Terebess Asia Online (TAO)


The Tao Te Ching
by Lao Tzu

Translated by Octavian Sarbatoare, 2002

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The Way (Tao) that can be named, is not the Ultimate Way.
The name given is not the eternal name.
Without name is the source of Heaven and Earth.
With a name is what creates all things.

Without desires the essence of things can be seen.
Who has desires sees only the manifestation of things.

Both aspects have the same source,
They become different, subject to perception.
But are equal in the depth of depth,
From where everything comes into existence.

The beautiful is known as beautiful,
Because we know what ugly is.
The good is known as good,
Because we know what bad is.

Every aspect has its counterpart.
What is heavy resides on what is light.
Long and short opposes each other.
Toll and short support each other.
A voice is made up of sounds.
What begins has to have an end eventually.

The wise one will lives by non-interfering,
Thus he instructs other by example not by words.

Things in the world continuously change.
The wise one doesn't cling on anything.
For him all are seen with the same potentiality.
He acquires merits but is not attached to them.
His takes things the way they are.
In performing he is above the actions.
Thus his merits are always with him.

A read leader is always humble.
He doesn't show strength,
Thus, around him there is no confrontation.
He doesn't show precious things,
Thus, people won't steal.
He doesn't show things people would wish to have,
Thus, corruption won't arise.
The Wise one leads people,
Keeping their hearts pure and giving them food.
They do not know ambition,
The wise one keeps them healthy
And, far from bad actions.
He wishes good to all,
Thus, the bad people could not act.
His leadership is subtle, all people live in peace.

Tao is empty, its use infinite.
It is very deep, seams to be the root of everything.
It looks like doesn't have an end.
I do not know who originated it,
It seams to be before the Creator Himself.

Nature is not biased by anything,
Sees everything with equal potential.
Similarly, the Wise one doesn't have preferences,
For him, everyone is seen equally.

The universe in infinite,
In it there is everything.
By moving, creates,
Moving more, more things appear.

Too much talking results in tiredness,
The best to keep is the middle way.

The sacred spirit doesn't die.
It can be named the subtle Mother.
It is the door of nature, residing always in us.
Used with wisdom can be enjoyed forever.

The Universe is eternal
It doesn't live for itself.
Thus the Wise One put himself last,
Eventually being in front.
He doesn't take much care of himself,
Thus other people will take care of him.
He doesn't live for himself,
Thus his life is plentiful.

The virtue is like the water,
That gradually infiltrates all.
Similarly the virtue is very subtle
Because resides on the Way (Tao).

He who searches for own place will find it.
The feelings make a deep heart.
Friendship brings good relationships with others.
The honest speech creates trust.
He who is a leader will follow the rules first.
In business fairness is essential.
The time will clarify things.
Thus the virtue (Te) acts without contradictions.

A tight rope creates tension.
Extended use of a tool
Will render it useless.
Accumulation of riches in a place
Makes that place unsafe.
Being proud of wealth and glory
Is the cause of disgrace.
The Wise Person withdraw after accomplishing actions,
This is the Tao Way of Virtue.

Can we join our heart with Tao?
Can we follow the Tao Way?
Can we breathe calm like a child?
Can we see the light in what we do in life?
Can we lead and love people
In the subtle way of Non-action?
Can we master ourselves
And be able to create possibilities at will?
Can we learn to access everything
By mastering the Tao Way?
Can we be creative and nourishing?
Can we free ourselves form the urge of possessing?
Can we do good without waiting for reward?
Can we lead without oppressing people?
He who is able to do all these
Is the master of the great Virtue (Te).

Although there are 30 spokes around wheels' hub,
Its usefulness is given by the emptiness in the middle.
The clay vessel is useful
Because of the empty space given by its form.
A house made of walls, windows and doors,
Is useful through the space created.
Although we give value to things that exist,
We use in fact something that does not exist.

The explosion of colors will blind the man,
The explosion of sounds will make his deaf,
The strong taste will weaken his taste feeling,
Being too much in the forest to catch animals,
Will make the man wild.
Things hard to get will make his mind stiff.
Thus, the Wise Person doesn't use too much his senses.
He lives more in his inner world.

Both success and failure generate fear.
Good though or bad thought bring that duality
Which is present all the time in the strained mind.

How success or failure creates fear?
The lucky one waits his win with impatience,
The one who failed is unsettled because of his loss.

How a good thought or a bad thought,
Is present in the strained mind?
It is because we have an Ego.
If we don't pay much attention to own Ego,
The strained mind is much relaxed.

Thus, he who sees others, like he sees himself
Is worthy to be a leader.
He who love others like himself
Is worthy of trust.

Looking at the Tao Way, it cannot be seen.
Trying to hear it, it cannot be heard.
Wishing to feel it, it cannot be touched.
These three characteristics cannot be defined,
The Tao Way cannot be perceived,
It has the consistency of the void.

It is the shape without shape,
It cannot be known by senses.

The Infinity the Eternal cannot be explained,
Meeting the Tao Way, it doesn't have a beginning,
Following the Tao Way, it doesn't have an end.

By knowing how the Tao Way worked in the past
The present can be known.
Living the present as an effect of the past
Is to follow the Tao Way.

In the past, those followers of the Tao Way,
Were very deep in spirit, not easy to be understood.
Such a Wise Person was so cautious
Like a man crossing a river in the wintertime.
He was so slow in taking decisions
Like one afraid of being misunderstood.
He was so humble, like one who doesn't deserve anything.
He didn't interfere with anyone's movement
Like a piece of ice on a slippery surface.
He was so simple and natural
Like a piece of wood from a forest.
He was ready to receive like a wide valley.
Friendly like mixing waters.

That who found himself in dirty waters,
Should let them to become clean.
That who is unsettled, unable to stay still
Should slow down all the actions.
Those on the Tao Way avoid taking action,
Thus their potential always remains high.

Without wishes tranquillity is obtained.
Everything in existence,
One day is absorbed in non-existence.
What has a vigorous grows,
Eventually returns to the source.
The union with the origin is tranquillity,
That is the natural condition of things and the eternity.

He who knows this is enlightened.
He who doesn't know will suffer.
Knowing what eternity is, he is united with everything.
United with everything, he will expend.
Expending, he is everywhere.
Being everywhere a high state of awareness is obtained.
Through high awareness he is on the Tao Way.
On the Tao Way eternity is reached.
Although the body can decay and die,
His spirit is eternal.

The best leaders are unknown.
Other leaders could be loved and praised.
Others create fear or are hated.

When the leaders don't trust people,
People will not trust the leaders.
Actions are more important than the words.

When the Tao Way is lost,
The multitude of laws and rules will appear.
When the Ego is strong in people
The hypocritical behavior is strong too.
When the family bonds are loosen,
The family issues are in the attention of everyone.
When a nation is in confusion,
The country will have a lot of patriots.

Being on the Tao Way, things are in equilibrium,
Without Tao, a multitude of differences will appear.

Going on the Tao Way and abandoning the human teaching,
The multitude of problems due to the temporal morality will disappear.
By giving up the justice done by laws and rules,
The natural justice will emerge.
Renouncing to profit and expensive things,
Society will get rid of thieves and robbers.
By giving up these three things,
Simplicity, naturalness and abundance will be obtained.

By removing the cause of suffering, suffering will disappear.
Both 'Yes' or 'No' are relative.
Be it considered as 'Good' or 'Bad',
The relativity of it still remains.
If other people are afraid of something,
Is this a good cause for us to be afraid as well?
The truth behind could be entirely different.

People of the world will continue to marry,
Organize festivals and parties.
It's only me without wishes like a baby unable to be happy.
Living without certainty I have no possessions.

People of the world want to accumulate things,
Nothing I have, some might call me fool.
Other people have acquired knowledge,
I look too simple to attract any interest.
People see great variety of things, I see everything as one.
I look like having no goal like a sea wave moving,
Blown by wind, I seam to go nowhere.
People have aims in their actions that I don't have in mine.
Looking no ordinary, I am on the Tao Way.

The Virtue (Te) follows the Way (Tao).
The Tao Way cannot be seen or touched,
Although unseen, untouched the Tao Way has forms.
Unseen, untouched it has consistency,
Subtle and hidden it has an essence.
Its essence is eternal, was always in existence,
As source of all things.
How can we know the way creation is done?
By knowing the Tao Way.

What is low can rise.
What is twisted could be straightened.
What is empty attracts the full.
The end will generate a beginning.
He who has little will have a lot
He who has a lot will loose.

