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Tao Te Ching

Tao Te Ching

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The Tao Te Ching

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

Page 1

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.

when he rode on a water buffalo to retire in the mountains to a province in the western frontiers. Some even doubt whether he is the author of the Tao Te Ching.About Lao Tzu Not much is known about Lao Tzu. 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. his name became legendary with this writing. . wrote the Tao Te Ching. who urged the master to write down his teachings so that they might be passed on. There he was approached by a border official named Guan Yin Zi. However. at least nothing that is certain. His name means “old-young” and he has been called the “Old Master”. Lao Tzu then retreated into the solitude of the mountain pass. whereupon he went westward and was never seen again. Lao Tzu (his name is sometimes written Lao Tse or Lao Zi. which also happens to be his only work. Lao Tzu was very old.

then after Yang reaches its climax it recedes in favour of Yin. male.Curve .Reformative .Kidneys.Traditional .North.Physical .Hard .Soft .Left.South. Light .Expansion .Desert .Tiger .Contraction .Decreasing . creative. Up . Dark . Heat . as well as in the world of humans. is a state of harmony represented by the balance of Yin and Yang in body and mind.Active.Bladder .Mountain .Rain.Dissolving . which pulsates through the universe. When Yin reaches its climax. The ideal state of things in the physical universe.Right. The T’ai-chi T’u diagram (above) illustrates this principle.Solidifying . Dynamic .Dragon . Skin .Yin And Yang In Chinese philosophy.The Sun .Intestines.Winter.Odd Numbers . Water.River . The heaven above us is always in motion and brings about change. Yin cannot exist without Yang and vice versa. The dots inside the white and black halves indicate that within each is the seed of the other.Straight Line . East . it provides us with what we need to survive. The symmetrical disposition of the dark Yin and the light Yang suggests cyclical changes. is the action of complementary principles Yin and Yang. intuitive.Conservative . giving force that is associated with heaven.Night. The earth is the source of life.Astral World . West . Static . Lungs Yang .Intuition .Fire. Spring .Psychological .Even Numbers . This is the eternal cycle.Intellect .Visible World . Heart . Yin is the quiet.Day.Summer.Valley . Down .Liver. female. receiving force that is associated with earth.The Moon . it recedes in favour of Yang. the rhythm of life.Innovative . Autumn .Passive. Yin . Yang is the strong. Cold .Increasing .

The Feng & English translation has almost become a classic by now. This wasn’t an easy task. There were two favourites: the translation of Gia Fu Feng & Jane English and that of Tolbert McCarroll. Tao Te Ching.com Page 5 .com. but weaker on the literary side.The Translation Of all the English translations of the Tao Te Ching. It is conspicuous for its poetic. one had to be chosen for thebigview. and again others are concise and poetic. Some are very literal and helpful in the understanding of the original Chinese text. www. There are many websites that present various translations side by side. evocative style and it conveys Lao Tzu’s own style in a succinct yet elegant language. which is great for comparative studies. Others are scholarly and heavily commented. the available translations have different objectives and thus different strengths and weaknesses.thebigview. Clearly.

Therefore having and not having arise together. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth. 2 Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness. www. Soften the glare. Front and back follow one another. The wise are impartial. yet not taking credit. this appears as darkness. Working. then forgotten. then all will be well. The named is the mother of the ten thousand things. If men lack knowledge and desire. Tao Te Ching. Not seeing desirable things prevents confusion of the heart. 4 The Tao is an empty vessel. hidden deep but ever present! I do not know from whence it comes. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. unfathomable source of ten thousand things! Blunt the sharpness. Difficult and easy complement each other. The ten thousand things rise and fall without cease. Voice and sound harmonize each other. They see the people as straw dogs. one sees the manifestations. 5 Heaven and Earth are impartial.Therefore the sage goes about doing nothing. They see the ten thousand things as straw dogs. These two spring from the same source but differ in name. Long and short contrast each other: High and low rest upon each other. The wise therefore rule by emptying hearts and stuffing bellies. Oh. Merge with dust. Not collecting treasures prevents stealing. then clever people will not try to interfere. it is used. by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones. The more it moves. the more it yields. Ever desireless. It is the forefather of the gods. 3 Not exalting the gifted prevents quarreling. All can know good as good only because there is evil. Creating. teaching no-talking.com Page 6 . The shape changes but not the form. but never filled. one can see the mystery. Darkness within darkness. yet not possessing.thebigview. Work is done. 1 The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The space between heaven and Earth is like a bellows. Therefore it lasts forever. Oh. Untangle the knot. Ever desiring. If nothing is done. The gate to all mystery.

