Tattered Tree Trunk


A tao that one can tao
    Is not the entire tao
A name that one can name
    Is not the entire name.

In the absence of names
    Lies the origin of heavens and earth
The presence of names
    Is mother to the 10000 things.

So viewing entireness without desire
    One may see subtleties
Viewing entireness with desire
    One may see boundaries.

That which is these both
    Goes about as itself yet there are different names.
Categorizing them together there is insight
    Very deep insight
The gateway to collective subtleties.


In the world each knows how beauty acts
    Where there is beauty ugliness begins
Each knows how to value
    Where there is value lack of value begins.

In this manner
    Presence and absence give birth to each other
    Difficult and easy complete each other
    Long and short contrast each other
    High and low attract each other
    Tone and voice harmonize each other
    Front and back follow each other.

Appropriately it happens that sages
    Dwell absent of acting with effort
    Do things without explaining in words
    Make the 10000 things blend yet without trying to describe them
    Give birth yet without possessing
    Act yet without relying on results
    Are of outstanding service yet aren't willing to reside therein.

In the end, only be unwilling to reside therein
Appropriately, a lack of detachment happens.


Being without esteem for principles
    Results in people who do not contend
Being without treasuring goods difficult to obtain
    Results in people who do not act as thieves
Being without seeing what one can desire
    Results in the minds of people not being confused.

Appropriately the governing of sages happens.
    Baring the mind
    Solidifying the center
    Lessening the will
    Strengthening self-nature

These entirely result in people
    Who are absent of knowing and absent of desire
In the end they also result in the wise not venturing to act.

Acting absent of acting
An absence of being without governing follows.


Tao, like an empty bowl
    Being used somehow lacks fullness.

Such breadth!
It seems to be a model for the 10000 things.
    Blunting what is sharp
    Untying what is tangled
    Harmonizing what is bright
    Being together with the dusty earth.

Such depth!
It seems to somehow exist.
I have no knowledge whose child it is
    It appears to precede the emperors.


Heavens and earth are without humanizing
    It happens that the 10000 things act as straw dogs
Sages are without humanizing
    It happens that one hundred families act as straw dogs.

The space bounding heavens and earth is just like the equal of a bellows
    Empty yet not subdued
    Stirring yet more goes out.

Much talk counts for little
It can't compare to obeying the center.


The valley spirit has no death
    It is appropriately called the all-embracing female

The gateway of The all-embracing female
    Is appropriately called the root of heavens and earth.
    Continuous, soft, it looks like it exists-
    It is infrequently used.


Heavens, growth, earth, longevity.
In heavens and earth's place
    That which is able to grow and further be long-lasting happens
    And something lacking existence of a self happens
    So it is able to grow and give birth.

Appropriately it happens that sages
    Put their bodies behind yet their bodies are ahead
    Put their bodies outside yet their bodies are kept in.

Does it not happen they are absent of anomalous self-interest?
So they are able to perfect self-interest.


Better value looks like water

The value if water profits the 10000 things yet without contending
    It dwells in places the collective mind dislikes-
    So it is severed, relating to tao.

The value of a home is in location
The value of a mind is in breadth
The value of a relationship is in humanity
The value of a word is in belief
The value of a government is in governing
The value of an effort is in ability
The value of a movement is in time.

In the end only be without contending
    So be absent from reproach.


Holding yet being full
    Lacks compare to not yet being so
A sword blade being oversharpened
    Cannot long remain so
A living room full of gold and jade
    There is noone able to guard it
Abundant treasures yet arrogance
    Self-condemnation, self-punishment.

Outstanding service performed
    The body withdrawing
    The tao of the heavens.


In containing life-force and embracing oneness
    Is the ability to be absent from departing equal?
In gently extending animus alone
    Is the ability to be as a newborn child equal?
In cleansing and clearing insightful discernment
    Is the ability to be absent of flaws equal?
In fondness for people, governing a nation
    Is the ability to be absent of action equal?
In opening and closing the gate of heavens
    Is the ability to be absent of femaleness equal?
In seeing clearly all four reaches
    Is the ability to be absent from knowledge equal?