The Wise Person is on the Tao Way,
Like an example to follow.
He has no pride thus he shines,
He doesn't put himself in front thus pay attention,
He doesn't praise himself thus he has merit.
He doesn't want to lead thus he is appreciated.
He isn't in competition with anyone.
Thus no one wants his place.

From the old time is said to be humble,
Thus integrity will be maintained.
The humble one is on the Tao Way.

By speaking less I am at rest.
The wind, the tempest don't last too long,
Like everything in nature the man don't last long too.

The one following the Tao Way becomes identical with Tao,
The one following the Virtue becomes identical with Virtue (Te).
Those lost are one with the lost things,
Those unable to believe, they cannot be believed either.

Standing on toes, the posture isn't stable,
Crossing the legs, one cannot walk,
The one praising himself, doesn't shine,
Who is arrogant isn't appreciated,
Speaking highly of oneself, one doesn't have merit,
The conceited one isn't respected.
The one on the Tao Way avoids these people.

Before the existence of Heaven and Earth,
It was something without beginning and end.
Unchanged existed in itself.
That something filled in everything without end.
It can be considered as the source of the Universe.
I cannot name it, but forced to give a name,
I name it Tao, I see it as supreme.

Supreme means without end,
Having no end it can be everywhere,
It is both far and near,
That Supreme is Tao.
Heaven, Earth and man are supreme too,
A man follows the laws of the Earth,
The Earth those of the Heaven,
The Heaven follows Tao,
That is complete in itself.

That is light is above the heavy,
A calm mind is above an agitated one,
The Wise Person is freed from what is heavy and agitated,
In the middle of activities in the world he is at rest.

A Leader doesn't act on impulse or without deep consideration,
The lack of deep thought hasn't a solid base,
Acting on impulse leads to loose control.

A good traveler doesn't leave any trace,
A good speaker is not lost in idle talk,
A good estimator isn't lost in calculations,
A door having a good locker doesn't need for another one,
Something tightened up by a good rope, doesn't need for another rope.

The Wise Person helps everybody by his presence,
Everything around him is in the right place,
Being in the Light nothing is lost.

A good person teaches a bad one by good examples,
A bad one teaches a good one by bad examples.
Those who don't appreciate a Wise Person and his teaching,
Live in illusion, heading towards a bitter end of actions,
Although they might be well educated.
The Wise Person's actions are very subtle.

He who knows own strengths remains weak,
Being on the Tao Way, he feels like a child.
He who is a scholar behaves like being simple,
He is a good example, always a model on the Tao Way.
He who attains the glory and is humble in his virtue,
Stays with the source from where everything arises.

The Wise Person is thus always in harmony,
Being in the light, always at rest is one with the infinity.

The one who wants to master the world
To shape it the way he wants, will not succeed.
The world is sacred, it cannot be permanently changed.

Being confident of something, we might be wrong.
On traveling some people are in front, some behind,
Some breathe easy, some heavy,
Some are strong, some weak,
Some walk, same sit in a carriage.

The Wise Person prefers the middle way.
Being in harmony, neither he goes to the extreme nor is he lazy
In doing actions with his body and mind.

A Leader following the Tao Way
Doesn't use force to conquer.
Because he knows of the riposte,
That brings destruction, hunger and disease.

The Enlightened Person doesn't use force for glory.
He does his actions without interfering.
He uses fight only in defense.
Thus he doesn't disturb harmony.
He who uses force is not on the Tao Way,
Thus he will be destroyed.

Weapons bring misfortune.
Somebody on the Tao Way will detest them.
He doesn't use them but forced to defend.
Even so, he is restrained.

A Wise Leader when winning is not happy about his victory.
He is not happy about killing people.
In battle he is sad of doing it,
Because a victory is not a time to celebrate, but for funerals.
He who is happy in killing and crimes,
Is not on the Tao Way.

The Tao Way is too subtle to be defined.
In manifestation only has a name.

When a Leader is on the Tao Way
Is honestly followed by people,
Thus peace will be in the kingdom.

The Wise Person following Tao knows own limits
He who knows own limits is on the Tao Way.
Tao does everything, all creatures return in Tao,
The Wise Person knowing this applies Tao in everything he does.

