The Tao Te Ching, meaning – the way, also known as Lao Tzu or Laozi, is a Chinese classic text. The oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC.
The Tao Te Ching, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It also strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, including Buddhism, which was largely interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts when it was originally introduced to China.
Its influence has spread widely outside East Asia and it is among the most translated works in world literature.
The Tao Te Ching has a long and complex history. Known versions date back two millennia, including ancient bamboo, silk, and paper manuscripts discovered in the twentieth century.
The Tao Te Ching is a short text of around 5,000 Chinese characters in 81 brief chapters or sections.
The Tao Te Ching is ascribed to Laozi, whose historical existence has been a matter of debate. His name, meaning “Old Master”.
Tao Te Ching.
Tao (The Way) that can be spoken of is not the Constant Tao’
The name that can be named is not a Constant Name.
Nameless, is the origin of Heaven and Earth;
The named is the Mother of all things.
Thus, the constant void enables one to observe the true essence.
The constant being enables one to see the outward manifestations.
These two come paired from the same origin.
But when the essence is manifested,
It has a different name.
This same origin is called “The Profound Mystery.”
As profound the mystery as It can be,
It is the Gate to the essence of all life.
As soon as beauty is known by the world as beautiful, it becomes ugly.
As soon as virtue is being known as something good, it becomes evil.
Therefore, being and non-being give birth to each other.
Difficult and easy accomplish each other.
Long and short form each other.
High and low distinguish each other.
Sound and tone harmonize each other
Before and after follow each other as a sequence.
Realizing this, the saint performs effortlessly according to the natural Way without personal
desire, and practices the wordless teaching thru one’s deeds.
The saint inspires the vitality of all lives, without holding back.
He nurtures all beings with no wish to take possession of.
He devotes all his energy but has no intention to hold on to the merit.
When success is achieved, he seeks no recognition.
Because he does not claim for the credit, hence shall not lose it.
By not adoring the worthy, people will not fall into dispute.
By not valuing the hard to get objects, people will not become robbers.
By not seeing the desires of lust, one’s heart will not be confused.
Therefore, the governing of the saint is to empty one’s mind, substantiate one’s virtue, weaken one’s worldly ambition and strengthen one’s essence.
He lets the people to be innocent of worldly knowledge and desire, and keeps the clever ones from making trouble with their wits.
Acts naturally without desire, then everything will be accomplished in its natural order.
Tao (The Way) can be infused into the nature and put to use without being exhausted.
It is so deep and subtle like an abyss that is the origin of all things.
It is complete and perfect as a wholeness that can Round off sharp edges;
Harmonize with the glory;
Act in unity with the lowliness.
Tao is so profound and yet in invisible, It exists in everywhere and anywhere.
I don not know whose Son It is, It existed before heaven and earth.
Nature nurtures all things with the wholeness of complete virtue.
It shows the greatest and perfect kindness by giving life to let all things grow and accomplish
them with the hastening of harvest.
Therefore, according to ancient custom, nature may seem unkind to regard all beings as a
traditional straw dog for sacrifice.
And likewise, with a saint, he may seem unkind to regard people as a traditional straw dog for sacrifice.
The space between heaven and earth is like the bellows, it appears empty yet it gives a supply that never fails;
The more it moves, the more it brings forth.
Many words lead to exhaustion.
It is better to center on the true essence within.
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