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CHAPTER 1 The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless, is the Mother of Heaven and Earth. The named is the manifestations of the Ten Thousand Things. Ever desireless, one can feel (heart) the mystery. Ever desiring, one can see its manifestations. These two are born from the same source, but differ in form; one appears as imperceptible, infinity upon infinity. Here lies the path of all mystery.
CHAPTER 2 All under Heaven can see beauty, because ugliness exists. One knows good only because there is evil. These two manifest from the same source which complement each other. From the myriad forms, each has a complement: Difficult and easy complement each other. Long and short contrast each other. Voice and sound are in harmony with each other. Front and back follow one another. The Sage sees the Ten Thousand Things in harmony, and goes about his business doing nothing, so the Ten Thousand Things rise and fall without interference. Bearing, yet not possessing, working, yet not taking credit, work is done, then forgotten, therefore it remains eternal.
CHAPTER 3 By not exposing one's talents, quarrelling will not prevail. By not hoarding great treasures, stealing is prevented. By not seeing desirable objects, confusion of the heart will not arise. The wise rule by emptying peoples hearts of such things; by feeding their bellies, weakening their ambitions and strengthening their bodies: For this is the way of Dao. If people lack knowledge and desire for material possessions, then the cunning and the intelligent, will find no place to employ their schemes. If everything is left to find its own way, all will be well.
Look with your heart. simplify your nature. it can never be used up. If used. For it is ever present. hidden in the depths of the myriad things. . It is the source of the Ten Thousand Things. see its form in the glare. be at one with the dust of the Earth. but it is great. I don't know from whence it came.CHAPTER 4 The Dao is forever like an unfathomable empty space.
Like this space. . The wise are therefore ruthless. for it yields to whatever. or whoever uses it. Hold fast to this and remain at one.CHAPTER 5 Heaven and Earth are ruthless. the Sage can use its formless qualities. They see the Ten Thousand Things as part of one whole. but it has a form. The space between Heaven and Earth is formless. For the Ten Thousand Things all depend upon it. for they see people as part of the same structure.
The spirit is the primordial mother of the ten thousand things. Search and feel this spirit. the gateway to all mysteries. It is ever present and eternal. . for it is ever present.CHAPTER 6 The root of Heaven and Earth. can be found in its spirit.
CHAPTER 7 Heaven and Earth are still. Why are Heaven and Earth still? Because they are detached. The Sage is detached, so he is like Heaven and Earth; thus he is at one with all. Being at one, he performs selfless actions and so he is fulfilled.
CHAPTER 8 The greatest good is like water. Water gives life to the Ten Thousand Things, but does not strive. Because it does not strive, it flows in places without preference, depending on the flow and so is like the Dao. In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep into the heart. In dealing with others, be gentle and kind. In speech, be straight and truthful. In ruling, be just and honest. In business, be honest and competent. In action, be careful of the timing. Be forever these things and life will never burden you with troubles.
CHAPTER 9 Better to stop short than to fill to the brim. Oversharpen a blade and it will soon become blunt. Make a hoard of gold and jade and no one can protect them. Claim wealth and titles and disaster will surely follow. Retire when the work is done. For this is the way of Heaven.
CHAPTER 10 Carrying body and soul, can you become like a new born babe? Ever supple and yielding, but with a firm grip on life. Purifying the Primal Vision, can you be without stain? Loving all things, can you rule without cleverness? Can you be like Heaven and play the role of the Woman? Understanding and being open to all things, are you able to do nothing and follow the flow? Giving birth and nourishing, bearing, yet not possessing, working, yet not taking credit, leading ,but not dominating. For this is Primal Virtue.
it is these spaces. . So something comes from nothing. Cut doors and windows for a house.CHAPTER 11 Thirty spokes support a wheel. it is the space within. Shape clay into a vessel. that make it useful. it is the space inside the wheel. that makes it useful. that makes it useful. usefulness comes from making nothing into something.
men look for more stimulation. . Therefore the Sage is guided by what he feels. and not by what he sees. He lets go of that and chooses this. When the senses are dulled. dulls the senses. The five flavours dull the taste. For having in excess. Racing and hunting fever the mind. The five tones deafen the ear. Precious things cause greed to arise in Men’s hearts.CHAPTER 12 The five colours blind the eye.
Do not be concerned with wealth.CHAPTER 13 Accept disgrace willingly. then you can truly be trusted to care for all things. Accept misfortune as the human condition. titles. loss or gain. . how could there be misfortune! For misfortune arises from having a body Surrender yourself humbly. What do I mean by "accept misfortune as the human condition?" Without a body. What do I mean by "accept disgrace willingly?" Accept being unimportant. then you can be trusted to care for all things. If you are not concerned with these. Love the world as your own self. you can always "accept disgrace willingly".
