Tao Te Ching


Tao Te Ching is one of the greatest book ever written. The wisdom is undeniable, and the simplicity of expression is transpiring in amazing teaching for both philosophical and religious. Lao Tzu, the author, is a great teacher of his time and ours as well. It is a strange feeling when reading the book. We understand it not with the mind but with the heart. Recollecting it, we cannot find the words but the existential feelings that we had during the reading. This book is a work of God.

1

The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and

Unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and

unchanging name.

(Conceived of as) having no name, it is the Originator of heaven

and earth; (conceived of as) having a name, it is the Mother of all

things.

Always without desire, we must be found,

If its deep mystery we would sound;

But if desire always within us be,

Its outer fringe is all that we shall see.

Under these two aspects, it is really the same; but as development

takes place, it receives the different names. Together we call them

the Mystery. Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that

is subtle and wonderful.

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2

All in the world know the beauty of the beautiful, and in doing

this they have (the idea of) what ugliness is; they all know the skill

of the skillful, and in doing this they have (the idea of) what they

want of skill is.

So it is that existence and non-existence give birth the one to

(the idea of) the other; that difficulty and ease produce the one (the

idea of) the other; that length and shortness fashion out the one the

figure of the other; that (the ideas of) height and lowness arise from

the contrast of the one with the other; that the musical notes and

tones become harmonious through the relation of one with another; and

that being before and behind give the idea of one following another.

Therefore, the sage manages affairs without doing anything, and

conveys his instructions without the use of speech.

All things spring up, and there is not one which declines to show

itself; they grow, and there is no claim made for their ownership;

they go through their processes, and there is no expectation (of a

reward for the results). The work is accomplished, and there is no

resting in it (as an achievement).

The work is done, but how no one can see;

‘Tis this that makes the power not cease to be.

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3

Not to value and employ men of superior ability is the way to

keep the people from rivalry among themselves; not to prize articles

which are difficult to procure is the way to keep them from becoming

thieves; not to show them what is likely to excite their desires is

the way to keep their minds from disorder.

Therefore, the sage, in the exercise of his government, empties

their minds fill their bellies, weakens their wills, and strengthens

their bones.

He constantly (tries to) keep them without knowledge and without

desire, and where there are those who have knowledge, to keep them

from presuming to act (on it). When there is this abstinence from

action, good order is universal.

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Comments

One comment on “Tao Te Ching”
  1. kenfales says:

    Yes, it is my absolute favorite “sacred text”. I’m a big fan of Stephen Mitchell’s translation.

    Like

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