Article Index


1.1 To guide what can be guided is not constant guiding. To name what can be named is not constant naming.
1.2 'Not-exist' names the beginning (boundary) of the cosmos (Heaven and earth) 'Exists' names the mother of the ten-thousand natural kinds.
1.3 Thus, to treat 'not-exist' as constant is desiring to use it to view its mysteries. To treat 'exists' as constant is desiring to use it to view its manifestations.
1.4 These two emerge together yet have different names.
1.5 'Together' - call that 'obscure. ' 'Obscure' it and it is more obscure. ... the gateway of a crowd of mysteries.

2.1 That the social world knows to deem the beautiful as 'beautiful' simply creates the 'ugly. '
2.2 That the social world knows to deem worth as 'worthy' simply creates 'worthlessness.'
2.3 Thus 'exists' and 'not-exists' mutually sprout. 'Difficult' and 'easy' are mutually done. 'Long' and 'short' are mutually gauged.
2.4 'High' and 'low' mutually incline. 'Sound' and 'tone' mutually blend. 'Before' and 'after' mutually supervene.
2.5 (Pro-sage Commentary:) Using this: sages fix social issues without deeming ; administer a 'no words' teaching.
2.6 The ten-thousand natural kinds work by it and don't make phrases. They sprout but don't 'exist'. Deem-act and don't rely on anything.
2.7 Accomplish their work and don't dwell in it. Because they don't dwell in it, they don't lose it.

3.1 Don't glorify the high-brow: cause people not to wrangle.
3.2 Don't value limited commodities: cause people not to contemplate stealing.
3.3 Don't display the desirable: prevent confusing the people's hearts-'n-minds.
3.4 Using these: The governance of sages: empties their hearts-'n-minds, stuffs their guts Weakens their resolve, and strengthens their bones.
3.5 He treats causing the people to lack both knowledge and desire as constants. Causing those with knowledge not to venture deeming-actions.
3.6 They deem the absence of deeming-action and thus nothing is ungoverned.

4.1 Guidance pours out but in using it, something is not filled.
4.2 Whew! It's like the ancestor of the ten-thousand natural kinds.
4.3 'Dull' its 'sharp', 'untie' its 'tie', 'blend' its 'bright', 'together' its 'diffused particles'.
4.4 Ooo! It's like it partly endures.
4.5 I don't know whose son it is. It is before the emperor of signs!

5.1 Heaven-earth [the cosmos] is not kind. It treats the 10,000 natural kinds as straw dogs.
5.2 Sages are not kind. They treat the hundred surname-groups as straw dogs.
5.3 Is the space between Heaven and earth not like bellows and flutes? Empty and not warped. As long as you move them, they produce.
5.4 Many words and numbers unlimited are not as good as holding the center.

6.1 The Valley energy never dies. This is called 'fathomless female'
6.2 The channel of the fathomless female: This is called the basis of the cosmos.
6.3 Silken! It's as if it abides. Handle it gently.

7.1 Heaven is old and Earth is enduring.
7.2 What do Heaven and Earth rely on in order to be old and enduring? They rely on avoiding self creation. Hence they can be old and enduring.
7.3 Using this: Sages 'later' themselves and yet they comes first.
7.4 They 'outside' themselves and yet they abide.
7.5 Is this not a case of their lacking selfishness? So they are able to achieve their selfishness.

8.1 Higher worth is like water. Water is good at benefitting the ten-thousand natural kinds Without wrangling for position. What the crowd despises Hence close to the guide.
8.2 In dwelling value the earth. In heart-mind value depth. In being-with value kindness. In words value reliability.
8.3 In rectifying value order. In social affairs value ability. In action value timing.
8.4 In general, simply don't wrangle Hence have no indiscretion.

9.1 To grasp and pile things up is not as good as regarding it as already done.
9.2 When you measure and build a pillar , you cannot preserve it for long.
9.3 When gold and jade fill the hall, you can't keep any of it.
9.4 Rich, ennobled and thus proud bequeaths ruin.
9.5 With success, disappear: this is the heavenly guide.

10.1 In general: In mustering your vitalities, embracing in one, can you fail to distinguish?
10.2 In specializing in breath and consummating weakness, can you be a child?
10.3 In cleansing and voiding your profound mirror, can you be without flaw?
10.4 In loving the people and ordering the state, can you fail to know?
10.5 In opening and closing the heavenly channel, can you fail to be female?
10.6 In discerning all within the four directions, can you fail to deem-act?
10.7 Generate it, nourish it: Generate it and not 'exist' it. Deem:act and not rely on anything. Become 'elder' and not rule. These are called 'profound virtuosities.'

11.1 Thirty spokes together make one hub. Where the nothing is, lies the cart's use.
11.2 Throwing clay to deem:make a utensil; Where the nothing is, lies the utensil's use.
11.3 Sculpting windows and doors to deem:make a room; Where the nothing is, lies the room's use.
11.4 So where we deem having it as beneficial. We deem use to consist in lacking it.