. Knowing the Dao is the ancient beginning of all things. it can never be seen. but move with the present. It is beyond description. it is intangible. Although it can never be seen. But it is the Mother of the Ten Thousand Things. for it has no form. its spirit is always there. it is beyond sound. but it is great. Grasp.CHAPTER 14 Look. Stay with this (in your heart) the ancient Dao. For it is formed from nothing and so returns to nothing. Listen. It has no beginning and no end. it can never be held. it can never be heard. heard or held.
Simple. like men aware of the tiger. who can wait for the mud to settle? Who can wait for the mystery to be revealed? Do not seek fulfilment. they were at one. Opaque. mysterious. Lying still and waiting quietly. Empty. like vessels. Courteous. all we can do is observe their appearance. like a blade of grass. Watchful. Being at one. profound and alert. The Ten Thousand Things rise and fall without interference. like men fishing in a stream. nothing is changed. but feel the Dao in your heart. Likened to the Dao. The depth of their knowledge was unfathomable. Alert. like visiting guests. . like uncarved blocks of wood.CHAPTER 15 The Ancient Master’s were subtle. like muddy pools. Yielding. By not seeking fulfilment.
. you can act naturally. This is the way of Nature. for Nature is unchanging. Although the body dies. the Dao will always be eternal. you can become eternal. Being open hearted. Knowing the source. Being at one with the Dao. let it reside in peace. When the mind is open the heart will be open too. you will be at one with the Dao. Being at peace you can watch the Ten Thousand Things rise and fall. Returning to the source is stillness. Not knowing this leads to disaster. Being at one with Heaven and Earth. you will be at one with Heaven and Earth.CHAPTER 16 Empty the mind of everything. Acting naturally. They follow their natural path and eventually return to the source of all things. the mind is open. Knowing this constancy is having insight into all things.
and that which is feared and despised. Having a simple heart one knows how to trust openly.CHAPTER 17 The greatest things in life are rarely realised or known by Men. Those who do not trust openly. people can say "we've done it". . When deeds are performed with few words. can never be trusted to have a good heart. But Men always know the things they love and treasure.
When clever people employ their schemes.CHAPTER 18 When the great Dao is forgotten. Set things in order. filial piety and devotion arises. there is no need for such things. When the country is in chaos. human kindness and morals arise. . loyal ministers always appear. When the family have forgotten the natural order. the great perversion begins. be at one with the Dao. For when people are at one.
there is no need for religion or morality? Give up ingenuity. If people are at one. to cast off selfishness and dispel desire. Let people follow the Dao. don't look for profit and bandits and thieves will disappear. It is more important to follow the ways of Nature. . to see the simplicity. to observe its order and workings.CHAPTER 19 Give up Sainthood. to realise one's true nature. and it will be a hundred times better for everyone. stop preaching. For here lies the way of Dao.
I drift like the waves of the sea and follow the flow. Remain and dwell in simplicity. for I am nourished by the great Dao. but I alone am aware and alert. for I dwell in the infinite. but I am alone and wandering. I seem foolish and confused. for I am nourished by the Great Mother of all thing. but I alone am without desire and uncluttered. put an end to your troubles. but I alone have nothing. Innocent and simple. Others enjoy the feast. I am different. the Dao is full when it is present in the heart. Other Men seem sharp and clever. Others have more than what they need. For my simplicity and innocence appears dull and stupid to such Men. . Open and yielding like a new born babe. I am contented.. drifting with the wind. Everyone seems busy.CHAPTER 20 Give up learning.
as it shall be at the end. there is substance and form. It is the essence of the Ten Thousand Things. ever elusive and intangible. . It was there at the beginning. Oh unfathomable Dao. But yet within. so here lies a true path to follow.CHAPTER 21 The greatest virtue is to follow the Dao and only Dao. Thus I know the ways of creation. This is very real.
This emptiness was always whole. He sets an example to the world. Have much and be confused. Bend but follow the flow.CHAPTER 22 Yield and overcome. By knowing this and refusing that. and so all things will come to you. . By never boasting or bragging he can never falter. He knows of the ways of man. Empty yourself of everything. Having no preferences he is open to all. Therefore the sage embraces the one. Have little but gain a lot. The ancient masters were always empty. By not putting on a display. Yield and overcome and be forever full. then you can full. he shines forth. Thus he can avoid a quarrel.
When you are at one with virtue. This is natural. loss is experienced willingly. the Dao welcomes you. He who follows the Dao. He who is virtuous. High winds do not last all morning. Man can never make things eternal. he will only just ruin things by interfering. feels lost. So why should man be forever talking. by reproducing its own kind each generation. In silence. .CHAPTER 23 In Nature nothing is eternal. is at one with the Dao. the mind and heart are set at peace. When you are at one with loss. virtue is always there in your heart. When you are at one with the Dao. Heaven is eternal and so is the Earth. is at one with virtue. heavy rain does not last all day. He who loses the way.
