Home > Commentaries on TTC > 72 – the percentage of the human body which is water

72 – the percentage of the human body which is water

When they lose their sense of awe,
people turn to religion.
When they no longer trust themselves,
they begin to depend upon authority.

There are many translations out there, but this one sat well with me, so this is the one I’m going to use. Really, most of the other translations point out that when people aren’t frightened of what should frighten them, then they’re in for a tough time. But the lines above have more to speak to an English language teacher. Dogme has been compared to a religion with acolytes, proselytes, gurus, commandments and followers exisiting on blind faith and worshipful (self-) adoration. But if it is a religion, it is one that seeks to recapture the awe at how language is so effortlessly learnt by humans. And one that reflects on why language has become less effortless as people no longer trust themselves and begin to depend on authorit[ies].

Dogme is in keeping with the approach recommended by Lao Tzu. He continues chapter 72 by advising that the wise teacher  steps back/so that people won’t be confused. The wise teacher teaches without a teaching,/so that people will have nothing to learn. Don’t dismiss this as some Eastern mystical hippy bullshit. This is sound advice. By clinging on to soulless materials and worthless curricula, teachers are failing their students. In many case consciously so. Here’s what you should be doing. Don’t say you weren’t told.

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Categories: Commentaries on TTC
  1. March 27, 2011 at 15:51

    I’ve had this post open for two days because I wanted to add something witty. I can’t. I think between you and the sage, you’ve said it all.

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