Parallel wisdoms – centeredness

[Tao Te Ching 8 Star]
Live in accordance with the nature of things:
Build your house on solid ground
Keep your mind still
When giving, be kind
When speaking, be truthful
When ruling, be just
When working, be one-pointed
When acting, remember –  timing is everything

[Tao Te Ching 8 Mitchell]
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

[Matthew 7: 24 NIV]
Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

[Ephesians 4: 22 NIV]
… be made new in the attitude of your minds … speak truthfully to your neighbour … doing something useful with your [their] own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.


All these scriptures relate to centeredness: stillness, simplicity and solidity. The idiom of building on the solid is virtually identical, despite the extensive cultural differences between the New Testament and the Tao Te Ching (5th Century BCE China).

One point of difference is that the Tao (in Jonathan Star’s rendering at least) manages to communicate quite some humour, whether intentionally or via translation, I am not sure.



  1. Don Rogers said

    The Tao continues to amaze me with its wisdom which parallels things I heard before as a Christian, while at the same time having a much older tradition. Thanks for these…

  2. Nic Paton said

    Agreed Don. For me it takes up a place not well covered in mid-eastern monotheism – assigning a sanctity to all things; divinising the supra-personal. It does it with enormous poetic potency, and this for me is a test of what should constitute “scripture”. Thanks for your thoughts…

  3. Muzi Cindi said

    I have Dr. Wayne Dyer’s CD’s on The Tao. He did a study for the whole year, on different interpreters of The Tao. His 8 CD audiobook is a classic! The Bhagavad Gita is along the same line as well.
    The SOURCE is ONE!!!

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