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Translation by Gia Fu Feng & Jane English Comments and layout by Thomas Knierim
Table Of Contents
Table Of Contents..............................................................................................................1 About The Tao Te Ching...................................................................................................2 About Lao Tzu...................................................................................................................3 Yin And Yang....................................................................................................................4 The Translation..................................................................................................................5
Tao Te Ching, www.thebigview.com
About The Tao Te Ching
The Tao Te Ching was written in China roughly 2,500 years ago at about the same time when Buddha expounded the Dharma in India and Pythagoras taught in Greece. The Tao Te Ching is probably the most influential Chinese book of all times. Its 81 chapters have been translated into English more times than any other Chinese document. The Tao Te Ching provides the basis for the philosophical school of Taoism, which is an important pillar of Chinese thought. Taoism teaches that there is one undivided truth at the root of all things. It literally means: = tao (the way) = te (strength/virtue) = ching (scripture) The verses of the Tao Te Ching are written in ancient Chinese, which is very different from English. Abstraction and logic are not distinguishing marks of the ancient Chinese language, hence, it is less rigid than English and there are very few formal or grammatical structures. The classical Chinese word does not stand for a single concrete idea, but it evokes associations of different ideas and things. Quite a few Chinese words can be used as nouns, adjectives and verbs at the same time. Thus sentences composed of various signs have a sort of suggestive power, evoking emotions, ideas and pictures. It is almost impossible to render an ancient Chinese text properly in English without losing some part. Different translations of the Tao Te Ching may appear as completely different texts. In order to understand the original text fully it is helpful to read various translations that consummate each other. The alternative is, of course, to learn Chinese. This document uses the translation of Gia Fu Feng and Jane English.
and he is also known as Li Er and Lao Dan) was supposedly born in Honan on the 24th of March in the year 604 BC. wrote the Tao Te Ching. His name means “old-young” and he has been called the “Old Master”. who urged the master to write down his teachings so that they might be passed on. at least nothing that is certain. There he was approached by a border official named Guan Yin Zi. his name became legendary with this writing. Lao Tzu was very old. Lao Tzu then retreated into the solitude of the mountain pass. Lao Tzu (his name is sometimes written Lao Tse or Lao Zi. whereupon he went westward and was never seen again.About Lao Tzu Not much is known about Lao Tzu. However. when he rode on a water buffalo to retire in the mountains to a province in the western frontiers. . which also happens to be his only work. Some even doubt whether he is the author of the Tao Te Ching.
Innovative .South.River .Liver.Mountain . The earth is the source of life. Autumn . is the action of complementary principles Yin and Yang.Traditional .North.Curve .Decreasing . Dark .Psychological .Intellect .Dragon . it recedes in favour of Yang.Solidifying . Spring . Water. Cold .Desert . The dots inside the white and black halves indicate that within each is the seed of the other.Dissolving . Yin cannot exist without Yang and vice versa.Soft .Even Numbers . is a state of harmony represented by the balance of Yin and Yang in body and mind. the rhythm of life. West . Yin is the quiet.Day. as well as in the world of humans.Tiger .Kidneys. receiving force that is associated with earth.Intestines. The symmetrical disposition of the dark Yin and the light Yang suggests cyclical changes. Light .Yin And Yang In Chinese philosophy.Valley . Static . Up .Active. Lungs Yang . Skin . East .Reformative . Yin .The Sun . intuitive. Dynamic . giving force that is associated with heaven.Right. creative. Down . The heaven above us is always in motion and brings about change.Passive. When Yin reaches its climax.Odd Numbers . Heat .Increasing .Summer. The ideal state of things in the physical universe.Night.Rain. Heart . male. The T’ai-chi T’u diagram (above) illustrates this principle.Intuition .The Moon .Straight Line . which pulsates through the universe.Expansion .Contraction . then after Yang reaches its climax it recedes in favour of Yin.Bladder .Hard . This is the eternal cycle.Fire.Conservative . it provides us with what we need to survive. female.Visible World .Left.Astral World . Yang is the strong.Physical .Winter.
but weaker on the literary side. and again others are concise and poetic. There were two favourites: the translation of Gia Fu Feng & Jane English and that of Tolbert McCarroll. Clearly. This wasn’t an easy task. It is conspicuous for its poetic.com. one had to be chosen for thebigview.com Page 5 . Some are very literal and helpful in the understanding of the original Chinese text. evocative style and it conveys Lao Tzu’s own style in a succinct yet elegant language. There are many websites that present various translations side by side. www. Others are scholarly and heavily commented.The Translation Of all the English translations of the Tao Te Ching. Tao Te Ching. The Feng & English translation has almost become a classic by now.thebigview. which is great for comparative studies. the available translations have different objectives and thus different strengths and weaknesses.