www. In dealing with others. be true. Her gateway is the root of heaven and Earth. Why do heaven and Earth last forever? They are unborn. Cut doors and windows for a room. Shape clay into a vessel. Bearing yet not possessing. thus at one with all. 9 Better to stop short than fill to the brim. primal mother. Use it. Can you avoid separation? Attending fully and becoming supple. be gentle and kind. go deep in the heart. In ruling. In daily life. and the edge will soon blunt. Through selfless action. be close to the land. Can you play the role of woman? Understanding and being open to all things. be just. This is the way of heaven. Hold fast to the center. and no one can protect it. It is the space within that makes it useful. In speech. he attains fulfillment. In action. thus he is ahead. Working yet not taking credit. 8 The highest good is like water. Oversharpen the blade. It is the center hole that makes it useful. It is the holes which make it useful. So ever living. Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. In dwelling. be competent. It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao. Amass a store of gold and jade. 10 Carrying body and soul and embracing the one. Claim wealth and titles. Retire when the work is done. 6 The valley spirit never dies. In meditation. it will never fail.More words count less. 11 Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub. Can you be without stain? Loving all men and ruling the country. The sage stays behind. Can you be without cleverness? Opening and closing the gates of heaven.thebigview. and disaster will follow. Can you be as a newborn babe? Washing and cleansing the primal vision. This is the Primal Virtue. Are you able to do nothing? Giving birth and nourishing. It is the woman. It is like a veil barely seen. He is detached. be aware of the time and the season. Tao Te Ching. Leading yet not dominating. No fight: No blame.com Page 7 . 7 Heaven and Earth last forever. Therefore benefit comes from what is there.

Simple. Listen. Without a body. Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of Tao. Love the world as your own self.thebigview. The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable. Stay with the ancient Tao. It is called indefinable and beyond imagination. Stand before it and there is no beginning. 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.it is beyond sound. Therefore they are joined in one.it is intangible. www. it cannot be heard . then you can be trusted to care for all things. Do not be concerned with loss or gain. Alert. The form of the formless. Precious things lead one astray. Watchful. it cannot be seen .Usefulness from what is not there. Racing and hunting madden the mind. What do you mean by "Accept disgrace willingly"? Accept being unimportant. Tao Te Ching. He lets go of that and chooses this. This is called "accepting disgrace willingly. From above it is not bright." What do you mean by "Accept misfortune as the human condition"? Misfortune comes from having a body. profound. The five flavors dull the taste.it is beyond form. responsive. 15 The ancient masters were subtle. like men aware of danger. like uncarved blocks of wood. like caves. then you can truly care for all things. Because it is unfathomable. 13 Accept disgrace willingly. Follow it and there is no end. From below it is not dark: An unbroken thread beyond description. how could there be misfortune? Surrender yourself humbly. 12 The five colors blind the eye. Opaque. it cannot be held . The image of the imageless. The five tones deafen the ear. mysterious. like muddy pools. like visiting guests. 14 Look.com Page 8 . It returns to nothingness. These three are indefinable. Courteous. All we can do is describe their appearance. like men crossing a winter stream. Accept misfortune as the human condition. Therefore the sage is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees. Hollow. Grasp. Yielding like ice about to melt. Move with the present.

