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What does the following mean to you?
Posted 7/26/09
The poem is rather cryptic, it entirely depends on how you view it.

The first passage;

When people are born they are gentle and soft,
At death they are hard and stiff.
When plants are alive they are soft and delicate.
When they die, they wither and dry up.
Therefore the hard and stiff are followers of death.
The gentle and soft are the followers of life


a. I view it as that once we were full of life. We are fascinated on the smallest things. Ignorant - gentle and soft. We question, we wonder. Then we grew up, we learn and become too opinionated about certain things. Death does not necessarily mean the end of someone's life but it can also mean not lively. Therefore symbolically, we are the followers of death.

OR

b. If you translated this as how you pursue things in life, I have to disagree. I think being strong when facing hardships will be a greater solution then being gentle and soft. Being 'hard and stiff' meaning to stand your ground and face it.

Thus, if you are aggressive and stiff, you won't win.
When a tree is hard enough, it is cut. Therefore
The hard and big are lesser,
The gentle and soft are greater.


Even though we are strong/may appear strong we can be vulnerable. Big strong tree can fall. Even greatness fall.

I view it that sometimes being aggressive can make you lose hope and give up, while being gentle you can endure with what people say or anything that is unpleasant. Hypothetically if you're in situation where there are opposing sides, you stand in the middle, where you still choose a side and be 'gentle and soft' towards people's opinion. As you pointed out, being open minded and flexible about things.


Posted 7/26/09

Joushio wrote:

"When people are born they are gentle and soft,
At death they are hard and stiff.
When plants are alive they are soft and delicate.
When they die, they wither and dry up.
Therefore the hard and stiff are followers of death.
The gentle and soft are the followers of life.

Thus, if you are aggressive and stiff, you won't win.
When a tree is hard enough, it is cut. Therefore
The hard and big are lesser,
The gentle and soft are greater."

-Tao Te Ching 76

I'm just curious as to everyone's thoughts, interpretations, views on the quote. This is one of the passages I read daily, just as a reminder to myself to be more flexible, more open-minded and willing. What's your thoughts on it? Enjoy it? Hate it?


Hmmm...it's almost saying that when you're young and innocent, that is when you are at your prime. Untainted by anything. You know nothing of the devastation in life. But as you progress and you grow, you become withered by the harsh realities of life. You become brittle and hard when struggling. And then you die. >.>
Posted 8/9/09
its a great quote and does make sense alot... if u think about it i have this aunt whos mean and stiff and always a pain and she has mental health ´problems like stress and wat not while on the other hand i have my other aunt whos more out goin and she's goin off on cruises and crap and she seems healthy and happy
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73 / M
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Posted 8/9/09

Joushio wrote:

"When people are born they are gentle and soft,
At death they are hard and stiff.
When plants are alive they are soft and delicate.
When they die, they wither and dry up.
Therefore the hard and stiff are followers of death.
The gentle and soft are the followers of life.

Thus, if you are aggressive and stiff, you won't win.
When a tree is hard enough, it is cut. Therefore
The hard and big are lesser,
The gentle and soft are greater."

-Tao Te Ching 76

I'm just curious as to everyone's thoughts, interpretations, views on the quote. This is one of the passages I read daily, just as a reminder to myself to be more flexible, more open-minded and willing. What's your thoughts on it? Enjoy it? Hate it?



But in order to reproduce, a male's pecker need to momentarily hit "death stage" to expel white seeds. Soft and gentle gets humanity nowhere.


I think Tao Te Ching just never got a girlfriend, and is utterly pissed, but decides to make poetry out of it.
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19 / M / Jendell
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Posted 8/10/09
Hard and Stiff
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23 / M / California
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Posted 8/10/09
gentle and soft=good
hard and stiff=bad
theme of poem= boners bad
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34 / M / in you closet
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Posted 8/10/09
interesting peom.... i kinda have an idea but its always hard for me to put in words...
its kinda like youth is easily swayed into thoughts and ideas.... and the older you get the more you hold on to the ideas and beliefes that you were told...
there more to it then that but thats one of the more easily said meanings i can think of.( sorry if there is any bad grammar mistakes in that)
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Posted 8/10/09

TannerB wrote:

Hard and Stiff


Everything you post just makes me love you more.
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25 / M / NY
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Posted 8/11/09
Stop spamming -.-;
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31 / M / Detroit
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Posted 8/12/09
I think the selection from the Tao Te Ching is stating that one should be flexible in terms of how they perceive the world. If we are rigid in our judgments, and hold all matters to a strict, "cookie-cutter" standard, then we are actually harming ourselves. We harm ourselves by rigidly holding to our beliefs & notions, without being flexible enough to think deeply about philosophies that may contradict our beliefs. In short, to be flexible, is to be able to understand and comprehend.
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18 / F / Ontario, Canada
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Posted 8/12/09
simple...

stiff/agressive ---> death
when big ---- > death

agressive ---> mean ---> we should love each other so we can live an eternal life???
LOL... yea, im simple minded

big ---> fat ----> big mac ----> mcdonald's should shut down??
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24 / F / philippines
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Posted 8/14/09
it means that live your life one day at a time..
don't be too hard on yourself..
life is short so enjoy...
you don't need to rush things..
just go with the flow..
life has something sweet for you....
relax..
have fun..
that's the principle of Taoism..
" when the wind blows, the grass bends"
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19 / M / Lowell
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Posted 8/14/09
thats some deep shit man lol
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24 / M
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Posted 5/4/10
It encourages pasivity in the face of adversity, conformity, &c., which is the great fault of many Asian countries.
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F / Philly
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Posted 5/5/10
It seems like a regular old Tao poem. Simply put: don't be a stick in the mud, go with the flow of things. Being to stubborn will only end in you being destroyed by your own unwillingness to change; you'll be dead to the world for all intents and purposes.
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