Tao Te Ching
Tao and Virtue Classic

    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

Te Ching
Virtue Classic - Chapters 38 to 81

    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