Buy Bitcoins:
  • Coinbase | Easiest Method
  • Localbitcoins | Anonymous, Trusted
  • 
    Chapter 1
    The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named is not the eternal name
    The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
    The named is the mother of myriad things
    Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
    Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
    These two emerge together but differ in name
    The unity is said to be the mystery
    Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders
    
    
    Chapter 2
    When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises
    When it knows good as good, evil arises
    Thus being and non-being produce each other
    Difficult and easy bring about each other
    Long and short reveal each other
    High and low support each other
    Music and voice harmonize each other
    Front and back follow each other
    Therefore the sages:
    Manage the work of detached actions
    Conduct the teaching of no words
    They work with myriad things but do not control
    They create but do not possess
    They act but do not presume
    They succeed but do not dwell on success
    It is because they do not dwell on success
    That it never goes away
    
    
    Chapter 3
    Do not glorify the achievers
    So the people will not squabble
    Do not treasure goods that are hard to obtain
    So the people will not become thieves
    Do not show the desired things
    So their hearts will not be confused
    
    Thus the governance of the sage:
    Empties their hearts
    Fills their bellies
    Weakens their ambitions
    Strengthens their bones
    
    Let the people have no cunning and no greed
    So those who scheme will not dare to meddle
    
    Act without contrivance
    And nothing will be beyond control
    
    
    Chapter 4
    The Tao is empty
    When utilized, it is not filled up
    So deep! It seems to be the source of all things
    
    It blunts the sharpness
    Unravels the knots
    Dims the glare
    Mixes the dusts
    
    So indistinct! It seems to exist
    I do not know whose offspring it is
    Its image is the predecessor of the Emperor
    
    
    Chapter 5
    Heaven and Earth are impartial
    They regard myriad things as straw dogs
    The sages are impartial
    They regard people as straw dogs
    
    The space between Heaven and Earth
    Is it not like a bellows?
    Empty, and yet never exhausted
    It moves, and produces more
    
    Too many words hasten failure
    Cannot compare to keeping to the void
    
    
    Chapter 6
    The valley spirit, undying
    Is called the Mystic Female
    
    The gate of the Mystic Female
    Is called the root of Heaven and Earth
    
    It flows continuously, barely perceptible
    Utilize it; it is never exhausted
    
    
    Chapter 7
    Heaven and Earth are everlasting
    The reason Heaven and Earth can last forever
    Is that they do not exist for themselves
    Thus they can last forever
    
    Therefore the sages:
    Place themselves last but end up in front
    Are outside of themselves and yet survive
    Is it not due to their selflessness?
    That is how they can achieve their own goals
    
    
    Chapter 8
    The highest goodness resembles water
    Water greatly benefits myriad things without contention
    It stays in places that people dislike
    Therefore it is similar to the Tao
    
    Dwelling with the right location
    Feeling with great depth
    Giving with great kindness
    Speaking with great integrity
    Governing with great administration
    Handling with great capability
    Moving with great timing
    
    Because it does not contend
    It is therefore beyond reproach
    
    
    Chapter 9
    Holding a cup and overfilling it
    Cannot be as good as stopping short
    Pounding a blade and sharpening it
    Cannot be kept for long
    
    Gold and jade fill up the room
    No one is able to protect them
    Wealth and position bring arrogance
    And leave disasters upon oneself
    
    When achievement is completed, fame is attained
    Withdraw oneself
    This is the Tao of Heaven
    
    
    Chapter 10
    In holding the soul and embracing oneness
    Can one be steadfast, without straying?
    In concentrating the energy and reaching relaxation
    Can one be like an infant?
    In cleaning away the worldly view
    Can one be without imperfections?
    In loving the people and ruling the nation
    Can one be without manipulation?
    In the heavenly gate's opening and closing
    Can one hold to the feminine principle?
    In understanding clearly all directions
    Can one be without intellectuality?
    
    Bearing it, rearing it
    Bearing without possession
    Achieving without arrogance
    Raising without domination
    This is called the Mystic Virtue
    
    
    Chapter 11
    Thirty spokes join in one hub
    In its emptiness, there is the function of a vehicle
    Mix clay to create a container
    In its emptiness, there is the function of a container
    Cut open doors and windows to create a room
    In its emptiness, there is the function of a room
    
    Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit
    That which is empty is used to create functionality
    
    
    Chapter 12
    The five colors make one blind in the eyes
    The five sounds make one deaf in the ears
    The five flavors make one tasteless in the mouth
    
    Racing and hunting make one wild in the heart
    Goods that are difficult to acquire make one cause damage
    
    Therefore the sages care for the stomach and not the eyes
    That is why they discard the other and take this
    
    
    Chapter 13
    Favor and disgrace make one fearful
    The greatest misfortune is the self
    What does "favor and disgrace make one fearful" mean?
    Favor is high; disgrace is low
    Having it makes one fearful
    Losing it makes one fearful
    This is "favor and disgrace make one fearful"
    
    What does "the greatest misfortune is the self" mean?
    The reason I have great misfortune
    Is that I have the self
    If I have no self
    What misfortune do I have?
    