Therefore followers of the Dao avoid them. They can never bring happiness.CHAPTER 24 He who stands on tiptoe can never be stable. He who is self-righteous cannot be respected. He who boasts achieves nothing. He who strides can never maintain the pace. According to followers of the Dao. He who brags will not endure. He who makes a show is not enlightened. . “these are excessive food and unnecessary baggage”.
Dao is what is natural. It is the Mother of the Ten Thousand Things. And one of them is the Ten Thousand Things.CHAPTER 25 Something mysteriously formed. The Ten Thousand Things are great. Man follows the Earth. These are the four great powers of the Universe. ever present and flowing. It nourishes the Ten Thousand Things far and away. From whence it came I do not know. In silence and from within the void. Therefore the Dao is great. Heaven follows the Dao. born before Heaven and Earth. Being great it flows. Heaven is great. I do not know its name. For lack of a better word I call it great. Earth is great. Earth follows Heaven. Alone and constant. . so I call it Dao.
therefore he is full of Dao. When there is disorder and unrest. The Sage resides forever in stillness and peace. Though there are beautiful things all around him. .CHAPTER 26 When one is full of Dao. When one is empty of Dao. he remains at one and unattached. the Dao is lost. stillness and peace give way to loss of control. there is disorder and unrest. there is stillness and peace.
if this doesn't succeed. If the student is not cared for. until his work is done. . how can the teacher be respected. for there is nothing behind that door that thieves and bandits will want to steal. A good door requires no lock. A good speaker always knows his part.CHAPTER 27 When you are at one with the Dao. words must be used. nothing is left undone. thats why the Ancient Masters offered the Dao and said little. For a Man can walk without leaving any trace. A good teacher will always stay with a bad student. To become a good teacher always use the Dao first. When words are used great confusion can arise.
he becomes the ruler of the Ten Thousand Things. When the Sage returns to this state. return to the State of the uncarved block. but keep humility and be humble. without preference. approach life with an open mind and an open heart. In simplicity and openness. For when the block is carved. Being the stream of the Universe.CHAPTER 28 In knowing a man's strength. yielding and soft as a child. ever true and flowing. For he leaves everything to rise and fall without interference. it becomes useful for men to manipulate and use. Dwell in the infinite. . be an example to the World. Have honour and respect. Become simple. always keep a woman's care in your heart. Be the stream of the Universe.
If you try to change it. Sometimes there is strength and sometimes there is weakness. for he is one of the Ten Thousand Things. The Universe is sacred. sometimes it is easy. So. you will only lose it. sometimes things are ahead and sometimes behind. you will ruin it. one never feels quite the same everyday. but sometimes one feels down. In the Ten Thousand Things.CHAPTER 29 Do you think you can take over the Universe and then improve it? It can never be done. Sometimes breathing becomes difficult. for we are all subject to the Heavenly bodies that influence our lives. The Sage experiences these as well as ordinary men. Sometimes one feels up and cheerful. . as well as man. This is natural. If you try to possess it. it can never be improved.
but avoid it through violence. but be open. Achieve results. Achieve results. That which goes against the Dao will never last. it should only be used when absolutely necessary. Never take advantage of power. Achieve results. have pride. for the Ten Thousand Things have to exert themselves forcefully to survive. tell him to leave well alone and use as little force as necessary. This is certainly not the way of Dao. Achieve results. Force and violence are part of nature. but never glory in them.CHAPTER 30 Whenever you advise a ruler in the way of Dao. Achieve results. . things are laid to waste. Thorn bushes spring up wherever an army has been. because this is the natural way of things. Just do what has to be done and leave people well alone. Lean years follow in the wake of wars. But man uses violence unnecessarily for his own greed. for this would only provoke resistance and rebellion. but never boast.
mind and best of all. Therefore followers of the Dao never display them and only use them when there is no choice. The dead should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow.CHAPTER 31 All creatures hate weapons of war. for they are instruments of fear and dread. For these Men are greedy and do not know or follow the Dao. Do not rejoice in victory. If you take delight in killing. The officers and generals should feel sadness in their hearts. to see their men die before them. you take delight in killing. and observes it as a carnival of human carnage. . The wise man's tools are his heart. for peace and quiet are dear to his heart. If you rejoice in victory. Unfortunately war is necessary when one party rejects the Dao. In great wars many people are killed. To a wise man. you can never fulfil yourself. War should be conducted like a funeral. they are not his tools. the Dao.
If kings and lords could use it to rule over their lands and people. Men should avoid giving things too many names. . flowing structure. Then the parts are given names. Here lies the key to balance and harmony. For the Ten Thousand Things are part of one on-going. When things are given names.CHAPTER 32 The Dao is eternally indefinable. the whole is lost. everything would naturally take its course. Men are part of this also. their purpose in the whole structure is lost. Once things are broken up and divided. Men would need no laws or bars to restrict their actions and their movements. and look more closely at the whole.
