Asia Online (TAO)
Tao Te Ching
by Lao Tzu
by John WorldPeace
More English versions
infinity that can be conceived is not the
The infinity that can be described is not the
inconceivable indescribable is the essence
of the all encompassing Infinite.
Conceiving and describing applies only to the
manifestations of Infinity.
from distinctions, experience the oneness of
Focus on distinctions and see only the
distinction and non-distinction are one within
within potential is
the essence of Infinity.
when one distinguishes beauty
does one create the unattractive.
Only when one distinguishes good
does one create evil.
Tangible and intangible create each other,
Difficult and easy define each other,
Long and short measure each other,
High and low determine each other,
Sound and silence echo each other,
Beginning and end follow each other.
the sage goes about living in the
teaching without speaking,
accepting and dismissing all things with
creating without attachment,
working without credit.
Acts and deeds are completed and forgotten.
the sage is at one with Infinity,
she is immortal.
people creates the desire in others
to be exalted and therefore creates tension.
goods creates the desire for
and therefore creates the temptation to
people do not distinguish things as valuable,
they remain focused on the oneness of all
and do not become confused in the material
harmonious leaders empty the people's
but nourish their bodies.
They undermine desires
and improve endurance.
keep the people focused on their oneness with
and free them from attachments to material
redirect the energies of those
who would manipulate others.
you remember your oneness with Infinity,
and flow with life by refusing to distinguish
good and bad,
you will flow in the peace and harmony
that is the essence of Infinity.
is an empty vessel enveloping all
yet it can never be filled.
is the potential of all things tangible and
blunts the sharp and hones the blunt,
unravels knots and binds all things,
dulls the glare and shines the mundane,
manifests the dust and clears the air.
is the essence of all things.
No one can comprehend its origin.
It is older than the concept of God.
and earth are indifferent.
All creatures are considered straw dogs;
not distinguished, not judged.
sage is indifferent.
All people are one;
not distinguished, not judged.
is like a bellows,
empty yet encompassing the potential
of all things.
In time all potentials manifest.
are straw in the wind.
The more one talks, the less one says.
focused on Infinity.
Remain centered in the oneness of
manifestations of Infinity never cease
is the primal creator, the oneness of male
is the gate though which heaven
and earth manifested.
is invisible to the senses,
yet totally permeates all things.
is inexhaustible and eternally available
for any purpose.
and earth will pass away
but Infinity endures forever.
had no beginning and so It can never end.
It is the inexhaustible essence of all things.
the sage remains behind
in her oneness with all things,
she anticipates all manifestations.
at one with Infinity,
she is indifferent.
she does not distinguish herself from
she is completely fulfilled.
is like Infinity,
it gives itself to all things
without distinction or judgment
and settles into the lowest places
dwelling, live in harmony with the land.
In meditation, remember your oneness with the
In dealing with others, do not judge.
In communicating, relate the truth.
In governing, be fair.
In daily life, be in harmony with all things
and at peace with all people.
In action, be mindful that there is a time
and a season for all things.
judging and its legacy contention
and flow in the peace and harmony
of the oneness of humanity.
anything to the brim and the contents will spill
Hone a sharpened blade and it will become blunt.
Accumulate great wealth, but be aware that you
cannot keep it.
When a task is complete, move on.
Change is the harmony of Infinity.
body, mind and spirit,
can you stay centered in the oneness of
manifesting and remaining flexible,
can you experience all manifestations
as a newborn baby?
you maintain the Infinite vision of oneness
by ignoring distinctions.
centered in oneness and leading others,
can you avoid manifesting arrogance?
and exiting the gates of manifestations,
can you harmonize with Infinity?
your oneness with Infinity,
can you flow in harmony with It
by indifferently allowing things to come and
you create and sustain things,
and yet remain unattached to them?
you work in harmony with all things,
without desiring acknowledgment for your
flowing in peace and harmony,
not distinguishing, not judging,
is the nature of Infinity.
spokes converge on the wheel's hub.
But the center hole which receives the axle
makes it useful.
is shaped into a pot.
But the inner space which receives whatever
one puts into it makes it useful.
is cut and joined to build a house.
But the windows and doors which allow
things to enter and leave make it
potential utility resides in the tangible.
But true usefulness is a manifestation of
oneness of the five colors blind the eyes.
The oneness of the five tones deafens the ears.
The oneness of the five flavors dull the tongue.
ahead of change
and pursuing the illusion of reality
the sage is in harmony with what she is
and does not distinguish what she sees.
She chooses oneness and distinguishes nothing.
Acknowledge misfortune as one of the human
does it mean to "accept disgrace
Honor and disgrace are one in the Infinite.
