The Straw Dog






Life is personal.




Feel the fear and do it anyway.








Turning Japanese.









There Is A Place.






Following the flowers.






It’s Elusive.

Love is blind.





The Straw Dog.

‘Everything that appears in the physical realm is always connected with energy flow at the invisible level.’




Tao Te Ching

Chapter 5 of the Tao Te Ching makes use of the phrase chu gou (芻狗) to compare living beings to straw dogs. This metaphor is used to explain the non-humanity (不仁 bu ren) of Heaven and Earth:


Heaven and Earth are not humane.
They regard all things as straw dogs.
The sage is not humane.
He regards all people as straw dogs.

However, some translators prefer to interpret this phrase as two separate words, “straw” (芻) and “dogs” (狗), rather than together, as “straw dogs” (芻狗).

This verse is usually interpreted as an expression of the Taoist rejection of the principle of ren (仁), one of the Five Constant Virtues in Confucianism, variously translated as “humanity”, “benevolence”, “partiality”, or “kind acts”. Su Zhe’s commentary on the verse explains: “Heaven and Earth are not partial. They do not kill living things out of cruelty or give them birth out of kindness. We do the same when we make straw dogs to use in sacrifices. We dress them up and put them on the altar, but not because we love them. And when the ceremony is over, we throw them into the street, but not because we hate them.”





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