    So one who values the self as the world
    Can be given the world
    One who loves the self as the world
    Can be entrusted with the world
    
    
    Chapter 14
    Look at it, it cannot be seen
    It is called colorless
    Listen to it, it cannot be heard
    It is called noiseless
    Reach for it, it cannot be held
    It is called formless
    These three cannot be completely unraveled
    So they are combined into one
    
    Above it, not bright
    Below it, not dark
    Continuing endlessly, cannot be named
    It returns back into nothingness
    Thus it is called the form of the formless
    The image of the imageless
    This is called enigmatic
    Confront it, its front cannot be seen
    Follow it, its back cannot be seen
    
    Wield the Tao of the ancients
    To manage the existence of today
    One can know the ancient beginning
    It is called the Tao Axiom
    
    
    Chapter 15
    The Tao masters of antiquity
    Subtle wonders through mystery
    Depths that cannot be discerned
    Because one cannot discern them
    Therefore one is forced to describe the appearance
    
    Hesitant, like crossing a wintry river
    Cautious, like fearing four neighbors
    Solemn, like a guest
    Loose, like ice about to melt
    Genuine, like plain wood
    Open, like a valley
    Opaque, like muddy water
    
    Who can be muddled yet desist
    In stillness gradually become clear?
    Who can be serene yet persist
    In motion gradually come alive?
    
    One who holds this Tao does not wish to be overfilled
    Because one is not overfilled
    Therefore one can preserve and not create anew
    
    
    Chapter 16
    Attain the ultimate emptiness
    Hold on to the truest tranquility
    The myriad things are all active
    I therefore watch their return
    
    Everything flourishes; each returns to its root
    Returning to the root is called tranquility
    Tranquility is called returning to one's nature
    Returning to one's nature is called constancy
    Knowing constancy is called clarity
    
    Not knowing constancy, one recklessly causes trouble
    Knowing constancy is acceptance
    Acceptance is impartiality
    Impartiality is sovereign
    Sovereign is Heaven
    Heaven is Tao
    Tao is eternal
    The self is no more, without danger
    
    
    Chapter 17
    The highest rulers, people do not know they have them
    The next level, people love them and praise them
    The next level, people fear them
    The next level, people despise them
    If the rulers' trust is insufficient
    Have no trust in them
    
    Proceeding calmly, valuing their words
    Task accomplished, matter settled
    The people all say, "We did it naturally"
    
    
    Chapter 18
    The great Tao fades away
    There is benevolence and justice
    Intelligence comes forth
    There is great deception
    
    The six relations are not harmonious
    There is filial piety and kind affection
    The country is in confused chaos
    There are loyal ministers
    
    
    Chapter 19
    End sagacity; abandon knowledge
    The people benefit a hundred times
    
    End benevolence; abandon righteousness
    The people return to piety and charity
    
    End cunning; discard profit
    Bandits and thieves no longer exist
    
    These three things are superficial and insufficient
    Thus this teaching has its place:
    Show plainness; hold simplicity
    Reduce selfishness; decrease desires
    
    
    Chapter 20
    Cease learning, no more worries
    Respectful response and scornful response
    How much is the difference?
    Goodness and evil
    How much do they differ?
    What the people fear, I cannot be unafraid
    
    So desolate! How limitless it is!
    The people are excited
    As if enjoying a great feast
    As if climbing up to the terrace in spring
    I alone am quiet and uninvolved
    Like an infant not yet smiling
    So weary, like having no place to return
    The people all have surplus
    While I alone seem lacking
    I have the heart of a fool indeed  so ignorant!
    Ordinary people are bright
    I alone am muddled
    Ordinary people are scrutinizing
    I alone am obtuse
    Such tranquility, like the ocean
    Such high wind, as if without limits
    
    The people all have goals
    And I alone am stubborn and lowly
    I alone am different from them
    And value the nourishing mother
    
    
    Chapter 21
    The appearance of great virtue
    Follows only the Tao
    The Tao, as a thing
    Seems indistinct, seems unclear
    
    So unclear, so indistinct
    Within it there is image
    So indistinct, so unclear
    Within it there is substance
    So deep, so profound
    Within it there is essence
    
    Its essence is supremely real
    Within it there is faith
    From ancient times to the present
    Its name never departs
    To observe the source of all things
    How do I know the nature of the source?
    With this
    
    
    Chapter 22
    Yield and remain whole
    Bend and remain straight
    Be low and become filled
    Be worn out and become renewed
    Have little and receive
    Have much and be confused
    Therefore the sages hold to the one as an example for the world
    Without flaunting themselves  and so are seen clearly
    Without presuming themselves  and so are distinguished
    Without praising themselves  and so have merit
    Without boasting about themselves  and so are lasting
    
    Because they do not contend, the world cannot contend with them
    What the ancients called "the one who yields and remains whole"
    Were they speaking empty words?
    Sincerity becoming whole, and returning to oneself
    
    
    Chapter 23
    Sparse speech is natural
    Thus strong wind does not last all morning
    Sudden rain does not last all day
    What makes this so? Heaven and Earth
    Even Heaven and Earth cannot make it last
    How can humans?
    
