THE TAO TE CHING It’s about NOTHING and it is nothing. Nothing is as it seems. Nothing is O it seems. Nothing is AZO it seems. There are many names for NOTHING: TAO, GOD, IT, O, ROUND, GREAT, SMALL, ROOT, GROUND, VOID, SOURCE, CIRCLE, NUIT, HOLY, EVERYTHING. When you look at anything real real real close, you see nothing. It’s always around. “TA” in Chinese means “GREAT”. “TE” MEANS “NATURAL, NATURE, NATURAL POWER, VIRTUE”. “CHING” has many meanings, some being: BOOK, SEED, and “TO TRANSCEND”. Thus the “TAO TE CHING” is TO TRANSCEND THE NATURAL POWER OF THE GREAT O or THE BOOK OF THE GREAT NATURAL O. In order to accept this you have to be able to believe in nothing. The TAO is like a catalyst, it is the “NOTHING” that gives rise to all beings while it itself does not change and remains nothing. The TAO accomplishes all things without holding on to what it has accomplished, and letting go but not abandoning its creation. As promised in the Te-Ching, sooner or later all will be caught in the net of TAO, all will return to this, THE ROOT, THE SOURCE, from which it all started. But not until it gets far out. “T” is ž, the FATHER, the CROSS, + , the EARTH, MATERIAL, BODY, PHYSICAL EXISTENCE. As “YANG” it is the ACTIVE, PENETRATING, MOVING PRINCIPLE, the LINGAM MALE SEX ORGAN. “A” is the SPIRIT, ∆ , AIR, the ANDROGYNOUS FOOL, one centered in TAO between existence and non-existence, the child of Father “T” and Mother “O”, the SUM of 1+ 1 = 0 , the MYSTIC O Formula. “O” is the MOTHER, O , WATER, the “TE”, the PASSIVE “YIN”, YIELDING, RECEPTIVE, UNMOVING PRINCIPLE, the YONI FEMALE SEX ORGAN, NON-EXISTENCE, NOTHING. The love of O’s, to know the O-regions is initiation into TAO. O-PLACES are TAO Places and places AVOIDED by other people. The TAO is found everywhere, even in places loathed by most men. “AZO” is the messenger of TAO. “A” is BRAMA, the CREATOR, the “BULL”. “Z” IS VISHNU, the PRESERVER, and “Z” stands for ZAIN, LOVE, again “THE PRESERVER”. “O” also is SHIVA, the DESTROYER, since to become nothing is to be annihilated. The BULL is sacred to SHIVA, and SHIVA is a form of PAN. A formula for PAN is “IAO”, “I “ being a form of “T” as well as meaning the EGO, the SOUL, and the “SEED”, the “CHING”. Theosophy is the love and study of O’s, THE 0 SOPHY. The TAO, and all other Circle worshipping traditions, are all within The Cult of the Living Bull, an O-CULT under AZO. Every Language has its idiosyncracies. The early “TAO TE CHING” was pre-language, a wordless Te-Ching, then later with the spoken language it devolved/evolved to an ORAL TRADITION with the written word to this. Each language uses its own symbolisms to represent the TAO as best it can. I pronounce “TAO” as T A O, as in “TAIL” and “TALE”, and give it similar meanings. Words that sound alike but spelled differently, such as “whole” and “hole”, can and should be interchanged for further meaning. This should be read on all different levels, and questioned thoroughly. Interchange syllables that sound like “O”, such as “EL”, “OL”, “LE”, “AL”, with “O”, and syllables that sound like “BULL”, such as “BLE”, “BO”, “BEL”, “BOL”, “BOWL”, with “BULL”. To get the best benefit from the TAO TE CHING, keep a journal and continue to revise your understanding of the TAO. I plan to keep revising it myself and maintain a coorespondence through the “TAO COMMENTARIES”. The TAO is both YIN and YANG, MALE and FEMALE, ACTIVE and PASSIVE – a “MARRIAGE” of all opposites, the HEIROGAMOUS. Like sex, it is the coming together of all opposites: A Balance, merger, TO YANG THE YIN AND YIN THE YANG; a blending and a dissolution. The essences blend, vitality is transformed, and the spirit becomes stronger. To the TAOist, nothing is known for certain. Nothing is impossible. Nothing is yours. Nothing is right, nothing is left. The farther you enter into it, the deeper it gets. There is nothing that you need to achieve. Nothing is more manifest than the hidden; Nothing is more obvious than the unseen. TAO is a “DON’T”, not a “DO”. Do Nothing which is of no use. “TAO TE CHING” is a “NOTHING – SOMETHING – TRANSCENDENCE”. It appears to be alot about nothing. There’s nothing to it. Yet it appears to be something. Ain’t this something? You haven’t seen NOTHING yet. STOP AT NOTHING UNTIL ENLIGHTENMENT COMES.


Chapter 1 The TAO that can be told is not the eternal TAO. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The unnamable is the eternally real, the Source, the O-region of heaven and earth. Naming is the mother,


origin, of all worldly, material things. Free from desire, you experience the unknown, the hidden mystery. The Chinese call this MIAO. Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations. Yet mystery and manifestations arise from the same source. This source is called Darkness, darkness within darkness, deeper than deep, mystery of mysteries, and the Gateway to the unknown. There is NOTHING to understand. Therefore the TAOist who has nothing to say remains still. Chapter 2 Nothing exists without the presence of its opposite. When some things are seen as beautiful, ugliness appears. When some things are seen as good, other things become bad. Being and non-being co-create each other. Difficult and easy compliment each other. Long and short define each other. High and low depend on each other. Voices, instruments, and sounds harmonize with one another. Before and after follow each other. YIN and YANG balance each other. Front and back contain each other. Therefore act without doing; teach without talking; let things come as they arise, go when they depart; possess nothing; desire nothing; act without expectation; do not lust for results; let go when the work is done. The TAO is simultaneously changing and unchanging. Chapter 3 By making some people look important, others lose interest. By overvaluing possessions, people begin to steal. Empty the mind, fill the belly; weaken the ambition and strengthen the bones. Know that less is more, and more is less. Decrease the desire for acquiring knowledge and things, and create confusion in those who think that they know -- for those who know do not talk, and those who talk do not know. Practice stillness, NOT-DOING. Everything will find its place. Then nothing is not in order. Chapter 4 The TAO is like a bottomless well: used but never exhausted. It is like the boundless void: nothing will fill it. It is hidden but always present -- thus nowhere and now here. I don't know who first thought of it, it gave birth to itself. It has always been. I can only imagine its existence. The Chinese use the word HSIANG, meaning "The Great Image" of what seems to exist. Chapter 5 The TAO does not take sides -- it gives birth to both good and evil. The TAOist does not take sides, welcoming all without distinctions. As breath of the void the TAO is like a bellows: it is empty yet infinitely full. The more you use it, the more it produces. The more you give up, the more it takes. The more you talk of it, the less you seem to understand. There is no explaining it--exhaustion comes first. It is better to abide in the center.

Chapter 6 The TAO is like the Yoni. As the Great Mother it is empty yet inexhaustible; it gives birth to infinite worlds and nourishes all. Other images of the TAO are: the GROUND, the DARK, the EMPTY, and the SEA, from which all beings emerge into the light of existence. It is the hidden ROOT giving rise to the flower; the flower bears the fruit; the fruit contains the seed; and the seed falls back to the ground, which nourishes the root. In the image of "returning to the root", one attains quietude, tranquillity, rest. All beings must return to this center in order to be re-invigorated, recharged for re-emergence into life. "THE QUIET" is the Root, as with STILLNESS. The root being quiet, tender, humble and lowly, does not die,