Knowing the way people are, is wisdom,
But knowing himself, is indeed enlightenment.
Conquering an enemy is power,
Conquering himself is read power.
Contempt with what he has, the Wise Person is rich.
A persevering person will attain the goal.
The one who keeps steady has a good direction.
Even after death,
The power of the Wise Person has positive effects.
Thus he lives eternal.

Tao contains the whole Universe.
All things come out of Tao.
It doesn't reject anybody or anything.

He who is on the Tao Way is a creator,
But doesn't take possession of the creation.
He is generous, but doesn't look for gratitude of people.
Without own desires, he isn't easily noticed.
He does good things without taking merits.
Not displaying his greatness, the Wise Person is great indeed.

Being on the Tao Way all creatures
Go on the natural path.
On the Way there is harmony, health, peace and happiness.
He who encounters them will want to stay.
But the Tao Way is much deeper,
Transcends all the five senses.

The Wise Leader knows this.
Something will contract, because it was expended.
Something becomes weak, because it was strong.
Something goes high, because it was low.
Somebody receives, because he gave before.
This is real wisdom, when the subtle is thus applied.

As a fish shouldn't leave the water,
So the Wise Leader doesn't glorify force.
Simplicity brings peace as trust brings harmony.

The Tao Way looks inactive, but everything is accomplished.
If Leaders will follow, the world will be harmonized by itself.
For solutions to multitude of problems, simplicity has to be followed.
Simplicity will diminish the number of wishes.
Having little wishes this brings tranquillity.
Without many wishes, the world harmonizes itself.

The Wise Person doesn't display his virtue that is why he is virtuous.
The ordinary person displays his virtue that is why he is weak.
High virtue doesn't manifest open,
Things are thus finalized properly.
The weak virtue always manifests,
Things are thus not completed.

The goodness of the Wise Person doesn't have any reason,
Gradually people will follow him.
Being on the Tao Way, the Virtue (Te) follows.

When the virtue disappears, goodness will appear.
When goodness disappears, compassion is expressed.
When compassion is lost, the rules are installed.
Thus the sincerity and trust disappear,
Confusion and distortion of events become wide spread.

The Wise Person sees not only the surface but the depth too.
He can see the potential fruit in a flower.
Thus using his virtue he sees the reality
That is behind the transitory manifestation.

Being in harmony with the Tao way
The sky obtained clarity and the earth became stable.
In harmony things were gradually created.

Out of the Tao way the man is not in harmony with the sky
He is not stable on the earth.
Without this equilibrium, the man disappears.

The Wise Person sees everything in equilibrium,
He doesn't manifest his Ego, or intervene.
First he will monitor the Tao Way,
Uniting with the Tao Way, he is in equilibrium as well.

In motion, Tao always returns to the source,
Starting from a lower position is the eternal way to begin.
All things are produced by manifestation,
Manifestation comes from non-manifestation.

Hearing about the Tao Way, the Wise Person will follow,
The mediocre sometimes follows sometimes not.
Hearing about the Tao Way, the ignorant foolishly amuses.

Wouldn't be the Tao Way, if an ignorant doesn't behave foolishly.
That is why it is said:
"The ignorant doesn't appreciate an enlightened person,
A good advice is seen worthless,
A good path to follow is ignored."

The Wise Person looks empty like a valley,
The pure Virtue looks to be without core,
It's difficult to see the end of the extended full.
That which is simple looks without consistence.

There is a way of perfection.
The universe doesn't stop in a point.
Knowledge needs time to accumulate.
Music is learned going towards the subtle realm.

The Tao Way cannot be contained, in its manifestation
Brings fulfillment to the person on the perfection path.

In the beginning was only the Tao Way,
Its first manifestation was the cause of another manifestation.
That one has produced yet another manifestation.
Thus all things have appeared.
The pair of Yin and Yang has manifested,
The Ch'i energy started to move everything,
Harmony was thus established.

The ordinary people depend on each other,
Only the Wise Person is contempt with himself,
Living by himself, he goes with the harmonious flow of the Tao Way.

Seeing how things are, what is easy will overpass the heavy,
That has not come yet will replace that it is now,
Non-action is thus superior to the action.

Very few in the world can instruct without words,
This is the way of the Wise Person.

Between glory and health, what is more important?
Between wealth and happiness what is more precious?
Running after gain is a big loss,
If happiness will be obtained with wealth
Many people would be happy, but they are not.

The one happy with whatever he has, will avoid humiliation
He who knows to stop at the right time, will avoid danger,
Thus the Wise Person will last.

