Tao Te Ching


no hurry, no pause.


Notes from Tao Te Ching: Text Only Edition. (Tzu & Needleman, 1989)

one who is desireless
can see the mystery
one who is desiring
can see the manifestations
Know the strength of a man
But keep a woman's care


Creating, yet not possessing
Working, yet not taking credit
Work is done, then forgotten
Therefore it lasts forever

All opposing things exist because of each other, when they confront each other, they cancel each other.


Let life take its course
If nothing is done
Then all will be well


Blunt the sharpness
Untangle the knot
Soften the glare
Merge with the dust

If you encounter zero, surface one; encountered one, then surface zero.


Wise see the people as they are. More words count less, hold fast to the centre.


If you see the veil that can be barely seen then you will never fail to see the hidden.


The wise stay behind and are thus ahead.


In business, be competent. In action, watch the timing.


Better stop short than fill to the brim
Retire when the work is done.


Give birth and bourish
Bear but do not possess
Work but do not take credit
Lead but do not dominate
This is the Primal Virtue

Also see [[#Fifty-one]]


Thirty spokes are joined in the wheel's hub.
The hole in the middle makes it useful.
Mold clay into a bowl.
The empty space makes it useful.
Cut out doors and windows for the house.
The holes make it useful.
Therefore, the value comes from what is there,
But the use comes from what is not there.

When absence made useful, you fulfilled your duty.


Be guided by what you sense not by what you see.


Accept disgrace and accept misfortune. Both result from human condition.


The form of the formless
The image of the imageless
The sound of the soundless


The still is the master of unrest
To be restless is to lose control


A good door needs no lock
Yet no one can open it
Good binding requires no knots
Yet no one can loosen it


Know the white
But keep the black


The universe is sacred
You cannot imporove it
If you try to change it
You will ruin it
If you try to hold on to it
You will lose it


Just do what needs to be done, never take advantage of power. The wise avoid extremes, excess and complacency.


Weapons are instruments of fear, they are not tools of the wise
Peace and quiet are dear to your heart
And victory, no cause for rejoicing


Create conditions where people no longer need laws and where all things take their course. How does nature function? (Natural laws exist and people unknowingly obey them, i.e. gravity, entropy, enthalpy).

By knowing when to stop, you stop soon to happen trouble.


If you think you don't have enough, you're poor  
When you realize you have enough, you're rich


Abide in non-action
Yet nothing is left undone
If powerful observed this
All things would develop naturally


Truly good people do nothing
And yet leave nothing undone
Foolish people are always doing
Yet much remains to be done


Too much success is not an advantage.


The easy way seems hard
The higher virtue seems empty


A violent person will die a violent death.


Attachment to things bring suffering.


When you know enough is enough, you will always have enough.


The wise know without traveling
See without looking
Work without doing


When nothing is done, nothing is left undone
The world is governed by letting things take their course
It cannot be governed through interference


Doing without taking credit
Guiding without interfering 
Creating without claiming
This is Primal Virtue


Doing without taking credit
Guiding without interfering 
Creating without claiming
This is Primal Virtue


Keep your mouth shut
Guard your senses
And life is always full
Open your mouth
Always be busy
And your life is beyond hope

Talking and busyness remove you from your tranquility.


Close your mouth
Guard your senses
Temper your sharpness
Simplify your problems
Mask your brightness
Be at one with the dust of the earth
This is primal union

Those who have achieved this state
Do not distinguish between friend and enemies
Between good or harm, between honor and grace
This is the highest state of being


The more laws and restrictions there are
The poorer people become
The more rules and regulations
The more thieves and robber


There's no honesty
Honesty becomes dishonest
Goodness becomes delusion
People's delusion lasts for a long time


Ruling a country is like cooking a small fish
Approach the universe with Tao
And evil will have no power
Not that evil is not powerful
But it's power will not harm others
Not only will it do no harm to others
But the wise wise will also be protected


Practice non-action
Work without doing
Taste the tasteless
Magnify the small, increase the few
Reward bitterness with care
See simplicity in the complicated
Achieve greatness in small things

Also see [[#Ten]]


Tzu, L., & Needleman, J. (1989). Tao Te Ching: Text Only Edition (G.-F. Feng, J. English, & T. Lippe, Trans.; Reprint edition). Vintage.