Only by making distinctions does one
Refusing to make distinctions
merges honor and disgrace into the
oneness of circumstances
which creates harmony.
is meant by "acknowledging misfortune
as one of the human conditions"?
body is a manifestation of Infinity
and the body is subject to being
affected by the other manifestations
Misfortune is one of those other
as with disgrace,
refusing to distinguish misfortune and
creates indifference which keeps one
on the oneness of Infinity
and creates peace in the self.
your oneness with Infinity
and you can be entrusted with leadership.
the world as yourself
and you will care for all things.
and see the manifestations of the Infinite
but not its essence.
and hear the manifestations of the Infinite
but not its essence.
out and touch the manifestations of the
but not its essence.
three are one in their inability to relate
the essence of Infinity.
it is not light.
Below it is not dark.
It is neither light nor dark.
is the potential manifestation of all
and the essence into which all
Yet it is inconceivable and indescribable;
intangible but the essence of all
cannot confront what has no head
and you cannot follow what has no tail.
flow in the peace and harmony of Infinity,
live in the now, changing and flowing with
was no beginning.
This is the mystery of Infinity.
who live in oneness manifest the Infinite
in simple ways.
awareness is the awareness of Infinity.
Their knowing cannot be described but only
All that can be described is their acts and their
appearance and the perception of them.
alert when crossing unfamiliar space,
cautious in hostile lands,
humble as a guest,
indifferently transforming as melting ice,
possessing the infinite potential of
an unremarkable piece of uncarved
mysterious as an unexplored valley,
perplexing as muddy water.
you see the calm in turbulent waters;
the clarity in murky water?
you allow the tides of Infinite change
to move you from stillness to motion
and action to inaction;
experiencing but not contemplating the
who live in oneness do not seek
fullness because at every moment they
are aware of their infinite fullness and
the infinite pregnancy of all things.
are aware of their infinite potential
within which the limitations of fullness
Infinity and become peaceful as the
mind becomes lost.
self perceives the never ending
the potential of Infinity as well as the
of all those manifestations.
Infinity all things manifest
is a returning to the Infinite
Disintegration is the destiny of all
Manifesting is the nature of Infinity.
Change is the Infinite constant.
change is the key to understanding
the harmony of never ending change.
change within the Infinite potential
of which every creature is a manifestation,
unique, yet bound to all things in
gives one a perspective regarding life.
perspective, one becomes impartial,
openhearted, tolerant, compassionate
and indifferent to judging others.
These are foundations of harmony.
manifestation of the body disintegrates
but Infinity can never disintegrate into
There is nothing to fear.
best leaders are in harmony with their
The next best are those who are respected.
Then comes those who are feared.
The worst are those who are despised.
one perceives others as untrustworthy,
then that will be the experience that
The selective acknowledgment of
verifies one's perception of the
the leaders are in harmony with their
few laws are necessary
and all tasks are accomplished with ease.
followers, not perceiving the
of leadership, marvel at the
of harmony and experience a sense of
the oneness of Infinity is forgotten,
judgment appears and people are
distinguished as good and righteous.
the illusion of knowledge and understanding
the physical reality has been confused with
there is no peace and harmony within the
a facade of devotion and obedience is
a nation manifests great change,
patriots step forward
to attempt to resurrect the past.
distinguishing the wise and their wisdom,
the saints and their holiness,
and the people will be a hundred times better
distinguishing morality, righteousness and
and humanity will stay centered in its
the pursuit of commercial profit
and the number of thieves and robbers will be
are just three impediments to peace and
and abandoning them is not enough.
and harmony reside in the simplicity
of an uncarved piece of wood.
distinguishing the self and reside in oneness.
Curb your desires and aspirations
and experience the peace and harmony of
up the pursuit of knowledge and live in peace
knowledge there is no difference
between good and evil.
it necessary to learn to fear what others
perceive should be feared? Nonsense!
people are excited, joyous and festive
as if enjoying a holiday.
I alone am indifferent, without emotion
or expression; like a baby
before it has learned to smile.
have things they feel they need.
I alone own nothing.
am like a fool unfettered by knowledge.
Other people are intelligent. I alone am ignorant.
Others are shrewd and cunning.
I alone am untouched and moronic.
aimlessly drift on the great tides of the endless
at the mercy of the indifferent winds.
Others have direction, goals and purposes.
I alone flow within the harmony of Infinity.
am different from others.
I reside in the peace and harmony of
the Infinite oneness of all things.
attain peace and harmony,
stay focused on the oneness of Infinity.
is the intangible potential of all things;
intangible yet manifesting all images,
intangible yet manifesting all substance.
the Infinite void resides the
Infinite potential of all things.
All tangible things are a manifestation of the
the present, forever into the past,
forever into the future,
Infinity is the homogenous essence.
The potential of all things forever manifest
and forever disintegrate within the Infinite.
can I know the manifestations of Infinity?
