The Greatness of Mankind

LaoZi(Wikimedia,CC BY-SA 3.0)

Laozi said:”The Way is boundless, the sky is boundless, the earth is boundless, and so mankind is boundless.”(Chapter 25 of <Tao Te Ching> )

This saying, which refers to the value of mankind, inspires me more than any other. It’s easy to understand that the sky and earth are boundless. The Way (or Tao) is the root of all things, and is therefore gigantic. But our bodies are even smaller than those of horse and cattle, so how can Laozi say we are boundless?

The answer is that when you ask how large a cup is, it depends on its capacity. French writer Victor Hugo said that we see the land as enormous, but the ocean is more enormous than the land. The sky is more immense than the ocean, while the human heart can be greater than the sky. When faced with this dilemma, Laozi would say that the human heart can achieve enlightenment of the Tao, and so can be as great as the Tao.

Therefore, if one attains enlightenment, would not all of the world’s tiny grace, resentment, benefit, harm, success and failure be taken lightly?






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