Returning to the source is stillness. And men will rediscover filial piety and love. Not knowing constancy leads to disaster. you will attain the divine. the mind is open. which is the way of nature. 19 Give up sainthood. And it will be a hundred times better for everyone. When the country is confused and in chaos. and put an end to your troubles. Tao Te Ching. When actions are performed Without unnecessary speech. When there is no peace within the family. the Tao will never pass away. you will be openhearted. With an open mind. renounce wisdom.thebigview. Let the mind become still. They grow and flourish and then return to the source. Give up kindness. To realize one's true nature. enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox. It is more important To see the simplicity. Filial piety and devotion arise. Then that which is despised.com Page 9 . Then comes that which people know and love. you will act royally. The great pretense begins. renounce profit. Being royal. Being at one with the Tao is eternal. Being openhearted. People say. Knowing constancy. Knowing constancy is insight. they are not swayed by desire for change.Not seeking fulfillment. Kindness and morality arise. 17 The very highest if barely known. "We did it!" 18 When the great Tao is forgotten. Who does not trust enough will not be trusted. renounce morality. When wisdom and intelligence are born. 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. they are not sufficient in themselves. The way of nature is unchanging. Being divine. To cast off selfishness And temper desire. you will be at one with the Tao. 16 Empty yourself of everything. And bandits and thieves will disappear. www. Give up ingenuity. And though the body dies. 20 Give up learning. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. Loyal ministers appear. Then that which is feared. These three are outward forms alone.

He who does not trust enough Will not be trusted. Therefore the ancients say. They are distinguished. 21 The greatest Virtue is to follow Tao and Tao alone. 22 Yield and overcome.com Page 10 . Not putting on a display. Heavy rain does not last all day. He who is virtuous Experiences Virtue. He who loses the way Is lost. and therein lies faith. Oh. How is it possible for man? He who follows the Tao Is at one with the Tao." Is that an empty saying? Be really whole. But I alone am aimless and depressed. High winds do not last all morning. They receive recognition. Not justifying themselves. How do I know the ways of creation? Because of this. www. Oh. and yet within is essence. When you are at one with Virtue. Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile. Have little and gain. like the restless wind. but I alone have nothing. it is dim and dark. Not bragging. Therefore the wise embrace the one And set an example to all. But I alone am dim and weak. and yet within is image. The loss is experienced willingly. They never falter. it is elusive and intangible. But I alone am dull and stupid. When you are at one with loss. Everyone else is busy. I am a fool. Empty and be full. Others are clear and bright. I drift like the waves of the sea. Thus I perceive the creation. I am alone.thebigview. Oh. "Yield and overcome. Have much and be confused. Without direction. Oh. So no one quarrels with them. The Tao welcomes you. without a place to go. They do not quarrel. I am different. Bend and be straight. They shine forth. Others are sharp and clever. it is intangible and elusive. From the very beginning until now its name has never been forgotten. and climb the terrace. Not boasting. yes! I am confused. 23 To talk little is natural. And all things will come to you. Oh. Tao Te Ching. The Virtue is always there. I am nourished by the great mother. and yet within is form. When you are at one with the Tao. Others have more than they need.In spring some go to the park. This essence is very real. But I alone am drifting. Wear out and be new. Why is this? Heaven and Earth! If heaven and Earth cannot make things eternal. The Tao is elusive and intangible. not knowing where I am.

traveling all day. it returns. I call it great. According to followers of the Tao. Having gone far. Heaven is great. I do not know its name Call it Tao. And the student not cared for. A good door needs no lock. Confusion will arise. Being great. Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things. "These are extra food and unnecessary luggage. Yet no one can open it. Why should the lord of ten thousand chariots act lightly in public? To be light is to lose one's root. it flows I flows far away.com Page 11 . 25 Something mysteriously formed. Earth follows heaven. www. 26 The heavy is the root of the light. Therefore the sage takes care of all men And abandons no one. Tao Te Ching. Therefore the sage. The king is also great. In the silence and the void. This is called "following the light. He who boasts achieves nothing. To be restless is to lose one's control. Therefore. "Tao is great. Standing alone and unchanging. Man follows Earth. Heaven follows the Tao. He who brags will not endure. He who is self-righteous is not respected. Born before heaven and Earth." They do not bring happiness.thebigview. Good binding requires no knots. A good speaker makes no slips. He who makes a show is not enlightened. The still is the master of unrest. This is the crux of mystery.And the king is one of them. For lack of a better word. therefore followers of the Tao avoid them. Earth is great. A good reckoner needs no tally. Ever present and in motion. He remains unattached and calm. 27 A good walker leaves no tracks. Though there are beautiful things to be seen. He who strides cannot maintain the pace. If the teacher is not respected. however clever one is. Yet no one can loosen it." What is a good man? A teacher of a bad man. Tao follows what is natural. What is a bad man? A good man's charge. Does not lose sight of his baggage. 28 Know the strength of man." These are the four great powers of the universe. 24 He who stands on tiptoe is not steady. He takes care of all things And abandons nothing.

