Archives For Tao Te Ching

When people do not fear death,

There is no use trying to threaten them with death.

If people value their lives, and those who break the law were being executed,

Then who would dare to commit criminal act?

The life and death of all beings are handled by the executioner of Nature.

Those who substitute the nature executioner to kill,

Is like replacing the master carpenter to chop the wood.

One who substitutes the master carpenter to chop the wood,

Rarely does not hurt his hands.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

He who is brave in being daring, acts recklessly and shall be killed.

He who is brave but acts cautiously and kindly shall live.

Of these two, one is beneficial while the other is harmful.

What nature wishes, who may know what the reasons are?

Thus, the saint is aware of the subtlety and profoundness of the Nature’s Way,

So he takes great caution in practicing It.

The Tao of Nature,

Does not contend, yet easily wins.

Does not speak, yet always responds.

Does not summon, yet all things gather.

Does not contemplate as if at ease,

Yet all plans were devised perfectly.

The Law of Nature is like a giant web,

Although sparsely meshed, nothing can slip through.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

When people do not respect the authority,

There shall be great misfortune.

Do not interfere with the people’s livelihood.

Do not despise their living.

Because there is no detest against the people,

Therefore the people do not detest against the authority.

The saint realizes his true nature and hence

Does not distinguish himself.

He has a sense of self-respect and thus does not exalt himself.

Therefore, he rejects those that are self-distinguished and self-exalted.

And abides by these that are self-awareness and self-respect.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

One who knows what people do not know,

Is a person of enlightenment.

One who pretends to know what he is ignorant of, is at fault.

He who is aware of what he does not know, shall not be at fault.

Therefore, a saint is flawless for he is aware of what he truly knows and what he knows not,

hence he is flawless.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

My words of Tao is easy to understand and to practice.

However, the world can neither understand nor practice them.

In my words of Tao, there is the subtle truth.

In my deeds, there is the Way of Tao.

Because people do not understand these,

Therefore they do not understand me.

Those who know me are few.

Hence, the essence of Tao appears to be more honorable and precious.

Thus, a saint may dress in ordinary coarse clothing,

Yet has a heart of gem with the true essence within.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

In warfare, there is a saying of such strategy:

I would rather take a defensive position than to make an initial offensive move.

I would rather withdraw a foot than to march forward one inch.

Such is called to advance without advancement;

To defeat without arm force;

To fight as if there were no enemy;

To carry weapons as if there were no weapons and thus no need for the use of weapons.

There is no greater disaster than to underestimate the enemy.

To do so may cost one to lose his valuable life.

Therefore, when two armies engage in a battle,

The party that feels the sorrow of killing shall win.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

A faithful Tao cultivator does not use force.

A good warrior does not lose his temper.

A great conqueror does not challenge others.

A good leader is humble.

This is called the virtue of peace with no contention.

This is also regarded as competence to make good use of the effort of people.

Such is regarded as achieving harmony with nature.

Such is the perfect Oneness of true nature.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Even the great nature shall save him and protect him with kindness.

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A man of great virtue is one who follows the nature way of Tao.

This Tao is vague and intangible.

Yet, in the vague and void, there is image, there is substance.

Within the profound intangible, there is essence;

This essence is genuine.

In It lies the great faith.

Since the beginning of the world, Tao has been in existence.

Only through It that one can understand the origin of all beings.

How do I know that this is the true essence?

It is through this natural Way.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Honor and disgrace can surprise a person.

The greatest distress lies in one’s physical body.

What does it mean by “Honor and disgrace can surprise someone?”

Honor is inferior, because one who wins the favor is afraid of losing it.

And one who loses the favor is frightened with distress.

This is the significance of “Honor and disgrace can surprise someone.”

What does it mean by “The greatest distress lies in one’s body?”

We have fear because we worry about our physical self.

If one’s body does not exist, how can one have fear?

Therefore, he who values the world as much as he values himself, can be entrusted with the ruling of the world.

He who loves the world as much as he loves himself, can be entrusted with the guidance of the world.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching