81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations
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Chapter 27 – Good walkers leave no tracks.

Good walkers leave no tracks. Good talkers don’t stammer. Good counters don’t use their fingers. The best door is unlocked and unopened. The best knot is not in a rope and can’t be untied. So wise souls are good at caring for people, never turning their back on anyone. They’re good at looking after things, never turning their back on anything. There’s a light hidden here. Good people...

Chapter 52 – Back to the beginning

The beginning of everything is the mother of everything. Truly to know the mother is to know her children, and truly to know the children is to turn back to the mother. The body comes to its ending but there is nothing to fear. Close the openings, shut the doors, and to the end of life nothing will trouble you. Open the openings, be busy with business, and to the end of life nothing can help you. Insight sees the...

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 doing? Opening, closing the gate of the Universe, can you be like a bird with her nestlings? Piercing bright through the cosmos, can...

Chapter 43- What’s softest in the world

What’s softest in the world rushes and runs over what’s hardest in the world. The immaterial enters the impenetrable. So I know the good in not doing not many people understand it....

Chapter 45 – What’s perfectly whole seems flawed

What’s perfectly whole seems flawed, but you can use it forever. What’s perfectly full seems empty, but you can’t use it up. True straightness looks crooked. Great skill looks clumsy. Real eloquence seems to stammer. To be comfortable in the cold keep moving; to be comfortable in the heat hold still; to be comfortable in the world stay calm and clear....

Chapter 70 – My words are so easy to understand

My words are so easy to understand, so easy to follow. And yet nobody in the world understands or follows them. Words come from an ancestry deeds from a mastery: when these are unknown, so am I. In my obscurity is my value. That’s why the wise wear their jade under common clothes....

Chapter 63 – Do without doing

Do without doing, Act without action. Savor the flavorless. Treat the small as large, the few as many. Meet injury with the power of goodness. Study the hard while it is still easy. Do big things while they are small. The hardest jobs in the world start out easy, the great affairs of the world start small. So the wise soul, by never dealing with great things, gets great things done. Now, since taking things too...

Chapter 47 – You don’t have to go out the door

You don’t have to go out the door to know what goes on in the world. You don’t have to look out the window to see the way of heaven. The farther you go the less you know. So the wise soul doesn’t go, but knows; doesn’t look, but sees; doesn’t do, but gets it done. Support Author: Ursula K. Le Guin and Lao-Tzu Get your copy of this Translation here: Lao Tzu : Tao Te Ching : A Book...

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