81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations

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Chapter 01 – The Tao That Can Be Told

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 10 comments

Chapter 01 – The Tao That Can Be Told

The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things. Free from desire, you realize the mystery. Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations. Yet mystery and...

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Chapter 02 – Being and non-being

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 7 comments

Chapter 02 – Being and non-being

When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad. Being and non-being create each other. Difficult and easy support each other. Long and short define each other. High and low depend on each other. Before and after...

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Chapter 03 – Not exalting the gifted prevents quarreling

Posted by in Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English | 5 comments

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,...

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Chapter 04 – Tao is like a well

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 0 comments

Chapter 04 – Tao is like a well

The Tao is like a well used but never used up. It is like the eternal void: filled with infinite possibilities. It is hidden but always present. I don’t know who gave birth to it. It is older than God.   Support Author: Stephen Mitchell Get your copy of this Translation here: Tao Te...

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Chapter 05 – Heaven and earth are not like humans

Posted by in Man-Ho Kwok & Martin Palmer | 0 comments

Chapter 05 – Heaven and earth are not like humans

Heaven and earth are not like humans. The Tao does not act like a human. They don’t expect to be thanked for making life, so they view it without expectation. Heaven and earth are like a pair of bellows: they are empty, and yet they can never be exhausted. Work them, and they produce more and...

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Chapter 06- Tao is called the Great Mother

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 1 comment

The Tao is called the Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds. It is always present within you. You can use it any way you want. Support Author: Stephen Mitchell Get your copy of here: Tao Te Ching...

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Chapter 07 – Heaven and earth are enduring.

Posted by in Man-Ho Kwok & Martin Palmer | 1 comment

Chapter 07 – Heaven and earth are enduring.

Heaven and earth are enduring. The universe can live for ever, because it does not live for itself. And so both last – outliving themselves. The sage guides his people by putting himself last. Desiring nothing for himself. he knows how to channel desires. And is it not because he wants...

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Chapter 08 – The highest goodness, water-like

Posted by in R.B. Blakney | 0 comments

Chapter 08 – The highest goodness, water-like

The highest goodness, water-like, Does good to everything and goes Unmurmuring to places men despise; But so, is close in nature to the Way. If the good of the house is from land, Or the good of the mind is depth, Or love is the virtue of friendship, Or honesty blesses one’s talk, Or in...

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Chapter 09 – Better stop short than fill to the brim.

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 1 comment

Chapter 09 – Better stop short than fill to the brim.

Better stop short than fill to the brim. Over sharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt. Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it. Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow. Retire when the work is done. This is the way of heaven. Support Author: Stephen...

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Chapter 09 – Filling to fullness is not as good as stopping at the right moment

Posted by in Brian Browne Walker | 4 comments

Chapter 09 – Filling to fullness is not as good as stopping at the right moment

Filling to fullness is not as good as stopping at the right moment. Oversharpening a blade causes its edge to be lost. Line your home with treasures and you won’t be able to defend it. Amass possessions, establish positions, display your pride: Soon enough disaster drives you to...

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Chapter 10 – Can you center your energy, be soft tender, and so learn to be a baby?

Posted by in Ursula K. Le Guin | 0 comments

Chapter 10 – Can you center your energy, be soft tender, and so learn to be a baby?

Can you keep your soul in its body, hold fast to the one, and so learn to be whole? Can you center your energy, be soft, tender, and so learn to be a baby? Can you keep the deep water still and clear, so it reflects without blurring? Can you love people and run things, and do so by not...

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Chapter 11 – Thirty spokes join at a hub

Posted by in Thomas Cleary | 0 comments

  Thirty spokes join at a hub: their use for the cart is where they are not. When the potter’s wheel makes a pot, the use of the pot is precisely where there is nothing. When you open the doors and windows for a room, it is where there is nothing that they are useful to the...

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Chapter 12 – The five colors blind the eye

Posted by in Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English | 0 comments

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...

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Chapter 13 – Accept disgrace willingly

Posted by in Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English | 1 comment

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...

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Chapter 14 – That which we look at and cannot see is called plainness.

Posted by in Chu Ta-Kao | 3 comments

Chapter 14 – That which we look at and cannot see is called plainness.

That which we look at and cannot see is called plainness. That which we listen to and cannot hear is called rareness. That which we grope for and cannot get is called minuteness. These three cannot be closely examined; So they blend into One. Revealed, it is not dazzling; Hidden, it is not dark....

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Chapter 15 – The ancient Masters were profound and subtle.

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 1 comment

Chapter 15 – The ancient Masters were profound and subtle.

The ancient Masters were profound and subtle. Their wisdom was unfathomable. There is no way to describe it; all we can describe is their appearance. They were careful as someone crossing an iced-over stream. Alert as a warrior in enemy territory. Courteous as a guest. Fluid as melting...

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Chapter 16 – Attain the climax of emptiness, preserve the utmost quiet

Posted by in Thomas Cleary | 3 comments

Chapter 16 – Attain the climax of emptiness, preserve the utmost quiet

Attain the climax of emptiness, preserve the utmost quiet: as myriad things act in concert, I thereby observe the return. Things flourish, then each returns to its root. Returning to the root is called stillness; stillness is called return to Life, return to Life is called the constant; knowing the...

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Chapter 17 – Preeminent is one whose subjects barely know he exists

Posted by in Victor H. Mair | 0 comments

Chapter 17 – Preeminent is one whose subjects barely know he exists

Preeminent is one whose subjects barely know he exists; The next is one to whom they feel close and praise; The next is one whom they fear; The lowest is one whom they despise. When the ruler’s trust is wanting, there will be no trust in him. Cautious, he values his words. When his work is...

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

Posted by in Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English | 0 comments

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...

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Chapter 18 – When the great Tao is forgotten

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 0 comments

Chapter 18 – When the great Tao is forgotten

When the great Tao is forgotten, goodness and piety appear. When the body’s intelligence declines, cleverness and knowledge step forth. When there is no peace in the family, filial piety begins. When the country falls into chaos, patriotism is born.   Support Author: Stephen...

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