and is everlasting. To recover life means to be deathless, immortal. This is the everlasting path of the TAO. Everything upon perishing withdraws into its root. The whole world returns to TAO as its root, in which the many become one. This withdrawal is the individual's recovery of the everlasting “returning” to the root. One recovers life, attaining the everlasting, which brings illumination. The TAO is always present within you. You can use it any way you want. Chapter 7 The TAO is infinite, eternal. Why is it eternal? Nothing lasts forever. It was never born; thus it can never die. Why is it infinite? It has no desires for itself, its work is never done. It is present for all beings -- a precious present. By staying behind, you will keep ahead. By being detached from all things, you remain one with them. By letting go you are perfectly fulfilled. By being here, now, you are always at home. Chapter 8 Nothing compares with the TAO. A good image for the TAO is water, which nourishes all things unconditionally, without effort, without competing. It settles in low places and places that many detest. The word for "avoid" in Chinese is "O"; The TAO is found in the O-places, O-cults, and all circle worshipping traditions. In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, be simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. The TAOist flows with and in the TAO, draws from the TAO and shares it all -- knowing that it is inexhaustible, as water from a deep well. The TAO benefits everyone it touches. Be content to be simply yourself. Don't compare or compete and no one will compete with you. The true fulfillment of the self is through fulfilling others. The TAO manifests through the TAOist. LOVE SERVE REMEMBER CHOP-WOOD CARRY-WATER Chapter 9 Take Nothing to excess. Do not stretch your limits. Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your blade and it will blunt. Chase after security, sensation, and power and you'll never know serenity, love, or content. Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law. Love Is The Law, Love Under Will. Know your Will, do your Will, follow your Bliss. The joy is in the working. And when the work is done, let it go--the only way to true satisfaction. Know your limits, learn moderation. To exceed beyond a natural limit will weaken or destroy the efficient usefulness. Don't tempt the gods. Know when to quit. The four seasons rotate, each, when its work is done, moves on. Beware of the edge.

Chapter 10 Can you coax your mind from its wandering and keep to the original oneness? Find your circle and be still in the center? Banish all unwanted energies from your environment and allow only life enhancing energies to flow in and out, to and fro? Breathe naturally like a bellows in accord with the TAO? Be supple, Yielding, aware like a NU-Born babe? Can you cleanse your inner vision so that you reflect clearly what you see, seeing nothing but the light? TZ'U means Motherly Love, Compassion. Can you love others with this care, and guide them without resorting to knowledge, force, or imposing your will? Can you deal with the most vital matters without involvement, by letting events take their course? Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things? Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, guiding and not trying to control: This is the supreme power.


Chapter 11 We join spokes together to make a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes it useful. We shape clay to make a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that makes it useful. We join wood together to make a house, but it is the inner space, the cut-out doors and windows, that make it livable, and thus useful. We concentrate on being, but it is non-being that gives us life and makes us useful. Having something is beneficial; having nothing is useful. "O" - it's the hole thing that makes all things useful. The usefulness of a being is measured by how much non-being is contained in it. Chapter 12 Colors blind the eye. Sounds deafen the ear. Flavors numb the taste. Thoughts weaken the mind. Desires wither the heart. Obsessions possess the mind, enslave the self. Thus the TAOist is for the belly, not the eyes. Thus while observing the world, see it as it is. Trust your intuition. Keep your heart open. Follow, follow your heart -Deep in your heart, you know the way home. Chapter 13 Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear. What does it mean that success is as dangerous as failure? Whether you go up the ladder or down it, your position is shaky. When you stand with your two feet on the ground, you will always keep your balance. What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear? Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. When we don't see the self as self, what do we have to fear? See your self as the world; see the world as your self. When you love the world as your self, then you can care for all things. Be content with the way things are. When all that you see, you see with love, then all that you love, soon will you see. By identifying one's body with the body of the universe, the limitations of the individual body are transcended. This is Moksha. Chapter 14 Look! and it can't be seen. Listen! and it can't be heard. Reach! and it can't be grasped. See nothing, hear nothing, grasp nothing. High, it isn't bright. Low, it isn't dark. Seamless, indefinable, continuous and unceasing. It originates from and returns to the realm of nothing. Formless form that includes all forms; image without an image. A clear slate. Subtle, beyond all conception. Illusive and evasive. Approach it and there is no beginning; follow it and there is no end. You can't know it, but you can be it, at ease in your own life. Just realize where you come: this is the essence of wisdom. Find the thread of TAO and hold on to it. Obvious, present, always around. Nothing is the key.

Chapter 15 The ancient TAOists are as profound, subtle and mysterious as the TAO. Their wisdom is unfathomable. As with the TAO, they can only be described by means of images. They are careful as one crossing an iced-over stream; alert as a warrior in enemy territory; courteous and respectful as a guest; fluid as melting ice; shapable as an uncarved block of wood; chameleon-like, able to change their mask in accordance with the occasion; receptive as a valley; clear as a glass of pure water; sublime, obscure, and penetrating. Do you have the patience to wait untill the mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself? The TAOist does not seek to be filled nor exhausted. Not seeking, not expecting, not lusting for results; always present, able to welcome all; transparent, genuine, tranquil and quiet, laying low and making no ripples in the environment. By knowing how to retreat, when to rest, when to withdraw from the activity of the world, to shut-down and return to the dynamic still point for self-regeneration. The TAOist attitude is one of reverence and circumspection. The rhythm of retreat and clarification readjusts the balance and brings about harmony in the world. The TAO unites the world into one whole. All has the TAO in common. Know when to holdup. Know when to fold-up. Know when to walk away. Know when to run. Chatper 16


Do your uttermost to attain emptiness. Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace; your body still. Watch the turmoil of beings, and contemplate their return. Each separate being in the universe eventually returns to the common source, the root, the center. Returning to the source is serenity, peace, stillness, contentment, being "centered", knowing the "constant", fulfilling your destiny, merging with the eternal, renewal of fate, obtaining insight. If you don't realize the source, you stumble in confusion and sorrow, experience the hell-worlds, become reckless. When you realize from where you come, you naturally become tolerant, integral, open, fearless, amused, genuine, kindhearted, whole, dignified, renewed, and connected with the immortals. Immersed in the wonder of the TAO, you can deal (DEO) safely with whatever life brings you, and if death comes, you go. Chapter 17 The best human government blends with the government of nature. Human society forms one body with the great body of the universe. There is no telling where one begins and the other ends. When the TAOist governs, the people are barely aware that he exists (inobtusive government). Next best is a leader who is loved. Next, one who is feared (oppressive government). The worst is one who is despised and ridiculed. One-of-TAO governs by silently performing his tasks and settling his affairs. The common people say: "These things happen naturally", or "We do it all by ourselves". Chapter 18 When the TAO is forgotten, humanity, goodness, righteousness, and piety appear. When the body's intelligence declines, cleverness and knowledge manifests. When there is no peace in the family, filial piety and parental love begins. The country falls into chaos and confusion, patriotism is born. When virtue is perfect and rooted in TAO, it is called "Nature" (TE). When nature opens and becomes conscious , it is called "Virtue". So-called "progress", from nature to virtue, is a movement toward strife, not peace. Chapter 19 Throw away holiness, knowledge, and virtue, and people will be a hundred times happier. Throw away morality, righteousness, and humanity, and people will do the right thing. Throw away industry and profit, and there won't be any thieves. If these three aren't enough, just stay in the center and let all things take their course. (COURSE - O = CURSE; CURSE + O = COURSE)

Chapter 20 Watch, choose, still your thoughts, and end your problems. What difference between YES and NO? What difference between SUCCESS and FAILURE? Must you value what others value? Avoid what others avoid? How ridiculous! Other people are excited, as though they were at a parade. I alone don't care. Tranquil and quiet, I am expressionless, bearing and accepting whatever happens, like an infant before it first smiles. Other people have what they need; I alone possess nothing. I alone drift about, like someone without a home. I am like a fool, my mind is so empty. Other people are bright, I alone am dark. Other people are sharp, complicated and discerning; I alone am simple and dull. Other people follow the right path. I follow the one that's left. I drift like a wave on the ocean; I wander aimlessly as the wind. When hungry I eat. When tired I sleep. Chop wood, carry water. I am different from ordinary people. I drink from the great mother's breast. Chapter 21 Keep your mind always at one with the TAO. This will give you radiance. The TAO is ungraspable. How can you keep your mind at one with it? By not clinging to your thoughts. The TAO is dark and unfathomable. How can it make you radiant? Because you let it. Since before time and space were, the