he becomes the ruler. But never glory in them. Lean years follow in the wake of a great war. Ever true and unwavering. and complacency. Because this is the natural way. Peace and quiet are dear to his heart. You cannot improve it.thebigview. Just do what needs to be done. When the block is carved. Achieve results. it becomes useful. The wise man prefers the left. Know honor. Return to the state of the uncarved block.com Page 12 . When the sage uses it. "A great tailor cuts little. For this would only cause resistance. Counsel him not to use force to conquer the universe. But keep the black! Be an example to the world! Being an example to the world. Become as a little child once more. Know the white. If you try to hold it. He uses them only when he has no choice.But keep a woman's care! Be the stream of the universe! Being the stream of the universe. www. Thus. all creatures hate them. Achieve results. Never take advantage of power. Force is followed by loss of strength. Thorn bushes spring up wherever the army has passed. Therefore the sage avoids extremes. That which goes against the Tao comes to an early end. 29 Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it? I do not believe it can be done. So sometimes things are ahead and sometimes they are behind. If you try to change it. you will ruin it. Yet keep humility. Be the valley of the universe! Being the valley of the universe. Sometimes one is up and sometimes down. Achieve results. The man of war prefers the right. Ever true and resourceful. This is not the way of Tao. 31 Good weapons are instruments of fear. Weapons are instruments of fear. excesses. Ever true and unswerving. Therefore followers of Tao never use them. 30 Whenever you advise a ruler in the way of Tao. But never be proud. But never boast. But not through violence. they are not a wise man's tools. Sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness. sometimes it comes easily. The universe is sacred." Sometimes breathing is hard. Return to the infinite. Achieve results. Achieve results. Tao Te Ching. you will lose it.

The ten thousand things return to it. Knowing the self is enlightenment. it cannot be grasped. This means that war is conducted like a funeral. it is very small. you cannot fulfill yourself. And is therefore truly great. There are already enough names. It nourishes the ten thousand things. It is very great. The commander-in-chief on the right. it cannot be heard. And yet is not their lord. For there lie rest and happiness and peace. The ten thousand things depend upon it. Yet it is not their lord. The ten thousand things would come together And gentle rain fall. In the army the general stands on the left. And yet it cannot be exhausted. When many people are being killed. Tao Te Ching. It does not show greatness. Knowing when to stop averts trouble. the parts need names. It fulfills its purpose silently and makes no claim. To die but not to perish is to be eternally present. it holds nothing back. But a description of the Tao Seems without substance or flavor. Men would need no more instruction and all things would take their course. 35 All men will come to him who keeps to the one. If you rejoice in victory. www. both to the left and to the right. Small though it is in the unformed state. He who stays where he is endures. Mastering others requires force. Tao in the world is like a river flowing home to the sea. 36 That which shrinks Must first expand. Mastering the self needs strength. That is why a victory must be observed like a funeral. If you delight in killing. Perseverance is a sign of willpower.com Page 13 .thebigview. He who knows he has enough is rich. They should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow. If kings and lords could harness it. That which fails Must first be strong. One must know when to stop. then you delight in killing. It cannot be seen. On sad occasions to the right.And victory no cause for rejoicing. It has no aim. Once the whole is divided. On happy occasions precedence is given to the left. Passersby may stop for music and good food. 33 Knowing others is wisdom. 32 The Tao is forever undefined. 34 The great Tao flows everywhere.

