Daodejing 24


A show-off never learns
A know-it-all never shines
A braggart never achieves
A boaster never gets ahead

All of this is most unnecessary
Seen from the viewpoint of the Way

The person on the Way avoids all of this
Because such things are disgusting.

*Translation by Wenlong Lu & Keith Wayne Brown, ©2013.

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  1. Thanks Andrew. Wenlong and I are trying to keep to Laozi’s candidness. He can be abstract (he is talking about that which really has no name), but he still attempts to take the most direct path he can to get there with an everyday metaphor or a simple admonition.

  2. I really like the poem, there are to me real truths in it, but somehow the word disgusting doesn’t fit. It’s as though, at least for me, another word floating about. Like I know how to write poetry…:)

    1. LOL. It was jarring to my ear as well. I thought “unlikeable” at first, but Wenlong was very adamant that Laozi was more straight forward and blunt. Such behavior literally should cause a follower of Dao to feel disgust.

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