TAO is. It is beyond IS and IS NOT. How do I know this is true? Because it is within me. The TAO connects me to the web of the past ancestors and future progeny. Chapter 22 Know how to fall before you fly. Yield if you want to remain whole and intact. Bend if you want to become straight. Empty if you want to be filled. Die if you want to be reborn. Give if you want to receive. Run down, get down, if you want to be recharged. The TAOist, by residing in the TAO, is an example for all beings. Enlightened, he does not display himself. He has nothing to prove. People trust him. He does not compete. People do not fear him. People recognize themselves in him. He has no expectations. He does not seek rewards, recognition, or results. Therefore everything he does succeeds. Even failure is looked at as a learning. Getting older is a new experience for him, and thus he remains always young. When the ancient TAOists said: "If you want to be given everything, give everything up", they weren't using empty phrases. Only in being lived by the TAO can you be truly yourself. Chapter 23 Be like the forces of nature--express yourself completely, do your work, then keep quiet, let it go. KNOW--WILL--DARE--BE SILENT. The works and actions of heaven and earth are only transitory. How much more so are the works of humans? If you open yourself to the TAO, you are at one with the TAO, and you can embody it completely. If you open yourself to nature, you are at one with nature and you can use it completely. If you open yourself to loss, you are at one with loss, and you can accept it completely, and thus gain. Open yourself to the TAO. Trust your natural responses, everything will settle into place. He who has TAO has all things naturally disposed; his own failure creates the illusion of general failure. The "works" of heaven and earth, and consequently even man, do not last long, and are thus transient. NOTHING LASTS FOREVER. The TAO lasts forever, and hence is not a work of man, earth, or of heaven, but precedes all. The O-region of all and the predecessor, ancestor, originator of all. AWEsome!

Chapter 24 One who stands on tiptoe doesn't stand firm. One who straddles doesn't get around. One who tries to shine dims his own light. He who defines himself can't know who he truly is. He who has power over others can't empower himself: he soon learns that the "other" is his self. He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures. Because the TAO is in the smallest of things, it may be called small, humble, insignificant, infinitesimal. The TAOist who is in everyone is thus modest and humble. Because the TAO is in the greatest and largest of things, it may be called great, infinite, unbounded. Thus the TAOist knows he is part of everything and hence has great strength. Because the TAO exists through all time: past, present, and future, it may be called eternal, always, forevermore, the beginning and the end, constant, the alpha and the omega, AO, AZ, AZO. The TAOist thus endures, being everywhere always, living immortality, and can not fear death. Chapter 25 There was nothing formless and perfect, balanced but not ordered, chaos from which something was formed; born before earth and heaven. It is serene, hollow, pure, and deep; quiet and still; solitary, unchanging, infinite, eternally present. It is the mother and father of the universe. For lack of a name, I call it the "TAO", "it", the "nameless". It flows through all things, inside and outside, far and near, involve and revolve; departing, going far away, hither and thither, and returning to itself, to the origin of all things. The TAO is great. The universe is great, earth is great, man is great. These are the four great


powers. Man follows the earth; earth follows the universe; the universe follows the TAO; the TAO follows only itself. Nothing significant. Chapter 26 The heavy is the reason for the light. The still is the source of all movement. Thus I travel all day without leaving home. However splendid the views, I stay serenely in myself. Why should the master of the temple flit about like a fool? If you let yourself be swayed to and fro, you lose touch with your root. If you let restlessness move you, you lose touch with your center. If we depart from the TAO, we become engaged in futile activities which lead to nowhere, and we find ourselves in the abyss of Choronzon, the demon of dispersion. One cut-off from the holy TAO courts death, and will soon come to an early end. Chapter 27 A good traveler leaves no tracks. A good speaker makes no slips or errors. A good counter needs no aids or machines. A good locksmith uses no bolts or keys, yet no one can open. A good binder uses no ropes or cords, yet no one can loosen. Be always available and don't reject anyone. Everything has meaning. Be ready to use all situations and don't waste anything. This is called "embodying the light". What is a good man but a bad man's teacher? What is a bad man but a good man's job? If you don't understand this, you will get lost, however intelligent you are. It is a great secret. The wise leave the road and find the way; fools cling to the way and lose the road. When society is orderly, a fool alone cannot disturb it; when society is chaotic, a sage alone cannot bring order.

Chapter 28 Know the male, hold on to the female. The world will come to you. When you receive the world, your essence will not leave. And when your essence doesn't leave, you'll be like a vigorous child. Know the pure, keep to the soiled. Be the life of the world. When you're the life of the world, your vitality is complete. You'll be like uncarved wood, and return to your prime-0 self. Know the white, keep to the black. Be the mod-0 of the world. Your spirit will not stray. And when your spirit does not stray, there will be nothing for you to do. You will be without limit like the TAO. Essence, Vitality, and Spirit, the three treasures of the TAOist. All things are formed from the void, like carvings from a block of wood. The TAOist knows the sculptures, yet keeps to the block: thus he can produce all things. Keep your mind like the uncarved block of wood: unattached, empty mindfulness. Chapter 29 Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. The world is sacred--it can't be improved. If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it. Learn the flow. There is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind; a time for being in motion, a time for being at rest; a time for growing strong, a time for decay; a time for going up, a time for going down. See things as they are without trying to control them. Let them go their own natural way, and reside in the center. Avoid all extremes, excesses, and extravagances. Chapter 30 Force is not needed to achieve a result. Using force, arms, weapons, or violence always rebounds. For every force there is a counterforce. Disasters have a way of perpetuating themselves through a chain of reactions. Do the job, stop, and let it go. Understand that the universe is forever out of control. Trying to


dominate or force events goes against the current of the TAO. Believe in yourself--there is no need to convince others. Content, you do not need others' approval. By accepting yourself, you accept whatever outcome results. Thus the whole world accepts you. Understand the law of balance, the working of karma, the law of necessity, the law of natural growth, and learn to flow with what is. Fight only when necessary, and then strike decisively and completely to eliminate all risk of further trouble. Don't be concerned with success, glory, pride, ambition, or hatred, but be concerned with efficiently protecting your own space without the desire to dominate or conquer another. What is not one with the TAO soon ends, and soon returns to TAO. Chapter 31 Weapons are the tools of violence; all decent men detest them as implements of ill omen, instruments of evil and death.Weapons are the tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the uttermost restraint. Peace, wholeness, and life are his highest values. If the peace has been shattered, how can one be content? Your enemies are not demons, but human beings like yourself. Do not wish them personal harm, nor rejoice in victory. How can one rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men? Enter a battle gravely, with sorrow and with great compassion, as if you were attending a funeral. Most battles are fought to defend what is thought right. These are the right-path people. I, who follow the only path that's left, fight when it is my only choice.

Chapter 32 The everlasting TAO can't be perceived, only imagined. As Hadit it is an infinitely small point. Yet as Nuit it contains uncountable galaxies, and is infinitely large and unbounded. It encompasses and penetrates all things. Balanced Yin and Yang. Active passivity. Passive action. If magnetic men and women would abide by and remain centered in the TAO, others will follow, and all things would be in harmony. Their world would become a paradise. Those people would be at peace, and the LAW would be written in their hearts. When you have names and forms, know that they are provisional. When you have institutions, know where their functions should end. Knowing when to stop, you can avoid exhaustion. All things end in the TAO as rivers flow into the sea. Primal simplicity, the TAO is equal to nothing. It is the center in which all can find comfort and guidance. Lovers unite---become complete and content sending forth sweet dew to nourish and sustain all. Chapter 33 Knowing others is intelligence. Being yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich. One who perseveres has will power. If you hold to the center and face death without fear, you will endure a long time. To not lose your place is to last long. To die and not be forgotten--that's true long life. Chapter 34 The great universe 0 TAO flows everywhere. This way and that way; in and out; to and fro; up and down; clockwise and counter-clockwise; being and non-being; knowing and unknowing; rise and fall. All things are born from it, yet it does not create them. It pours itself into its work, yet it makes no claim. It nourishes infinite worlds, and all beings, yet it does not reject or hold on to them. Since it is merged with all things, and hidden in their cores, it can be called humble, or small. Nothing is as small as the TAO. Since all things vanish into it, and it alone endures, it can be called Great. Nothing is as great as the TAO. The TAO is not aware of its greatness. Thus it is truly great. It is lord over nothing.


