Tao Te Ching
THE TAOISM OF LAO TZU
The Tao Theme of
Tao Te ChingThe Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Taoist philosophy classic by Lao Tzu translated, and each of the 81 chapters extensively commented. Click the image to see the book at Amazon (paid link).
Then ugly exists.
When everyone sees good,
Then bad exists.
What is and what is not create each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Tall and short shape each other.
High and low rest on each other.
Voice and tone blend with each other.
First and last follow each other.
So, the sage acts by doing nothing,
Teaches without speaking,
Attends all things without making claim on them,
Works for them without making them dependent,
Demands no honor for his deed.
Because he demands no honor,
He will never be dishonored.
Not valuing wealth
Not displaying what's desirable
Prevents confusion of the senses.
The sage governs by emptying senses and filling bellies,
Curbing strife and strengthening backs,
Keeping the people ignorant and without desire,
Making the learned afraid to act.
If he acts without action, order will prevail.
The hole in the middle makes it useful.
Mold clay into a bowl.
The empty space makes it useful.
Cut out doors and windows for the house.
The holes make it useful.
Therefore, the value comes from what is there,
But the use comes from what is not there.
I do not think it can succeed.
The world is a sacred vessel that cannot be changed.
He who changes it will destroy it.
He who seizes it will lose it.
So, among all things,
Some lead and some follow,
Some sigh and some pant,
Some are strong and some are weak,
Some overcome and some succumb.
Therefore the sage avoids extremity, excess, and extravagance.
Yet nothing is left undone.
If princes and kings can abide by this,
All things will form themselves.
If they form themselves and desires arise,
I subdue them with nameless simplicity.
Nameless simplicity will indeed free them from desires.
Without desire there is stillness,
And the world settles by itself.
Surpasses the hardest in the world.
What has no substance
Can penetrate what has no opening.
Thereby I know the value of non-action.
The value of teaching without words
And accomplishing without action
Is understood by few in the world.
You can know the world.
Without looking through the window,
You can see Heaven's Way.
The longer you travel, the less you know.
The sage knows without traveling,
Perceives without looking,
Completes without acting.
Collect something every day.
Those who seek the Way,
Let go of something every day.
They let go and let go,
Until reaching no action.
When nothing is done,
Nothing is left undone.
Never take over the world to tamper with it.
Those who want to tamper with it
Are not fit to take over the world.
Pursue without interfering.
Taste the tasteless.
Make the small big and the few many.
Return animosity with virtue.
Meet the difficult while it is easy.
Meet the big while it is small.
The most difficult in the world
Must be easy in its beginning.
The biggest in the world
Is small in its beginning.
So, the sage never strives for greatness,
And can therefore accomplish greatness.
Lightly given promises
Must meet with little trust.
Taking things lightly
Must lead to big difficulties.
So, the sage regards things as difficult,
And thereby avoids difficulty.
What has not yet emerged is easy to prevent.
The brittle is easy to shatter.
The small is easy to scatter.
Solve it before it happens.
Order it before chaos emerges.
A tree as wide as a man's embrace
Grows from a tiny shoot.
A tower of nine stories
Starts with a pile of dirt.
A climb of eight hundred feet
Starts where the foot stands.
Those who act will fail.
Those who seize will lose.
So, the sage does not act and therefore does not fail,
Does not seize and therefore does not lose.
People fail at the threshold of success.
Be as cautious at the end as at the beginning.
Then there will be no failure.
Therefore the sage desires no desire,
Does not value rare treasures,
Learns without learning,
Recovers what people have left behind.
He wants all things to follow their own nature,
But dares not act.
My Taoism BooksClick the image to see the book at Amazon (paid link).
Tao Te ChingThe Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Taoist philosophy classic by Lao Tzu translated, and each of the 81 chapters extensively commented.
Tao QuotesThe Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. 389 quotes from the foremost Taoist classic, divided into 51 prominent topics. Click the image to see the book at Amazon (paid link).
Fake Lao Tzu QuotesErroneous Tao Te Ching Citations Examined. 90 of the most spread false Lao Tzu quotes, why they are false and where they are really from. Click the image to see the book at Amazon (paid link).