    Thus those who follow the Tao are with the Tao
    Those who follow virtue are with virtue
    Those who follow loss are with loss
    Those who are with the Tao, the Tao is also pleased to have them
    Those who are with virtue, virtue is also pleased to have them
    Those who are with loss, loss is also please to have them
    Those who do not trust sufficiently, others have no trust in them 
    
    
    Chapter 24
    Those who are on tiptoes cannot stand
    Those who straddle cannot walk
    Those who flaunt themselves are not clear
    Those who presume themselves are not distinguished
    Those who praise themselves have no merit
    Those who boast about themselves do not last
    
    Those with the Tao call such things leftover food or tumors
    They despise them
    Thus, those who possesses the Tao do not engage in them
    
    
    Chapter 25
    There is something formlessly created
    Born before Heaven and Earth
    So silent! So ethereal!
    Independent and changeless
    Circulating and ceaseless
    It can be regarded as the mother of the world
    
    I do not know its name
    Identifying it, I call it "Tao"
    Forced to describe it, I call it great
    Great means passing
    Passing means receding
    Receding means returning
    Therefore the Tao is great
    Heaven is great
    Earth is great
    The sovereign is also great
    There are four greats in the universe
    And the sovereign occupies one of them
    Humans follow the laws of Earth
    Earth follows the laws of Heaven
    Heaven follows the laws of Tao
    Tao follows the laws of nature
    
    
    Chapter 26
    Heaviness is the root of lightness
    Quietness is the master of restlessness
    
    Therefore the sages travel an entire day
    Without leaving the heavy supplies
    Even though there are luxurious sights
    They are composed and transcend beyond
    
    How can the lords of ten thousand chariots
    Apply themselves lightly to the world?
    To be light is to lose one's root
    To be restless is to lose one's mastery
    
    
    Chapter 27
    Good traveling does not leave tracks
    Good speech does not seek faults
    Good reckoning does not use counters
    Good closure needs no bar and yet cannot be opened
    Good knot needs no rope and yet cannot be untied
    
    Therefore sages often save others
    And so do not abandon anyone
    They often save things
    And so do not abandon anything
    This is called following enlightenment
    
    Therefore the good person is the teacher of the bad person
    The bad person is the resource of the good person
    Those who do not value their teachers
    And do not love their resources
    Although intelligent, they are greatly confused
    This is called the essential wonder
    
    
    Chapter 28
    Know the masculine, hold to the feminine
    Be the watercourse of the world
    Being the watercourse of the world
    The eternal virtue does not depart
    Return to the state of the infant
    Know the white, hold to the black
    Be the standard of the world
    Being the standard of the world
    The eternal virtue does not deviate
    Return to the state of the boundless
    Know the honor, hold to the humility
    Be the valley of the world
    Being the valley of the world
    The eternal virtue shall be sufficient
    Return to the state of plain wood
    Plain wood splits, then becomes tools
    The sages utilize them
    And then become leaders
    Thus the greater whole is undivided
    
    
    Chapter 29
    Those who wish to take the world and control it
    I see that they cannot succeed
    The world is a sacred instrument
    One cannot control it
    The one who controls it will fail
    The one who grasps it will lose
    
    Because all things:
    Either lead or follow
    Either blow hot or cold
    Either have strength or weakness
    Either have ownership or take by force
    
    Therefore the sage:
    Eliminates extremes
    Eliminates excess
    Eliminates arrogance
    
    
    Chapter 30
    The one who uses the Tao to advise the ruler
    Does not dominate the world with soldiers
    Such methods tend to be returned
    
    The place where the troops camp
    Thistles and thorns grow
    Following the great army
    There must be an inauspicious year
    
    A good commander achieves result, then stops
    And does not dare to reach for domination
    Achieves result but does not brag
    Achieves result but does not flaunt
    Achieves result but is not arrogant
    Achieves result but only out of necessity
    Achieves result but does not dominate
    
    Things become strong and then get old
    This is called contrary to the Tao
    That which is contrary to the Tao soon ends
    
    
    Chapter 31
    A strong military, a tool of misfortune
    All things detest it
    Therefore, those who possess the Tao avoid it
    Honorable gentlemen, while at home, value the left
    When deploying the military, value the right
    