Chapter 35 Those who are centered in the TAO, those who hold the great image, can go where they wish without fear or danger. They perceive the universal harmony, even amid great pain, because they have found peace in their core. Others will be attracted to their presence, finding peace, contentment, ease, repose, comfort, security, and joy. Music or the smell of good food may lure people to stop and take interest, but words that point to the TAO seem monotonous and without flavor, boring, bland and stale, harsh and insipid. When you look for it there is nothing to see. When you listen for it, there is nothing to hear. But when you use it, it is inexhaustible. It is this eternal quality, this "holding power", that eventually returns the seeker back to the TAO. Chapter 36 In order to inhale, you must first exhale. In order to soften something, you must first make it hard. In order to knock something down, you must first raise it up. If you want to shrink something, you must first allow it to expand. If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to exist. If you want to take something, you must first allow it to be given. In order to empty something, you must first allow it to be filled. This is called the subtle perception of the way things are. The soft and weak overcomes the hard and strong. The slow overcomes the fast. Conceal your tools and let your workings be a mystery. The joy is in the working, and the results will speak for themselves.

Chapter 37 The TAO never does anything, primal simplicity, no name, no purpose, silent, secret, and at ease. Yet through it, all things are done. If influential men and women could abide by it and center themselves, the whole world would be transformed by itself, in its natural rhythms. People would be content with their simple everyday lives, in harmony and free of uncontrolled desire. When there are no compelling expectations all things are at peace. When people are willing, and able, not forced, to live with primal simplicity, first-level logic, they'll understand TAO. They'll live in harmony and peace with nature and their needs. They will not be controlled, driven crazy, by their desires or expectations. Chapter 38 Dwell in the reality of nature. One of TAO does not try to be powerful, thus one is truly powerful. Those who keep grasping for power never have enough. One living in harmony with nature does nothing, yet leaves nothing undone. Others are always doing things, yet many more things are left to be done. The kind man does something, yet something remains undone. The just man does something, and leaves many things done. The moral man does something, and when no one responds, he bares his arms and threatens to use force. Those who try to be kind, just, righteous, moral, humanitarian, expect or demand from others to do the same. Some can not tolerate others from violating their golden rules. When the TAO is lost there is goodness, righteousness, virtue. When virtue is lost, there is morality. When morality is lost, there is humanity. When humanity is lost, there is ritual. Ritual is the husk of true faith and loyalty, the beginning of chaos, confusion, disorder. Therefore be concerned with the depths and not the surface, with the kernel and not the husk, with the inner and not the outer, with this and not that, with the cause and not the effect. See the Big Picture. The TAOist's will is one with the TAO. He dwells in reality and lets all illusions go. Chapter 39 When one is in harmony with the TAO, attaining the One, the sky is clear and spacious, heaven exists; the earth is complete and full, peaceful and stable; the gods and spirits have influence, are known, and empowered; all creatures flourish together, content with the way things are, endlessly repeating themselves, endlessly renewed; rulers, though inconspicuous, have much power and are not seen. When one is disconnected from the TAO, the center is lost; the sky becomes filthy; the earth becomes depleted, polluted, ravaged, broken, unstable; heaven disappears and is forgotten; the equilibrium crumbles; the


gods and spirits become impotent, unknown, and forgotten; creatures become extinct; rulers appear, however they have no power. The TAOists view the parts with compassion, because they understand the whole. Their constant practice is humility. They do not glitter like a jewel, but allow themselves to be shaped by the TAO, as rugged and common as a stone, appearing inconspicuous and good for nothing. They are left alone. The noble ones realize themselves to be helpless, insignificant, worth nothing, AZO's, fameless, virtueless. They realize their dependence upon the lowly. Chapter 40 Returning is the movement of the TAO. Yielding is the way of the TAO. All things are born of being. Being is born of non-being. When nothing moves, we have stillness. When nothing is still, we have movement. Be still, and know.

Chapter 41 When a simple man hears of the TAO, he immediately begins to embody it. When a worldly man hears of the TAO, he half believes it, half doubts it, and soon forgets. When a foolish man hears of the TAO, he laughs out loud. If he didn't laugh, it wouldn't be the TAO.The path into the light seems dark and heavy; the path forward seems to go back; the direct path seems long; the smooth path seems rough; the straight path seems crooked; true power seems weak; true purity seems tarnished; the steadfastness seems changeable; true clarity seems obscure; the greatest art seems unsophisticated; the greatest love seems indifferent; the greatest wisdom seems childish. The TAO is nowhere to be found, yet it nourishes and fulfills all beings. The summit is a valley; wealth appears as poverty; stability is change; fullness appears void; its noise is silence; exposed it remains concealed; going far is to return; as ONE it appears as many; as none it appears as ONE; serious it seems to be a joke; the peaceful path seems scarey, wrought with danger; real it appears unreal; its form is without form; its beauty appears bland. To the ignorant person, the dark, weak, passive, "nothing" nature of the TAO appears as imperfections, a lack of power, and a lack of existence; hence, a reason for scorn and ridicule. The humble qualities of TAO protect it, and the TAOist, from abuse. The TAO at its brightest is obscure. Who advanceth in that way, retireth. Chapter 42 The TAO gives birth to ONE. ONE gives birth to TWO. TWO gives birth to THREE. From THREE comes all the rest. All things carry the yin on their backs and embrace the yang up front. When yin and yang combine, all things achieve harmony. Ordinary men avoid solitude, but the TAOist makes it his ally. By realizing that he is one with the whole universe, the TAOist embraces his aloneness, and learns how to use it. Humble, he finds joy in humility, which brings peace, protection, and long life. Understanding solitude, the TAOist needs nothing. The universe becomes his real parents and provides for all his needs. He does not mind appearing desolate and hapless. To him, getting more is losing and letting go is gaining; more is less, less is more. Play "good games" knowing that those who live aggressively and violently are already unnaturally dead. By knowing how to balance, the Taoist yangs the yin and yins the yang. The yin and the yang are the prime O forces that harmonize all. Chapter 43 The soft overcomes the hard. The gentlest thing in the world overcomes the hardest thing in the world. That which has no substance, the insubstantial, the nothing, penetrates where there is no space, no openings. This shows the value of non-action, of inertia. Teaching while saying nothing; action in inaction, inaction in action; selfless service; non-being in action – that is the way of the TAOist.


Chapter 44 Fame or integrity: which is more important? Money or happiness: which is more valuable? Success or failure; gain or loss: which is more destructive? Pleasure or health; which is more rewarding? if you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Without health, life is painful and brief. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. Success and failure are irrelevant to the TAOist. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. To live humbly, to be at peace with oneself and the rest of the world, to not squander life's energies, are ways to long life.

Chapter 45 True perfection seems imperfect, yet it is perfectly itself; it's use is unending. True fullness seems empty, yet it is fully present; its use is inexhaustible. True straightness seems crooked. True wisdom seems foolish. True art seems artless. Great skill seems awkward. Allow things to happen and accept events as they come. The TAO needs nothing to be the TAO. Movement overcomes cold; stillness overcomes heat. Be tranquil and know harmony and beauty. Be lord of the empire. Chapter 46 The greatest path is the one you are on. When a country is in harmony with the TAO, the people live in harmony with nature and work together in cooperation to satisfy their needs, being mostly concerned with survival and shelter. When a country goes counter to the TAO, people live in strife and fear, mistrust, and paranoia, creating war-machines and weapons designed for death and destruction. Force is used to control them. There is no greater illusion than fear. Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe. There is no greater waste than preparing to defend yourself, no greater misfortune than having an enemy. There is no evil worse than ambition, no misery worse than discontent. Contentment that derives from knowing when to be content is eternal contentment. Only he who knows what is enough will always have enough. There is no crime greater than greed, no worry greater than being covetous, no work worse than doing another's will and even worse being "forced" to do it. All religions see desire or craving as the root of suffering and an obstacle to union with the devine. Chapter 47 Without opening your door, you can know the whole world. Without looking out your window, you can see the essence of the TAO. The farther you go, the less you know. The more you seek to know, the less you understand. Arrive without leaving, see without looking, achieve without doing a thing. Not restless, be content and at peace with the world. Chapter 48 In the pursuit of knowledge, more and more something is added. In the practice of the TAO, more and more something is dropped, until nothing is left to know. Thus I say: "more is less and less is more"; and call this "experiencing the light". Less and less do you need to force things, until you arrive at nonaction. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone. True mastery can be gained by letting things go their own way. It can't be gained by interfering. It is always through not meddling that the empire is won. Always take the empire when there are no businesses. If there are businesses, it is not worthwhile to take the empire. When one returns to TAO, the world also returns to TAO. If God's process of making the world is creation, our process of going back to God is uncreation. The TAOist world is alive and selfregulating without humans meddling with it to increase the amount of business in it.