Be giving birth, be nourishing.

Giving birth yet without possessing
    Acting yet without sustaining
    Growing yet without directing
    Is appropriately called insightful ideal.


Thirty spokes converge at one hub
    The use of a chariot is in the presence of what is absent
Shaping clay, it happens to act as a vessel
    The use of a vessel is in the presence of what is absent
Cutting doors and windows to have it act as a room
    The use of a room is in the presence of what is absent.

    Where there is presence beneficial actions happen
    Where there is absence useful actions happen.


Five colors blind the eye of man
Five tones deafen the ear of man
Five flavors chafe the mouth of man
Racing and hunting inspire the mind of man to express craziness
Goods difficult to obtain hamper the path of man.

Appropriately it happens
    That sages act from the center without acting from the eyes.

So detach from that, grab this.


Favor and disgrace look alarming.
The treasure of great danger looks like the body.

Why say favor and disgrace look alarming?
    Favor acts superior
    Disgrace acts inferior
    Being obtained it looks alarming
    Being lost it looks alarming
Appropriately say favor and disgrace look alarming.

Why say the treasure of great danger looks like the body?
    I place the occurrence of things of great danger
    As action of I in the presence of a body.
    I reach the absence of a body
    I am present with what danger?
Appropriately say the treasure of great danger looks like the body.

So treasuring it when the body acts in the world
    It looks like one can be committed to the world.
Being fond of it when the body acts in the world
    It looks like one can be entrusted to the world.


Being observed, lacking sight
    Say the name smooth
Being listened to, lacking hearing
    Say the name rare
Being pounced on, lacking obtainment
    Say the name small.

That which these three describes cannot be resolved
    So they mingle yet act as one.

What is high lacks brightness
What is low lacks darkness
Restrictions and restraints cannot be named
Return, merge with, relate to the absence of things.

It is an appropriate action to call it
    The absence of being shape's shape
    The absence of being thing's form.

It is appropriately called ungraspable, elusive
    Moving toward it there is no seeing a head
    Following it there is no seeing a tail.

Holding the tao of the ancients
    Warding off presence of the now happens
The ability to know the ancient beginnings
    Is appropriately called a bond to tao.


Those ancients who valued action in the tao
    Were insightful, versatile, far-reaching, coherent.

Penetrating, one cannot understand
    In the end it is only that one cannot understand
    So there is more than appears to their actions.

So resigned, like fording a river in winter
Just so, like respecting all four neighbors
So reserved, like making an appearance
So melting, like ice halfway released
So genuine, like their true nature
So spacious, like a valley
So well mixed, like muddy water.

Who is able to gently calm muddy water, clearing it?
Who is able to endure gently stirring tranquillity so it gives birth?

Those who maintain this tao have no desire for fullness

In the end only lack fullness
    So be able to be shabby yet perfect the new.


Taking emptiness to the limit
    Observing stillness genuinely
    Regarding the 10000 things as side-by-side
    It happens that I view the return.

In the end things grow and flourish
    Each returns, merging with its root.

Merging with the root, say still
    Appropriately it is called returning to giving birth.

Returning to giving birth, say entireness
    Knowing entireness say illuminated
    Without knowing entireness presumptuously do the faminous.

Knowing entireness is tolerance
Tolerance leads to impartiality
Impartiality leads to kingliness
Kingliness leads to the heavens
The heavens lead to tao
Tao leads to what is long-lasting.

Be without a body, lack danger.


The very highest, little knowledge is present of it
    That next is attached to yet praised
    That next is respected
    That next is despised.

Where there is belief without enough within
    A lack of believing what is within is present.

So remote, those treasure words
    Outstanding service performed, efforts successful
    the one hundred families say
    We did it naturally.


Great tao discarded, a presence of humanity, morality
Wisdom and intelligence come out, a presence of great pretense
Families lack harmony, a presence of filial devotion and mothering
The nation's emperor blinded, confused, a presence of loyal servants.