Front and back follow one another. Not seeing desirable things prevents confusion of the heart. but never filled. The wise are impartial. Difficult and easy complement each other. It is the forefather of the gods. All can know good as good only because there is evil. The wise therefore rule by emptying hearts and stuffing bellies. They see the ten thousand things as straw dogs. then clever people will not try to interfere. If men lack knowledge and desire. 2 Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness. Work is done. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth. Tao Te Ching. one sees the manifestations. Therefore it lasts forever. Darkness within darkness. These two spring from the same source but differ in name. Oh. The named is the mother of the ten thousand things. Not collecting treasures prevents stealing.com Page 6 . teaching no-talking. 5 Heaven and Earth are impartial. by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones. 4 The Tao is an empty vessel. hidden deep but ever present! I do not know from whence it comes. They see the people as straw dogs. the more it yields. Oh.Therefore the sage goes about doing nothing. Merge with dust. Ever desireless. Creating. then all will be well. The space between heaven and Earth is like a bellows. Long and short contrast each other: High and low rest upon each other. Untangle the knot. The more it moves. it is used. one can see the mystery. yet not taking credit. If nothing is done. The shape changes but not the form.thebigview. unfathomable source of ten thousand things! Blunt the sharpness. then forgotten. 3 Not exalting the gifted prevents quarreling. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. www. 1 The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. Working. Ever desiring. Voice and sound harmonize each other. The ten thousand things rise and fall without cease. this appears as darkness. yet not possessing. Soften the glare. The gate to all mystery. Therefore having and not having arise together.
6 The valley spirit never dies.com Page 7 . This is the Primal Virtue. and no one can protect it. Tao Te Ching. 7 Heaven and Earth last forever. It is the center hole that makes it useful. In dwelling. Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. Retire when the work is done. Working yet not taking credit. thus he is ahead. and the edge will soon blunt. go deep in the heart. It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao. He is detached. Can you avoid separation? Attending fully and becoming supple. and disaster will follow. be aware of the time and the season. Can you be without stain? Loving all men and ruling the country. Oversharpen the blade. 9 Better to stop short than fill to the brim. In ruling. It is the holes which make it useful. This is the way of heaven. It is the woman. be true. www. be just. 8 The highest good is like water. Cut doors and windows for a room. Hold fast to the center. In meditation. In action. Can you play the role of woman? Understanding and being open to all things.More words count less. Through selfless action. It is the space within that makes it useful. be competent. Bearing yet not possessing. Her gateway is the root of heaven and Earth. it will never fail. Are you able to do nothing? Giving birth and nourishing. Can you be as a newborn babe? Washing and cleansing the primal vision. In daily life. 10 Carrying body and soul and embracing the one. 11 Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub. be close to the land. thus at one with all. The sage stays behind. Shape clay into a vessel. Use it. Therefore benefit comes from what is there. No fight: No blame. In dealing with others. Amass a store of gold and jade. he attains fulfillment. Can you be without cleverness? Opening and closing the gates of heaven.thebigview. It is like a veil barely seen. Why do heaven and Earth last forever? They are unborn. In speech. Claim wealth and titles. Leading yet not dominating. be gentle and kind. primal mother. So ever living.
Without a body. then you can be trusted to care for all things. The five flavors dull the taste. Who can wait quietly while the mud settles? Who can remain still until the moment of action? Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment. like uncarved blocks of wood. like muddy pools. Move with the present. profound. Yielding like ice about to melt. It returns to nothingness. These three are indefinable." What do you mean by "Accept misfortune as the human condition"? Misfortune comes from having a body. He lets go of that and chooses this. like men aware of danger. The form of the formless. Courteous. Therefore the sage is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees. it cannot be held . The image of the imageless. What do you mean by "Accept disgrace willingly"? Accept being unimportant.it is intangible. The five tones deafen the ear. It is called indefinable and beyond imagination. like caves. Alert. like men crossing a winter stream. Accept misfortune as the human condition.com Page 8 . mysterious.it is beyond sound. Because it is unfathomable. Grasp. www. Follow it and there is no end. responsive.it is beyond form. Therefore they are joined in one. Precious things lead one astray. Do not be concerned with loss or gain. The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable. how could there be misfortune? Surrender yourself humbly.Usefulness from what is not there. Opaque. then you can truly care for all things. like visiting guests.thebigview. Watchful. Hollow. it cannot be heard . From below it is not dark: An unbroken thread beyond description. Simple. 14 Look. All we can do is describe their appearance. This is called "accepting disgrace willingly. Listen. it cannot be seen . From above it is not bright. 13 Accept disgrace willingly. Love the world as your own self. Tao Te Ching. 15 The ancient masters were subtle. Stay with the ancient Tao. Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of Tao. Racing and hunting madden the mind. Stand before it and there is no beginning. 12 The five colors blind the eye.