Because I am at one with Infinity.
you accept all things by refusing to distinguish
good and bad,
you overcome the confusion of the physical
and live in harmony with the Infinite
you bend as you are impacted by manifestations,
your path of peace and harmony
will remain straight and true.
you empty your mind of knowledge,
you will fill with the experience
of oneness with the Infinite.
manifestations constantly disintegrate and
As your body wears out, your spirit is
little in goods and thoughts and
maintain your vision of oneness with
much and become lost in the confusion
that the physical reality is the true reality.
remain focused on the oneness of
and become a beacon for all beings.
not distinguish the self
and manifest the oneness of Infinity for all
Do not assert the self and others will follow.
not bolster the self and other will give their
not allow the self to brag
and others will bestow their praise.
not allow the self to be quarrelsome
and experience peace with all beings.
not it true that if you accept all things
by refusing to distinguish good and bad,
you overcome the confusion of the physical
reality and live in harmony with
the Infinite manifestations?
with the peace and harmony of the oneness
of Infinity and experience immortality.
To seldom speak is the essence of simplicity.
winds do not last all morning.
The rain does not last all day.
The earth that manifests the winds and the rain
is itself a manifestation of change.
things change, nothing is eternal but change.
All the manifestations of humanity are fleeting
as is the entire physical universe.
your focus on the oneness of Infinity,
manifesting the potential of all things
and disintegrating all the manifestations.
Flow in the peace and harmony of eternal
on goodness and virtue and you lose
sight of the oneness of all people.
Focus on failure and your life becomes failure.
Focus on peace and harmony, the essence of
Infinity, and experience peace and harmony.
change and live in peace.
Embrace the experience of the moment,
refuse to distinguish good and bad,
happy and sad, difficult and easy.
you distinguish comes to you for a time.
When it comes embrace it
and when it leaves let it go.
This is living within the oneness of the Infinite.
This is the key to peace and harmony.
on your toes and you will not maintain your
Run and you will have to rest.
a harmonious pace
and you can circumnavigate the earth.
attention to yourself and others may
consider you a fool.
Become self-righteous and others will avoid you.
Boasting impresses no one.
Brag and you may be put to the test.
the oneness of Infinity,
all these are delusions of the physical
They do not bring peace and harmony.
Be at one with Infinity and keep these in
They are transient excesses in a transient
the physical universe existed,
the potential of all things
permeated time and space.
It was silent and empty, loud and pregnant.
Solitary in its oneness, crowded in its potential,
static and dynamic, hot and cold, light and
potential of all things,
for lack of another name,
I call it Infinity.
permeates all things and non-things.
It manifests realities and disintegrates those
All things are birthed from it
and all things return to it.
The physical universe is marvelous.
The earth is marvelous.
Human beings are marvelous.
These are the four realities.
beings are a manifestation of the
the earth, a manifestation of the physical
the physical universe, a manifestation of
Infinity, the potential of all things.
is the source of all physical
The Infinite stillness is the creator of the
sage travels all day over the land and sea
but does not lose sight of Infinity.
Though the manifestations of the earth are
wondrous and beautiful,
she remains indifferent because she remains
in the Infinite oneness.
leader of multitudes cannot afford to
lose her perspective.
in the physical manifestations
results in a loss of focus on the
To be caught up in distinguishing things,
narrows the leader's perspective
to that of her followers.
proficient traveler leaves no evidence of his
A proficient speaker is impeccable in his
A proficient accountant needs no tally sheet.
A functional door has no lock
but can only opened by the owner.
A perfect binding has no knots
yet only the binder can loosen it.
sage is the light of all human beings
and rejects no one.
She efficiently uses all things
and discards nothing.
This is called manifesting Infinity.
is a sage but a guide to peace and harmony?
What is a materialistic traveler but the
the student not to value the teacher
or the teacher not to love the student
or for the followers not to acknowledge the
or the leader not to care for the
is the cause of great confusion.
is a key to peace and harmony,
teachers and leaders remind others of who
and their oneness with Infinity.
the male and the female
and travel the peaceful path of oneness.
Be at one with Infinity.
Being at one with Infinity,
do not become confused
in distinctions of male and female.
Experience the oneness
as an undistinguishing child.
the white and the black as one.
Be a guiding light to the world.
As a guiding light to the world,
standing firm in the truth of oneness,
mirror Infinity for all to see.
that honor and humility are one.
Be a vessel of Infinity.
As a vessel of Infinity,
be a resource to all beings.
Become as a piece of uncarved wood;
available for any purpose.
a piece of wood is carved, it becomes useful.
When the sage flows in oneness, he becomes useful
Therefore, the sage is careful in using what he
but avoiding kingship.
you think you can control the world?
I do not believe it can be done.
world is a manifestation of change
and cannot be controlled.
you try to control it, you will end up deceiving
If you treat it like an object, it will overwhelm
world is a manifestation of change;
sometimes ahead, sometimes behind,
sometimes dynamic, sometimes static,
sometimes vigorous, sometimes feeble,
sometimes manifesting, sometimes
refuse to distinguish excesses and
See only oneness.