Break away from sageliness, toss out wisdom
    People benefit one hundred times over
Break away from humanity, toss out morality
    People return to filial devotion and mothering
Break away from valuing, toss out profit
    Thieves and robbers are not in existence.

These three used as a basis for action are ornament, insufficient.

So make present what principles?
    See plainness
    Embrace true nature
    Reduce self-interest
    Limit desires.


Break off from studying, there is an absence of grief.

Being individual or pandering to each other
    How do these differ?
Valuing or hating each other
    What is the difference?

It looks like one cannot lack respect for what others put respect in
    Such reckless desertion!
    It is not yet centered, this way.

Collective mind is bright and sunny, gay and prosperous
    Like enjoying a sacrificial ox
    Like ascending a tower in springtime.
The self alone, so moored!
    is not yet divined on the tortoise-shell
    Like being a baby-child before it smiles.
    Unattached, so unattached
    The self looks absent of a place to merge.

In the collective mind each is present of a surplus
    Yet the self alone appears to offer as a gift.
    The self is foolish, men's minds are also this way
    Unclear, so unclear.

Customs of men are clear, obvious
    The self alone is dark, indistinct
Customs of men are curious, scrutinizing
    The self alone is tightly closed, shut off.

So indifferent, it looks like the ocean
Such a gusty wind, it looks ceaseless.

In the collective mind each possesses a cause
    Yet the self alone seems stubborn and rustic
    The self alone differs from relating to men
    Yet treasures nourishment in relating to the mother.


An aperture is the appearance of the ideal
    Only tao is appropriately followed.

The action of tao on things,
    Only elusive, only ungraspable.
So ungraspable, so elusive
    At its center, the presence of form
So elusive, so ungraspable
    At its center, the presence of things
So secluded, so hard to see
    At its center, the presence of belief.

From ancient times reaching into the present its name does not depart
    Experience of the collective beginning happens.

Why do I happen to know the shape of the collective beginning is this way?
    It just happens.


Flexibility, then comes wholeness
Being twisted, then comes straightness
Emptiness, then comes fullness
Shabbiness, then comes newness
Scarcity, then comes obtainment
Abundance, then comes perplexity.

Appropriately it happens that sages
    Embrace oneness
    Act as the model of the world
    Are not showing themselves so they are luminous
    Are not justifying themselves so they are conspicuous
    Are not boasting of themselves so outstanding service is performed
    Are not bragging of themselves so they grow
    In the end only lack contending
    So noone in the world is able to be contending with them.

In ancient times there was a saying,
    That which is flexible becomes whole.
    How can these be empty words?

The essence, whole yet being merged together.


Rare words are natural.
So the fluttering winds do not last all morning
    The sudden rainstorm does not last all day.
Who is it that acts this way?
    Heavens and earth.

Heavens and earth still lack the ability for longevity
    Yet what relates to men is equal to this state of things?

So follow effort in things related to tao
    Be together with relating to tao
Follow effort in things related to the ideal
    Be together with relating to the ideal
Follow effort in things related to losing
    Be together with relating to losing.

What is together with things related to tao
    Tao also obtains joyfully
What is together with things related to the ideal
    The ideal also obtains joyfully
What is together with things related to losing
    Losing also obtains joyfully.

Belief without enough within
    A lack of belief in what is within happens.


Those on tiptoe are not standing firmly
Those who stride are not moving
Those who show themselves are not luminous
Those who justify themselves are not conspicuous
Those who boast of themselves are not of outstanding service
Those who brag of themselves are not growing.

They that join tao also say
    Surplus food and redundant actions are somehow disliked

So those present with tao are not dwelling there.


A presence of a thing mixed completely
    Before the birth of heavens and earth
So lonely, so deserted
    Standing alone yet without deviating
    Working everywhere yet lacking danger
    Action of the mother of the world can happen.

I have no knowledge of its name
    Giving a word, I say tao.
Stubbornly trying to name it I say great
    Great, I say passing by
    Passing by, I say far-reaching
    Far-reaching, I say returning.