Chapter 49 Have no set mind of your own. Know that thoughts are not yours, that they just flow through you. Therefore do not reject them, nor get attached to them. Let your mind be one with the mind of the people; take their interests as your own. See good in people who are good. Also see good in people who are not good. This is natural goodness. Trust people who are trustworthy. Also trust people who are not trustworthy, this is natural trust. The mind of the TAOist seems permeable, subtle, like pure space. People don't understand him. They look to him and wait. He treats them like his own children. To be of service, choose to adopt the interests, desires, and wills of those around you. Like nature, be good to and trust everyone unconditionally. Encourage them all to seek and follow their own wills.

Chapter 50 Give yourself up to whatever the moment brings. Know that eventually you are going to die, that there is nothing left to hold on to: no illusions in the mind, no resistances in the body. Don't think about your actions; they flow from the core of your being. Hold nothing back from life; thus you are ready for death, as one is ready for sleep after a good day's work. Merge with the unceasing life-producing activity. One who knows how to nourish life has no place for death, is immortal, immune to life-threatening fears. On the road, in the wilds, on the battlefield, you will not experience any danger. A wild buffalo has nowhere to butt its horns. A tiger has nowhere to sink its claws. A weapon has nowhere to enter its blade. There is no room for death in you. Chapter 51 All is an expression of the TAO, which gives birth to every being, nourishes it, develops it, sustains it, and maintains it, cares for it, comforts it, protects it, ripens it, takes it back to itself, creating without possessing, acting without expecting, guiding without interfering. TAO gives them life, nature (Te) nourishes them, things shape them, circumstances perfect them, and all return back to TAO. That is why love of the TAO is in the very nature of things, and will ever be a natural mystery. The TAOist affirms: "thanks for everything. I have no complaints whatsoever." Chapter 52 In the beginning is the TAO. All things issue from it; as the all-begetter it is pangenator. All things return to it. As the all-devourer it is panphage. As progenator, the beginning of the world, it is referred to as the origin, the o-region, and as the mother. To find the mother, trace back through the manifestations, the children. And when you recognize and know the children, you will find and know the mother. By abiding in her nature, you will be free of sorrow and danger, even at the loss of your body. If you close your mind in judgments and swirl with desires, your heart will be troubled. If you keep your mind from judging and aren't led by the senses, your heart will find peace. Thus I say: “block the openings, shut the doors -- you will endure. Open the openings, increase your activities, to the end of your days you will be depleted, helpless, and beyond salvation." Seeing into darkness is clarity. Seeing the small is insight. Knowing how to yield is strength. Use your own light, your intuition, and return to the source of light. Avoid the perilous, calamities, and misfortune. This is called "practicing eternity", "cultivating the changeless", "following the constant", the "everlasting", and "the perpetual". Simply stated: use your mind but rely on your intuition. Don't take chances nor risk your life. You'll live longer. The conscious mind, cut-off from the life-sustaining unconscious, quickly perishes. Chapter 53 The TAO is easy, yet people prefer other paths. Be aware when things are out of balance. Stay centered within the TAO. When rich spectators prosper, while farmers lose their land, the fields become weedy, and graneries empty. When government officials spend money on weapons instead of cures, when the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible, while the poor have nowhere to turn, all this is robbery and chaos. It is not keeping with the TAO.


Chapter 54 Offering yourself to the TAO is the supreme self-sacrifice. Start with yourself and the rest will follow. Whoever is planted in the Tao T-Ching will not be uprooted. Whoever embraces the TAO will not slip away. Their presence will be like as a shrine for the Ancestors, and from generation to generation they shall be honored by our practicing and keeping alive the Tao T-Chings. Let the TAO be present in your life and you will become genuine, peaceful, happy, and prosperous. Let it be present in your family and your family will flourish. Let it be present in your village and your village will become strong. In your state, the state will become abundant. Let it be present in your country, and your country will prosper and be an example to all the countries in the world. In the world, and it will become universal. Let it be present in the universe, and the universe will prevail. The universe will sing. To cultivate the TAO is to weed out the superfluous stuff. This is the duty of The O-cult, restoring the esssential nothing, the essence-O te. Cultivate TAO in yourself, in your family, in your friends, in your community, in your state, in your country, in your culture, in your world, in your universe, and all will flourish with peace, prosperity, and longevity. To the extent that any of these part from the TAO, chaos will reign in their life experience. Not recognizing the TAO in your life is your delusion from reality, and is directly proportional to your problems to get back to center. See a person as a person, a family as a family, a village as a village, a state as a state, a country as a country, a world as a world, and a universe as a universe, to know how each is in the flow of the Tao Te Ching. A genuine person is straight-forward. He has nothing to hide, nothing to reveal, and nothing to defend. How do I know this is true? By what is within me. This is true Intuition. Chapter 55 One who is in harmony with the TAO is like a newborn child: full of vitality, virility, natural, without fear, not knowing danger, protected, safe from insects, snakes, beasts, and birds of prey. A baby`s bones are soft and its muscles are weak, but its grip is firm. It doesn`t know about the union of male and female, yet its sex organs are active. So intense is its vital power. It can scream its head off all day, yet it never becomes hoarse, so connected is its life force. The TAOists` power is like this. They let things come and go; effortlessly, without desire. They never expect results, and thus they`re never disappointed, and their spirit never grows old. To know harmony is to know the eternal; to know the eternal is to have insight. To improve upon life is ominous. To control the life breath (ch`i) by the mind is aggressiveness, or being forceful. When one is too aggressive, things decay. This is non-TAO. Non-TAO soon ends. To know TAO is to know harmony, to know the changeless, the eternal, everlasting, the constant. This brings insight, intuition, and illumination. Chapter 56 Those who know TAO don`t say that they know. The TAO cannot be told. Those who say that they know don`t know. Therefore I say: "those who know don`t say. those who say don`t know." Be still. Block all the openings, close all the doors. Mouth closed, senses blocked. Blunt your sharpness. Loosen, untangle the knots, soften the glare, subdue the bright, harmonize the lights. Settle the dust. Unite the world into one whole. This is "primal identity", "the mystical identity", "the Mystical whole". Be like the TAO, it can`t be grasped nor rejected, benefited or harmed, nor can it be understood or conquered, honored or brought into disgrace. It is always available. It gives freely, unconditionally. That is why it endures, and why the TAO is valued and respected. The TAO blends all in its own nothingness. We all have nothing in common. It is the ground of our being.


Chapter 57 If you want to be a great leader, you must learn to follow the TAO. Be normal. stop trying to control. Let go of fixed plans and concepts, and the world will govern itself. The word for sin is restriction. The more restrictions you have, the less natural people will be. The more weapons you have, the less secure people will be. The more subsidies you have, the less self-reliant people will be. Therefore let go of the restrictions and people will become freer and genuine. Let go of economics and people will become prosperous. Practice TAO and encourage centering and people will become serene. Let go of all desire, addictions, cravings, attachments, and ambitions and the people will return to simplicity. Let go of control and the people will learn to control themselves. By virtue of the law of karma, choice and responsibility become the teachers. Chapter 58 If a country is governed with tolerance, the people are comfortable and genuine. If a country is governed with repression, the people are depressed, cunning, and deceptive. When the will to power is in charge, the higher the ideals, the lower the results. Try to make people happy, and you lay the groundwork for misery. Try to make people moral, and you lay the groundwork for vice. Be content to serve as an example, and not to impose your will. Be pointed, but don`t pierce; strait-forward, but supple; radiant, but easy on the eyes. The government that governs least governs best. A wily government produces wily people, producing waste, corruption, pollution. Discontent breeds discontent. Competition, envy, struggle tends to deplete natural goodness, and increases the development of wily intelligence. Chapter 59 For governing people and your self, nothing works as well as moderation, being sparing and adhering to the TAO. The mark of a moderate person is one having freedom from his own thoughts, being allencompassing like the sky, impartial like the sunlight, firm and stable like a mountain, supple like a tree in the wind. He has no destination in view, and makes use of anything life happens to bring his way. Anything is possible for him. Because he has let go, he can care for the people`s welfare as a mother cares for her child. This quality the chinese call "tz`u"` meaning motherly love, compassion. To be sparing is called frugality. By adhering to the TAO one is connected to the unlimited life force, heavy with accumulated te. Being connected to te, one is filled with energy and hence well nourished. To be deeply rooted and firmly planted in TAO, well connected to and strongly nourished in te, is the way to long life and enduring vision. Chapter 60 Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. Little fuss is as effective as alot of fuss. So why fuss? Center your country in the TAO and evil will have no power. Not that it isn`t there, but you`ll be able to step out of its way, or it will avoid you. Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself. There is a fundamental harmony between the visible and the invisible shadow world. The demonic powers of spirits and ghosts become destructive only when one does not abide by the TAO. When TAO prevails in the world, all harm is removed. Beings of different planes of existence will vibrate sympathetically to one another.


Chapter 61 When a country obtains great power, it becomes like the ocean: all streams flow downward into it. The more powerful it grows, the greater the need for humility. Humility means trusting the TAO, thus never needing to be defensive. A great nation is like a Great man: when he makes a mistake, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the Shadow that he himself casts. If a nation is centered in the TAO, if it nourishes its own people and doesn`t meddle in the affairs of others, it will be a light, a beacon, to all nations in the world. A large country naturally overpowers a small country. To make this harmless, a large country plays the role of the female, winning by being receptive. A small country, naturally overpowered by a large country, maintains its existence by playing the role of the courting male. If relationships between large and small countries can be like relationships between female and male, a mutually enhancing experience producing peace and harmony will exist. The larger country offers protection and allows the smaller country to survive. In return, the larger country is receptive to the tributes it receives from the smaller country. The smaller country pays tributes to the larger. Observing nature; the rivers and streams need a place to flow into. The sea serves that function of reception. It cannot be filled nor emptied. The sea with sun and wind returns the water back to the land through the rain process. The TAO is the hidden reservoir of all things. Chapter 62 The TAO is the center of the universe, which is everywhere and nowhere. Everything revolves around it. It is the good man’s inexhaustible treasure, the bad man’s refuge. Honors can be bought with fine words. Respect can be won with good deeds, but the TAO is beyond all value, and no one can achieve it. Thus, when a new leader appears, don’t offer to help with your wealth or your expertise, offer instead to teach about the TAO. Why did the ancestors cherish the TAO? Because being ONE with the TAO, when you seek, you find; and when you make a mistake, you are forgiven. That is why those who know love it. It is a most valued treasure to the world. The TAO accepts and saves ALL unconditionally. The goal of the TAO Te Ching is indeed the kingdom of TAO on earth. In the legitimization of political power, the presentation of the truth of TAO takes precedence over all the other rituals. Chapter 63 Act selflessly without doing, without lust for results. Work without effort, without anxiety. Think of the small as large, and the few as many. Confront the difficult while it is still easy. Accomplish the great work by a series of small acts. The master never reaches for the great; thus he achieves greatness. When he runs into a difficulty, he stops and gives himself to it. He doesn't cling to his own comfort; thus problems are no problem for him. Repel violence with gentleness and doing good. Requite injury with natural effectiveness. Nature, te, is not conscious of goodness, nor does it design retaliation. It does what it has to do. Nip troubles in the bud. Difficult things of the world can be handled when they are easy. Big things of the world can only be achieved by attending to their small beginnings. Thus you never have to grapple with big things, though yet are capable of achieving them. One who thinks everything easy will end by finding everything difficult. Therefore, one who regards everything as difficult meets with no difficulties in the end. He who makes promises lightly seldom keeps his words. He who takes much to be easy finds much to be difficult. Plan the difficult while it is easy. Accomplish the great when it is small. Once events become full grown they become intractable. The key to the future is keeping watch over the initial state of things. By paying attention to the crucial initial moments, one would have little to do, since problems have not arisen -- the conditions that produce the problems have not arisen. Manage affairs when there are none to manage. Know by not knowing. Regard the great as small, the much as little. Do that which consists in taking no action. Pursue that which is not meddlesome. Savor that which has no flavor.


Chapter 64 What is at rest is easy to hold. What is rooted is easy to nourish. What is recent is easy to correct. What is brittle is easy to break. What is small is easy to scatter. Prevent trouble before it arises. Put things in order before they exist. Cultivate peace and order before confusion and disorder have set in. The giant tree grows from a tiny sprout. A great project begins with a simple idea. The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. Fussing over anything, you spoil it. Rushing into action, you fail. Trying to grasp things, you lose them. Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe. Therefore take action by letting things take their course. Remain as calm and careful at the end as at the beginning. Starting with nothing, you have nothing to lose. Desire to not desire. Learn to unlearn, to be without learning. Simply remind people of who they have always naturally been. Care about nothing and the TAO. Thus you can care for all things. Subtly direct all heads to find their TAOs. Act against things before they become visible; attend to order before disorder arises. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A stitch in time saves nine. Thoughts become things. Heaps of earth become cities. Stitches become tapestries. Once a thing has started, one should let it develop naturally -- to interfere in its natural process is to ruin it, to nip the bud. Refrain from acting on things in the intermediary and final stages as well as in the beginning stage. Chapter 65 Do not try to educate the people, but joyously teach them to NOT-KNOW. When people think that they know the answers, they are difficult to live with. When people know that they don’t know, they can find their own way. The “DON’T KNOW MIND” is forever, fresh, open, and fertile with possibilities. “It does not matter, it need not be”. DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY. If you want to learn how to govern, avoid being clever or rich. The simplest pattern is the clearest. Content with ordinary life, you can show all people the way back to their own true nature. This is a profound power, one which brings things back with the GREAT ACCORD. Anointing the kingdom with simplicity will lead to enlightenment. Make simplicity the rule, the LAW of SECRET PERFECTION OF RULE. Profound and extended is this perfection; He that possesses it is indeed contrary to others, but attracts them to full accordance. People discover their simple natural selves as the ruler does nothing. This could not be done if they were forced or made to do it. It must come naturally, simply, spontaneously, comfortably, willingly. The TAOist is a primitivist who believes that education corrupts natural goodness. The people are better off in a state of NOKNOWLEDGE, at ONE with nature’s harmony and equilibrium. Knowledge, consciousness, is a movement away from nature, life, growth, and peace, and leads to externalization, discord, and finally death. Chapter 66 All streams flow to the ocean because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power. Everything needs a place or direction to flow. By remaining low, humble, one will attract the higher things. Be in a receptive position and the flow will be directed toward you. If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them (HUMILITY). Thus no one feels oppressed, no one feels manipulated. All are grateful that you don’t compete with them. Thus they don’t compete with you. The best government is not praised by its people – it is so subtle that the people hardly know of its existence.

Chapter 67


Some say that this teaching is nonsense. Others call it lofty but impractical. But to those who have looked inside themselves, this nonsense makes perfect sense. And to those who put it into practice, this loftiness has roots that go deep. I have THREE TREASURES which I preserve and protect: ESSENCE, VITALITY, AND SPIRIT; and THREE PRACTICES which allow me to keep and fortify these treasures: The first is T’ZU, or MOTHERLY LOVE, COMPASSION, and GENTLENESS. The second is FRUGALITY, ECONOMY. The third is HUMILITY, daring not to take the lead. Whoever has COMPASSION can be brave, courageous. Whoever has FRUGALITY can be generous. Whoever dares not to be first can become a leader. All three treasures are conserving and life sustaining. MOTHERLY LOVE conserves by nourishing and sheltering all beings. Daring not to be at the front conserves by avoiding exposure, vulnerability, and premature death from the world’s destructive forces; while to remain behind and be HUMBLE is to allow oneself time to fully ripen and bear fruit. To be brave without compassion is violence; generous without frugality is extravagance; prominent without humility is pride and arrogance. These are all fatal. Whoever shows compassion in battle will conquer. Whoever shows compassion in defense will stand firm. Heaven helps and protects those with compassion. ESSENCE PEACE TEACHER Chapter 68 A skillful soldier isn’t aggressive. A skillful fighter isn’t violent. A skillful conqueror isn’t warlike. The best way of conquering an enemy is to win him over without antagonizing him. A skillful employer places himself below others. The best way of employing a man is to serve under him. This is called “THE NATURAL POWER (TE) OF NON-STRIVING”, “THE POWER TO USE MEN’S ABILITIES”, “USING THE STRENGTH OF OTHERS”, or “COMPLYING WITH HEAVEN’S WAYS”. This has always been the best way. He whom men most willingly obey continues silently with his work. An humble attitude disposes others to peace and faithful execution of work. Humility allows others to fully develop and apply their talents. Thus, like heaven, one accomplishes everything without doing anything. Chapter 69 The strategists have a saying: Rather than make the first move, it is better to wait and see. It is better to be a guest than a host. Rather than advance an inch, it is better to retreat a foot. This is called “GAINING SPACE WITHOUT MOVING”, “GOING FORWARD WITHOUT MOVING”, “TO ADVANCE WITHOUT MARCHING”; “TO ROLL UP ONE’S SLEEVES WITHOUT BARING ONE’S ARMS”; “CAPTURING THE ENEMEY WITHOUT CONFRONTING HIM”. Nothing is an invisible weapon. Of Disasters, none is greater than thinking you have no rival. There is no greater misfortune than underestimating your enemy. To think you have no rival, to underestimate your enemy, is to come close to losing your treasures. Hold life to be of the highest value. The reluctant person who fights to preserve life, who feels grief and sorrow at the loss of life, is on the side of heaven and so has the assistance of heaven. Thus when weapons are raised and the opponents are fairly well matched, the victory goes to the one who feels grief, the one who knows how to yield. The victory march is as a funeral. VITALITY SPIRIT WHOLENESS LIFE T-CHINGS COMPANIONS