Flow with Infinity
and exist in peace and harmony.
you have an opportunity to advise a
regarding Infinity, advise her not to use
to try to gain control of the world.
force attracts resistance
and the greater the force
the greater the resistance.
grow where armies have been
and hard times are the legacy of a great war.
hostilities as soon as possible
and do not continue to use excessive force
your purpose but never glory in inhumane
Fulfill your purpose but never boast of
Fulfill your purpose but never take pride in
Fulfill your purpose but avoid violence.
Fulfill your purpose by flowing within
the oneness of Infinity.
use of force dissipates life.
Force is not the way of peace and harmony.
That which goes against peace and harmony
is short lived.
of war are instruments of death.
All people fear them.
Therefore, all men of peace avoid them.
sage prefers Infinity.
The man of war prefers the earth.
are instruments of death
and the tools of a warrior.
The sage avoids them at all cost;
and sometimes prefers death rather
than touching them.
and harmony are the sage's reality.
She considers victory to be the bastard
child of war.
you revel in victory,
then you sanction war and the killing of
If you accept killing,
you have forgotten your oneness with all
time of celebration the left is the dominant
In times of grief the right.
During wartime the general always stands on the
and the king on the right.
even one person is killed in war,
it is cause for great grief and mourning.
Victory is simply the maker of widows and orphans.
can never be defined in words.
Smaller than an atom, greater than forever,
it can never be comprehended.
kings would stay centered in the Infinite,
they would not try to control the
and earth would be seen as a manifestation
of the oneness of Infinity,
as harmonious as dew accumulating on the
people would recognize Infinity manifesting
in their king and all things would be
the whole is distinguished into parts,
and parts into more parts
and more parts into even more parts
a myriad names are required.
are already too many distinctions and
naming of things focuses on the manifestations
and too much distinguishing can result in one
becoming confused in the manifestations and
the oneness of all things.
to distinguish the components of the whole.
See the oneness of Infinity,
and see the earth as a manifestation
disintegrating back into Infinity.
others is impossible.
Knowing one's self requires only a remembering
of one's unity with all things.
others requires force.
Conquering one's self requires letting go.
who understands his oneness with Infinity
resides in peace.
one day at a time is the essence of harmony.
One who lives in harmony endures.
Passing through death's door is immortality.
permeates everything in every direction;
to the left as well as to the right.
It is the potential of all things,
and the manifestation of all things.
Its total essence resides in all things.
has no purpose.
It is complete in its indifference.
It manifests and disintegrates all things forever.
sustains all things,
yet it is the god of no thing.
It has no purpose.
It is Infinitely insignificant.
manifestations after a time disintegrate back
yet It is the god of no thing.
and so there is nothing outside its realm.
cannot appear great
because it is at one with everything.
beings are drawn to those who stay centered
in their oneness with Infinity
because they flow in peace and
manifestations of music and delicious food
catch the attention of those passing by.
But the essence of Infinity goes unnoticed.
makes no sound and has no flavor
and yet It is the inexhaustible source
of the manifestations of all sounds
and all flavors.
manifestations that expand will eventually
All manifestations that strengthen will eventually
All manifestations that are lifted up will
Nothing can be received unless it is given.
This is called distinguishing the oneness of
and weak forever disintegrate the hard and
Hard and strong forever disintegrate the soft and
This is called the nature of Infinity.
are at one with water;
undistinguished by Infinity.
nation and its weapons
cannot be distinguished.
is the essence of all things.
Without intention, It manifests all things.
leaders and kings
remain focused on the oneness of Infinity,
nations will flow in peace and harmony.
leaders and kings are compelled to act,
they should focus on Infinity
and refuse to manifest desire.
there is no desire for action,
the world would flow in the peace and harmony
of the oneness of Infinity.
good person is not focused on her goodness
because she is centered in oneness.
A confused person is focused on goodness
and consequently has difficulty obtaining it.
person centered in oneness
flows with life and appears to do nothing;
yet because she is in harmony
with the oneness of Infinity
she leaves nothing undone.
confused person is focused on achievements
and consequently never truly achieves
caring person is caring all the time
and therefore leaves nothing unnurtured.
When the righteous person does something,
he leaves things in turmoil.
When a person of great discipline does something
and others do not follow,
he attempts to force them to conform to his
perception of reality.
the oneness of humanity is forgotten,
a distinction is made between good and evil.
Focusing on goodness leads one down the
path of self-righteousness which
separates a person from others.
Self-righteousness leads to justice
and since justice is as arbitrary as
and righteousness, it degenerates into
a facade of justice or ritual.
Ritual is the backbone of religion
and religion is the harbinger of
and judgment is the backbone of
Therefore, a centered person dwells upon the
oneness of Infinity and not on
distinguishing which leads to confusion;
on the plant and not on the flower.
centered person embraces oneness
and rejects distinctions.
All things are at one with Infinity.
