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TAO TE CHING 23: On Not Outdoing Heaven and Earth

TEXT
希言自然。
故飘风不终朝,
骤雨不终日,孰为此者?天地。
天地尚不能久,而况于人乎?
故从事于道者同于道;
德者同于德;失者同于失。
 
同于道者,道亦乐得之;
同于德者,德亦乐得之;
同于失者,失亦乐得之。
 
信不足焉,有不信焉!
 
TRANSLATION
A rain storm does not last all day. Who makes it? Heaven and Earth.
If Heaven and Earth cannot go on and on, can

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TAO TE CHING 22: Bent but Intact

TEXT

曲则全,枉则直,
洼则盈,敝则新,
少则得,多则惑。
是以圣人抱一为天下式。
不自见,故明;
不自是,故彰,
不自伐,故有功;
不自矜,故长。
夫唯不争,
故天下莫能与之争。
古之所谓"曲则全"者,
岂虚言哉?
诚全而归之。

TRANSLATION
Crooked, then whole; bent, then straight;
low, then full; battered, then new;
lacking, then apt; endowed, then perplexed.
Therefore, the

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TAO TE CHING 25: The Mother of Heaven and earth

TEXT

有物混成,先天地生。
寂兮寥兮,独立而不改,
周行而不殆,可以为天地母。
吾不知其名,强字之曰:道,
强为之名曰:大。
大曰逝,逝曰远,远曰反。
故道大,天大,地大,人亦大。
域中有四大,而人居其一焉。
人法地,地法天,天法道,
道法自然。

TRANSLATION

有物混成,先天地生
There is something confusedly formed,
born before heaven and earth.

寂兮寥兮,独立而不改,
silent, empty, standing alone an

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TAO TE CHING 31: Weapons are ominous

TEXT

夫兵者,不祥之器,
物或恶之,故有道者不处。

君子居则贵左,
用兵则贵右。
兵者不祥之器,
非君子之器,
不得已而用之,
恬淡为上,
胜而不美,
而美之者,
是乐杀人。

夫乐杀人者,
则不可得志于天下矣。

吉事尚左,凶事尚右。

偏将军居左,上将军居右。
言以丧礼处之。
杀人之众,以悲哀莅之,
战胜以丧礼处之。


TRANSLATION
The implements of the soldiering man are inauspicious;
such things are harmful,
therefore the

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TAO TE CHING 30: Non-coercion


TEXT

以道佐人主者,
不以兵强天下,
其事好还。

师之所处,
荆棘生焉。
大军之后,
必有凶年。

善有果而已,
不敢以取强。

果而勿矜,
果而勿伐,
果而勿骄,
果而不得已,
果而勿强。

物壮则老,
是谓不道,
不道早已。

TRANSLATION

Use Tao to assist the rulers of the people.
Don’t use armies upon the land under Heaven,
that kind of thing rebounds.

Where armies camp
tho

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TAO TE CHING 24: The Sickening Savour of Conceit

TEXT
企者不立,跨者不行;
自见者不明;自是者不彰;
自伐者无功;自矜者不长。
其在道也,曰余食赘形。
物或恶之,故有道者不处。
 
 
TRANSLATION
企者不立,跨者不行
A person on tip-toe cannot stride.
 
自见者不明;自是者不彰
One who puts himself forward does not shine; one who is himself is not showy.
 
自伐者无功;自矜者不长
One who boasts

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TAO TE CHING 32: Know when to stop

TEXT

道常无名,朴。
虽小,天下莫能臣。
候王若能守之,万物将自宾。
天地相合,以降甘露,
民莫之令而自均。

始制有名,
名亦既有,夫亦将知止,
知止可以不殆。
譬道之在天下,
犹川谷之于江海


TRANSLATION

The constant Tao has no name; it just is.
Although unassuming, there is none in the land under Heaven who can subject it.
When leaders regard it, all

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TAO TE CHING 21: Just Thus


孔德之容,惟道是从。
道之为物,惟恍惟惚。
惚兮恍兮,其中有象;
恍兮惚兮,其中有物;
窈兮冥兮,其中有精,
其精甚真,其中有信,
自今及古,其名不去,
以阅众甫。
吾何以知众甫之状哉?
以此。

TRANSLATION
The appearance of a person of high Te (virtue) is due to nothing except the Tao.
The activity of Tao is vague and indistinct:
so indistinct

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TAO TE CHING 29: Not grasping, not fixing

TEXT

将欲取天下而为之,
吾见其不得已。
天下神器,
不可为也,
不可执也。

为者败之,
执者失之。
是以圣人无为,
故无败,
故无失。
夫物或行或随;
或觑或吹;
或强或羸;
或载或隳。
是以圣人去甚、去奢、去泰

TRANSLATION

I see that if somebody acts desiring to possess the land under Heaven, he will never arrive at his goal.
It is the contrivance of