Fish cannot leave deep waters. The earth is whole and firm. there is justice. This is called perception of the nature of things.thebigview. he leaves nothing undone. They would return to the simplicity of formless substance. And is therefore not good.com Page 14 . A truly good man does nothing. 38 A truly good man is not aware of his goodness. The ten thousand things are whole and alive. When a just man does something. The valley is whole and full. 39 These things from ancient times arise from one: The sky is whole and clear. The strength of the spirit prevents its being used up. When a disciplinarian does something and no one responds. And is therefore good. Kings and lords are whole. The spirit is whole and strong. Soft and weak overcome hard and strong. Yet leaves nothing undone. A foolish man tries to be good. Therefore when Tao is lost. The firmness of the earth prevents its splitting. Therefore the truly great man dwells on what is real and not what is on the surface. The ten thousand things would develop naturally. there is kindness. Without for there is no desire. If kings and lords observed this. 37 Tao abides in non-action. Without desire there is. Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty. And a country's weapons should not be displayed.That which is cast down Must first be raised. On the fruit and not the flower. The growth of the ten thousand things prevents their drying out. It is the beginning of folly. When justice is lost. The fullness of the valley prevents its running dry. Tao Te Ching. there ritual. the beginning of confusion. there is goodness. Yet nothing is left undone. Therefore accept the one and reject the other. He rolls up his sleeves in an attempt to enforce order. When kindness is lost. All these are in virtue of wholeness. The clarity of the sky prevents its falling. A foolish man is always doing. he leaves a great deal to be done. And in this way all things would be at peace. Before receiving There must be giving. and the country is upright. If they still desired to act. www. When goodness is lost. When a truly kind man does something. Yet much remains to be done. Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao.

42 The Tao begot one. The Tao is hidden and without name. Tao Te Ching. For one gains by losing And loses by gaining. 40 Returning is the motion of the Tao. Princes and lords consider themselves "orphaned". The highest notes are hard to hear. The Tao alone nourishes and brings everything to fulfillment. They achieve harmony by combining these forces. Great talents ripen late. 41 The wise student hears of the Tao and practices it diligently. Do not tinkle like jade Or clatter like stone chimes. One begot two. The ten thousand things carry yin and embrace yang. the Tao would not be what it is.The leadership of kings and lords prevents the downfall of the country. Great purity seems sullied. Do they not depend on being humble? Too much success is not an advantage. Hence it is said: The bright path seems dim. The highest Virtue seems empty. Being is born of not being. And three begot the ten thousand things.com Page 15 . Going forward seems like retreat. The average student hears of the Tao and gives it thought now and again. Real Virtue seems unreal. The perfect square has no corners. Two begot three. The ten thousand things are born of being.thebigview. What others teach. Yielding is the way of the Tao. I also teach. The low is the foundation of the high." But this is how kings and lords describe themselves." or "worthless. "widowed" and "worthless". www. Hence I know the value of non-action." "widowed. The foolish student hears of the Tao and laughs aloud. If there were no laughter. The easy way seems hard. that is: "A violent man will die a violent death!" This will be the essence of my teaching. Teaching without words and work without doing Are understood by very few. Men hate to be "orphaned. The greatest form has no shape. The strength of Virtue seems frail. Therefore the humble is the root of the noble. 43 The softest thing in the universe Overcomes the hardest thing in the universe. That without substance can enter where there is no room. A wealth of Virtue seems inadequate.

I also have faith in people who are not faithful. I am good to people who are good. Great eloquence seems awkward.There is no greater sin than desire. www. 46 When the Tao is present in the universe. Less and less is done Until non-action is achieved. Without looking through the window. every day something is dropped. Others look to him and listen. He sees without looking. The horses haul manure. It cannot be ruled by interfering. I am also good to people who are not good. you may see the ways of heaven. Because Virtue is goodness. Movement overcomes cold. No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself.to the world he seems confusing. Because Virtue is faithfulness. Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough. He behaves like a little child. The world is ruled by letting things take their course. No greater curse than discontent. I have faith in people who are faithful. 48 In the pursuit of learning. 45 Great accomplishment seems imperfect. Yet it does not outlive its usefulness. He will stay forever safe. When nothing is done. 49 The sage has no mind of his own. every day something is acquired. Yet cannot be exhausted. He works without doing. War horses are bred outside the city. A contented man is never disappointed. He who knows when to stop does not find himself in trouble. 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. The sage is shy and humble . Great fullness seems empty. When the Tao is absent from the universe. Great intelligence seems stupid. He is aware of the needs of others. Tao Te Ching.com Page 16 . Thus the sage knows without traveling. He who saves will suffer heavy loss. The farther you go. In the pursuit of Tao. the less you know. nothing is left undone. Stillness overcomes heat. 47 Without going outside. Great straightness seems twisted.thebigview. you may know the whole world. Stillness and tranquility set things in order in the universe.