When humanity is centered in this oneness:
sky remains clear and beautiful,
the earth remains pure and sustains life,
the spirit of humanity is in harmony,
the valley is the source of abundance,
all creatures reproduce, regenerate and
replenish the earth,
leaders and kings are in harmony
and nations are at peace.
humanity focuses on the manifestations of
distinguishes and judges all things
and thereby forgets the oneness of Infinity:
sky becomes cloudy with pollution,
the earth becomes a cesspool
unable to easily neutralize the many
the spirit of humanity becomes confused
and accepts conflict as the nature of
the valley no longer produces abundance
and what it does produce is tainted.
Leaders and kings take their nations to war
in order to control the untainted
creatures no longer reproduce, species die
and parts of the earth, unattended by
the myriad creatures, no longer
regenerate or replenish themselves,
the people of all nations live in conflict,
fear, hunger and depression.
never forget that oneness is the
essence of harmony; the simple is the way of
and kings consider themselves, alone,
and misunderstood when they forget their
oneness with Infinity.
confusion, they inevitably lead their nations to
order to maintain peace and harmony in the land,
they must flow in the peace and harmony
of the oneness of all things.
much success is a sign that one has
begun to focus on manifestations and
not on Infinity, the essence of all
not distinguish precious jade.
Remain centered in the peace and harmony
of the oneness of all things.
and disintegrating is the
activity of Infinity.
to manifestations, yielding to
is the nature of peace and harmony.
are manifested from the tangible.
The tangible is manifested from the intangible.
a person seeking peace and harmony
discovers the oneness of Infinity,
she embraces it completely.
When the average person
remembers the oneness of Infinity,
he has a hard time maintaining it.
When a confused person is
confronted with the oneness of Infinity,
he laughs loudly.
If he did not laugh, his confusion would
not be so obvious.
oneness of Infinity is beyond distinctions
and is always present.
That is why things seem confusing to those who
light merges into darkness.
Forward looks similar to backward.
The easy path manifests difficulty.
Virtue seems hollow.
Purity becomes an illusion.
The static is dynamic.
Strength degenerates into weakness.
Truth has no foundation.
great square has no corners.
A circle is a series of points.
Great music seems like the wind.
Images have no shape.
oneness of Infinity permeates all things
and merges them together.
Infinity manifests all things to completion
and disintegrates all manifestations
Infinity is the potential of all things.
All things are one with Infinity.
creates the two.
All things can be distinguished as yin and yang.
The harmony of oneness is achieved by not
beings hate being alone, ridiculed, and
Yet this is how leaders and kings perceive
when they forget their oneness with Infinity.
achieves peace by ignoring distinctions
and becomes confused by endless judgments
"A violent man will reap a violent death."
"All men will die."
This is the simplicity of Infinity.
softest manifestation in the Infinite
overcomes the hardest manifestation in the
The intangible permeates the tangible.
Non-action incorporates action.
by living, working without laboring
is comprehended by only a few.
name or your self: which is more important?
Your self or your possessions: which are more
Gain or loss: which is more destructive to
peace and harmony?
who values his name separates from the
oneness of humanity and experiences
Accumulating always creates confusion.
A man in harmony does not distinguish gain or loss.
man who refuses to judge or make distinctions
will never become lost or confused.
He will experience peace and harmony within
the oneness of Infinity.
accomplishments seem incomplete
yet their legacy is long lived.
abundance seems insignificant
but it is inexhaustible.
A beam of light is just a wave.
skill seems easy.
Great eloquence seems boring.
Stillness manifests the cold.
Peace and harmony are the nature of Infinity.
the world remembers its oneness,
horses plow the fields.
When the world focuses on the manifestations of
distinctions, judgment and war replace peace
is no greater confusion than desire;
no greater burden than discontent.
Nothing is as unfortunate as seeing one's self
as separate from others.
and harmony come from the realization
that what one has is enough.
you are at one with Infinity,
you can experience the world without
leaving your home.
Without looking out the window
you can see the manifestations of Infinity.
The further you carry your distinctions
and your judgments,
the more confused and lost you become.
the sage experiences all things
without looking she sees Infinity.
She works without laboring.
the pursuit of knowledge,
at every moment something is distinguished.
In the pursuit of peace and harmony,
at every moment something is merged.
Less and less is desired
until one is flowing in peace and harmony.
When one is flowing in peace and harmony
all things are accomplished.
world flows in peace and harmony
when all things are allowed to
manifest and to disintegrate.
and harmony are sacrificed
sage has no mind of her own.
She is at one with all of humanity.
to those who are considered good.
Give to those who are considered bad.
This is true oneness.
those who are trustworthy.
Trust those who are not trustworthy.
This is also true oneness.
sage is peaceful and harmonious;
but to the world she seems indifferent.
world pays attention to her and listens to her
even though she resembles a child.
birth to death;
Three in ten are manifesting life,
Three in ten are disintegrating into death,
and three in ten are between,
manifesting life and disintegrating
Because the vast majority of humanity
distinguishes life and death.
person who is at one with all things
can go anywhere without fear of
vicious animals or dangerous persons.