When there is no fullness.CHAPTER 33 Knowing others is wisdom in itself. By having strength you can master others. men surround themselves in riches and material possessions. . therefore he cares for all men and abandons none. In knowing yourself. In fullness he knows simplicity and it fills his heart. Knowing yourself is on the way to enlightenment. The Sage knows himself and others. you need strength. He takes care of all things and leaves nothing. He who knows he has enough is full.
For it is great. It never shows its greatness. . But its greatness can be seen in the manifestations of the Ten Thousand Things. It nourishes the Ten Thousand Things and yet it does not rule them. but it still makes no claim to possess them. but it can be found. It flows and fulfils its purpose and takes no credit or claim to fame. The Ten Thousand Things all return to it. for its giving of life. The Ten Thousand Things all depend upon it. It is elusive.CHAPTER 34 The great Dao flows everywhere.
But knowing a description of the Dao is beyond comprehension. tranquillity. contentment and enlightenment. For it cannot be seen or heard. . For they can feel and find in him peace. It seems without flavour or sound.CHAPTER 35 All things will come to the man who is at one with the Dao. and yet it is the very source of everything. People know the taste and smell of good food and the sound of music.
In a strong wind. for nature is constantly flowing. it will surely fall. a tree will never fall that bends to the force. For it is eternal. The soft and yielding will always overcome the strong and rigid. In the nature of things. must first have succeeded. The Dao is always soft and yielding. must first have expanded. . Therefore it always remains at one and will never fall. giving birth and then returning. This is the nature of all things. That which fails. By observing nature we can see its workings.CHAPTER 36 That which shrinks. If it remains inflexible and rigid. . nothing is truly constant.
then all would be well. is there any reason to act and change things? . Man would be full. Everything would enjoy simplicity and peace. there would be no struggle and everything would rise and fall naturally. for he constantly interferes. If they were left and man took his natural role in the World. Man always upsets this balance.CHAPTER 37 The Dao never acts. So the Ten Thousand Things must struggle against him. If he lacked desire. In enjoying simplicity and peace. it nourishes the Ten Thousand Things and then all is left at one. for then. It is because man desires to act and change things. that he creates imbalance within himself and all around him.
A truly good man does nothing and yet nothing is left undone. . he leaves nothing undone. goodness and kindness arise.CHAPTER 38 A truly good man is not aware of his goodness. These things are the beginning of confusion. So remain at one and all will be well. Great goodness and kindness are sometimes not in keeping with the Dao. people rebel in their hearts and bitterness arises. A foolish man's goodness leaves much to be desired. and a great deal is left to be finished. people then must find something to replace it. When goodness and kindness are lost. Therefore the man of Dao dwells on what is real and not what is superficial. When a foolish man does good. And therefore his goodness shines forth. Therefore when the Dao is lost. dictatorship arises. Confusion always arises when the Dao is lost. things are overdone and out of balance. When a dictator does something and uses force. When a man of Dao does something.
the spirit is whole and strong. do not seek wealth and riches. Within it.CHAPTER 39 In the ancient beginning. Thus the Ten Thousand Things may reproduce and prevent their breed from dying. All these things are in wholeness with the Dao. the Ten Thousand Things are raised. all things came from the one. In being at one with the Dao. The wholeness and firmness of the Earth. When the spirit is strong. be at one with the Dao. then you can be truly great. Therefore be humble. and so they return to it. the Ten Thousand Things are also humble in their greatness. The valley is whole and full. The Earth is whole and firm. The Ten Thousand Things are whole and living. Therefore being nourished by the great Dao. nourishes the Ten Thousand Things. When man is not humble. and so catastrophe will follow. . That’s why the sky is whole and mysteriously distinct. For the Dao is humble in its greatness. so all will be maintained. The distinct fullness of the sky maintains the Earth. the Dao is not great. do not clatter like glass chimes. For man assumes he is greater than the Dao.
But because he only knows about his own needs. It is an on-going process. for everything is born of it. And so he upsets the balance . If man gave as much as he took.CHAPTER 40 The Dao is a constant flowing source of creativity. for the Dao gives as well as takes. the world would be in more balance. and then returns to it. he becomes blind to the whole. Observe this motion of giving and taking.
Great virtue seems not to exist. and the road always seems hard. The Dao would not be as great. So it is said. . and it does not fill his heart. without any human stigma to influence or contort the mind and actions. And so he constantly practises to enlighten himself. if it wasn't for this. one acts naturally. they laugh and scorn him. but he forgets it afterwards. and so it is like going backwards. for he does not believe in such things. When the Sage tells people about the Dao. The foolish student hears of the Dao and laughs. great purity seems sullied. Great talents always seem to ripen with age. In having an open mind and heart. For in following the Dao. The average student of the Dao gives a thought when he hears about it. that to follow the Dao is a great struggle.CHAPTER 41 The wise student hears of the Dao and it enters his heart. one must constantly give things up. For when following the Dao.
so the Earth and the Ten Thousand Things will suffer. The Ten Thousand Things each contain Yin and Yang. for the Male has more Yang and the Female has more Yin. Know the balance and all will be well. So they are different. Two begot three. the forces are divided still. one gave birth and then there was two. From this. . By coming together. they beget another life. And so the Ten Thousand Things were formed. So the Ten Thousand Things depend on these forces.CHAPTER 42 The Dao begot one. When the forces are upset and out of balance. They are in harmony by having both of these forces.
without interference. of being without being. but no one can pierce a hole in it. of working without working. It has a form.CHAPTER 43 The sky is formless but distinct. So I know the value of formless form. The Ten Thousand Things will then rise and fall naturally. . in teaching without using words.