And though the body dies. Let the mind become still. When the country is confused and in chaos. they are not swayed by desire for change. Knowing constancy. 19 Give up sainthood. To cast off selfishness And temper desire. Then that which is feared. Then comes that which people know and love. When actions are performed Without unnecessary speech. renounce profit. the Tao will never pass away. To realize one's true nature. they are not sufficient in themselves.thebigview. you will attain the divine. And it will be a hundred times better for everyone. 20 Give up learning. 17 The very highest if barely known. Being divine. Then that which is despised. you will act royally. Loyal ministers appear. 16 Empty yourself of everything. you will be openhearted. These three are outward forms alone. Give up ingenuity. Tao Te Ching. enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox. Being at one with the Tao is eternal. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. When there is no peace within the family. Kindness and morality arise. And bandits and thieves will disappear. which is the way of nature. Is there a difference between yes and no? Is there a difference between good and evil? Must I fear what others fear? What nonsense! Other people are contented. And men will rediscover filial piety and love. you will be at one with the Tao. With an open mind. the mind is open. "We did it!" 18 When the great Tao is forgotten. Being openhearted.Not seeking fulfillment.com Page 9 . They grow and flourish and then return to the source. www. It is more important To see the simplicity. Knowing constancy is insight. People say. Being royal. Returning to the source is stillness. When wisdom and intelligence are born. renounce morality. The great pretense begins. The way of nature is unchanging. renounce wisdom. and put an end to your troubles. Who does not trust enough will not be trusted. Give up kindness. Not knowing constancy leads to disaster. Filial piety and devotion arise.
And all things will come to you. Not boasting. and yet within is image. 23 To talk little is natural. Tao Te Ching. But I alone am aimless and depressed. The Virtue is always there. yes! I am confused. I am different. Oh. I am nourished by the great mother. They do not quarrel. and climb the terrace. like the restless wind. Without direction. www. They receive recognition. it is intangible and elusive. without a place to go. But I alone am dull and stupid. Why is this? Heaven and Earth! If heaven and Earth cannot make things eternal. He who loses the way Is lost. and yet within is essence. Oh. Oh. Heavy rain does not last all day. Others are clear and bright. Oh. This essence is very real. Oh. From the very beginning until now its name has never been forgotten. Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile. "Yield and overcome.thebigview. and yet within is form. But I alone am drifting. 22 Yield and overcome. The Tao welcomes you. Not bragging. not knowing where I am. The Tao is elusive and intangible. The loss is experienced willingly. How do I know the ways of creation? Because of this. They shine forth. When you are at one with the Tao. and therein lies faith. it is elusive and intangible. Everyone else is busy. They never falter. High winds do not last all morning. it is dim and dark. but I alone have nothing. How is it possible for man? He who follows the Tao Is at one with the Tao. I am alone.com Page 10 . Others are sharp and clever. I am a fool. Thus I perceive the creation. Wear out and be new. Therefore the ancients say. Bend and be straight." Is that an empty saying? Be really whole. Therefore the wise embrace the one And set an example to all.In spring some go to the park. He who does not trust enough Will not be trusted. Not justifying themselves. When you are at one with Virtue. When you are at one with loss. Empty and be full. 21 The greatest Virtue is to follow Tao and Tao alone. Have much and be confused. I drift like the waves of the sea. They are distinguished. Not putting on a display. Have little and gain. He who is virtuous Experiences Virtue. Others have more than they need. But I alone am dim and weak. So no one quarrels with them.
