Article Index


1.1 The Tao that can be told is not the invariant Tao the names that can be named are not the invariant Names.
1.2 Nameless, it is the source of the thousands of things (named, it is 'Mother' of the thousands of things).
1.3 Yes: Always: being desireless, one sees the hidden essentials. Always: having desires, one sees only what is sought.
1.4 These two lines are about The Merging - it is when things develop and emerge from this that the different names appear.
1.5 The Merging is something mysterious - mysterious, and more mysterious, the abode of all the hidden essences.

2.1 When everyone in the world recognizes the elegant as elegant ... then ugliness has just appeared.
2.2 When all recognize goodness as good ... then the not-good has just appeared.
2.3 Yes: 'Being' and 'nothing' give birth one to the other 'the difficult' and 'the easy' give full shape to one another 'what excels' and 'what falls short' form one another
2.4 'the noble' and 'the lowly' give content to one another the music and the voice harmonize with one another the back and the front follow one another. Always.
2.5 And so the Wise Person: Settles into his job of Not Doing carries on his teaching done without talking.
2.6 The thousands of things arise and are active - and he rejects none of them.
2.7 He is a doer but does not rely on this he achieves successes but does not dwell in them. He just does not dwell in them, and so they cannot be taken away.

3.1 Not promoting the wise and worthy brings it about that the people are not contentious.
3.2 Not prizing goods hard to come by brings it about that the people do not become thieves
3.3 Not paying attention to the desirable brings it about that the people's minds do not become disordered.
3.4 And so, the government of the Wise Person: Empty their minds, fill their bellies weaken their ambitions, strengthen their bones.
3.5 Always bring it about that the people are without knowledge and without desires. Bring it about that the clever ones do not presume to set about doing.
3.6 Do Not Doing and nothing will be left un-governed.

4.1 Tao being Empty, it seems one who uses it will lack solidity.
4.2 An abyss, it seems something like the ancestor of the thousands of things.
4.3 It dampens the passion it unties the tangles it makes the flashing things harmonious it makes the dust merge together.
4.4 Deep, it is perhaps like an enduring something.
4.5 I don't know of anything whose offspring it might be - it appears to precede God.

5.1 "Heaven and Earth are not Good they treat the thousands of things like straw dogs
5.2 The Wise Person is not Good he treats the hundred clans like straw dogs."
5.3 The space between heaven and earth isn't it like a bellows? Empty, but not shriveled up, set it in motion and always more comes out.
5.4 Much talking, quickly exhausted. It can't compare to watching over what is inside.

6.1 "The Valley Spirit is undying." This is mysterious Femininity.
6.2 The Abode of mysterious Femininity: This is the Root of Heaven and Earth.
6.3 It seems to endure on and on. One who uses It never wears out.

7.1 Heaven is lasting, Earth endures.
7.2 What enables Heaven and Earth to last and endure? Because they do not live for themselves - so it is that they can live so long.
7.3 And so, the Wise Person: Puts himself last, and so finds himself in front.
7.4 puts himself in the out group, and so maintains his place.
7.5 The personal does not exist for him - isn't this how he can perfect what for him is most personal?

8.1 The highest Excellence is like water. Water, Excellent at being of benefit to the thousands of things, does not contend - it settles in places everyone else avoids. Yes, it is just about Tao.
8.2 Excellence in a house: the ground "Excellence in a mind: depth Excellence in companions: Goodness Excellence in speaking: sincerity
8.3 Excellence in setting things right: good management Excellence on the job: ability Excellence in making a move: good timing."
8.4 Simply do not contend then there will be no fault.

9.1 In filling, if you keep on and on - better to have stopped.
9.2 In sharpening, if you keep trying - the edge won't last long.
9.3 When gold and jade fill the halls, no one can guard it all.
9.4 Rich, famous - and conceited: leading to a downfall self-caused.
9.5 Achieve successes, win the fame, remove yourself: Heaven's Way.

10.1 When 'carrying your soul,' embracing the One Thing, can you be undivided?
10.2 When 'concentrating ch'i', bringing about Softness, can you be like an infant?
10.3 When 'cleansing and purifying the mysterious mirror,' can you be without blemish?
10.4 When 'loving the people and caring for the kingdom,' can you be without knowledge?
10.5 When 'the Doors of Heaven open and shut,' can you remain Feminine?
10.6 When 'Clarity and bareness penetrate everywhere,' can you remain not doing?
10.7 Produce and nourish. Produce but don't possess work but don't rely on this preside but don't rule. This is mysterious Te.

11.1 Thirty spokes unite in one hollow hub in this 'nothing' lies the wheel's usefulness.
11.2 Knead clay to make a jar - in its 'nothing' lies the jar's usefulness.
11.3 Cut out doors and windows in making a house - in their 'nothing' lies the house's usefulness.
11.4 Yes: 'Being' makes for profit 'Nothing' makes for use fulness.

