81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations
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Chapter 23 – To talk little is natural

To talk little is natural. High winds do not last all morning. Heavy rain does not last all day. Why is this? Heaven and Earth! If heaven and Earth cannot make things eternal, How is it possible for man? He who follows the Tao Is at one with the Tao. He who is virtuous Experiences Virtue. He who loses the way Is lost. When you are at one with the Tao, The Tao welcomes you. When you are at one with Virtue, The Virtue...

Chapter 17 – Who does not trust enough will not be trusted

The very highest if barely known. Then comes that which people know and love. Then that which is feared, Then that which is despised. Who does not trust enough will not be trusted. When actions are performed Without unnecessary speech, People say, “We did it!” Support Authors: Gia-Fu Fen & Jane English Get your copy of this Translation here: Tao Te Ching, 25th-Anniversary Edition by Lao...

Chapter 13 – Accept disgrace willingly

Accept disgrace willingly. Accept misfortune as the human condition. What do you mean by “Accept disgrace willingly”? Accept being unimportant. Do not be concerned with loss or gain. This is called “accepting disgrace willingly.” What do you mean by “Accept misfortune as the human condition”? Misfortune comes from having a body. Without a body, how could there be...

Chapter 12 – The five colors blind the eye

The five colors blind the eye. The five tones deafen the ear. The five flavors dull the taste. Racing and hunting madden the mind. Precious things lead one astray. Therefore the sage is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees. He lets go of that and chooses this. Support Authors: Gia-Fu Fen & Jane English Get your copy of this Translation here: Tao Te Ching, 25th-Anniversary Edition by Lao...

Chapter 03 – Not exalting the gifted prevents quarreling

Not exalting the gifted prevents quarreling. Not collecting treasures prevents stealing. Not seeing desirable things prevents confusion of the heart. The wise therefore rule by emptying hearts and stuffing bellies, by weakening ambitions And strengthening bones. If men lack knowledge and desire, then clever people will not try to interfere. If nothing is done, then all will be well. Support Authors: Gia-Fu Fen...

Chapter 74 – If men are not afraid to die, It is of no avail to threaten them with death.

If men are not afraid to die, It is of no avail to threaten them with death. If men live in constant fear of dying, And if breaking the law means that a man will be killed, Who will dare to break the law? There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you wi’ll only hurt your...

Chapter 55 – He who is filled with Virtue is like a newborn child

He who is filled with Virtue is like a newborn child. Wasps and serpents will not sting him; Wild beasts will not pounce upon him; He will not be attacked by birds of prey. His bones are soft, his muscles weak, But his grip is firm. He has not experienced the union of man and woman, but is whole. His manhood is strong- He screams all day without becoming hoarse. This is perfect harmony. Knowing harmony is...

Chapter 36 – That which shrinks Must first expand

That which shrinks Must first expand. That which fails Must first be strong. That which is cast down Must first be raised. Before receiving There must be giving. This is called perception of the nature of things. Soft and weak overcome hard and strong. Fish cannot leave deep waters, And a country’s weapons should not be displayed. Support Authors: Gia-Fu Fen & Jane English Get your copy of this...

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