Because she is at one with the wild animals,
they perceive her as themselves.
Because she is at one with dangerous
they fear her.
potential of Infinity manifests all things.
Manifestations are nourished by oneness,
created with matter,
affected by events.
those who maintain peace and harmony
acknowledge Infinity and remember their
not because it is demanded,
but because it is the essence of
manifests all things,
and comforts them.
manifests all things without possessing
shows them the way without interfering,
assists them without taking credit.
This is the nature of Infinity.
is the mother of all things.
Remembering Infinity, one knows
the nature of children.
Knowing the nature of the children
keeps one focused on the oneness of
your oneness with Infinity
and the immortality of Infinity
overcomes the fear of death.
accept all things without distinctions and
and life will be peaceful and
distinguish and judge all things,
and life degenerates into confusion.
differences is called distinguishing.
Remaining indifferent manifests peace and
the nature of oneness
focuses one on Infinity
and away from the confusion of
This is called abiding in the constant.
I possess just a bit of insight,
I will remember my oneness with Infinity,
and I will only be concerned that I may
become confused with distinctions and
path of Infinity is easy and peaceful.
But the majority of people cannot
help becoming confused in the manifestations
of the Infinite.
rulers and leaders are confused
in pomp and circumstance,
the fields are overgrown with weeds
and the granaries are empty.
leaders and rulers
wear extravagant clothing and manipulate the
while attending endless banquets
and accumulating wealth for
the sake of wealth,
they are confused and behave like
bandits and thieves.
This is not the path of peace and harmony.
essence of Infinity can be ignored but never
If it is acknowledged, it cannot be lost
and it will manifest peace and harmony
from parents to children forever.
it in yourself
and peace and harmony will become real.
Acknowledge it in your family
and peace and harmony will grow.
Acknowledge it in your town
and peace and harmony will influence your
Acknowledge it in your nation
and peace and harmony will displace war.
Acknowledge it in the universe
and peace and harmony will be everywhere.
see others as yourself,
see other families as your family,
see other towns as your town,
see other nations as your nation,
see the universe as a manifestation
of the Infinite.
do I know this is the way things are?
Because I am at one with Infinity.
person who flows in peace and harmony
is like a newborn baby.
Poisonous insects and reptiles do not sting or
Wild animals do not stalk it.
Raptors do not attack it.
bones are soft and it muscles are weak
yet its grip is secure.
It is not aware of male and female
yet its genitals are aroused.
Its oneness is perfect.
It screams all day without becoming hoarse.
This is the perfection of harmony.
harmony is acknowledging
the oneness of Infinity.
Knowing the oneness of Infinity is the
experience of peace.
one's life force results in confusion.
Controlling the breath interrupts the harmony of
Increasing the natural pace of life creates
and is therefore not the path of harmony.
that remains out of harmony is short
who know have no need to speak.
Those who speak are searching for peace and
Ignore your senses.
Blunt your sharpness.
Unravel your knots.
Dim your light.
Become one with all things.
This is the primal essence.
who flow in the peace and harmony of Infinity
make no distinctions.
They are therefore indifferent to friend and foe,
to good and bad, to honor and infamy.
This is the natural state of human beings.
a nation with fairness.
In war do the unexpected.
Lead the nation by becoming one with it.
Why do I say this?
more rules and regulations,
the more oppressed the citizens.
The more energy used to develop weapons,
the more tension in the land.
The more clever and manipulative the leaders
the more agitated and unpredictable
The more religious morals and restrictions,
the more depression and self-hatred
when the ruler is at one with the population
I take no action and the citizens
I flow in peace and harmony
and the people follow in my footsteps.
I refuse to manipulate and control
and the population becomes predictable.
I ignore religion
and tolerance replaces judgment.
the country is ruled with indifference,
the people flow in peace and harmony.
When the country is ruled with purpose,
the people become tense and circumvent the
distinctions are made,
good fortune is the harbinger of disaster
and adversity is the foundation of
The only known is change and the limits of
change are unpredictable.
everything changes, nothing seems real.
The reliable becomes questionable
and the questionable becomes familiar.
confusion created by distinctions
is ever present.
the sage is:
upright but not judgmental,
to the point but not arrogant,
straightforward but not offensive,
is a light but not blinding.
leading people and manifesting Infinity,
there is nothing as essential as
to distinguish the self is the crucial
Indifference is the product of maintaining one's
on the oneness of all things.
If you are at one with Infinity and the potential
of all things,
then you have no limitations.
one has no limitations,
she is qualified to rule the world.
she is at one with the world,
and consequently indifferent,
she will endure.
is the manifestation of deep roots and a firm
a oneness with Infinity,
immortality and perfect vision.
a country is like cooking a small fish.