Therefore the sage takes care of all men And abandons no one. "Tao is great. Heaven is great. According to followers of the Tao. Earth follows heaven. Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things. Does not lose sight of his baggage. however clever one is. And the student not cared for. traveling all day." They do not bring happiness. He remains unattached and calm.And the king is one of them. 25 Something mysteriously formed. For lack of a better word. Though there are beautiful things to be seen. The king is also great. Why should the lord of ten thousand chariots act lightly in public? To be light is to lose one's root." What is a good man? A teacher of a bad man. Man follows Earth. Standing alone and unchanging. it flows I flows far away. In the silence and the void. Yet no one can open it. Having gone far. I do not know its name Call it Tao. This is the crux of mystery. He who is self-righteous is not respected. Earth is great. Heaven follows the Tao. 26 The heavy is the root of the light. To be restless is to lose one's control. He who strides cannot maintain the pace. He who brags will not endure. 28 Know the strength of man. If the teacher is not respected. This is called "following the light. I call it great. Yet no one can loosen it. Therefore the sage. Confusion will arise. Tao Te Ching. therefore followers of the Tao avoid them. Born before heaven and Earth. "These are extra food and unnecessary luggage. 27 A good walker leaves no tracks. Tao follows what is natural. He who boasts achieves nothing.thebigview. www. He who makes a show is not enlightened. Good binding requires no knots. A good door needs no lock. it returns. A good reckoner needs no tally. The still is the master of unrest. A good speaker makes no slips. Being great. Ever present and in motion.com Page 11 . 24 He who stands on tiptoe is not steady. Therefore. He takes care of all things And abandons nothing. What is a bad man? A good man's charge." These are the four great powers of the universe.
Become as a little child once more. For this would only cause resistance. you will lose it. He uses them only when he has no choice. Therefore the sage avoids extremes. That which goes against the Tao comes to an early end. But never be proud. he becomes the ruler. But not through violence. you will ruin it. Return to the infinite. But never glory in them. When the block is carved.thebigview. Thorn bushes spring up wherever the army has passed. So sometimes things are ahead and sometimes they are behind.com Page 12 . Ever true and unswerving. Be the valley of the universe! Being the valley of the universe. Tao Te Ching. Achieve results. If you try to change it. Return to the state of the uncarved block. Sometimes one is up and sometimes down. 30 Whenever you advise a ruler in the way of Tao. Because this is the natural way. excesses. Achieve results. Ever true and unwavering. Just do what needs to be done. Achieve results. Ever true and resourceful. 31 Good weapons are instruments of fear. Achieve results. The universe is sacred. all creatures hate them. they are not a wise man's tools. When the sage uses it. Know the white. Counsel him not to use force to conquer the universe. Lean years follow in the wake of a great war. But never boast. sometimes it comes easily. Know honor. If you try to hold it. Never take advantage of power. Sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness. www." Sometimes breathing is hard. Yet keep humility. The man of war prefers the right. Peace and quiet are dear to his heart. You cannot improve it. This is not the way of Tao. Weapons are instruments of fear. 29 Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it? I do not believe it can be done. "A great tailor cuts little. Achieve results. The wise man prefers the left. Force is followed by loss of strength. But keep the black! Be an example to the world! Being an example to the world. and complacency. Thus.But keep a woman's care! Be the stream of the universe! Being the stream of the universe. Therefore followers of Tao never use them. it becomes useful.
33 Knowing others is wisdom. One must know when to stop. it is very small. then you delight in killing. On sad occasions to the right. It has no aim. If you delight in killing. Mastering others requires force. The ten thousand things return to it. In the army the general stands on the left. the parts need names. To die but not to perish is to be eternally present. The ten thousand things would come together And gentle rain fall. And yet it cannot be exhausted. They should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow. Tao Te Ching. Once the whole is divided. it cannot be heard. He who knows he has enough is rich. Perseverance is a sign of willpower. Small though it is in the unformed state. When many people are being killed. 35 All men will come to him who keeps to the one. Mastering the self needs strength. It nourishes the ten thousand things. It cannot be seen. But a description of the Tao Seems without substance or flavor. That is why a victory must be observed like a funeral. That which fails Must first be strong. There are already enough names. It is very great.And victory no cause for rejoicing. you cannot fulfill yourself. Knowing the self is enlightenment. On happy occasions precedence is given to the left. The commander-in-chief on the right. If you rejoice in victory. And yet is not their lord. it holds nothing back. If kings and lords could harness it. 36 That which shrinks Must first expand. Men would need no more instruction and all things would take their course. it cannot be grasped. 32 The Tao is forever undefined. This means that war is conducted like a funeral. And is therefore truly great. It fulfills its purpose silently and makes no claim. 34 The great Tao flows everywhere. Passersby may stop for music and good food. both to the left and to the right. www. For there lie rest and happiness and peace. The ten thousand things depend upon it. Tao in the world is like a river flowing home to the sea. It does not show greatness. He who stays where he is endures.com Page 13 . Yet it is not their lord. Knowing when to stop averts trouble.thebigview.