So tao is great, heavens are great, earth is great
    Kings are also great.
In the center of the universe are four greatnesses
    Yet kings stand still, blending them into one.

Man is an offshoot of earth
Earth is an offshoot of the heavens
The heavens are an offshoot of tao
Tao is an offshoot of the natural.


Heaviness acts as root of lightness
Stillness acts as sovereign of agitation.

Appropriately it happens
    That sages travel throughout the day
    Without departing from heavy or light
    Even though fabulous views are present
    They dwell in great comfort and go about like this.
How would one be lord of 10000 war-chariots
    Yet have a body which is light in the world?

Following lightness comes loss of the root
Following agitation comes loss of the sovereign.


Valuing going is absent of trace
Valuing words are absent of flaw or censure
With valuing reckoning, counters or policies are not used.

What is valuably shut
    Is absent of a barrier yet cannot be opened
What is valuably tied
    Is absent of restraint or restriction yet cannot be untied.

Appropriately it happens that sages
    Entirely valuing help others, so others are not thrown away
    Entirely valuing help things, so things are not thrown away.
Appropriately called following the luminance.

So those who value others teach those who lack valuing others
    Those who lack valuing others are a resource of those who value others.
Without treasuring a teacher, or without loving a resource
    Even the wise have great misconception.

Appropriately called an important subtlety.


Know what is male
    Keep to what is female
    Act as the ravine of the world.
Acting as the ravine of the world
    The ideal entirely lacks separation
    Return, merge with, relate to a newborn child.

Know what is white
    Keep to what is black
    Act as the model of the world.
Acting as the model of the world
    The ideal entirely lacks error
    Return, merge with, relate to an absence of reaching limits.

Know what is honorable
    Keep to what is humiliating
    Act as the valley of the world.
Acting as the valley of the world
    The ideal entirely becomes sufficient
    Return, merge with, relate to true nature.

True nature broken and scattered
    Next comes action as tools
Being used by sages
    Next comes action as mediums for growth.

In this way great tailors are not cutting.


It is attained, the desire to grab the world yet be acting on it
    I see it has not been satisfied yet
The world, a spirited tool, cannot act either.

Those who act are spoiling
Those who take hold of are losing.

So of things
    Some lead and some follow
    Some gust and some puff lightly
    Some are strong and some thin
    Some support and some destroy.

Appropriately it happens that sages are
    Apart from extremes
    Apart from extravagance
    Apart from excess.


When it happens that tao assists men and lords
    The force of the soldier is not in the world.

What takes effort is likely to return.

Briars and thorns grow within the dwelling place of the army
    Behind a great military comes the seed for a faminous year.

Those who value
    Achieve results yet stop
    Are without venturing to strive to hold
    Achieve results yet do not brag
    Achieve results yet do not boast
    Achieve results yet do not be arrogant
    Achieve results yet without being done
    Achieve results yet do not strive.

Things reach the prime and then are old?
    Appropriately called not in accordance with tao

What is not in accordance with tao comes to an early end.


In the end those with fine strategies lack the tools of fortune
    They have things which are somehow disliked
So those who are present with tao are not dwelling in them.

The master-child resides in and comes to treasure the left
    Using strategy, come to treasure the right
Those with strategy lack the tools of fortune
    They have not the tools of the master-child
When using them in the absence of a foreseeable need
    Uncaring, indifferent actions are better.

Conquer yet without embellishing
    Yet those who are embellishing justify joy in slaughtering men
    In the end those who are joyful in slaughtering men
    Cannot come to achieve their aspired relation with the world.


The tao entirely lacks a name
    Although its true nature is tiny
    Noone in the world is able to methodize it either.

If nobles and kings are able to keep to it
    The 10000 things attain self-spontaneity
    The heavens and earth join with each other and it rains sweet dew
    It is the command of noone but people cooperate.

Once measuring begins names are present
    Names are also grasped and possessed
    In the end the knowledge of stopping also follows
    With knowledge of stopping lack of danger can happen.