If you forget your oneness with the fish,
you become confused in what you are
the world as one with Infinity
and evil will be impotent.
that evil does not exist,
but because it is not distinguished
people harmonize with it.
all of humanity is in harmony with the
oneness of Infinity,
not only will evil not confuse the people,
the sage himself will not confuse the people.
will not confuse each other
and the oneness in each will harmonize
great nation is like the ocean,
at one with Infinity,
it receives all waters in peace and harmony.
female integrates the male
by residing in peace and harmony.
if the great nation does not
the small nation as separate from itself,
it will integrate the smaller nation
into its oneness.
a small nation does not distinguish itself as
from the great nation,
it will incorporate the peace and
of the great nation.
great nation conquers by being a reservoir of
peace and harmony.
A small nation conquers by becoming one with the
great state is a reservoir
of peace and harmony for smaller states.
Small states seek the peace and harmony
of the great state.
Both get what they want; oneness.
is natural for the great nation to
be receptive to the smaller nation.
is the potential of all things;
the source of all manifestations.
is the treasure of peaceful people
and the hiding place of the bad.
can purchase advancement.
Good deeds can obtain admiration.
a man is bad,
do not distinguish his badness.
See his oneness with humanity.
when the king is crowned
and the state officials are sworn in,
do not send them gifts of jade dishes
or a team of four horses.
Instead flow in peace and harmony
and remind them of their oneness
does everyone flow in peace and harmony
when they acknowledge the oneness of
Because their needs are met
and their mistakes are not distinguished.
This is the gift of Infinity.
flowing in peace and harmony.
Work without laboring.
Savor the tasteless.
Enlarge the small.
Multiply the few.
Mitigate bitterness with kindness.
difficult endeavors by a series
of easy tasks.
Accomplish great deeds by persisting
in mundane acts.
one flows in peace and harmony and
perceives the oneness in all things:
difficulties are easily overcome and
great accomplishments are
seen as a compilation of a lifetime
of insignificant days.
sage never tries to achieve greatness.
She flows in peace and harmony and
at the end of her days comprehends her
promises are generally unreliable.
Neglecting basics fosters difficulties.
The sage considers the potential difficulty in all
and circumvents them by flowing in peace and
and harmony are easy to perpetuate.
Situations are easy to deal with before
The brittle is easily cracked.
The small is easy to broadcast.
in peace and harmony and problems do
Focus on the oneness of all things
and avoid confusion.
greatest tree manifests from an
A multilevel building begins with
the laying of a single brick.
A journey of a thousand miles begins
with a single step.
who attempts to control his life becomes
Attempt to grasp a thing and it disappears.
The sage flows in peace and harmony
and so is not confused.
She attaches herself to nothing and
consequently her vision remains clear.
people usually quit just short of
Therefore, see experiences as
the oneness of life from beginning to end
and it will be impossible to fail.
sage is indifferent to desire:
she does not accumulate possessions,
she is unemotional regarding ideas,
she focuses people on their oneness,
she, by example, illuminates
the path to peace and harmony
but does not impose her will
or foist her views on
time immemorial the sage has not
tried to teach oneness
but has embedded peace and harmony
in the openness of a simple life.
is it so hard to rule?
Because people are at one with their
Leaders who use cleverness
are confronted with more cleverness.
Cleverness only manifests confusion.
who flow in the peace and harmony of
lead without attempting cleverness
and are a blessing to everyone.
too are distinctions,
cleverness and non-action.
these two are distinctions
focuses one on the oneness of Infinity
and away from confusion.
centered in the oneness that permeates
manifests peace and harmony.
are the great oceans the rulers of all rivers?
Because they occupy a lower space.
Therefore, their humility lifts them up.
the sage is to manifest peace
she must be humble in her speech.
she is to lead others
she must follow them in harmony.
the sage leads,
the people do not feel enslaved.
When she stands above them,
they feel at one with her.
Because she is in harmony with others,
they support her and never
consider her a burden.
is not confused.
Therefore, she does not contend with others
and they do not contend with her.
says that Infinity is great
but beyond comprehension because it is
Since it is intangible, it seems non-existent.
However, if it were not intangible it would
have disintegrated before the world was
things create peace and harmony.
The first is a lack of distinctions.
The second is simplicity.
The third is oneness.
a lack of distinction, I can accept all things.
With simplicity, I do not become confused with
With oneness, I can be at peace and in harmony
with all things.
the world people always
make distinctions between good and bad
and become confused in judgment;
and become confused in wealth;
forget their oneness
and live in tension and conflict.
to make distinctions and refuse to pass
and war and defense succumb to peace and
warrior in harmony is not contemptuous of life.
A prize fighter in harmony is not angry.
A winner in harmony understands the
oneness of winning and losing.
An employer in harmony is at one with
is called non-distinction and indifference.
It is known as being at peace and in harmony
It is the manifestation of the ultimate peace
and harmony of Infinity.
is a saying among generals,
It is better not to begin the battle
but to wait for the other side to begin.
