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Word Count: 586
White 2 The philosophy of Taoism which heavily contrasts the common beliefs upheld by the majority of modern western society serves as an ideological landmark of a time in history where worth self or otherwise was entirely independent of superfluous things and accomplishments In chapter twelve of Lao Tsus Tao Te Ching the prototypical Taoist value of material simplicity as the cornerstone of internal focus is communicated through the use of repetition as well as both ambiguous and concise diction The syntax of each sentence in the first stanza of chapter twelve are relatively similar they start with commodities colorstonesflavorsracing and huntingprecious things and then go on to describe the adverse effects of such luxuries blind the eyedeafen the eardull the tastemadden the mindlead one astray The repetition serves to emphasize how the usually harmless unnecessary products of society detract from quality of life rather than furthering it The deliberately underscored number of colors tones and flavors only five accentuates how even the smallest amount of excess can be extremely detrimental Exposure to just five varieties of seemingly benign senses could result in blindness deafness and tastelessness The implication of these lines is that once having experienced commodities acuteness of the most obvious senses is stripped of a layer that can never be reconstructed In Taoism awareness of surroundings is especially valued to strip away layer of sensitivity is to take away a level of virtue The second stanza establishes the value in conducting life without the unecessary things It states that the sage a philosopher or master leads his life by what he feels and not by what he sees implying that in order to achieve any level of virtue one must find White 3 value internally because its impossible to accurately judge anything by its external appearance Additionally the words used to describe the adverse effects of material possesions are particularly severe To become blind is to be stripped of
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