Analogically, tao being in the world
Is just like how the streams and valleys relate to rivers and seas.


Those who know men are wise
Those with self-knowledge are luminous
Those who conquer others possess strength
Those who conquer themselves possess force
Those with knowledge of enough are wealthy
Those who strive to go possess aspiration
Those who are not losing their place are long-lasting
Those who die yet without perishing are long-lived.


Great tao flowing everywhere
    It can be left or right
    All things depend on it yet exist yet without being denied.

Outstanding service is performed without the presence of names
    It clothes and cultivates the 10000 things
    Yet without acting as lord.

With entireness absent of desire
    One can name in relation to smallness
    The 10000 things merge and blend
    Yet without action as lord one can name great actions.

What is entirely without a self to act great happens
So it is able to perfect what is great.


Take hold of the great form
    The world comes toward
Comes toward without harm
    Peace and stability in the extreme.

Music and handing out dainties
    Passing guests stop
Things belonging with tao expressed
    Its blandness is equal to its lack of flavor.

Observing lacks enough sight
Listening lacks enough hearing
Using lacks enough grasp.


Attain the desire for inhaling
    Firmly seed exhaling
Attain the desire of lessening
    Firmly seed strengthening
Attain the desire of discarding
    Firmly seed allowing back
Attain the desire of taking by force
    Firmly seed giving away
Appropriately called subtle luminance.

Yielding conquers the firm
Lessening conquers the strong.
Fish cannot escape relating to deep water
A direction for man cannot happen with tools benefitting a nation.


Tao, entirely absent of acting
    Yet is absent of being without acting.

If nobles and kings are able to keep to it
    The 10000 things attain self-transformation
    Transforming yet desiring to do.

When I am able to calm the restless
An absence of naming true nature happens.

With an absence of naming true nature
    In the end an absence of desire is also obtained
    Without desire tranquillity happens
    The world attains self-settlement.


Higher ideal lacks ideal
    Appropriately presence of the ideal happens
Lower ideal lacks a loss of ideal
    Appropriately absence of the ideal happens.

Higher ideal is absent of acting yet absent of causing acting
Lower ideal is acting yet present with causing acting.

Higher humanity is acting yet absent of causing acting
Higher morality is acting yet present with causing acting
Higher propriety is acting yet the response of noone appears
    Next comes grabbing the arm yet throwing it aside.

So lose tao yet back ideal
    Lose ideal yet back humanity
    Lose humanity yet back morality
    Lose morality yet back propriety.

In the end those with propriety
    Have loyal belief without warmth yet the leader of being confused
Those with knowledge of what comes next
    The flower of Tao yet the origin of being fooled.

Appropriately it happens that the great husband
    Dwells in what is spread thickly, not residing in what lacks warmth
    Dwells in the fruit, not residing in the flower.

So detach from that, grab this.


From old those which are with one:
    Heavens with one, settling happens
    Earth with one, a direction happens
    Spirit with one, animation happens
    Valley with one, fullness happens
    The 10000 things with one, giving birth happens
    Nobles and kings with one, pure action in the world happens.

These are the results:
    Heavens absent of settling will, I am afraid, crack
    Earth absent of direction will, I am afraid, shake
    Spirit absent of animation will, I am afraid, fall asleep
    Valley absent of fullness will, I am afraid, be used up
    The 10000 things absent of giving birth will, I am afraid, die off
    Nobles and kings absent of pure action will, I am afraid, be set back.

So it happens that the common acts as a root to the treasured
    The lower acts as a base to the higher.

Appropriately it happens
    That kings and nobles call themselves orphaned, widowed, unfavored.
Does it not happen that the common acts as root to the anomalous?
    Are not these the same?

So incur praise absent of praising
Be without desiring to tinkle, tinkle, as if jade
Clatter, clatter, as if stone.


That which returns is tao moving
That which lessens is tao using.

The world, the 10000 things give birth in relation to presence
Presence gives birth in relation to absence.