    The military is a tool of misfortune
    Not the tool of honorable gentlemen
    When using it out of necessity
    Calm detachment should be above all
    Victorious but without glory
    Those who glorify
    Are delighting in the killing
    Those who delight in killing
    Cannot achieve their ambitions upon the world
    
    Auspicious events favor the left
    Inauspicious events favor the right
    The lieutenant general is positioned to the left
    The major general is positioned to the right
    We say that they are treated as if in a funeral
    Those who have been killed
    Should be mourned with sadness
    Victory in war should be treated as a funeral
    
    
    Chapter 32
    The Tao, eternally nameless
    Its simplicity, although imperceptible
    Cannot be treated by the world as subservient
    
    If the sovereign can hold on to it
    All will follow by themselves
    Heaven and Earth, together in harmony
    Will rain sweet dew
    People will not need to force it; it will adjust by itself
    
    In the beginning, there were names
    Names came to exist everywhere
    One should know when to stop
    Knowing when to stop, thus avoiding danger
    
    The existence of the Tao in the world
    Is like streams in the valley into rivers and the ocean
    
    
    Chapter 33
    Those who understand others are intelligent
    Those who understand themselves are enlightened
    
    Those who overcome others have strength
    Those who overcome themselves are powerful
    
    Those who know contentment are wealthy
    Those who proceed vigorously have willpower
    
    Those who do not lose their base endure
    Those who die but do not perish have longevity
    
    
    Chapter 34
    The great Tao is like a flood
    It can flow to the left or to the right
    
    The myriad things depend on it for life, but it never stops
    It achieves its work, but does not take credit
    It clothes and feeds myriad things, but does not rule over them
    
    Ever desiring nothing
    It can be named insignificant
    Myriad things return to it but it does not rule over them
    It can be named great
    
    Even in the end, it does not regard itself as great
    That is how it can achieve its greatness
    
    
    Chapter 35
    Hold the great image
    All under heaven will come
    They come without harm, in harmonious peace
    
    Music and food, passing travelers stop
    The Tao that is spoken out of the mouth
    Is bland and without flavor
    
    Look at it, it cannot be seen
    Listen to it, it cannot be heard
    Use it, it cannot be exhausted
    
    
    Chapter 36
    If one wishes to shrink it
    One must first expand it
    If one wishes to weaken it
    One must first strengthen it
    If one wishes to discard it
    One must first promote it
    If one wishes to seize it
    One must first give it
    This is called subtle clarity
    
    The soft and weak overcomes the tough and strong
    Fish cannot leave the depths
    The sharp instruments of the state
    Cannot be shown to the people
    
    
    Chapter 37
    The Tao is constant in non-action
    Yet there is nothing it does not do
    
    If the sovereign can hold on to this
    All things shall transform themselves
    Transformed, yet wishing to achieve
    I shall restrain them with the simplicity of the nameless
    The simplicity of the nameless
    They shall be without desire
    Without desire, using stillness
    The world shall steady itself
     
    
    Chapter 38
    High virtue is not virtuous
    Therefore it has virtue
    Low virtue never loses virtue
    Therefore it has no virtue
    High virtue takes no contrived action
    And acts without agenda
    Low virtue takes contrived action
    And acts with agenda
    High benevolence takes contrived action
    And acts without agenda
    High righteousness takes contrived action
    And acts with agenda
    High etiquette takes contrived action
    And upon encountering no response
    Uses arms to pull others
    
    Therefore, the Tao is lost, and then virtue
    Virtue is lost, and then benevolence
    Benevolence is lost, and then righteousness
    Righteousness is lost, and then etiquette
    Those who have etiquette
    are a thin shell of loyalty and sincerity
    And the beginning of chaos
    Those with foreknowledge
    Are the flowers of the Tao
    And the beginning of ignorance
    Therefore the great person:
    Abides in substance, and does not dwell on the thin shell
    Abides in the real, and does not dwell on the flower
    Thus they discard that and take this
    
    
    Chapter 39
    Those that attained oneness since ancient times:
    The sky attained oneness and thus clarity
    The earth attained oneness and thus tranquility
    The gods attained oneness and thus divinity
    The valley attained oneness and thus abundance
    The myriad things attained oneness and thus life
    The rulers attained oneness and became the standard for the world
    These all emerged from oneness
    
    The sky, lacking clarity, would break apart
    The earth, lacking tranquility, would erupt
    The gods, lacking divinity, would vanish
    The valley, lacking abundance, would wither
    Myriad things, lacking life, would be extinct
    The rulers, lacking standard, would be toppled
    
    Therefore, the honored uses the lowly as basis
    The higher uses the lower as foundation
    Thus the rulers call themselves alone, bereft, and unworthy
    Is this not using the lowly as basis? Is it not so?
    Therefore, the ultimate honor is no honor
    
    Do not wish to be shiny like jade
    Be dull like rocks
    
    
    Chapter 40
    The returning is the movement of the Tao
    The weak is the utilization of the Tao
    
