Healing Hamilton

Assisting you on your path to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Strong with Weak

                         Weakness in the face of confrontation

Lao Tzu, author of the Tao Teh Ching, told us in Chapter 76 that "Generally, things that are weak have potential. Things that are strong have reached their maturation and no more growth potential. Therefore, things that are weak have potential, and room for more. Things that are strong expose everything. They showed all the negatives. Things that are weak will last longer. Things that are strong only last for a short time."

Tai Chi created by Taoist Zhang San Feng, is based on this philosophy, guided by the concepts of relaxation, soft, circular and even.  Tai Chi does not use physical power - all emphasis is on your intent.  When confronted by an opponent, you remain soft, relaxed and tranquil.  You learn to apply the concept of weak overcoming strong.

I've studied Tai Chi now for nine years, and I'll be the first to admit this is a very difficult philosophy to execute.  It's our natural reaction to respond to hard with harder, strong with stronger.   But there is significant value in weakness.  If you don't resist your opponent, they have nothing to grab on to, nothing to fight you with.  For them it's like pushing on a wet noodle, the harder they push the more you bend out of the way.

We're all familiar with this philosophy, though it's more commonly expressed as "It takes two to tango."

So, the next time someone tries to involve you in a confrontation, win with weakness.

"Nature rarely speaks.
A whirlwind doesn't even last a whole morning.
A rainstorm starts and ends in a single day.
Such things are made by heaven and earth.
If heaven and earth can't make a storm last,
how can you?"     
                                                                      Lao Tzu            


  1. Loved this post! The quote made me smile, and the contrast between the "strong" and the "weak" were really good for me to read (again). Thank you again for a perspective that brings me back down to (dragon) earth :-)

    1. Glad you enjoyed their perspective - I think those ancient guys were really on to something!

  2. This is, by far, my favorite of the posts on the topic that I've red thus far. Wonderful, wonderful philosophy.

    1. That's quite a compliment - thank you very much! Can't take credit for the philosophy though - those ancient dudes did all figuring out.

  3. Read, not red. Yikes. ;O)


Please share your thoughts