They are robber barons. And life is beyond hope. And life is ever full. They are shaped by environment. Sheltered. Using the outer light.Doing without taking credit. Tao Te Ching. on also knows the sons. Respect of Tao and honor of Virtue are not demanded. 50 Between birth and death.thebigview. cared for. This is learning constancy. By Virtue they are nourished. Three in ten are followers of life. Therefore all things arise from Tao. And the granaries are bare. When the court is arrayed in splendor. Knowing the mother. But they are in the nature of things. And men just passing from birth to death also number three in ten. They are formed from matter. Open your mouth. Why is this so? Because they live their lives on the gross level. And indulge themselves with food and drink. 53 If I have even just a little sense. But people love to be sidetracked. This is certainly not the way of Tao. 51 All things arise from Tao. They are nourished by Virtue. Why is this so? Because he has no place for death to enter. And in this way be saved from harm. Developed. I will walk on the main road and my only fear will be of straying from it. Brings freedom from the fear of death. And weapons no place to pierce. Keep your mouth shut. comforted. Yielding to force is strength. The fields are full of weeds. He will not be wounded in battle. Thus the ten thousand things all respect Tao and honor Virtue. Tigers no place to use their claws. return to insight. For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn. Three in ten are followers of death. Keeping to the main road is easy. They have more possessions than they can use. Seeing the small is insight.com Page 17 . www. Guard the senses. This is Primal Virtue. Some wear gorgeous clothes. Creating without claiming. Carry sharp swords. yet remaining in touch with the mother. Grown. Always be busy. Guiding without interfering. Knowing the sons. 52 The beginning of the universe Is the mother of all things. and protected. He who knows how to live can walk abroad Without fear of rhinoceros or tiger.

But his grip is firm. How do I know the universe is like this? By looking! 55 He who is filled with Virtue is like a newborn child. The more trouble in the land. And Virtue will be real. Tao Te Ching.thebigview. Keep your mouth closed. Look at the family as family. Look at the universe as universe. Become master of the universe without striving. How do I know that this is so? Because of this! The more laws and restrictions there are. And Virtue will abound. It is not wise to rush about. He will not be attacked by birds of prey. The poorer people become. 56 Those who know do not talk. Cultivate Virtue in your self. If too much energy is used. This is primal union. Knowing constancy is enlightenment. Look at the nation as nation. Knowing harmony is constancy. He screams all day without becoming hoarse. Wage war with surprise moves. 54 What is firmly established cannot be uprooted. Temper your sharpness. his muscles weak. Be at one with the dust of the Earth. Cultivate it in the nation. 57 Rule a nation with justice. This therefore is the highest state of man. What is firmly grasped cannot slip away. www.He has not experienced the union of man and woman. Mask your brightness. Wild beasts will not pounce upon him. The sharper men's weapons. exhaustion follows. Those who talk do not know. Controlling the breath causes strain. Wasps and serpents will not sting him. Look at the village as village. He who has achieved this state Is unconcerned with friends and enemies. Cultivate it in the family. Cultivate it in the village. with honor and disgrace. It will be honored from generation to generation. And Virtue will be abundant. but is whole. And Virtue will grow. Guard your senses. With good and harm. Cultivate it in the universe. His manhood is strong. His bones are soft. And Virtue will be everywhere. Therefore look at the body as body.com Page 18 . Simplify your problems. This is perfect harmony. This is not the way of Tao. Whatever is contrary to Tao will not last long.