    The myriad things of the world are born of being
    Being is born of non-being
    
    
    Chapter 41
    Higher people hear of the Tao
    They diligently practice it
    Average people hear of the Tao
    They sometimes keep it and sometimes lose it
    Lower people hear of the Tao
    They laugh loudly at it
    If they do not laugh, it would not be the Tao
    
    Therefore a proverb has the following:
    The clear Tao appears unclear
    The advancing Tao appears to retreat
    The smooth Tao appears uneven
    High virtue appears like a valley
    Great integrity appears like disgrace
    Encompassing virtue appears insufficient
    Building virtue appears inactive
    True substance appears inconstant
    The great square has no corners
    The great vessel is late in completion
    The great music is imperceptible in sound
    The great image has no form
    The Tao is hidden and nameless
    Yet it is only the Tao
    That excels in giving and completing everything
    
    
    Chapter 42
    Tao produces one
    One produces two
    Two produce three
    Three produce myriad things
    Myriad things, backed by yin and embracing yang
    Achieve harmony by integrating their energy
    What the people dislike
    Are alone, bereft, and unworthy
    But the rulers call themselves with these terms
    
    So with all things
    Appear to take loss but benefit
    Or receive benefit but lose
    What the ancients taught
    I will also teach
    The violent one cannot have a natural death
    I will use this as the principal of all teachings
    
    
    Chapter 43
    The softest things of the world
    Override the hardest things of the world
    
    That which has no substance
    Enters into that which has no openings
    
    From this I know the benefits of unattached actions
    The teaching without words
    
    The benefits of actions without attachment
    Are rarely matched in the world
    
    
    Chapter 44
    Fame or the self, which is dearer?
    The self or wealth, which is greater?
    Gain or loss, which is more painful?
    
    Thus excessive love must lead to great spending
    Excessive hoarding must lead to heavy loss
    
    Knowing contentment avoids disgrace
    Knowing when to stop avoids danger
    Thus one can endure indefinitely
    
    
    Chapter 45
    Great perfection seems flawed
    Its function is without failure
    Great fullness seems empty
    Its function is without exhaustion
    Great straightness seems bent
    
    Great skill seems unrefined
    Great eloquence seems inarticulate
    Movement overcomes cold
    Stillness overcomes heat
    Clear quietness is the standard of the world
    
    
    Chapter 46
    When the world has the Tao
    Fast horses are retired to till the soil
    When the world lacks the Tao
    Warhorses give birth on the battlefield
    
    There is no crime greater than greed
    No disaster greater than discontentment
    No fault greater than avarice
    Thus the satisfaction of contentment
    is the lasting satisfaction
    
    
    Chapter 47
    Without going out the door, know the world
    Without peering out the window, see the Heavenly Tao
    The further one goes
    The less one knows
    
    Therefore the sage
    Knows without going
    Names without seeing
    Achieves without striving
    
    
    Chapter 48
    Pursue knowledge, daily gain
    Pursue Tao, daily loss
    
    Loss and more loss
    Until one reaches unattached action
    With unattached action, there is nothing one cannot do
    
    Take the world by constantly applying non-interference
    The one who interferes is not qualified to take the world
    
    
    Chapter 49
    The sages have no constant mind
    They take the mind of the people as their mind
    Those who are good, I am good to them
    Those who are not good, I am also good to them
    Thus the virtue of goodness
    Those who believe, I believe them
    Those who do not believe, I also believe them
    Thus the virtue of belief
    
    The sages live in the world
    They cautiously merge their mind for the world
    The people all pay attention with their ears and eyes
    The sages care for them as children
    
    
    Chapter 50
    Coming into life, entering death
    The followers of life, three in ten
    The followers of death, three in ten
    Those whose lives are moved toward death
    Also three in ten
    Why? Because they live lives of excess
    
    I've heard of those who are good at cultivating life
    Traveling on the road, they do not encounter rhinos or tigers
    Entering into an army, they are not harmed by weapons
    Rhinos have nowhere to thrust their horns
    Tigers have nowhere to clasp their claws
    Soldiers have nowhere to lodge their blades
    Why? Because they have no place for death
    
    
    Chapter 51
    Tao produces them
    Virtue raises them
    Things shape them
    Forces perfect them
    
    Therefore all things respect the Tao and value virtue
    The respect for Tao, the value of virtue
    Not due to command but to constant nature
    
    Thus Tao produces them
    Virtue raises them
    Grows them, educates them
    Perfects them, matures them
    Nurtures them, protects them
    
    Produces but does not possess
    Acts but does not flaunt
    Nurtures but does not dominate
    This is called Mystic Virtue
    
    
    Chapter 52
    The world has a beginning
    We regard it as the mother of the world
    Having its mother
    We can know her children
    Knowing her children
    Still holding on to the mother
    Live without danger all through life
    