12.1 The five colours make people's eyes go blind the five tones make people's ears go deaf the five flavours make people's mouths turn sour.
12.2 Galloping and racing, bunting and chasing, make people's minds go mad. Goods hard to come by corrupt people's ways.
12.3 And so the Wise Person: Goes by the belly, not by the eye. Yes: He leaves 'that' aside, and attends to 'this'

13.1 "Favour and disgrace: this means being upset high rank does great damage to your self."
13.2 What does it mean, "favour and disgrace: this means being upset"? Favour is degrading: Gaining it you will be upset losing it you will be upset This is what it means, "favour and disgrace: this means being upset."
13.3 What does it mean, "high rank does great damage to your self"? What is the source of the great damage done me? It is because I have a self If I had no self what damage could be done me? This is what it means, "high rank does great damage to your self."
13.4 Yes: A valuing of one's self that regards the self the same as the world - this means one can be entrusted with the world. A loving of one's self that regards the self the same as the world - this means one can be given the world.

14.1 "Look for It, you won't see It: It is called 'fleeting' Listen for It, you won't hear It: It is called 'thin'. Grasp at It, you can't get It: It is called 'subtle'."
14.2 These three lines are about something that evades scrutiny. Yes, in it everything blends and becomes one.
14.3 Its top is not bright Its underside is not dim. Always unnameable, It turns back to nothingness.
14.4 This is the shape of something shapeless the form of a nothing this is elusive and evasive. Encountering It, you won't see the front following It, you won't see Its back.
14.5 Keep to the Tao of the ancients and so manage things happening today. The ability to know the ancient sources, this is the main thread of Tao.

15.1 The Excellent shih of ancient times penetrated into the most obscure, the marvelous, the mysterious. They had a depth beyond understanding.
15.2 They were simply beyond understanding. The Appearance of their forceful presence: Cautious, like one crossing a stream in winter timid, like one who fears the surrounding neighbours reserved, like guests
15.3 yielding, like ice about to melt unspecified, like the Uncarved Block all vacant space, like the Valley everything mixed together, like muddy water.
15.4 Who is able, as muddy water, by Stilling to slowly become clear? Who is able, at rest, by long drawn-out movement to slowly come to life?
15.5 Whoever holds onto this Tao does not yearn for solidity. He simply lacks solidity, and so what he is capable of: Remaining concealed, accomplishing nothing new.

16.1 Push Emptiness to the limit, watch over Stillness very firmly.
16.2 The thousands of things all around are active - I give my attention to Turning Back. Things growing wild as weeds all turn back to the Root.
16.3 To turn back to The Root is called Stillness. This is 'reporting in' 'reporting in' is becoming Steady. Experiencing Steadiness is Clarity. Not to experience Steadiness is to be heedless in one's actions - bad luck.
16.4 Experiencing Steadiness, then one is all-embracing all-embracing, then an impartial Prince Prince, then King King, then Heaven Heaven, then Tao
16.5 Tao then one lasts very long. As to destroying the self, there will be nothing to fear.

17.1 The greatest ruler: those under him only know he exists the next best kind: they love and praise him the next: they are in awe of him the next: they despise him.
17.2 When sincerity does not suffice it was not sincerity.
17.3 ("Reticent - he is sparing with words.") He achieves successes he accomplishes his tasks and the hundred clans all say: We are just being natural.

18.1 When Great Tao vanished we got 'Goodness and Morality.'
18.2 When 'Wisdom and Know-how' arose we got the Great Shams.
18.2 When the six family relationships fell into disharmony we got 'Respect and Caring.'
18.4 When the states and the great families became all benighted and disordered we got 'Loyal Subjects'.

19.1 Discard "Wisdom," throw away "Knowledge" - the people will benefit a hundredfold.
19.2 Discard "Goodness," throw away "Morality" - the people will turn back to respect and caring.
19.3 Discard "Skill," throw away "Profit" - robbers and thieves will disappear.
19.4 Taking these three lines as your text - this is not sufficient. Give them something to fasten on to:
19.5 Pay attention to the Raw, embrace the Uncarved discount your personal interests, make your desires few, doing of the will of every man would put an end to vain ambitions and desires.

20.1 Break with Learning, and there will be no trouble. 'Yeah' and 'yes sir' - is there a big difference between them? 'Excellent' and 'despicable' - what's the real difference between them?
20.2 "What others hold in respect, we can't fail to respect." Craziness. Aren't we over this yet?
20.3 "All the others are beaming and beaming like people enjoying a great ceremonial feast, like people climbing an overlook tower in the spring. I am alone still - no indications at all yet like an infant who hasn't yet even smiled. So sad. Like someone with no place to go home to.
20.4 All the others have a superabundance I alone seem to have missed out. Oh my simpleton's mind! So confused.
20.5 Ordinary men are so bright I alone am so dull. Ordinary men are so sharp I alone am so stupid. Churned up like the ocean, blown about, like someone with no place to rest.
20.6 All the others all have their function I alone am thick-headed, like someone from the back country." I am alone, different from others - treasuring the nourishing Mother.