The Virtues Of Emptiness And Stillness


Among other things, the Tao Te Ching promotes the utility of Emptiness and Stillness in our lives. 

The Virtue Of Emptiness

“That which is empty is used to create functionality,” says the Tao Te Ching.  What good would a cup be without emptiness? Only that which is empty can be filled… “Have little and receive; have much and be confused.”

The Virtue Of Stillness

As much can be gained with Emptiness, much progress can be made through Stillness.  Muddled waters which grow still, “gradually become clear.”

When one is still, one can better discern the events of the world… “the myriad things are all active. I therefore watch their return,” writes Tao Te Ching author, Lao Tzu.

There is tranquility in constancy. “Tranquility is called returning to one’s nature. Returning to one’s nature is called Constancy. Knowing Constancy is called Clarity.”  We must re-visit our core with regularity, and keep our base strong, since “those who do not lose their base endure” and “that which is well-established cannot be uprooted.”  And we shouldn’t ignore fundamentals even as we strive to ascend toward enlightenment, for “the higher uses the lower as foundation.”

The Virtue Of Quietness

Related to Emptiness and Stillness is the virtue of Quietness. “Sparse speech is natural,” says the Tao Te Ching, adding that a “strong wind does not last all morning.”


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