The way of perfection has no end no matter how high it is,
Still something can be added.
Its use is thus better and better.

Infinity no matter how big is, still something can be added.
Thus its usefulness is greater and greater.

No matter how straight a thing can be, still can be straightened.
The art of doing anything, can still be improved.
The one who has a good speech, he can do better.
What is moving can be improved.
Only that is not moving is complete in itself.
That is the base, the model and leads everything.

When people follow the Tao Way,
Community's horses are in the field at work.
When people do not follow the Tao Way,
Community's horses are ready for war,
Thus, there is no work in the field.

There is no grater error, but wishes out of vanity.
There is no grater suffering, but lack of contempt.
There is no grater calamity, but greed.
Because for the one who doesn't have many wishes, nothing is missing,
He is contempt with what he has.
Not looking to obtain anything from anyone,
The field is thus cultivated.

The knowledge has to come from the inside.
The human mind can take various forms.
Thus, without going out the world can be known,
Without looking out of the window, the sky can be known.
The more we look at the external forms, the less we know them.
The Wise Person will reach the destination
Even without starting the trip.
He can see the light without using his eyes.
He knows without doing any research.
He can do everything by being always at rest.

Going on the path of the world, things are multiplying.
Going on the Tao Way, things are diminishing.
By having less and less things, the source of emptiness can be reached.

By movement, things are out of their natural way,
Thus, work is necessary to put them in balance.
On the Tao Way things are already in equilibrium,
Thus action isn't necessary.

The Wise Person has no Ego, he identify himself with the universe.
He is equally good with good or bad people.
His virtue is goodness.
He is equally honest with honest and dishonest people.
His virtue is honesty.

He sees everybody equally, living simply and in harmony.
He is like a mother with her children.
In his heart he keeps the whole world.

Coming into the world is getting out of the Tao Way.
The death time is the time of going back into Tao, into the rest.
The Wise Person knowing that doesn't disturb the harmony.
He waits to understand what is shown to him.
When light is shown, it is sure he is on the Tao Way,
All dangers are thus avoided.
Although he lives in the world, he is on the Tao Way, always at rest.
His death is no more but a continuation.

The Tao Way creates all things, the Virtue (Te) maintains them.
Harmony is maintained by following the Tao Way,
Values are given to things when the Virtue (Te) is acquired.

By following the Virtue (Te) things grow and develop,
Things are taken care of, protected, what lives is fed.

Although everything is contained within Tao,
It looks like is completely empty.
The Wise Person is equally the same,
His virtue is in everything he does.
By not assuming any possession he is thus on the Tao Way.

Tao is the cause of everything.
By knowing the cause, the effects could be known.
Even from the middle of manifestations, the cause could be seen.

Thus the Wise Person lives in harmony,
He doesn't take any front position thus he is protected
Thus all problems are avoided.
The Wise Person can see the cause of things.
Being able to see the cause he can know the manifestations.
Being soft it is his strength, expanding he is always in harmony.
This is the way he lives in eternity.

By knowing the Tao Way, we can speak about.
If an advice is asked, I will say for you to follow the Tao Way.
Although the Tao Way is easy to follow,
Many people prefer to go on other ways out of ignorance.

Instead of using resources for life improvement
Some leaders use them for acquiring weapons.
When leaders are not responsible enough,
Population suffers country is impoverished.

The Wise Person will carefully plant his plant-seeds,
He strongly builds his house,
Thus his careful and well-done actions
Will be examples for many generations to come.

By practicing the Tao Way for himself,
The Wise Person practices the Virtue (Te).
Followed by a family, the Virtue brings prosperity,
Followed by a community, that community will flourish.
Followed by an entire country,
That country becomes a good example for other countries,
Followed by the whole world, the Virtue has universal value.

If a man followed Virtue, he is an example for his family,
When a family follows Virtue, it is an example for the community,
If a community follows Virtue, it is an example for the country,
If a country follows Virtue is an example for the whole world.
This can be proved by observation.

He who follows the Tao Way is like a child.
He looks weak, but his pressure if firm.
He looks without power, but his movement is energetic.
He looks like has nothing to say,
But his words come always at the right time.

The Wise One is always in harmony,
Thus he is always in tone with the universe,
Being in tone with the universe he shines always.