A contented man will never be disappointed for he is unattached.CHAPTER 44 Self indulgence and fame. Know this and reject that. but be full. and live your life in peace and contentment. . which is more painful? Whoever is attached to material objects will suffer. be kind. or health and a cultivated and open mind. Which are more important? Disorder and greed. or self cultivation and harmony. have nothing. Which is more precious? The loss of treasures or the gaining of the Dao. Be simple.
When the Dao is present in the heart. great movement exhausts the body and fevers the mind. your actions and speech. That’s why great fullness seems empty. you will act naturally. may seem awkward and blunt to lesser men.CHAPTER 45 Great accomplishments are easily done. Your views of the world may seem stupid also. the body is left in peace. For the man of Dao leaves things to their natural way. Stillness and tranquillity give a clear vision to the nature of all things. . Resting still. but it can never be used up.
There is no greater sin than greed and desire. horses pull the plough and linger leisurely in the fields. No greater curse than discontentment. No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself. When the Dao is forgotten. will always be forever contented.CHAPTER 46 When the Dao is present in the Universe. . Therefore the man who knows he has sufficient. horses abandon their ploughs and perform military exercises.
. so he knows of the ways of creation. In seeking the Dao.CHAPTER 47 The Sage is at one with the Dao. yet he has never been to Heaven. And yet he has never been abroad. He knows the ways of Heaven. for the Dao is all around you. its not necessary to know the whole world to find it in your heart.
When he becomes full and likened to the Dao.CHAPTER 48 Man's great intelligence is acquired by his ability to learn. and give up whatever he has been taught. everything is left to find its own path. he becomes in tune with the Ten Thousand Things. his heart will also be. For they are all nearer to the Dao than man. everyday he must stop learning. By doing nothing the World is ruled. . And so. he will also be in tune with the Dao. until his mind is open and yielding. When man goes back to his natural ways. In following the Dao.
By having an open mind. they can find contentment by listening and watching the Sage. he shows no preference. he can act naturally. Like the Dao. his mind is open and uncluttered. The Sage appears quiet. He is aware of all things. humble and elusive.CHAPTER 49 The Sage is at one with the Dao. . And so he treats people and all things equally. If men seek it in their hearts.
The tiger will not attack him. He knows of the ways of the Ten Thousand Things as well as man. . Thus he can live in harmony with all things and all men. Some are followers of greed and lust. Why is this? Because man has sought to change things and interfere. men will not seek to wound him and so he makes no room for death to enter. men live their lives in different ways. so he has upset the balance within himself and others. Some are followers of the ways of mankind.CHAPTER 50 Between birth and death. Some are followers of the Dao. Some are followers of evil. The Sage knows this and rejects that.
they live naturally. The Dao takes care of all their needs. But it does not possess them. claim them or demand anything from them. it shelters them. . In respecting the Dao. So the Ten Thousand Things all respect the Dao. For it is great. They are nourished by vital energy. and formed from the five elements. feeds them and allows them to reproduce.CHAPTER 51 All things are born of the Dao. They are shaped by the Dao and by their environment.
In silence and in the void the Dao formed Heaven and Earth. The Ten Thousand Things are formed by it. one can feel and sense the mystery. It is the Mother of Heaven and Earth.CHAPTER 52 The Ten Thousand Things are born of the Universe. I do not know. but I know it exists. the Universe is born from the Dao. do only what has to be done and then remain at one. In silence and peace. Be forever at one. . From whence the Dao came from.
and certainly not in keeping with the Dao. This is never the way to enlightenment. . they love splendid clothes. They are titled robbers. But people love to be side-tracked. The crops in the fields are abandoned.CHAPTER 53 If people had just a little sense. When people are side-tracked. The Kings and Lords have more possessions than they need. they would walk on the main road. and men take to drinking and bragging. fine jewels and material possessions.
Cultivate it in the Universe and everything will be flowing naturally. everything is set in its natural order. So it is consistent and flowing. Cultivate it in the village and everybody will know their part. Therefore. Cultivate it in the family and the family will remain at one.CHAPTER 54 The Dao is eternal and cannot be destroyed. set things in order and remain at one. Cultivate it in the country and peace and tranquillity will rein. So cultivate the Dao in yourself and it will be realised. By following the Dao. How do I know things are like this? Simply by observing. .
