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The Tao Te Ching is a spiritual, inspirational work that guides us through life, helping us to live within each moment and find the beauty that is all around each of us. Simple, beautiful, and life changing, the Tao Te Ching is fundamental to the Taoist school of Chinese philosophy (D‡ojia) and strongly influenced other schools, such as Legalism and Neo-Confucianism. This ancient book is also central in Chinese Buddhism, which when first introduced into China was largely interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts. Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and even gardeners have used the Tao Te Ching as a source of inspiration.
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ISBN: 9781625587800
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Tao Te King

By Lao-Tzu

Translated By Isabella Mears

Start Publishing LLC

Copyright © 2012 by Start Publishing LLC

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

First Start Publishing eBook edition October 2012

Start Publishing is a registered trademark of Start Publishing LLC

Manufactured in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

ISBN 978-1-62558-780-0

Tao that can be expressed is not Everlasting Tao.

The name that can be named is not the Everlasting Name.

The Name, in its inner aspect, is Life-Spring of Heaven and Earth.

The Name, in its outer aspect, is Mother of all created things.


To perceive the mystery of Life, desire always to reach the innermost.

To perceive the limitations of things, desire always to posses them.

These two aspects of Life are One.

In their out-come they become different in Name but in their depth they are One.

In a depth, still deeper yet, is the Door of many mysteries.


All men know the existence of beauty,

Beauty, cleft asunder, is ugliness.

All men know the existence of Love.

Love, cleft asunder, is hatred.

Therefore possessions and Inner Life interdepend in life.

Difficult and easy interdepend in completeness.

Long and short interdepend in form.

High and low interdepend in alternation.

Tone and voice interdepend in harmony.

Before and after interdepend in sequence.

That is why the self-controlled man makes it his business to dwell in the Inner Life; he teaches not by words, but by actions; he brings all beings into action, he does not refuse them; he gives them life, but does not possess them; he acts, but does not look for reward; he works out perfectness, but claims no credit.

The Master, indeed, rests not on rewards.

That is why he passes not away.


Exalt not men, so that the people may not fight.

Prize not rare objects, so that the people may not steal.

Look not on desirable things, so that the people’s hearts be not troubled.

That is why the self-controlled man governs by stilling the emotions, by quieting thought, by mastering the will, by increasing strength.

He always teaches the people to know the Inner Life, to desire the Inner Life.

He teaches the Masters of knowledge to cease from activity, to act through activity of the Inner Life; then Inner Life will govern all.


Tao is infinite.

If we use It, we find It inexhaustible,


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