12.1 The five colours stupefy the people's eyes. The five tones desensitize the people's ears. The five flavours numb the people's mouths
12.2 Horse races and hunting derange the people's heart-minds. Hard to get goods pervert the people's behavior.
12.3 Using this: Sages deem:act for the gut not the eye. So they choose this and reject that.

13.1 Favour is as disgraceful as a warning. Nobility is as great a trouble as a self.
13.2 Why say 'favour is as disgraceful as a warning'? The favoured is deemed below. Receiving it is like a warning. Losing it is like a warning. This is called 'favour is as disgraceful as a warning.'
13.3 Why say 'nobility is as great a trouble as a self'? Deeming I have a self is what makes it possible for me have trouble. And if I had no self, what trouble could I have?
13.4 Hence nobility is regarding your self as the social world. To the likes of that, the social world can be delivered. [Nobility's] love regards the self as the social world. To the likes of that, the social world can be entrusted.

14.1 Look at it and fail to see: its name is 'remote.' Listen to it and fail to hear: its name is 'diffuse.' Feel it and fail to get anything: its name is 'subtle.'
14.2 This threesome cannot be exhaustively probed for portents. Hence we blend them and deem them as one.
14.3 Its height is not sparkling. Its depth is not murky. Stringlike, it cannot be named. It reverts to being no natural kind.
14.4 This we call the condition of being in no condition; the sign of no natural kind. This we call 'confused' and 'indistinct.' Facing it you cannot see its head; Following it you cannot see its rear
14.5 If you grasp guiding discourse from ancient times in dealing with today's reality you can know the ancient beginnings. This is called a guiding discourse's record.

15.1 Those in ancient times who were good at deem:acting as scholars Were subtlety mysterious and profoundly receptive Unfathomably deep.
15.2 Now, precisely because unfathomable, We must force a description of them. Cautious: like crossing a stream in winter. Ambivalent: like fearing those on all sides. Exacting: like being a guest
15.3 Mutable: like ice on the point of melting Unaffected: like uncarved wood. Munificient: like a valley Obscure: like muddied water
15.4 Who can, while muddy, using calmness gradually become clear? Who can, while at ease, using activity gradually come to life.?
15.5 She who embraces this guiding discourse doesn't desire fulfilling. Now precisely because not fulfilled, she can obscure and not newly fabricate.

16.1 Go to the limit of emptiness Take on quiet dependability
16.2 The ten-thousand natural kinds are all dealt with. And I thus view their response In general, natural kinds flourish. Each responds by returning to its root.
16.3 returning to the root is called quietude. This I call responding to the word. Responding to the word we describe as 'constant'. To know what is constant we describe as 'discernment'. Not to know what is constant is wantonly taking risks.
16.4 To know what is constant is openness; Open thus equitable; Equitable thus kingly; Kingly thus natural; Natural thus guiding;
16.5 Guiding thus enduring Doesn't stop when you bury the body.

17.1 The best hierarchy is one those below realize is there. Next to that is one that you feel kin to and extol. Next to that is one you dread. Next to that is one you contemn.
17.2 When reliability is inadequate in it There will be unreliability in it.
17.3 Reflectively! His ennobling of language. Works are completed; affairs proceed And the hundred surnames all call this 'our nature (our own doing)'

18.1 When the great guide is cast aside you will have 'humanity' and 'morality.'
18.2 When intuitive wisdom emerges you will have great artifice.
18.3 When great kinship is not in harmony, you will have 'filiality' and 'affection.'
18.4 When states and great families sink and become deranged, you will have 'loyal ministers'.

19.1 Terminate 'sageliness', junk 'wisdom' the people will benefit a hundred-fold.
19.2 Terminate 'humanity', junk 'morality' the people will respond with 'filiality' and 'affection'.
19.3 Terminate 'artistry', junk 'benefit' thieves and robbers will lack 'existence'.
19.4 These three taken as slogans are insufficient.
19.5 Hence, leads us to postulate that to which they belong. Visualize simplicity and embrace uncarved wood. Downgrade 'selfishness' and diminish 'desire.' Terminate learning and you will lack irritation.

20.1 How much separates 'Uh huh' and 'Huh uh'? What is the separation like between 'worthy' and 'vile'?
20.2 What humans fear cannot not be feared. Futile! Not focussed yet.
20.3 The crowd festive - like enjoying an Easter picnic or on an Easter sunrise hike. I, alone, am placid - it's portent not yet clear. Like an infant not yet a baby. Dangerous! Like having no refuge.
20.4 The crowd all have plenty I alone treat it as loss. Mine is the heart-mind of the stupid, indeed. Indiscriminate!
20.5 People of custom are lustrous, I alone am dull. People of custom are critically discriminating; I alone obfuscate. Bland! It's like the ocean; drifting! like I have no place to stop.
20.6 The crowd all have the-capacity-to and I alone am dallying and wanton. I alone am different from humans, and value nursing at Mother's breast.