Therefore the Sage is whole. so he knows of the ways of mankind. The Sage is one of the Ten Thousand Things. Having experienced all things. Through enlightenment. but his grip on the Dao is firm. This only causes stress and fatigue and ill-health will surely follow. This is not the way of Dao.CHAPTER 55 He who is at one with the Dao experiences all things. . Whatever goes against the Dao will never last. Dwell in simplicity and enjoy a contented. he can become Divine. Do not complicate your life. Knowing balance and harmony is insight into constancy. he experiences the union of man and woman. he is not following the way of Nature. he can obtain enlightenment. peaceful life. Without this.
For he has become at one with the Dao. are forever talking. is unconcerned with friends. He who has become enlightened. In silence and peace one can become enlightened. . Be at one with Heaven and Earth and then you can become enlightened. No one can teach someone else how to become enlightened. with wealth and titles. enemies. for it stems from within the heart. This is the highest state of man.CHAPTER 56 Those who are enlightened. honour or disgrace. sit in silence. Those who think they know something.
use as little force as necessary and leave people to follow their own path. The more rules and regulations made will only cause robbers and thieves to appear. And people will feel bitterness. People become cunning and ingenious and more trouble is seen in the land. and so people become full and contented. He returns to the fullness of the Dao. How do I know this? Because the more laws and restrictions. He enjoys peace and tranquillity and people become simple and honest. .CHAPTER 57 When ruling a nation. Men take to sharpening their swords. and rebellion in their hearts. Therefore the Sage goes about doing nothing and people are left free. He is unattached and open and so people return to a good and simple life. the poorer the poor become and wealthier the rich get. In this way you become the ruler of the Universe by not striving.
the further the Dao is lost. Such men grow rich and deceive others. unrestricted. who demands far too much from the people. 'go back to Nature. peaceful life. live off the land and enjoy a good and simple life. give up ingenuity. give up profit and material possessions. people are simple and honest.' Be forever contented and enjoy a full. They prey on the poor and simple. people become cunning and rebel. And so the people are trapped and have lost their way. When the country is ruled by a dictator.CHAPTER 58 When the country is left to rule itself. clever men employ their schemes to control and manipulate others. . until man’s natural way cannot be remembered. When people become cunning. Therefore the Sage says. The more such men exist.
For it will only cause problems and imbalances. in the generations to come. Being at one with the Dao. and so they are balanced.CHAPTER 59 In serving Heaven and dealing with all things. Too much kindness is no good. The Ten Thousand Things rise and fall naturally. the more atrophy will set in. Strengthen the body and simplify your life. imbalance and malformation. Nature takes care of all things and so man should not interfere. the natural order is not upset. And so. Man interferes with the natural order. and so pass on a healthy body to the next generation. know a balance and have restraint. and so he makes problems for himself. In having restraint know the natural order. be at one with the Dao. In knowing the natural order. The weaker the body. . Man is the only creature that interferes. one knows how to care for all things without bias or preference. the more it is prone to disease. For the weaker the body.
The Shaman is a treasure to the people. Then the Shaman's job is made more difficult and he may lose his life. and when the people are starving. so avoid any conflict and leave well alone. Those who dabble in such things will only harm themselves and others. For Heaven can see all things. for he calls up Saints and Immortals. let Heaven do the biding. Evil is powerful. seek for the Daoist Shaman. and everything will find its just reward. In dealing with evil.CHAPTER 60 In dealing with evil. For he is in touch with Heaven and so is able to deal with evil. He protects all things within a balance and performs selfless actions. he opens up Heaven and beautiful rain will follow. He is a Sage and is treasured by Heaven. .
a small country will find strength and security within the larger nation. so then your greatness will shine forth. So in being great. be humble and modest. In being humble it does not strive to rule other nations.CHAPTER 61 A great kingdom is only great because it can remain humble in its greatness. When a great kingdom is humble. Therefore it is great. yet its people are not dominated or suppressed by the larger nation. . but greets other nations with open arms and benevolence.
For they each can find what they seek and be forgiven for all their sins. yielding and flowing. It treats all things equally and sees the good and bad in all men. . do not send great gifts of gold and jade. He sees the world as one whole and so treats all things alike. Because the Dao is unbiased.CHAPTER 62 The Dao is the treasured way of the Universe and the Ten Thousand Things. if a man is bad. he does not abandon him. the Dao. people like the Dao at first. nor does he give more preference to those who are good. The Sage is like the Dao. When the king is crowned and the officers of state installed. but remain still and offer them your greatest treasure. Therefore it is the greatest treasure that exists in the Universe.
So. The Heavenly bodies move and glow according to how they were formed Man should take note of this and exercise himself according to their influence. When difficulties arise the Sage confronts them. influencing without interfering. Too many promises can never be kept. the Dao and the Ten Thousand Things all flow according to their natures. . go with the flow of things and all will be well. and so he does not expect people to fulfil their part. He never demands too much of the people or life. He meets aggression with yielding softness. practise the ways of doing without doing. and so he never experiences problems.CHAPTER 63 In the Universe. The Sage follows the flow and so he practises influence without interfering. His nature is simple and yielding. So he remains at one. So he never complicates his life. By following the flow and entering into emptiness. He rewards anger and strife with care and understanding. and then he will be in keeping with the Dao. unattached and unharmed. For the Heavenly bodies influence our lives. but we can never feel their influence.
