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Tao Te Ching - Part VI

Chapter 48

Pursue knowledge, daily gain Pursue Tao, daily loss

Loss and more loss Until one reaches unattached action With unattached action, there is nothing one cannot do

Take the world by constantly applying non-interference The one who interferes is not qualified to take the world.

Chapter 49

The sages have no constant mind They take the mind of the people as their mind Those who are good, I am good to them Those who are not good, I am also good to them Thus the virtue of goodness Those who believe, I believe them Those who do not believe, I also believe them Thus the virtue of belief

The sages live in the world They cautiously merge their mind for the world The people all pay attention with their ears and eyes The sages care for them as children

Chapter 50

Coming into life, entering death The followers of life, three in ten The followers of death, three in ten Those whose lives are moved toward death Also three in ten Why? Because they live lives of excess

I've heard of those who are good at cultivating life Traveling on the road, they do not encounter rhinos or tigers Entering into an army, they are not harmed by weapons Rhinos have nowhere to thrust their horns Tigers have nowhere to clasp their claws Soldiers have nowhere to lodge their blades Why? Because they have no place for death

Chapter 51

Tao produces them Virtue raises them Things shape them Forces perfect them

Therefore all things respect the Tao and value virtue The respect for Tao, the value of virtue Not due to command but to constant nature

Thus Tao produces them Virtue raises them Grows them, educates them Perfects them, matures them Nurtures them, protects them

Produces but does not possess Acts but does not flaunt Nurtures but does not dominate This is called Mystic Virtue

Chapter 52

The world has a beginning We regard it as the mother of the world Having its mother We can know her children Knowing her children Still holding on to the mother Live without danger all through life

Close the mouth Shut the doors Live without toil all through life Open the mouth Meddle in the affairs Live without salvation all through life

Seeing details is called clarity Holding on to the soft is called strength Utilize the light Return to the clarity Leaving no disasters for the self This is called practicing constancy

Chapter 53

If I have a little knowledge Walking on the great Tao I fear only to deviate from it The great Tao is broad and plain But people like the side paths

The courts are corrupt The fields are barren The warehouses are empty

Officials wear fineries Carry sharp swords Fill up on drinks and food Acquire excessive wealth

This is called robbery It is not the Tao!

Chapter 54

That which is well established cannot be uprooted That which is strongly held cannot be taken The descendants will commemorate it forever

Cultivate it in yourself; its virtue shall be true Cultivate it in the family; its virtue shall be abundant Cultivate it in the community; its virtue shall be lasting Cultivate it in the country; its virtue shall be prosperous Cultivate it in the world; its virtue shall be widespread

Therefore observe others with yourself Observe other families with your family Observe other communities with your community Observe other countries with your country Observe the world with the world With what do I know the world? With this

Chapter 55

Those who hold an abundance of virtue Are similar to newborn infants Poisonous insects do not sting them Wild beasts do not claw them Birds of prey do not attack them Their bones are weak, tendons are soft But their grasp is firm They do not know of sexual union but can manifest arousal Due to the optimum of essence They can cry the whole day and yet not be hoarse Due to the optimum of harmony Knowing harmony is said to be constancy Knowing constancy is said to be clarity

Excessive vitality is said to be inauspicious Mind overusing energy is said to be aggressive Things become strong and then grow old This is called contrary to the Tao That which is contrary to the Tao will soon perish

Chapter 56

Those who know do not talk Those who talk do not know

Close the mouth Shut the doors Blunt the sharpness Unravel the knots Dim the glare Mix the dust This is called Mystic Oneness

They cannot obtain this and be closer They cannot obtain this and be distant They cannot obtain this and be benefited They cannot obtain this and be harmed They cannot obtain this and be valued They cannot obtain this and be degraded Therefore, they become honored by the world

Translation by Derek Lin

Credit source and Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained,

published by SkyLight Paths in 2006

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