Chapter 11, Day 5

On the last day of reading I will focus on what this chapter means. To begin, much like I have said in the previous posts, the meaning of this chapter is that we should not give too much importance to material things. For instance, this is proven with the following sentence: "And so, what is there is the basis for profit; What is not there is the basis for use" (Laozi, 11). This chapter is mostly a critique of the concept of materialism and seeks to teach its readers to try to live a simpler life without great amounts of material goods, and go back to giving more importance to nature ( Nancarrow, 28). In addition, it greatly emphasizes that what truly matters in life are the things that are not necessarily physical goods, which I could interpret as concepts such as love, family, friendship, and more.

This chapter made me reflect upon the concept of materialism, which is greatly present in our current society. I have to say that I agree with the teachings of my chapter and wish that we could all attempt to buy less things and just focus on the great things in life, which most of the time are not material. I feel like the Daodejing is trying to teach us that we should live simpler lives and focus on the good things it has to offer us, instead of giving in to temptation into buying things that we do not really need. Therefore, this chapter has had a great impact on my way of thinking.


Works cited:

Nancarrow, Peter H. Chinese Philosophy. Simple Guides, (2009).



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