Trouble can be easily overcome. trouble can be avoided before it arises. All things stem from something. he is freed from the bond of desire. So he leaves the Ten Thousand Things to follow their natural course. knowing this. Because the Sage knows of the ways of nature. and their hearts were simple. He helps men find themselves when they are lost. peace would be dear to them. and remains at one. He does not notice gold and jade. . and so their troubles are simple too. His ideas are open and yielding. because their lives are simple.CHAPTER 64 If people knew of the ways of nature.
Return to simplicity.CHAPTER 65 When the first Sage became enlightened and he became at one with the Dao. But in reality they are small-minded moralists. one can be without restrictions. and the people are left to rule themselves. If man was left alone and he remained simple in his ways. or their power extended. and the greedy and cunning will always want to exploit. are a blessing to the people. . But intellectuals will always want to interfere. For he understood the ways of all things. For their title is without substance. Why is it difficult to rule others? Because people try to be clever and restrict and influence other people's lives. Knowing simplicity and knowing the ways of nature. These people are intellectuals who know nothing of the ways of nature. he did not try and influence others. rid yourselves of laws and bars and enjoy a good and peaceful life. and so they think they are great. is there any need for governments? Those who rule the land but are never seen or heard.
He has forsaken simplicity for wealth and comfort. honest life. the sea welcomes the rivers without any fuss. Upset the balance and things will start to go wrong. Natural disasters and phenomenon will occur. When man decides to go back to the ways of nature and live a simple. he and the World will return to balance. For both follow their natural paths and know their part. .CHAPTER 66 When rivers flow and converge into a great sea. He has forsaken honesty and trust for greed and cunning. Whatever goes against the Dao will never last. When the World is out of balance. Why is it that man always turns away from his natural path? Because he has lost his uniformity and balance with nature. so nature will be.
From the Dao comes the knowledge of all things. From economy comes generosity. and the third is being at one with the Dao. the second is economy. it has lasted a long time. I have three treasures which I keep in my heart. Having compassion and strength and knowing the way of all things. Heaven knows how to act. Today men shun mercy and take life without care. They abandon economy and seek to enrich themselves. The first is mercy. From mercy springs life and strength. and so they are naive of the ways of all things. Because it is different. . They do not know of or follow the Dao.CHAPTER 67 All under Heaven say that my Dao is beyond compare.
A good fighter is always calm. is knowing how to deal with people. A good employer treats his staff like treasures. Such people reflect the ways of Heaven. A good winner is never boastful. Having insight. This is known as having insight into the ways of man.CHAPTER 68 A good soldier is never violent. .
This is why the man of Dao would sooner give in and yield to aggression and violence. one or the other will lose their life. he does not lose what he values. . When the man of Dao engages in battle. If this doesn't work. For when the baffle is underway. Not that he is afraid. He would rather retreat without combat than advance and attack. he looks upon himself as the underdog.CHAPTER 69 The warrior who is a man of Dao. By not underestimating the enemy. conducts his art by yielding and uses compassion first. but in his heart he cherishes life too much. namely the Dao. and so he will win. he then takes out his sword. and he would find it hard to take the life of another.
Those that know of the Dao. By holding my treasure in my heart. are just a few. are many. My words are yielding. those that think they know. but yet there is discipline within.CHAPTER 70 My words have ancient and mysterious beginnings. they have no knowledge of the Dao. or tries to practise them. and hold my treasure in my heart. . Yet no man on the Earth and under Heaven knows of them. Therefore I wear simple clothing. Because men do not understand them. I am at one with the Dao. yet they can be easily understood and performed.
In lacking knowledge. But there will always be the intellectuals who will think they know. and obtain the knowledge of the ways of nature. one can obtain a simple and honest heart. . I mean turn away from advancement. so he obtains a good and simple heart. The Sage is sick of dishonesty and desire. one doesn't need too much knowledge. Simply be at one. Living in harmony with nature.CHAPTER 71 In lacking knowledge and desire.