    Close the mouth
    Shut the doors
    Live without toil all through life
    Open the mouth
    Meddle in the affairs
    Live without salvation all through life
    
    Seeing details is called clarity
    Holding on to the soft is called strength
    Utilize the light
    Return to the clarity
    Leaving no disasters for the self
    This is called practicing constancy
    
    
    Chapter 53
    If I have a little knowledge
    Walking on the great Tao
    I fear only to deviate from it
    The great Tao is broad and plain
    But people like the side paths
    
    The courts are corrupt
    The fields are barren
    The warehouses are empty
    
    Officials wear fineries
    Carry sharp swords
    Fill up on drinks and food
    Acquire excessive wealth
    
    This is called robbery
    It is not the Tao!
    
    
    Chapter 54
    That which is well established cannot be uprooted
    That which is strongly held cannot be taken
    The descendants will commemorate it forever
    
    Cultivate it in yourself; its virtue shall be true
    Cultivate it in the family; its virtue shall be abundant
    Cultivate it in the community; its virtue shall be lasting
    Cultivate it in the country; its virtue shall be prosperous
    Cultivate it in the world; its virtue shall be widespread
    
    Therefore observe others with yourself
    Observe other families with your family
    Observe other communities with your community
    Observe other countries with your country
    Observe the world with the world
    With what do I know the world?
    With this
    
    
    Chapter 55
    Those who hold an abundance of virtue
    Are similar to newborn infants
    Poisonous insects do not sting them
    Wild beasts do not claw them
    Birds of prey do not attack them
    Their bones are weak, tendons are soft
    But their grasp is firm
    They do not know of sexual union but can manifest arousal
    Due to the optimum of essence
    They can cry the whole day and yet not be hoarse
    Due to the optimum of harmony
    Knowing harmony is said to be constancy
    Knowing constancy is said to be clarity
    
    Excessive vitality is said to be inauspicious
    Mind overusing energy is said to be aggressive
    Things become strong and then grow old
    This is called contrary to the Tao
    That which is contrary to the Tao will soon perish
    
    
    Chapter 56
    Those who know do not talk
    Those who talk do not know
    
    Close the mouth
    Shut the doors
    Blunt the sharpness
    Unravel the knots
    Dim the glare
    Mix the dust
    This is called Mystic Oneness
    
    They cannot obtain this and be closer
    They cannot obtain this and be distant
    They cannot obtain this and be benefited
    They cannot obtain this and be harmed
    They cannot obtain this and be valued
    They cannot obtain this and be degraded
    Therefore, they become honored by the world
    
    
    Chapter 57
    Govern a country with upright integrity
    Deploy the military with surprise tactics
    Take the world with non-interference
    How do I know this is so?
    With the following:
    
    When there are many restrictions in the world
    The people become more impoverished
    When people have many sharp weapons
    The country becomes more chaotic
    When people have many clever tricks
    More strange things occur
    The more laws are posted
    The more robbers and thieves there are
    
    Therefore the sage says:
    I take unattached action, and the people transform themselves
    I prefer quiet, and the people right themselves
    I do not interfere, and the people enrich themselves
    I have no desires, and the people simplify themselves
    
    
    Chapter 58
    When governing is lackluster
    The people are simple and honest
    When governing is scrutinizing
    The people are shrewd and crafty
    
    Misfortune is what fortune depends upon
    Fortune is where misfortune hides beneath
    Who knows their ultimate end?
    They have no determined outcome
    Rightness reverts to become strange
    Goodness reverts to become wicked
    The confusion of people
    has lasted many long days
    
    Therefore the sages are:
    Righteous without being scathing
    Incorruptible without being piercing
    Straightforward without being ruthless
    Illuminated without being flashy
    
    
    Chapter 59
    In governing people and serving Heaven
    There is nothing like conservation
    Only with conservation is it called submitting early
    Submitting early is called emphasis on accumulating virtues
    Accumulating virtues means there is nothing one cannot overcome
    When there is nothing that one cannot overcome
    One's limits are unknown
    The limitations being unknown, one can possess sovereignty
    With this mother principle of power, one can be everlasting
    This is called deep roots and firm foundation
    The Tao of longevity and lasting vision
    
    
    Chapter 60
    Ruling a large country is like cooking a small fish
    Using the Tao to manage the world
    Its demons have no power
    Not only do its demons have no power
    Its gods do not harm people
    
    Not only do its gods not harm people
    The sages also do not harm people
    They both do no harm to one another
    So virtue merges and returns
    
    
    Chapter 61
    The large country is like the lowest river
    The converging point of the world
    The receptive female of the world
    The female always overcomes the male with serenity
    Using serenity as the lower position
    
    Thus if the large country is lower than the small country
    Then it can take the small country
    If the small country is lower than the large country
    Then it can be taken by the large country
    Thus one uses the lower position to take
    The other uses the lower position to be taken
    The large country only wishes to gather and protect people
    The small country only wishes to join and serve people
    So that both obtain what they wish
    The larger one should assume the lower position
    
    
    Chapter 62
    The Tao is the wonder of all things
    The treasure of the kind person
    The protection of the unkind person
    
    Admirable words can win the public's respect
    Admirable actions can improve people
    Those who are unkind
    How can they be abandoned?
    