The more ingenious and clever men are. If nothing is impossible. Goodness becomes witchcraft. The more thieves and robbers. 60 Ruling the country is like cooking a small fish. The people are cunning. But the sage himself will also be protected. Misery lurks beneath happiness. The more rules and regulations. It will conquer the smaller country. When the country is ruled with severity. If a man knows no limits. Straightforward but not unrestrained. Happiness is rooted in misery. Not only will it do no harm to others.thebigview. This is called having deep roots and a firm foundation. then he is fit to be a ruler. I enjoy peace and people become honest. Therefore if a great country gives way to a smaller country. And the Virtue in each one refreshes both. Tao Te Ching. Honesty becomes dishonest.com Page 19 . And evil is not powerful. Lying low in stillness. www. The mother principle of ruling holds good for a long time. 58 When the country is ruled with a light hand The people are simple. Who knows what the future holds? There is no honesty. They do not hurt each other. Pointed but not piercing. And if a small country submits to a great country. Therefore the sage is sharp but not cutting. There is nothing like using restraint. then nothing is impossible. Approach the universe with Tao. 61 A great country is like low land. If there is a good store of Virtue. The more strange things happen. It can conquer the great country. I do nothing and people become rich. The female overcomes the male with stillness. Man's bewitchment lasts for a long time. Restraint begins with giving up one's own ideas. The mother of the universe. 59 In caring for others and serving heaven. The Tao of long life and eternal vision. Brilliant but not blinding. It is the meeting ground of the universe. Therefore the sage says: I take no action and people are reformed. then there are no limits. But its power will not be used to harm others. This depends on Virtue gathered in the past. I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life.

63 Practice non-action. do not abandon him. increase the few. Because the sage always confronts difficulties. If a man is bad. Therefore on the day the emperor is crowned. And those who conquer do so because they yield. 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. Deal with it before it happens. and the refuge of the bad. He who acts defeats his own purpose. People usually fail when they are on the verge of success. In the universe the difficult things are done as if they are easy.com Page 20 . A tree as great as a man's embrace springs up from a small shoot. Then there will be no failure. 62 Tao is source of the ten thousand things. A great nation needs more people. Taking things lightly results in great difficulty. Do not send a gift of jade and a team of four horses. Each gets what it wants. See simplicity in the complicated.Therefore those who would conquer must yield. Trouble is easily overcome before it starts. Good deeds can gain respect. The brittle is easily shattered. And thus achieved greatness. He learns not to hold on to ideas. The sage does not attempt anything very big.thebigview. It is fitting for a great nation to yield. Set things in order before there is confusion. But remain still and offer the Tao. He does not collect precious things. He who grasps loses. Work without doing. 64 Peace is easily maintained. Easy promises make for little trust. and so is not defeated. He does not grasp and therefore does not lose. Tao Te Ching. Or the three officers of state installed. In the universe great acts are made up of small deeds. Achieve greatness in little things. A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth. A journey of a thousand miles starts under one's feet. Taste the tasteless. A small country needs to serve. So give as much care to the end as to the beginning. The sage does not act. Reward bitterness with care. Magnify the small. Sweet words can buy honor. It is the treasure of the good man. Therefore the sage seeks freedom from desire. The small is easily scattered. He never experiences them. www.

This is known as ability to deal with people. he must follow behind. They do not believe in humility. If he would lead them. But refrains from action. Tao Te Ching. From humility comes leadership. Nowadays men shun mercy. They abandon economy. It is the means by which heaven saves and guards. A good fighter is not angry. He does not meet competition. This is known as the Virtue of not striving. 68 A good soldier is not violent. But kept it hidden. The first is mercy. In this way when the sage rules. These are the two alternatives. The whole world will support him and will not tire of him. 66 Why is the sea king of a hundred streams? Because it lies below them. The third is daring not to be ahead of others.He brings men back to what they have lost. Primal Virtue is deep and far.com Page 21 . From mercy comes courage. Understanding these is Primal Virtue. Those who rule without cleverness Are a blessing to the land. When he stands before them. Because it is great. it seems different. he must serve with humility. This is certain death. Because he does not compete. 65 In the beginning those who knew the Tao did not try to enlighten others. www. A good winner is not vengeful A good employer is humble. This since ancient times has been known as the ultimate unity with heaven. the second is economy. Why is it so hard to rule? Because people are so clever. It leads all things back Toward the great oneness. If it were not different. they will not be harmed. but try to be generous. Rulers who try to use cleverness Cheat the country. I have three treasures which I hold and keep. He help the ten thousand things find their own nature.thebigview. Therefore it is the king of a hundred streams. from economy comes generosity. but try to be brave. but always try to be first. 67 Everyone under heaven says that my Tao is great and beyond compare. If the sage would guide the people. the people will not feel oppressed. it would have vanished long ago. Mercy brings victory in battle and strength in defense.

