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Daily Tao – Chapter 3

Today's Daily Tao is:

Without Action

Not praising the worthy prevents contention,
Not esteeming the valuable prevents theft,
Not displaying the beautiful prevents desire.

In this manner the sage governs people:
Emptying their minds,
Filling their bellies,
Weakening their ambitions,
And strengthening their bones.

If people lack knowledge and desire
Then they can not act;
If no action is taken
Harmony remains

I spent a bit of time on this one, trying to write up an explanation of it, then a disagreement; then I realised that I didn't really understand it. It seems like it's saying that through inaction there is harmony, and yet according to my dictionary the definition of harmony is: "Compatibility in opinion and action." So how can Taoism be saying that without action there is harmony, when harmony seems to require action by its very definition?

Your thoughts will be welcome. I'll come back to this one some day.

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