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Tao Te Ching - Part I

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