When a disciplinarian does something and no one responds. On the fruit and not the flower. The clarity of the sky prevents its falling. And a country's weapons should not be displayed. The fullness of the valley prevents its running dry.com Page 14 . he leaves nothing undone. Soft and weak overcome hard and strong. Fish cannot leave deep waters. When a just man does something. A foolish man is always doing.That which is cast down Must first be raised. The ten thousand things would develop naturally. When justice is lost. Without desire there is. Yet nothing is left undone. Kings and lords are whole. Without for there is no desire. there ritual. When a truly kind man does something. the beginning of confusion. This is called perception of the nature of things. A foolish man tries to be good. there is justice. He rolls up his sleeves in an attempt to enforce order. and the country is upright. there is goodness. The spirit is whole and strong. And is therefore good. Therefore when Tao is lost. If they still desired to act. The firmness of the earth prevents its splitting. Tao Te Ching. The growth of the ten thousand things prevents their drying out. Yet much remains to be done. Before receiving There must be giving. Yet leaves nothing undone. Therefore the truly great man dwells on what is real and not what is on the surface. All these are in virtue of wholeness. 38 A truly good man is not aware of his goodness. Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao.thebigview. www. The valley is whole and full. there is kindness. When kindness is lost. The ten thousand things are whole and alive. Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty. If kings and lords observed this. he leaves a great deal to be done. Therefore accept the one and reject the other. 37 Tao abides in non-action. When goodness is lost. And is therefore not good. It is the beginning of folly. The strength of the spirit prevents its being used up. And in this way all things would be at peace. They would return to the simplicity of formless substance. The earth is whole and firm. A truly good man does nothing. 39 These things from ancient times arise from one: The sky is whole and clear.
Princes and lords consider themselves "orphaned". If there were no laughter. 41 The wise student hears of the Tao and practices it diligently. That without substance can enter where there is no room. Being is born of not being. Great talents ripen late. What others teach. The low is the foundation of the high." "widowed. Teaching without words and work without doing Are understood by very few. 40 Returning is the motion of the Tao. Do they not depend on being humble? Too much success is not an advantage.com Page 15 . The average student hears of the Tao and gives it thought now and again. The ten thousand things are born of being. The easy way seems hard. Hence I know the value of non-action.The leadership of kings and lords prevents the downfall of the country." But this is how kings and lords describe themselves. The ten thousand things carry yin and embrace yang. Two begot three. that is: "A violent man will die a violent death!" This will be the essence of my teaching. Great purity seems sullied. The Tao alone nourishes and brings everything to fulfillment. Men hate to be "orphaned. 42 The Tao begot one. The highest notes are hard to hear. The highest Virtue seems empty. Therefore the humble is the root of the noble. For one gains by losing And loses by gaining. I also teach. Yielding is the way of the Tao.thebigview. And three begot the ten thousand things. Tao Te Ching. Hence it is said: The bright path seems dim. A wealth of Virtue seems inadequate." or "worthless. The perfect square has no corners. The greatest form has no shape. Do not tinkle like jade Or clatter like stone chimes. Going forward seems like retreat. The strength of Virtue seems frail. One begot two. the Tao would not be what it is. 43 The softest thing in the universe Overcomes the hardest thing in the universe. www. The foolish student hears of the Tao and laughs aloud. "widowed" and "worthless". They achieve harmony by combining these forces. The Tao is hidden and without name. Real Virtue seems unreal.
Less and less is done Until non-action is achieved. 44 Fame or self: Which matters more? Self or wealth: Which is more precious? Gain or loss: Which is more painful? He who is attached to things will suffer much. He is aware of the needs of others. The horses haul manure. Great eloquence seems awkward. 49 The sage has no mind of his own. Others look to him and listen. He who saves will suffer heavy loss. Tao Te Ching. Great fullness seems empty. He works without doing. The sage is shy and humble . When nothing is done. 46 When the Tao is present in the universe. No greater curse than discontent. www. A contented man is never disappointed.to the world he seems confusing. He behaves like a little child. 47 Without going outside. The world is ruled by letting things take their course. Movement overcomes cold. 48 In the pursuit of learning. I am good to people who are good. Great intelligence seems stupid. Because Virtue is faithfulness.com Page 16 . every day something is dropped. The farther you go. the less you know. Without looking through the window. Stillness overcomes heat. He sees without looking. nothing is left undone. He who knows when to stop does not find himself in trouble. I have faith in people who are faithful. I also have faith in people who are not faithful.thebigview.There is no greater sin than desire. every day something is acquired. you may see the ways of heaven. Because Virtue is goodness. Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough. Great straightness seems twisted. Yet cannot be exhausted. It cannot be ruled by interfering. Stillness and tranquility set things in order in the universe. 45 Great accomplishment seems imperfect. No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself. In the pursuit of Tao. When the Tao is absent from the universe. I am also good to people who are not good. He will stay forever safe. Yet it does not outlive its usefulness. War horses are bred outside the city. you may know the whole world. Thus the sage knows without traveling.