and yet is answered. I almost lost what I value. Because men do not understand. Has self-respect but is not arrogant. Knowing ignorance is strength. He lets go of that and chooses this. Heaven's net casts wide. www. This is called marching without appearing to move. It does not ask. Therefore the sage knows himself but makes no show. If you do not interfere. By underestimating the enemy. 72 When men lack a sense of awe. My actions are disciplined. The sage is not sick because he is sick of sickness. Yet no man under heaven knows them or practices them. 73 A brave and passionate man will kill or be killed.thebigview. Those that know me are few. Those that abuse me are honored. Do not harass them at work. Capturing the enemy without attacking.com Page 22 . there will be disaster. Who knows why? Even the sage is unsure of this. The Tao of heaven does not strive. Of these two which is good and which is harmful? Some things are not favored by heaven. they will not weary of you. Therefore when the battle is joined. Tao Te Ching. If one is sick of sickness. It does not speak. they have no knowledge of me. 70 My words are easy to understand and easy to perform. Though its meshes are course. Do not intrude in their homes. Being armed without weapons. I dare not advance and inch but would rather withdraw a foot. and yet it overcomes. The underdog will win. Rolling up your sleeves without showing your arm. It seems to have no aim and yet its purpose is fulfilled. nothing slips through. A brave and calm man will always preserve life. There is no greater catastrophe than underestimating the enemy. Therefore he is not sick. then one is not sick. My words have ancient beginnings. Ignoring knowledge is sickness. Therefore the sage wears rough clothing and holds the jewel in his heart. yet is supplied with all its needs.69 71 There is a saying among soldiers: I dare not make the first move but would rather play the guest.

www. Therefore they are rebellious. Why are the people rebellious? Because the rulers interfere too much. If you try to take his place. Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle. 75 Why are the people starving? Because the rulers eat up the money in taxes. The soft and weak will overcome. and the low is raised. 74 If men are not afraid to die. Tao Te Ching. At his death he is hard and stiff.com Page 23 . A tree that is unbending is easily broken. At their death they are withered and dry. It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If there is not enough. The hard and strong will fall. If the string is too long. It is no avail to threaten them with death. Having little to live on. Therefore the people are starving. Therefore the sage works without recognition. And if breaking the law means that a man will be killed. He takes from those who do not have enough and give to those who already have too much. Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death. it is shortened. Who will dare to break the law? There is always an official executioner. it is made longer. 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.76 A man is born gentle and weak. Therefore the people take death lightly. If men live in constant fear of dying. The high is lowered. Green plants are tender and filled with sap. Why do the people think so little of death? Because the rulers demand too much of life. The Tao of heaven is to take from those who have too much and give to those who do not have enough. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter. He does not try to show his knowledge. one knows better than to value life too much. Man's way is different. He achieves what has to be done without dwelling on it. 77 The Tao of heaven is like the bending of a bow. you will only hurt your hand.thebigview.

The Tao of heaven is impartial. some resentment must remain. Under heaven everyone knows this. their homes secure. The truth often sounds paradoxical.thebigview. And crowing cocks and barking dogs are heard across the way. the more he has. Beautiful words are not truthful. the greater his abundance. Good men do not argue. Though they have armor and weapons. no one uses them. He who takes upon himself the country's disasters deserves to be king of the universe. A man of Virtue performs his part. their clothes fine but simple. no one displays them. nothing is better. Those who know are not learned. Those who argue are not good. The Tao of the sage is work without effort.78 Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water. But a man without Virtue requires others to fulfill their obligations. Though there are machines that can work ten to a hundred times faster than man. The weak can overcome the strong. Yet no one puts it into practice. The supple can overcome the stiff. 79 After a bitter quarrel. It has no equal. The Tao of heaven is pointed but does no harm. 80 A small country has fewer people. Yet they leave each other in peace while they grow old and die. Therefore the sage says: He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people is fit to rule them. The sage never tries to store things up. The learned do not know. The people take death seriously and do not travel far. The more he does for others. they are not needed. 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. Though they have boats and carriages. Men return to the knotting of rope in place of writing. Though they live within sight of their neighbors. Yet for attacking the solid and strong. Tao Te Ching. www. The more he gives to others.com Page 24 . Their food is plain and good. 81 Truthful words are not beautiful. It stays with good men all the time.

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