    Therefore, when crowning the Emperor
    And installing the three ministers
    Although there is the offering of jade before four horses
    None of it can compare to being seated in this Tao
    
    Why did the ancients value this Tao so much?
    Is it not said that those who seek will find,
    And those with guilt will not be faulted?
    Therefore, it is the greatest value in the world
    
    
    Chapter 63
    Act without action
    Manage without meddling
    Taste without tasting
    Great, small, many, few
    Respond to hatred with virtue
    
    Plan difficult tasks through the simplest tasks
    Achieve large tasks through the smallest tasks
    The difficult tasks of the world
    Must be handled through the simple tasks
    The large tasks of the world
    Must be handled through the small tasks
    Therefore, sages never attempt great deeds all through life
    Thus they can achieve greatness
    
    One who makes promises lightly must deserve little trust
    One who sees many easy tasks must encounter much difficulty
    Therefore, sages regard things as difficult
    So they never encounter difficulties all through life
    
    
    Chapter 64
    When it is peaceful, it is easy to maintain
    When it shows no signs, it is easy to plan 
    When it is fragile, it is easy to break
    When it is small, it is easy to scatter
    Act on it when it has not yet begun
    Treat it when it is not yet chaotic
    A tree thick enough to embrace
    Grows from the tiny sapling
    A tower of nine levels
    Starts from the dirt heap
    A journey of a thousand miles
    Begins beneath the feet
    
    The one who meddles will fail
    The one who grasps will lose
    Therefore, sages do not meddle and thus do not fail
    They do not grasp and thus do not lose
    
    People, in handling affairs
    Often come close to completion and fail
    If they are as careful in the end as the beginning
    Then they would have no failure
    
    Therefore, sages desire not to desire
    They do not value goods that are hard to acquire
    They learn to unlearn
    To redeem the fault of the people
    To assist the nature of all things
    Without daring to meddle
    
    
    Chapter 65
    Those of ancient times who were adept at the Tao
    Used it not to make people brighter
    But to keep them simple
    The difficulty in governing people
    Is due their excessive cleverness
    Therefore, using cleverness to govern the state
    Is being a thief of the state
    Not using cleverness to govern the state
    Is being a blessing of the state
    
    Know that these two are both standards
    Always knowing these standards
    Is called Mystic Virtue
    Mystic Virtue: Profound! Far-reaching!
    It goes opposite to material things
    Then it reaches great congruence
    
    
    Chapter 66
    Rivers and oceans can be the kings of a hundred valleys
    Because of their goodness in staying low
    So they can be the kings of a hundred valleys
    Thus if sages wish to be over people
    They must speak humbly to them
    If they wish to be in front of people
    They must place themselves behind them
    Thus the sages are positioned above
    But the people do not feel burdened
    They are positioned in front
    But the people do not feel harmed
    Thus the world is glad to push them forward without resentment
    Because they do not contend
    So the world cannot contend with them
    
    
    Chapter 67
    Everyone in the world calls my Tao great
    As if it is beyond compare
    It is only because of its greatness
    That it seems beyond compare
    If it can be compared
    It would already be insignificant long ago!
    
    I have three treasures
    I hold on to them and protect them
    The first is called compassion
    The second is called conservation
    The third is called not daring to be ahead in the world
    Compassionate, thus able to have courage
    Conserving, thus able to reach widely
    Not daring to be ahead in the world
    Thus able to assume leadership
    Now if one has courage but discards compassion
    Reaches widely but discards conservation
    Goes ahead but discards being behind
    Then death!
    If one fights with compassion, then victory
    With defense, then security
    Heaven shall save them
    And with compassion guard them
    
    
    Chapter 68
    The great generals are not warlike
    The great warriors do not get angry
    Those who are good at defeating enemies do not engage them
    Those who are good at managing people lower themselves
    It is called the virtue of non-contention
    It is called the power of managing people
    It is called being harmonious with Heaven
    The ultimate principle of the ancients
    
    
    Chapter 69
    In using the military, there is a saying:
    I dare not be the host, but prefer to be the guest
    I dare not advance an inch, but prefer to withdraw a foot
    
    This is called marching in formation without formation
    Raising arms without arms
    Grappling enemies without enemies
    Holding weapons without weapons
    There is no greater disaster than to underestimate the enemy
    Underestimating the enemy almost made me lose my treasures
    