This is learning constancy. Guiding without interfering. And life is beyond hope. When the court is arrayed in splendor. 53 If I have even just a little sense. www. Open your mouth.Doing without taking credit. 51 All things arise from Tao. Some wear gorgeous clothes. Thus the ten thousand things all respect Tao and honor Virtue. Knowing the mother. And weapons no place to pierce. Brings freedom from the fear of death. on also knows the sons. This is Primal Virtue. But people love to be sidetracked. The fields are full of weeds. This is certainly not the way of Tao. Guard the senses. return to insight. Tigers no place to use their claws. Why is this so? Because they live their lives on the gross level. Tao Te Ching. They are robber barons. yet remaining in touch with the mother. Therefore all things arise from Tao. Respect of Tao and honor of Virtue are not demanded. Carry sharp swords. Developed. Three in ten are followers of life.thebigview. Sheltered. By Virtue they are nourished. They are shaped by environment. Creating without claiming. Three in ten are followers of death. They have more possessions than they can use. 50 Between birth and death. I will walk on the main road and my only fear will be of straying from it. Seeing the small is insight. But they are in the nature of things. Always be busy. Why is this so? Because he has no place for death to enter. Knowing the sons. 52 The beginning of the universe Is the mother of all things. Using the outer light. comforted. They are formed from matter. He who knows how to live can walk abroad Without fear of rhinoceros or tiger. He will not be wounded in battle. Grown. And the granaries are bare. and protected. cared for. Keeping to the main road is easy. And men just passing from birth to death also number three in ten. And in this way be saved from harm. Keep your mouth shut.com Page 17 . Yielding to force is strength. And indulge themselves with food and drink. They are nourished by Virtue. And life is ever full. For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn.
with honor and disgrace. his muscles weak. Wage war with surprise moves. And Virtue will be everywhere. He screams all day without becoming hoarse. How do I know that this is so? Because of this! The more laws and restrictions there are.com Page 18 . He who has achieved this state Is unconcerned with friends and enemies. Cultivate it in the village. He will not be attacked by birds of prey. It is not wise to rush about. Look at the family as family. Therefore look at the body as body. Tao Te Ching.thebigview. What is firmly grasped cannot slip away. Controlling the breath causes strain. Cultivate it in the universe. 56 Those who know do not talk. This is primal union. Wild beasts will not pounce upon him. And Virtue will be real. Temper your sharpness. How do I know the universe is like this? By looking! 55 He who is filled with Virtue is like a newborn child. Look at the village as village. The more trouble in the land. Keep your mouth closed. Knowing harmony is constancy. Mask your brightness. His manhood is strong.He has not experienced the union of man and woman. It will be honored from generation to generation. Wasps and serpents will not sting him. Look at the nation as nation. This therefore is the highest state of man. Cultivate Virtue in your self. Cultivate it in the nation. This is not the way of Tao. Those who talk do not know. 57 Rule a nation with justice. The sharper men's weapons. Look at the universe as universe. With good and harm. exhaustion follows. Be at one with the dust of the Earth. www. And Virtue will grow. Whatever is contrary to Tao will not last long. And Virtue will be abundant. But his grip is firm. If too much energy is used. This is perfect harmony. Guard your senses. His bones are soft. The poorer people become. but is whole. Simplify your problems. And Virtue will abound. Cultivate it in the family. Become master of the universe without striving. Knowing constancy is enlightenment. 54 What is firmly established cannot be uprooted.
