t be given everything if you already have it.
    You never get what you don’t need.
    Wanting is pointless.

  5. Christian section? *looks up at title* I see Religion and Spirituality, and last time I checked, Taoism was a religion. If you let go of preconceptions, desires, paradygms, and the like, only then are you open to receive everything that you closed yourself off to by holding on to those preconceptions, desires, paradygms, and such. Here’s another, similar quote from Lao Tzu that might help understand his meaning:
    “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”

  6. The translation you have deviates somehow from the original. This is closing to the original text in Chinese:
    If you want to become whole,
    first let yourself become broken.
    If you want to become straight,
    first let yourself become twisted.
    If you want to become full,
    first let yourself become empty.
    If you want to become new,
    first let yourself become old.
    Those whose desires are few gets them,
    those whose desires are great go astray.
    The essence, however, is there. Apparently, ,you cannot be reborn if you remain in your present state of life. Similarly, if you want everything, you will not be in the capacity of receiving, as you think only about wanting, and are blind to what is being put into your hands.


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