Chapter 70 The TAO TE CHINGS are easy to understand and easy to practice, yet no intellect will ever grasp them, and many who try to practice them will fail. Those who do are rare and few. Because of their humility and frugality, they hide their treasure close to their hearts. The teachings are older than the world. The words


have an ancestor; the practices, deeds, and works have a lord. How can you grasp their meaning? If you want to know, listen to your heart. Trust your intuition. The deepest truth is also the plainest truth and the easiest to know and to carry-out, since it is present everywhere. Yet people have so lost touch with the primal (PRIME O) truth that they no longer comprehend or practice it (O-CULT). As a result, they look for solutions in the hard and difficult (DIFFY-CULT). Blessed are those who expect NOTHING – for they will not be disappointed. The fewer persons that know the TAO, the nobler are they that follow it. Those who understand the TAO know that the words are derived from a creative and universe O principle, in accord with the one law: DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW. LOVE IS THE LAW, LOVE UNDER WILL. Chapter 71 Knowing NOTHING is true knowledge. Presuming to know is a sickness. First realize that you are sick, then you can move toward health. Be your own Physician. Heal yourself of all knowing. Then you are truly whole. Only when we are sick of sickness shall we cease to be sick. To know not to know, to desire not to desire, to learn not to learn – these are restorative methods which heal the rift caused by consciousness. The movement from knowing to not-knowing restores us to the TAO, but the movement from not-knowing to knowing, or from the unconscious to the conscious, is a movement away from the TAO, into hell-worlds and disease. Knowledge is ignorance and sharpens the divisions among beings. Be an O-MISSIONARY of the TAO. Chapter 72 When people lose their sense of awe they turn to religion. When they no longer trust themselves, they begin to depend on authority. Therefore step back so that people won’t be confused. Teach without teaching, so that people will have nothing to learn. When people fear no power, then great power has indeed arrived. Do not disturb people in their dwellings, do not weary them in their living. It is because you do not weary them that they are not wearied of you. Know yourself. Love yourself. But do not exalt yourself, show pride, or alienation. Prefer what is within to what is without. A government that imitates nature inspires respect and compliance in the same way that nature’s laws are respected and obeyed. Such a government is not feared, yet its authority is unchallenged. This is the mark of great power. These things the wise man knows, not shows. Chapter 73 The TAO is always at ease. By putting yourself at ease those around you will be at ease. The TAO answers without speaking a word, arrives without being summoned, accomplishes without a plan. Being courageous out of daring courts early death; being courageous out of not daring will survive. Of these two, the later is beneficial while the first brings harm. What Heaven detests, who knows the reason? Even the sage is baffled by such a question. The TAO of Heaven contends not, yet it overcomes; it is silent, yet its need is answered; it summons none, but all come to it of their own free will. Its method is quietness, yet its Will is efficient. Large are the meshes of heaven’s net; wide open, yet nothing ever slips through it.

Chapter 74 There is no value higher than life. Since knowledge gives people the false sense that there are values higher than life, leaders must not mislead people onto the path of knowledge. In the ideal state both ruler and people have forsaken the path of knowledge for the simplicity of nature. Such people love life and forsake death. The power to kill is vested in Heaven alone. Trying to control another’s fate is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place. When you handle the master carpenter’s tools, chances are that you’ll hurt yourself, or ruin the tools. Chapter 75


When taxes are too high, people go hungry. When the government is too meddlesome, people lose their spirit. When the rulers rule by action, people are hard to rule. Serve for the people’s benefit; trust them; leave them alone. Why are the people hard to manage? Because those above them are fussy and have private ends to serve. Why do people make light of death? Because those above them make too much of life. The people have simply nothing to live upon! They know better than to value such a life. One who has nothing to pursue in life is wiser than one who values life. Give to others the gift of independence and help them to help themselves. Discourage their attachment of being dependent on you. Thus you can come and go freely, knowing all is well. Chapter 76 People are born soft and supple; Dead, they are stiff and hard. Young plants are tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus the hard, rigid, stiff and inflexible are connected with death. That which is tender, pliant, soft, supple, and yielding is connected with life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and pliant will prevail. A mighty and unyielding army tends to fall by its own weight, and is destroyed. An unyielding tree will break. The unyielding and mighty takes its place below, the soft and yielding takes its place above. The rigid and unyielding are unable to adapt to the environment. The hard and rigid have the inferior place; the soft and elastic the superior. When the great and strong take the place below, there is no destruction. Chapter 77 As it appears in the world, the TAO is like the bending of a bow. The high part is brought downward, the low part is raised up. It adjusts excess and deficiency so that there is perfect balance. It takes from what is too much and gives to what is not enough. Those who try to control, who use force to protect their power, go against the direction of the TAO. They take from those who don’t have enough and give to those who have far too much. Endowed with the TAO, you can keep going, there is no end to your wealth. You act without expectation, succeed without taking credit, and don’t think that you are better than anyone else. Only a person of TAO can offer his surpluses to the world. TAO is a reversive power in nature which, like a pendulum, swings back and forth so that the process is unending. Nature avoids irreversible extremes. Heaven’s way is the natural self-balancing act in all be beings. Heaven promotes equality, whereas humans are the cause of inequality in the world. Nature being dynamic and self-balancing, what is strong and dominant today becomes weak and submissive tomorrow. Human laws, however, interfere with nature’s self-correcting rhythms. Inequalities and imbalances in human society, once legitimized by laws and institutions, do not revert on their own; the rich become richer and the poor poorer. Only a person of TAO, in tune with the self-balancing process of nature, offers surpluses to the deficient. Since Heaven presses down one who is puffed-up and lifts one who is depressed, the Sage is humble. Like Heaven, he does not hold on to what he has accomplished.

Chapter 78 Nothing in the world is softer or more yielding than water. Yet for dissolving and moving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it; nothing can take its place. The soft overcomes the hard; the gentle overcomes the rigid. The submissive overcomes the stubborn. Everyone knows this is true, but few can put it into practice. Therefore remain serene in the midst of sorrow. Evil cannot enter your heart. Yielding is the secret to life, victory, peace, and harmony, as well as to true rulership. To receive the dirt, the filth, or to take on the burden of the country is to be “THE LORD OF THE SOIL SHRINES”, the “MASTER OF THE ALTER OF THE EARTH AND GRAINS”. To assume responsibility for all ill-omened events, to undertake the weight of all sorrows, to shoulder all evils, to bear all calamities of a country is to be a true king of the people and a sacrifice THROUGH SACRIFICE. The most exalted is the most humble. True words seem paradoxical, they seem to say the reverse of what you expect them to say.