The one who speaks doesn't know,
The one who doesn't speak knows.
By closing the eyes, not hearing, not smelling,
Not touching, nor tasting, the senses are closed.
But a world of harmony it is opened in the mind.

The Wise Person is not concerned by friends,
enemies, glory or disgrace.
He reaches perfection by following the Tao Way.

A country follows justice by a just code of laws.
A war is won by advanced knowledge of tactics.
A strong will makes a wish fulfilled.

Too many laws attract crimes,
Too much preparation for the war, brings war,
The multitude of wishes brings conflicts amongst people.

That is why the Wise One says:
"Don't have too many laws
And the people will govern themselves.
Think of peace and the people won't suffer.
Live a simple life and people will live in harmony."

When leaders do not install too many law restrictions,
People are happy,
Otherwise people are unhappy.

From greater abundance, poverty follows,
From greater poverty, abundance will arise.
Thus the middle way is the best.

The Wise Person follows the middle way,
He is himself a live example.
He does not push his will, thus people follow him,
Correct in actions, good results are achieved.
He follows discipline, but tolerant with others,
People will notice his contentment.

To lead a country, modesty is necessary.
The Wise Person being reasonable, he is on the Tao Way.
Being on the Tao Way, he is accompanied by Virtue
In everything he does.
Thus he is successful in all undertakings.
He can even lead a country by his example.
He is qualified to lead because,
He follows the Way of the Heaven.

A country is managed with great care.
When a country is managed with wisdom
The evil forces are weak.
Thus people won't feed the evil.
The Wise Person and his entourage
Do maintain the good among themselves.
In all they do the Virtue is present
Thus the world is continuous improved.

A big country attracts everybody.
There many people will meet.
It is like the feminine spirit that attracts by submission.
One who submits leads in a subtle way.

In a similar way, a big country which
Does not show its pride and power
Will conquer the small countries without struggle.
If a small country submits becomes bigger
Thus the big country acquires more people
And the small country more space.
The gain is therefore mutual.

The Tao way is the way of light.
For good people it is a treasure, the weak run away.

Good words will gain people's hearts,
By good deeds respect is obtained.
But the Tao Way is above all,
The one who can see it is truly bathes in light.

To choose a leader, not richness or human experience is necessary,
But his proficiency of the Tao Way is essential.

Why the ancient did appreciate those of the Tao Way?
Because they were loved by people!

Good deeds are not done in a hurry,
Efficient work does not need great effort.

By small steps, what is little will grow,
And what is behind will eventually come in front.

Great expeditions start with a small step,
Great achievements have little beginnings,
The Wise Person is able to envisage future results,
In small steps, and humble beginnings.

Thus the Wise One following the Tao Way,
Starting with moderation, anything is achieved.
His works are thus solid and time lasting,
Because all it is done patiently and without struggle.

Troubles can be avoided even before arising.
When harmony is maintained beforehand,
Confusion is not able to surface.

By closing the door, the entry is not possible,
A big tree was in its beginning a tiny offshoot,
Thus a great expedition starts with a little step.

The Wise Person is not looking to gain anything,
He does not want glory or reputation.
Thus he cannot loose anything.
This is his living proof of achievements without efforts.

Sages from the ancient time taught people the simple life,
Without a simple life, knowledge is indeed useless.

When leaders mislead people,
People will follow by misleading each other.
Thus the fraud becomes the master of everybody.
By knowing this, misery not yet arrived can be avoided.

The water of a river follows always down the valley,
The river is thus the master of the valley.

To gain people's hearts, is necessary to serve them,
To lead people, they must be followed.

Thus being above people, the Wise Person
Does not look like an oppressor.
When the Wise Person stands in front of people,
They do not feel as being confronted.

Thus the Wise Person is a living proof of his wisdom,
People around him have the feeling of being protected.

Those people following Tao have three main qualities,
Compassion that generates courage,
Caution that generates power,
And modesty that generates influence.

But people's ordinary actions
Are to glorify a false hero.
To obtain power through force and lack of caution,
To acquire influence by the display of pride.

But only the one who is compassionate is a true hero,
Only the cautious one is able to obtain real power,
Only the humble one can truly influence people,
Because he in on the Tao path.

Compassion is the best defense.
A good fighter is not afraid and not aggressive,
An efficient conqueror is not involved in heavy fighting,
A true leader does not display his authority in an aggressive way.