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TAO TE CHING 28: The Dark Wisdom

TEXT

知其雄,守其雌,为天下溪。
为天下溪,常德不离,复归于婴儿。

知其白,守其黑,为天下式,
为天下式,常德不忒,复归于无极。

知其荣,守其辱,为天下谷。
为天下谷,常德乃足,
复归于朴。

朴散则为器,圣人用之,
则为官长,故大制不割

TRANSLATION

Know the masculine, keep to the feminine,
Here under Heaven, be as a ravine.
Being as a ravine here under Heaven,
do

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TAO TE CHING 20: I alone seem stupid

TEXT
絕學無憂
唯之与阿,相去几何?
美之与恶,相去若何?
人之所畏,不可不畏?
荒兮!
其未央哉!众人熙熙,
如享太牢,如春登台。
我独泊兮,其未兆;
沌沌兮,如婴儿之未孩;
傫傫兮,若无所归。
众人皆有余,而我独若遗。
我愚人之心也哉!
俗人昭昭⒅,我独昏昏。
俗人察察,我独闷闷。
澹兮,其若海;
飂兮,若无止。
众人皆有以,而我独顽且鄙。
我独异于人,而贵食母。

TRANSLATION

Cut out copying the crowd - no misery!
Between bribery and flattery,

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TAO TE CHING 35: The elephant

TEXT

执大象,天下往。
往而不害,安平太。
乐与饵,过客止,
道之出口,淡乎其无味,
视之不足见,听之不足闻,
用之不足既。


TRANSLATION
Attain the great principle and the world under Heaven goes along;
goes along but without harm, in complete peace and calm.
Music and food will induce a passing traveller to stop,
but

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TAO TE CHING 27: Following the Light

TEXT
善行,无辙迹;
善言,无瑕谪;
善数,不用筹策;
善闭,无关楗而不可开;
善结,无绳约而不可解。

是以圣人常善救人,故无弃人;
常善救物,故无弃物。
是谓袭明。

故善人者,不善人之师;
不善人者,善人之资。
不贵其师,不爱其资,
虽智大迷,
是谓要妙。

TRANSLATION
Good actions leave no trace;
Good speech leaves no blame;
Good plans do not need stick and carrot;
Good c

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TAOISM - AN INTRODUCTION

TAOISM IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT

Taoism is one of the three great religions of China, along with Buddhism and Confucianism. It is a religion and philosophy that grew up in the warring States period that preceded the first unification of Chine under the Q

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TAO TE CHING 26: The Weight of Responsibility

TEXT

重为轻根,静为躁君。
是以君子终日行不离辎重,
虽有荣观,燕处超然。
奈何万乘之主,而以身轻天下?
轻则失根,躁则失君。


TRANSLATION

By seriousness frivolity can have a root.
By calm impatience.can have a master.
Thus the nobleman travels all day long
never leaving the heavy wagons.
Although one have a

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TAO TE CHING 15: Incompletionism

古之善為士者,微妙玄通,深不可識。
夫唯不可識,故強為之容:
豫兮若 冬涉川﹔
猶兮若畏四鄰﹔
儼兮其若客﹔
渙兮若冰之釋﹔
敦兮其若朴曠兮
其若谷﹔混兮其若濁。

孰能晦以理之徐明?
孰能濁以靜之徐清?
孰能安以 動之徐生?
保此道者不欲盈。
夫唯不盈,
故能蔽而新成。

Good people of old
penetrated subtle mysteries.
They were indecipherably deep.
The ordinary person cannot unders

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TAO TE CHING 14

14.

视之不见名曰夷。
听之不闻名曰希。
抟之不得名曰微。
此三者不可致诘,
故混而为一。
其上不皦, 其下不昧,
绳绳不可名,复归於无物。
是谓无状之状,无物之象,是谓惚恍。
迎之不见其首,随之不见其後。
执古之道以御今之有。
能知古始,是谓道纪。

Fairly Literal Translation

The look that does not see is called foreign

The listening that does not hear is called unusual

The t

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TAO TE CHING Chapter Twelve

Chapter 12

五色令人目盲,

五音令人耳聋,

五味令人口爽,

驰骋畋猎令人心发狂,

难得之货令人行妨。

是以圣人,

為腹不為目,

故去彼取此

The eyes of the person gone wild on the five sights, are blind.

The ears of the person driven wild by the five cries, are deaf.

The taste of the person driven wild by th

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TAO TE CHING Chapter Eleven

Chapter 11

三十幅共一毂,当其无,有車之用。

埏埴以為器,当其无,有器之用。

凿户牖以為室,当其无,有室之用。

故有之以為利,无之以為用。

Thirty spokes come together at the hub;

it is the space between that makes it usable.

Mix up clay and make a pot;

it is the space inside that makes it usable.

Assemble win

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