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Lao Tzu for Everyone

Students, Scholars

& Seekers

Peter Gilboy, Ph.D.

Line 1  持而盈之不若亓已

Line 2  揣 而 銳 之不 可長 葆 也

Line 3  金玉盈室 莫之守也


​​Line 4  貴富而驕自遺咎也

​Line 5  功遂身退 天之道也




Knowing when

to stop




​    In the previous lesson, Lao Tzu told us, “In action, value the right moment.” Knowing the right time to 已yǐ stop is a key to this. 


     While knowing when to stop might seem like a small issue, perhaps not worthy of a such a great work, consider how many social, political, and even our personal problems are due to “too much” of something, or “going too far” in many things?



Click on each line number


for Chinese-English interlinear & commentary



Going to far is

not as good

as stopping in time.




Sharpen a blade too much,

and it will not

stay sharp for long.


Fill a room with gold

and you will never

be able to protect it. 





Great wealth accompanied

by arrogance will bring
disaster upon oneself.






After carrying out your tasks,

just step back.

That is heaven's Way.




​​​​​​​​​​. . . . . . .





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