AFFIRMATIONS: “IT’S ALL MY FAULT”, “I’M SORRY”, “O MOST AUGUST AND SOVEREIGN GOD...IF I HAVE SINNED, LET IT NOT CONCERN THE PEOPLE; IF THE PEOPLE HAVE SINNED, LET THE SIN REST ON ME”, and “SOMEBODY’S GOT TO DO IT”. Also: “FORGIVE ME FOR-GIVING YOU” and “I FORGIVE YOU FOR-GIVING ME”. Chapter 79 In reconciling a great injury, there is sure to be some injury left. Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame. Fulfill your obligations. Correct your mistakes. Do what needs to be done. Demand nothing from others. Accept any consequences and take responsibility for your condition. Know how to forgive and forget, and get on with your life. The TAO of Heaven has no partiality. It is always with those who have it. Only in the blissful oblivion of nature, which rests, and forgets that there had been any injuries at all, can there be real healing from nature. One with TAO is frugal, and may accumulate a debt. A bill collector of natural goodness keeps the record of transaction but does not insist on its prompt execution. He considers the situation from all sides. But an unnatural collector with narrow understanding seeks only to benefit himself, never-minding the burden he places on another. Chapter 80 If a country is governed wisely, its inhabitants will be content. They enjoy their everyday work and don’t bother with inventing labor-saving devices. Since they dearly love their homes, they aren’t interested in travel. There may be wagons and boats, but these don’t go anywhere. There may be an arsenal of weapons, but nobody ever uses them. People enjoy their food, take pleasure in being with their families, spend time working in their gardens, and delight in the happenings of the neighborhood. And even though the next country is so close that people can see each other, can hear its roosters crowing and its dogs barking, they are content to take life and death as it comes, without ever having to go and see it. There is no traffic between them, and throughout their lives the various peoples have nothing to do with each other. Chapter 81 True words aren’t eloquent. Eloquent words aren’t true. Wise men don’t need to prove their point; men who need to prove their point aren’t wise. Do not hoard. The more you do for others, the happier you’ll be. The more you give to others, the more you’ll have. The TAO nourishes by not forcing. By not dominating, one leads. Sincere words are not sweet. Sweet words are not sincere. Those who know do not argue. Those who argue are without knowledge. The wise are not erudite. The erudite are not wise. The way of Heaven is to benefit, not to harm. The Way of the Sage is to do his Will, not to strive with others. TAO is the benevolent power in the world, and the TAOist is the exemplifying spirit of the TAO. The TAOist works to fulfill all beings, not to dominate or harm them. Know that to become EVERYTHING is to become NOTHING.

ℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑℑ THE ROUND The life of the ROUND is constituted by the dynamic process of COMING TO BE AND CEASING TO BE. Life and Death are alternating opposites; what has life pushes toward death so that new life can come to be. Death is therefore just the other side of life. Since life and death accompany and succeed each other, it is better not to worry about the matter. The TAOist does not dwell on either life or death, but transcends both to THE LIFE OF THE ONE. Cut off from the life of the ROUND and standing alone, an individual faces his opponents and arrives at the place and time of his death. However, in the ROUND, which is the eternal-life LIFE process, productive, and embracing all opposites, there is no death. There is only intense life-producing activity. A person who transcends


his individuality, identifying himself with the eternal life process that has no place of death, also has no place of death. Such a person “on land meets no tigers or wild buffaloes, in battle needs to wear no armors or weapons.” In TAOism the symbol of eternity is the circle or the round in which the beginning is joined to the end; thus the MOTHER gives birth to the CHILD who returns and abides by the MOTHER. The TAOist seems square but is really (REEL) WELL-ROUNDED. Thus he may appear to be on the edge, but is acturally in his center. He is in the world (�) but not of it (O). (ie. Circle squared) The Law of the Circle: Every Circle has a center. Similar Circles have similar centers. G-ROUND: Being one with the ground the infant is unconscious of the division of opposites. In the round of a life, an individual spends three-tenths of his life going from birth to adult, three-tenths from adult to old age, threetenths from old age to death. One-tenth of his life is not involved, is for centering, for transcending; TRANCE ENDING. HAPPINESS FLOWS IN A CIRCULAR MOTION; LIFE IS JUST A TINY BOAT UPON THE SEA; EVERYBODY IS A PART OF EVERYTHING ANYWAY; YOU CAN BE AS HAPPY AS YOU LET YOURSELF BE. The life of the natural world is seen to be no other than the life of the ROUND. Possessed of the mystical vision of the round, which encompasses all beings both in their coming out and their going back, the TAOist rises above the one-sidedness of individual consciousness to expand in ever-widening circles. To witness the cyclical movement of the natural world is to be one with the life of the TAO, is to become immortal and everlasting as TAO is immortal and everlasing. The Chinese have a WORD, HSε-CHI, the “POLE OF EMPTINESS”, the DYNAMIC STILL POINT into which the TAOist has withdrawn to contemplate the life of the ROUND, the “SUPREME ULTIMATE”, and the “POLE OF NON-BEING”. The EMPTY and the QUIET is not the ultimate destiny of all beings, but that to which all beings return to be reinvigorated for reemergence into life. WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.

The individual sheds individuality, which has a beginning and an end, to become one with the universal life process. This reabsorption into the universal life is the life or destiny of all beings. One who understands this secret, that the return is a return to the source and thereby a recovery of the immortal life in the creative ground, is ILLUMINED. In the ROOT all is quiet, but an intense activity goes on all the time. From the absolute quietude of the STILL POINT all things issue forth. Issuing forth they grow silently and profusely. Knowledge of the everlasting has a redemptive effect. Lack of this knowledge causes us to commit wanton deeds. Any form of struggle, including moral warfare, is due to blindness to the complementary nature of opposites in the life of the ROUND. This blindness produces the sharp distinctions between the self and non-self. While knowledge of distinctions leads us to strife, knowledge of the ROUND, which embraces all beings, expands our capacity until we become as inclusive as heaven and TAO. Being inclusive means to be “ALL-CONTAINING”. Then to be “PUBLIC”, one who represents the interest of a large group. From this to “KING”, who represents all the citizens of a state. From KING to HEAVEN which represents all nature. From HEAVEN to TAO, the UNIVERSAL CREATIVE POWER OF ALL. If HEAVEN and EARTH are long lasting, TAO is EVERLASTING. The CIRCLE is COMPLETE, i.e.,


from knowing the EVERLASTING to BECOMING THE EVERLASTING. A person who identifies with TAO is ONE with the life of TAO. THE CENTER AND LEADERSHIP: The Harmoniousness of an association depends on the strength of the person at its center. The Western conception of this person is “LEADER”; but the Eastern conceptualization is “he at the center”. Understanding this eastern image will help you readjust your relationship with the group. The true source of the cohesive force of your association is a strong center. It radiates a harmonious group. A weak center is surrounded by discord. Problems are brought immediately to the attention of the person at the center. Problems arising in the context of a discordant group are handled first by strengthening the center, then handled. Associate yourself with the true central force and devote yourself to strengthening it. THE ROUND CYCLE OF BEINGS: When things are activated they emerge; emerging they are born; having been born they grow; growing they become big; being big they are completed; being complete they decline; declining they perish; having perished they become hidden, reabsorbed, returned back to the TAO.

THE TAO OF DRUMMING DTAO The DTAO, Drum Tao, is the Source of the BANG (In the beginning was the BANG, THE BIG BANG), (Yang) and the Not-BANG (Yin). The Not-Bang is eternal and of heaven. The BANG is transitory and of the earth. The BANG has birth and death. The combination of BANG and not-BANG make up the “BEAT”, which also has a beginning, birth, and an end, death. For the BEAT to be in harmony, BEAT and not-BEAT must be in balance. The DTAOer is simple, and hence bases his BEAT to his center, his heart, his heart-BEAT, A BASIC 4/4 with alterations of tempo to suit his intuition and feeling, both dependent on his mood. Chaos, or noise, happens when he loses this connection, usually due to an overpowering mind, self-consciousness, trying to play someone else’s BEAT, or possession. The BEAT cannot be described, but it arises on its own. It always was, is, and will be, as the DTAO is eternal and is constantly and spontaneously generating and regenerating the BEAT. Whenever the BEAT seems to be “lost”, a simple quieting of the mind (BE STILL) will bring it back, just stop and listen. Or put your ear on a mother’s breast and start playing. The DTAOer plays and becomes ONE with the BEAT. The


DTAOist is the BEAT, and becomes NONE with it. The BEAT seems to come from out of the GROUND, and is the GROUND OF BEING.



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