The courageous and not-threatening one attracts people,
A good conqueror does not base his gain through violence,
A good leader does not acquire his status through aggressive authority,
Because the path of harmony generate harmony in everything.

It is easier to retreat ten meters than to advance one,
Disputes could be solved by being in waiting.
Instead of an aggressive advancement it is better to retreat and wait,
Without displaying power and being aggressive,
Battles could be won.

Do not underestimates your enemy, neither those courageous in battle.
In the beginning aggressiveness seems to win,
But at the end, he who is compassionate wins.

There are few in the world following the Wise One
Who lives and acts with simplicity.
The ordinary person hardly understands the way of the Wise,
Although the facts are evident and logic in their manifestations.
By giving respect and honour to the Wise One,
We become part of his wisdom.

Although the Wise One might not have expensive apparel,
He might seem not much important,
But his treasure rests in his heart.

Knowing our limits is wisdom,
Not knowing our limits is ignorance.
The Wise One knows his limits,
Thus he knows always what is possible to be done.

The Wise One does not act without the inner urge.
He does not interfere with other people affairs,
He takes to arms only in defense.

Although he knows his value very well,
The Wise One does not exalt his personality.
He gives great respect o himself,
But does not expect the same from others.
He lets the course of actions of life to flow,
When they do not touch him in any way.
He intervenes only when actions,
Have significance for his life.

A courageous man who does not control himself,
Either kills or is killed.
But a courageous man, himself in control, lives,
The heaven protects the one who does not harm anyone.
The Tao Way is similar,
Being neither opposing nor struggling to go forwards.
Although does not speak out, it gets an answer.
Although does not ask for anything, obtains everything.
Although does not want to achieve anything, all is achieved.

In its immensity, Tao seems to be empty,
But it is like a sieve that follows the laws of matter.

The justice system could not rely of death penalty,
Because for those not afraid of death,
Will be entirely inefficient.

When oppression brings death at every occasion,
Who could be afraid of death?
Thus the judges in such a country are not relevant.

When leaders become greedy there will be famine.
When leaders follow only the self-interest, people become unruly.
When leaders do kill without a good reason,
People will revolt without fear of death.

The human being is born fragile and sensible,
When dying it is inflexible and stiff.
The offshoots are flexible and fragile,
When plant is old, they become stiff and die.

What is strong and stiff is the sign of death,
What is weak, fragile and sensible is the sign of life.

A stiff tree is hard to bend,
When blown by a strong wind is broken.
What is not flexible will die,
What is heavy and stiff falls to the ground,
What is light is carried far away by the wind.

The Tao Way is like a stretched bow,
The extremities will lower when the middle rises.
What is in excess diminishes, what is little rises.
The Tao Way takes from where there is excess,
And does add wherever there is shortage.

But the ordinary human way it is such that it,
Takes from where is shortage,
And gives to whoever has already abundance.
How then the mankind could be happy?

But the Wise Person knows that he does not own anything truly,
Whatever surplus he has is given to the people, without expectations.
Working without pride, he is a living proof.

Nothing is so flexible like the water although appears to be weak,
But in time could penetrate the hardest rock.

What seems to be light, in time conquers the heavy,
What seems to be weak, in time conquers the strong,
Although these facts look like being known by everyone,
Few people are ready to apply them in life.

The one who is modest is the best leader,
The one who could solve people's problems is the read leader.

When laws and rules are too stringent,
People have the natural urge to violate them.
The Wise Person follows his duties without expectations,
Thus his virtue is acknowledged.
He does not take possession of own virtue,
Similarly as nature does, his will is not imposed,
Thus he is on the Way of Tao.

In a small community having few people,
To accumulate useless things does not make sense.
To live a simple life is more important.

To know the world, travel is not necessary,
The light of mind could be used instead.
For defense, the display of weapons is not necessary,
They should be kept hidden until needed.

The good relationships with neighbours are vital,
For peace and tranquility to reign.
The Wise People attains thus freedom.

The Wise Person is full of honesty his words have substance.
In empty talk the honesty is missing.
Enlightenment does not come because somebody is educated,
Happiness does not come from riches.

The Wise Person does not live for himself,
In doing good actions for others he is satisfied.
The more he gives the more he receives,
Around him there is harmony everywhere,
Being on the Tao Way he is well established in Virtue (Te).