    So when evenly matched armies meet
    The side that is compassionate shall win
    
    
    Chapter 70
    My words are easy to understand, easy to practice
    The world cannot understand, cannot practice
    My words have basis
    My actions have principle
    People do not understand this
    Therefore they do not understand me
    Those who understand me are few
    Thus I am highly valued
    Therefore the sage wears plain clothes but holds jade
    
    
    Chapter 71
    To know that you do not know is highest
    To not know but think you know is flawed
    
    Only when one recognizes the fault as a fault
    can one be without fault
    
    The sages are without fault
    Because they recognize the fault as a fault
    That is why they are without fault
    
    
    Chapter 72
    When people no longer fear force
    They bring about greater force
    
    Do not limit their place
    Do not reject their livelihood
    Because the ruler does not reject them
    Therefore they do not reject the ruler
    
    Therefore the sages:
    Know themselves but do not glorify themselves
    Respect themselves but do not praise themselves
    Thus they discard that and take this
    
    
    Chapter 73
    The bold in daring will be killed
    The bold in not daring will survive
    
    Of these two, one may benefit, the other may harm
    The one hated by Heaven  who knows the reason?
    Even the sages still find this difficult
    
    The Tao of Heaven:
    Does not contend and yet excels in winning
    Does not speak and yet excels in responding
    Is not summoned and yet comes on its own
    Is unhurried and yet excels in planning
    The heavenly net is vast
    Loose, and yet does not let anything slip through
    
    
    Chapter 74
    People do not fear death
    How can they be threatened with death?
    If people are made to constantly fear death
    Then those who act unlawfully
    I can capture and kill them
    Who would dare?
    There exists a master executioner that kills
    If we substitute for the master executioner to kill
    It is like substituting for the great carpenter to cut
    Those who substitute for the great carpenter to cut
    It is rare that they do not hurt their own hands
    
    
    Chapter 75
    The people's hunger
    Is due to the excess of their ruler's taxation
    So they starve
    The people's difficulty in being governed
    Is due to the meddling of their ruler
    So they are difficult to govern
    The people's disregard for death
    Is due to the glut in their ruler's pursuit of life
    So they disregard death
    Therefore those who do not strive for living
    Are better than those who value living
    
    
    Chapter 76
    While alive, the body is soft and pliant
    When dead, it is hard and rigid
    All living things, grass and trees,
    While alive, are soft and supple
    When dead, become dry and brittle
    Thus that which is hard and stiff
    is the follower of death
    That which is soft and yielding
    is the follower of life
    Therefore, an inflexible army will not win
    A strong tree will be cut down
    The big and forceful occupy a lowly position
    While the soft and pliant occupy a higher place
    
    
    Chapter 77
    The Tao of Heaven
    Is like drawing a bow
    Lower that which is high
    Raise that which is low
    Reduce that which has excess
    Add to that which is lacking
    
    The Tao of heaven
    Reduces the excessive
    And adds to the lacking
    
    The Tao of people is not so
    It reduces the lacking
    In order to offer to the excessive
    
    Who can offer their excess to the world?
    Only those who have the Tao
    Therefore sages act without conceit
    Achieve without claiming credit
    They do not wish to display their virtue!
    
    
    Chapter 78
    Nothing in the world is softer or weaker than water
    Yet nothing is better at overcoming the hard and strong
    This is because nothing can replace it
    
    That the weak overcomes the strong
    And the soft overcomes the hard
    Everybody in the world knows
    But cannot put into practice
    
    Therefore sages say:
    The one who accepts the humiliation of the state
    Is called its master
    The one who accepts the misfortune of the state
    Becomes king of the world
    The truth seems like the opposite
    
    
    Chapter 79
    After settling a great dispute
    There must be remaining resentments
    How can this be considered good?
    Therefore the sage holds the left part of the contract
    But does not demand payment from the other person
    Those who have virtue hold the contract
    Those without virtue hold the collections
    
    The Heavenly Tao has no favorites
    It constantly gives to the kind people
    
    
    Chapter 80
    Small country, few people
    Let them have many weapons but not use them
    Let the people regard death seriously
    And not migrate far away
    
    Although they have boats and chariots
    They have no need to take them
    Although they have armors and weapons
    They have no need to display them
    
    Let the people return to tying knots and using them
    Savor their food, admire their clothes
    Content in their homes, happy in their customs
    
    Neighboring countries see one another
    Hear the sounds of roosters and dogs from one another
    The people, until they grow old and die
    Do not go back and forth with one another
    
    
    Chapter 81
    True words are not beautiful
    Beautiful words are not true
    Those who are good do not debate
    Those who debate are not good
    Those who know are not broad of knowledge
    Those who are broad of knowledge do not know
    
    Sages do not accumulate
    The more they assist others, the more they possess
    The more they give to others, the more they gain
    
    The Tao of heaven
    Benefits and does not harm
    The Tao of sages
    Assists and does not contend