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Chapter 80

  1. Make the country small, make the people few.
  2. Though there are a variety of tools and instruments, leaving them there uselessly.
  3. Make people to take death seriously and do not travel far.
  4. Though there are boats and carriages,
  5. There is no place to ride in them.
  6. Though there are weapons and troops,
  7. There is no place to deploy them.
  8. Let people return to the use of knotted cords in recording.
  9. Delight in their food,
  10. Satisfy with their clothes,
  11. Dwell in comfort in their homes,
  12. Enjoy their life in their ways.
  13. Though neighboring states within sight of each other,
  14. And crowing cocks and barking dogs are heard with each other,
  15. Yet the people never exchange visits till they die of old age.


Commentary

1. Here the “country” is a metaphor denoting man’s existence. The “people” is a metaphor denoting the heart. Make the country small means to gradually diminish the consciousness of our existence. Make the people few means to gradually clear away our false heart. In fact, this is to tell the practical methods concerning how to sail against life current..

2. Here the “tools and instruments” is a metaphor denoting discarding the using of six senses and others, even though they are endowed and really can help us a lot.

3. There is birth there is death. People are doomed to die because they are born. So, after human beings’ birth the road they tread is to head nothing but death. This a very serious problem all human beings should face. Taking seriously the problem of death we can wake up and search for solution as soon as possible, yet in order to prevent such thing from happening that we find we travel too far that death is just before me.

4-5. This is a metaphor denoting to abstaining from engaging in any motion.

6-7. This is a metaphor denoting to abstaining from contending for anything.

8. This is a metaphor denoting to return to the simple and sincerely state.

9-12. Feel content with all in order to let the heart remain in stillness and emptiness.

13-15. Abstaining from using two of six senses--- eyes, ears—Tao-pursuing practitioners should get rid of all desires and passions forever. Why people exchange visits? Because they have desires and passions.

 

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