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It is thus that the sage wears (a poor garb of) hair cloth,
while he carries his (signet of) jade in his bosom.
To know and yet (think) we do not know is the highest
(attainment); not to know (and yet think) we do know is a disease.
It is simply by being pained at (the thought of) having this
disease that we are preserved from it.
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away from those who have not enough to add to his own superabundance.
Who can take his own superabundance and therewith serve all under
The sages do not act from (any wish to be) benevolent; they
deal with the people as the dogs of grass are dealt with.
May not the space between heaven and earth be compared to a
'Tis emptied, yet it loses not its power;
'Tis moved again, and sends forth air the more.
Much speech to swift exhaustion lead we see;
Your inner being guard, and keep it free.
The valley spirit dies not, aye the same;
The female mystery thus do we name.
Its gate, from which at first they issued forth,
Is called the root from which grew heaven and earth.
Long and unbroken does its power remain,
Used gently, and without the touch of pain.
Heaven is long-enduring and earth continues long.
In that likeness toheaven he possesses the Tao.
He who is satisfied with his lot is rich; he who
goes on acting with energy has a (firm) will.
He who does not fail in the requirements of his position, continues
long; he who dies and yet does not perish, has longevity.
All-pervading is the Great Tao!
In the next age they loved them and praisedthem.
When they know to rest in
it, they can be free from all risk of failure and error.
The relation of the Tao to all the world is like that of the great
rivers and seas to the streams from the valleys.
He who knows other men is discerning; he who knows himself is
I am like an infant which has not yet smiled.
return (to their root and disappear), and do not know that it is it
which presides over their doing so;--it may be named in the greatest
Hence the sage is able (in the same way) to accomplish his great
I lookdejected and forlorn, as if I had no home to go to.
feudal prince or the king could guard and hold it, all would
spontaneously submit themselves to him.
Heaven and Earth (under its guidance) unite together and send down
the sweet dew, which, without the directions of men, reaches equally
everywhere as of its own accord.
As soon as it proceeds to action, it has a name.
The multitude ofmen all have enough and to spare.
It is through his not making himself great that he can
To him who holds in his hands the Great Image (of the invisible
Tao), the whole world repairs.
I alone seem to have losteverything.
He who has killed multitudes of men
should weep for them with the bitterest grief; and the victor in
battle has his place (rightly) according to those rites.
The Tao, considered as unchanging, has no name.
Though in its primordial simplicity it may be small, the whole
world dares not deal with (one embodying) it as a minister.