thebigview. Who knows what the future holds? There is no honesty. Man's bewitchment lasts for a long time.The more ingenious and clever men are. It is the meeting ground of the universe. Goodness becomes witchcraft. I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life. 59 In caring for others and serving heaven. The female overcomes the male with stillness. then nothing is impossible. The more rules and regulations. There is nothing like using restraint. Happiness is rooted in misery. They do not hurt each other. Honesty becomes dishonest. And the Virtue in each one refreshes both. But the sage himself will also be protected. If a man knows no limits. This depends on Virtue gathered in the past. The Tao of long life and eternal vision. The people are cunning. It will conquer the smaller country. Restraint begins with giving up one's own ideas. Tao Te Ching. Pointed but not piercing. Brilliant but not blinding. And evil is not powerful. If there is a good store of Virtue. Straightforward but not unrestrained. then there are no limits. Therefore the sage is sharp but not cutting. The more thieves and robbers. The mother principle of ruling holds good for a long time. Approach the universe with Tao. 58 When the country is ruled with a light hand The people are simple. then he is fit to be a ruler. It can conquer the great country. But its power will not be used to harm others. I enjoy peace and people become honest. www. I do nothing and people become rich. Lying low in stillness. Therefore if a great country gives way to a smaller country. Misery lurks beneath happiness. This is called having deep roots and a firm foundation. Therefore the sage says: I take no action and people are reformed.com Page 19 . 61 A great country is like low land. And if a small country submits to a great country. When the country is ruled with severity. 60 Ruling the country is like cooking a small fish. If nothing is impossible. The mother of the universe. Not only will it do no harm to others. The more strange things happen.
Why does everyone like the Tao so much at first? Isn't it because you find what you seek and are forgiven when you sin? Therefore this is the greatest treasure of the universe. If a man is bad. Therefore on the day the emperor is crowned. In the universe the difficult things are done as if they are easy. He learns not to hold on to ideas.Therefore those who would conquer must yield. And thus achieved greatness. and so is not defeated. Sweet words can buy honor. 64 Peace is easily maintained. Easy promises make for little trust. Then there will be no failure. Taking things lightly results in great difficulty. do not abandon him. People usually fail when they are on the verge of success. He does not collect precious things. Or the three officers of state installed. The small is easily scattered. And those who conquer do so because they yield. The brittle is easily shattered. Each gets what it wants. Magnify the small. Taste the tasteless. Good deeds can gain respect. Deal with it before it happens. So give as much care to the end as to the beginning. A small country needs to serve. It is the treasure of the good man. A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth. 62 Tao is source of the ten thousand things.thebigview. increase the few. Achieve greatness in little things. A great nation needs more people. The sage does not attempt anything very big. Tao Te Ching. Do not send a gift of jade and a team of four horses. He does not grasp and therefore does not lose. A tree as great as a man's embrace springs up from a small shoot. He who acts defeats his own purpose. www. Trouble is easily overcome before it starts. Therefore the sage seeks freedom from desire. He who grasps loses. 63 Practice non-action. It is fitting for a great nation to yield. See simplicity in the complicated. The sage does not act. He never experiences them. and the refuge of the bad. Because the sage always confronts difficulties. Set things in order before there is confusion. But remain still and offer the Tao. A journey of a thousand miles starts under one's feet.com Page 20 . In the universe great acts are made up of small deeds. Reward bitterness with care. Work without doing.
Why is it so hard to rule? Because people are so clever. It is the means by which heaven saves and guards. It leads all things back Toward the great oneness. Primal Virtue is deep and far. In this way when the sage rules. He does not meet competition. Therefore it is the king of a hundred streams. www. Because it is great. If the sage would guide the people. 67 Everyone under heaven says that my Tao is great and beyond compare. A good winner is not vengeful A good employer is humble. This since ancient times has been known as the ultimate unity with heaven. it seems different. A good fighter is not angry. This is known as the Virtue of not striving. From humility comes leadership. This is certain death. From mercy comes courage.He brings men back to what they have lost. they will not be harmed. They abandon economy. but try to be brave.com Page 21 . 68 A good soldier is not violent. but always try to be first. These are the two alternatives. When he stands before them. the second is economy. he must serve with humility. Mercy brings victory in battle and strength in defense. Because he does not compete. Understanding these is Primal Virtue. The whole world will support him and will not tire of him. Tao Te Ching. from economy comes generosity. I have three treasures which I hold and keep. it would have vanished long ago. The third is daring not to be ahead of others. If it were not different. Nowadays men shun mercy. But kept it hidden.thebigview. But refrains from action. Those who rule without cleverness Are a blessing to the land. The first is mercy. They do not believe in humility. 65 In the beginning those who knew the Tao did not try to enlighten others. he must follow behind. Rulers who try to use cleverness Cheat the country. but try to be generous. If he would lead them. 66 Why is the sea king of a hundred streams? Because it lies below them. This is known as ability to deal with people. He help the ten thousand things find their own nature. the people will not feel oppressed.
The sage is not sick because he is sick of sickness. and yet it overcomes. Who knows why? Even the sage is unsure of this. My words have ancient beginnings. Being armed without weapons. Therefore he is not sick. It does not ask. Has self-respect but is not arrogant. By underestimating the enemy. Do not harass them at work.com Page 22 . This is called marching without appearing to move. Those that know me are few. Heaven's net casts wide. then one is not sick. Because men do not understand. If one is sick of sickness. Capturing the enemy without attacking. they will not weary of you. My actions are disciplined. The underdog will win. Do not intrude in their homes. A brave and calm man will always preserve life. Knowing ignorance is strength. and yet is answered. Those that abuse me are honored. yet is supplied with all its needs. Therefore the sage wears rough clothing and holds the jewel in his heart. Therefore when the battle is joined. Though its meshes are course. If you do not interfere. 70 My words are easy to understand and easy to perform. Ignoring knowledge is sickness. I almost lost what I value. Therefore the sage knows himself but makes no show. www. they have no knowledge of me. Of these two which is good and which is harmful? Some things are not favored by heaven. I dare not advance and inch but would rather withdraw a foot. Yet no man under heaven knows them or practices them.thebigview. Rolling up your sleeves without showing your arm. The Tao of heaven does not strive. there will be disaster. He lets go of that and chooses this. 73 A brave and passionate man will kill or be killed. Tao Te Ching.69 71 There is a saying among soldiers: I dare not make the first move but would rather play the guest. 72 When men lack a sense of awe. It seems to have no aim and yet its purpose is fulfilled. There is no greater catastrophe than underestimating the enemy. nothing slips through. It does not speak.
one knows better than to value life too much. If the string is too long. Therefore they are rebellious. Having little to live on. He does not try to show his knowledge. it is shortened. He takes from those who do not have enough and give to those who already have too much. it is made longer.76 A man is born gentle and weak. The soft and weak will overcome. Man's way is different. He achieves what has to be done without dwelling on it. And if breaking the law means that a man will be killed. 74 If men are not afraid to die. Who will dare to break the law? There is always an official executioner. Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle. If men live in constant fear of dying. A tree that is unbending is easily broken. At their death they are withered and dry. If you try to take his place. If there is not enough.com Page 23 . and the low is raised. you will only hurt your hand. Tao Te Ching. 77 The Tao of heaven is like the bending of a bow. The high is lowered. 75 Why are the people starving? Because the rulers eat up the money in taxes. It is no avail to threaten them with death. Why do the people think so little of death? Because the rulers demand too much of life. Therefore the sage works without recognition. Therefore the people take death lightly. www. Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death. At his death he is hard and stiff. The Tao of heaven is to take from those who have too much and give to those who do not have enough. The hard and strong will fall. Green plants are tender and filled with sap.thebigview. The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life. What man has more than enough and gives it to the world? Only the man of Tao. It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter. Therefore the people are starving. Why are the people rebellious? Because the rulers interfere too much.
their homes secure. The supple can overcome the stiff. The Tao of heaven is pointed but does no harm. Those who know are not learned. The sage never tries to store things up. Their food is plain and good. A man of Virtue performs his part. Tao Te Ching. Yet they leave each other in peace while they grow old and die. And crowing cocks and barking dogs are heard across the way. Good men do not argue. He who takes upon himself the country's disasters deserves to be king of the universe. The truth often sounds paradoxical. Men return to the knotting of rope in place of writing. some resentment must remain. Those who argue are not good. no one displays them. Though they have armor and weapons. The Tao of heaven is impartial. The people take death seriously and do not travel far. Yet for attacking the solid and strong. The more he gives to others. It stays with good men all the time. 81 Truthful words are not beautiful.com Page 24 . they are not needed. www. Though there are machines that can work ten to a hundred times faster than man. the more he has. Yet no one puts it into practice. 80 A small country has fewer people. The learned do not know. the greater his abundance. What can one do about it? Therefore the sage keeps his half of the bargain But does not exact his due. They are happy in their ways. It has no equal. Under heaven everyone knows this. The Tao of the sage is work without effort. their clothes fine but simple. Therefore the sage says: He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people is fit to rule them. no one uses them.thebigview. Beautiful words are not truthful. 79 After a bitter quarrel. The weak can overcome the strong. The more he does for others. Though they have boats and carriages. Though they live within sight of their neighbors. But a man without Virtue requires others to fulfill their obligations.78 Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water. nothing is better.
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