By not changing. and so imbalance will come about. the Dao is furthest from his mind. Therefore the Sage remains at one. disaster will follow. Therefore he lets go of this and chooses that. Be aware of your actions and remain constant. By interfering. By not changing or interfering with the Earth and the Ten Thousand Things. . he lives his life in harmony with nature.CHAPTER 72 When men forget the care of all things in their hearts. When man has lost his way. there is little room for change. he does not upset or cause imbalance. man will not lose his way. Do not interfere or intrude upon others. things change. By being constant.
but hears all.CHAPTER 73 A brave and passionate man will always cause harm to himself or others. Heaven's net is cast wide and although it may be coarse. nothing can slip through. It remains silent. Of these two. Who knows why? Even the Sage is unsure of the workings of Heaven. which is best? Heaven appears unsure and ruthless sometimes. Yet Heaven follows a plan and knows what it is doing. . A brave and calm man will always preserve himself and others.
cunning and intelligence have entered into his heart. Because greed. By having no laws. It is natural for men to kill one another. just the same as it is in every other species. By facing the possibility of death from another. Man in his natural state has a form of justice For if a man commits a crime against another. without any balance. too many advancements. But these are simple. Man has lost his link with nature. and everyone knows their part. go back to simplicity. lust. people have more trust and honour. he kills unnaturally. the victim will go and do battle with this man and even get killed in the process. If the sentence of death is there. envy. who would dare perpetrate a crime? Make life simple. When people are simple and honest. he would rarely take the life of his own kind. if a man commits a crime against you. But in his natural order. he has made too many laws. By watching nature you can see her laws in practice.CHAPTER 74 In nature everything has its own unwritten laws and bars. so his movements are restricted. you have a natural right to try and punish him yourself. justice never seems to be done. who would dare perpetrate a crime? By complicating life and producing too man y laws and procedures. jealousy. is there any need for many laws? .
Be at one with nature. So people become wild and lose any care about what they do. But people find it hard to let go of what they have. but be free. you can free yourself from bondage. Go back to a simple life. By letting go. Why then do people become rebellious? Because governments interfere and have too much control over people's lives. with all her beauty and ugliness. and troubles will be simplified and their solutions more easily found. have nothing. Why do people lose care in their hearts? Because their lives are preyed upon by the rich and the lawmakers. . Therefore people feel frustrated and cheated.CHAPTER 75 Why do people starve to death? Because governments use up all the money in taxes and military operations.
The soft and yielding can overcome the hard and strong. At their death. At his death. he becomes hard and rigid.CHAPTER 76 A man is born to this Earth gentle and weak. Therefore the rigid and unbending are the followers of death. . So when engaged in war. The gentle and flexible are the followers of life. an army without flexibility will never win. Young green plants are tender and supple. they are brittle and dry.
He works without recognition. He does not dwell on things. and achieves his end. and gives to those who already have far too much. The Sage seeks nothing for himself. so this comes naturally. when the string is pulled back.CHAPTER 77 The Dao of Heaven is like a bow. He is at one with the Dao. Man's way is different. he simply gets on with the job. the high is lowered and low is raised. and give to those who do not have enough. Yielding and giving without wanting anything in return. . he takes from those who do not have enough. The Dao of Heaven is to take from those who have far too much.
CHAPTER 78 Under Heaven there is nothing more soft and yielding than water. The supple can overcome the stiff. This seems paradoxical. . one can overcome both. By doing this. By following its example. he can become ruler of the Universe. By being both weak and supple. By being soft and yielding. yet no one ever bothers. there is no better way of attacking the solid and strong. By observing the natural forces everyone can know this. the Sage can take upon himself the troubles of the people. but its true. The weak can overcome the strong.
When they occur some resentment and bad feeling remains. Go with the flow and fulfil your part. When men lack honesty and trust. but a man without virtue is rigid in his desire for others to act. The Sage keeps his word and knows his part. Know your part and keep your word. but does not expect others to fulfil their half. know how to conduct yourself. The Dao of Heaven is impartial and treats all things equally. then all will be well. With virtue a man performs his deed. . quarrels will occur.CHAPTER 79 In the affairs of men. But it remains with good men all the time. The answer lies in people's hearts.
They live in peace and grow old and die in harmony with nature. for they live without interference. and the Ten Thousand Things. But they are not needed. Within the village there are machines that can work ten to a thousand times harder than man. they return to the state of the uncarved block of wood. They remain at one. Being at one they have no need for boats and carriages. So they do not intrude upon their neighbours. They return to craft in place of writing. and too many laws. simple. so they don't display them. . their houses safe and secure. Their time is spent naturally on this occupation. honest and straightforward. In a small village. They use their labour to sow and grow food. Their food is plain but good. The people take death seriously and so they strengthen their bodies. they have no need for weapons. They are happy in their ways. and the Ten Thousand Things. and do not travel great distances. the people work together. They live in harmony with nature. So being in harmony. Being simple and possessing very little.CHAPTER 80 A small village has fewer people. their clothes simple but strong and warm.
The Dao of Heaven is sharp and pointed. he remains open and yielding to all. The Sage never stores things up. beautiful words are not truthful.CHAPTER 81 Truthful words are not necessarily beautiful. the greater his abundance. The more he gives and does for others. The Dao of the Sage is work without interference. but the Sage looks and talks like an idiot to men. That’s why clever men never understand the nature of all things. . For it remains with all good creatures. People always think they know. Those who do. but it does not harm. And very often. are not aware of the nature of all things. but he is enlightened. Those who are enlightened do not argue.
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