It is better to retreat a foot
rather than advance an inch.
is called advancing
while appearing to retreat,
preparing to fight
by concealing your power,
winning the battle
without engaging the enemy,
and brandishing non-existent weapons.
is nothing worse than distinguishing others
By distinguishing others as enemies,
I lose sight of my oneness
and become confused in conflict and
So when war seems imminent,
the victor refuses to embrace killing.
words are easy to understand
and easy to put into practice,
but unfortunately few people understand
them or try to live by them.
thoughts have always existed,
but since people are confused,
they do not embrace them.
Because people do not understand me,
they are confused in conflict and war
rather than living in peace and harmony.
that acknowledge their
oneness with Infinity are few.
Those that call me crazy
are applauded by others that are
the sage is modest in her apparel,
but carries the priceless jewel
of peace and harmony in
oneness manifests peace.
Acknowledging distinctions manifests confusion.
one is in harmony with disharmony,
then one is at peace.
The sage is at peace because she is
not confused with the distinctions of
harmony and disharmony.
The sage is at one with Infinity.
people are not in awe of the Infinite,
they are overwhelmed by confusion.
not violate another's space.
Do not interfere with another's livelihood.
you do not violate their space
or interfere with their livelihood,
they will not separate
sage acknowledges herself but
does not distinguish herself
lives her reality
but does not try to foist it on others.
makes her choices
but is indifferent and unattached
and therefore lives in peace and
distinguishing man in his righteousness
is prepared to kill or be killed in
the name of righteousness.
A non-distinguishing woman is indifferent
and refuses to even consider killing.
Both types of people occupy the world forever.
They are one
and undistinguished by Infinity.
does not contend
but through oneness overcomes all things.
It does not speak but is the
answer to all questions.
It does not summons
but all things are attracted to it.
It makes no plans and has no goals
but all things are manifested by it.
net of Infinity is all encompassing.
The mesh is large
yet nothing slips through.
people are at one with Infinity,
they have no fear of death
and so they are indifferent to threats.
people are confused
with the distinction of life and death,
they fear death.
death is the penalty for breaking the law,
the vast majority will be law abiding.
are always official executioners
and they are at one with killing.
you try to take their place,
it is the same as trying to cut wood
in place of the master carpenter.
you try to take the master carpenter's place,
you will only succeed in cutting
the people of a nation are starving
and without the basic necessities,
it is because taxes are excessive.
the people of a nation are rebellious,
it is because the laws are out of
harmony with the population.
the leaders of a nation are oppressive
in their confusion,
the people remember their oneness
and become indifferent to death.
who remember the oneness of Infinity
are indifferent to life and death
and consequently live in peace
human body is born soft and supple;
after death it is hard and stiff.
Plants and trees are pliant and limber
when they sprout,
after death they are inflexible and
hard and inflexible
are characteristics of death.
Pliant and flexible
are characteristics of life.
an army that is inflexible will be conquered
and a tree that does not yield to
the wind will snap.
hard and inflexible will succumb.
The pliant and flexible will endure.
harmony of Infinity functions like
a bow and its string.
The upper part bends down,
the lower part raises up.
If the string is too long, it is made shorter;
too short and it is lengthened.
nature of Infinity is balance,
excess gravitates to what is lacking.
The tendency of people is toward confusion
because those who have much
take from those who have little.
who are at one with Infinity and
live in peace and harmony
are not confused.
They do not accumulate what
they do not need
and are like a reservoir to those
sage lives in harmony
giving without expecting,
completing her tasks with indifference,
and maintaining a oneness with all things.
in the world is more submissive and
Yet nothing can equal it in cutting the inflexible
and eroding the hard.
weak can subdue the strong
and the flexible outlasts the rigid.
This is common knowledge,
yet only a very few can practice it.
the sages say;
She who is at one with the
disgrace of a nation
is worthy to be queen.
who is at one with the
misfortunes of nations
is worthy to be king of kings.
The truth frequently seems paradoxical.
almost always leaves some resentment
regardless of the nature of a peaceful
does one achieve peace and harmony?
The sage fulfills her commitments
but does not demand others to fulfill theirs.
who are confused
demand others to fulfill their commitments
but are unconcerned with fulfilling
It is at one with all people.
peaceful nation has few people and
flows in harmony and oneness.
They have weapons of war but they have no
inclination to use them.
They are indifferent to death and indifferent
to living elsewhere.
They have boats and carriages
but seldom use them.
They have weapons of war but
no one displays them.
They live a simple life:
their food is nourishing,
their clothes are adequate,
their dwellings are secure.
They are at peace and in harmony
with all things.
though they live within sight
of a neighboring nation
and hear the sounds of dogs and
they grow old and perish
without ever desiring to go there.
words are seldom passionate.
Passionate words are seldom truthful.
men do not quarrel.
Those who quarrel are confused.
who is at one with all things
He who has knowledge
is always confused.
sage is never confused by accumulating.
The more he does for others,
the more he flows in harmony.
The more he gives to others,
the more he experiences peace.
manifests, nourishes and disintegrates
The sage flows in the peace and harmony
of oneness with all things.