Better knights hear of tao
    Dutifully, yet they are practicing it
Average knights hear of tao
    They look aware, they look unaware
Lesser knights hear of tao
    They have great laughing.

Without laughing, there's not enough of the action of tao happening.

So long-established words are present.
    Luminous tao looks dark
    Advancing tao looks like it is falling back
    Level tao looks uneven
    Better ideal looks like a valley
    Great whiteness looks spotted
    Extensive ideal looks like it lacks enough
    Established ideal looks unsteady
    Durable ideal looks changeable
    Great squares are absent of corners
    Great tools are slowly perfected
    Great music sounds faint
    Great form lacks shape.

Tao is hidden, absent from name
In the end,
    Only tao values lending at interest and moreover perfects.


Tao gives birth to one
One gives birth to two
Two gives birth to three
Three gives birth to the 10000 things.

All things carry yin and embrace yang
    With their blended animus, action in harmony happens.
In the time of men they dislike orphaned, widowed, unfavored
    Yet kings and lords regard such as praiseworthy.

Men have told others
I also am telling
    Those who are striving and fierce die incomplete.
I use this as the father of my teaching.


The most yielding reach of he world
    Gallops around the most rigid reach of the world
Absence of presence enters absence of space.

Appropriately I come to know
    There is presence of advantage in the absence of acting.

Telling without words
Advantage in the absence of acting
The world rarely reaches this.


Name or body, which is more prized?
Body or wealth, which is more abundant?
Obtaining or losing, which is the greater fault?
So appropriately
    Being very fond seeds great cost
    What is abundantly stashed seeds heavy loss.

Know enough, lack disgrace
Know to stop, lack danger
Growth and the long-lasting can happen.


Great perfection looks incomplete
    Used it lacks impairment
Great fullness looks like it needs more
    Used it lacks exhaustion.

Great straightness looks bent
Great skill looks awkward
Great eloquence looks like it stutters.

Restlessness conquers the cold
Stillness conquers the heated
Clarity and stillness act on the world, ordering it.


When the world is present with tao
    It happens that even galloping horses fertilize
When the world is absent of tao
    War-horses exist in the suburbs.

No calamity is greater than relating to not knowing enough
No fault is greater than relating to the desire to obtain.
So know the enough of being enough
There is entirely enough to go with each.


Without going out through doors know the world
Without seeing out through windows see the tao of the heavens
Who travels extremely far knows extremely little.

Appropriately it happens that sages
    Are without going out yet know
    Are without seeing out yet name
    Are without acting yet perfect.


Act academic, daily gain
    Act tao, daily lose.
Losing, again lose
    It happens, reaching relating to the absence of acting
    Absence of acting yet absence of being without acting.

Grabbing the world, an entire absence of effort happens
Liking entirely the presence of effort
Is insufficient to precede grabbing the world.


Sages are entirely absent of mind
It happens that the mind of the one hundred families acts as a mind.

Those who are valued I am valuing
    Those who lack value I also am valuing
    Ideal valuing.
Those who are believed I am believing
    Those who are not believed I also am believing
    Ideal believing.

Sages in the world inhale
Inhale, act, mix with the mind of the world.

The one hundred families concentrate their ears and eyes
Sages are each being children.


Life going out, death entering
There is living following 13
There is dying following 13.
The life of man strives toward the realm of death, also 13.

Why is it so in the end?
It happens, it is life lived thickly.

As a fact it is well known that those skilled in preserving life
    Travel the land without running into rhinos and tigers
    The militia enters and the strategy is to lack armor.

The rhino is absent of a place to thrust its horn
The tiger is absent of a place to affix its claw
The army is absent of a place to admit its blade.

Why is it so in the end?
It happens, they are absent of the realm of death.


Tao is giving birth
Ideal is raising
Things are embodying
The environment is perfecting.

Appropriately it happens that of the 10000 things
    None lack venerating tao yet treasuring ideal.

The venerability of tao, the treasurability of the ideal
    In the end it is the command of noone yet it is entirely natural.

So tao is giving birth
Ideal is raising
Growing, rearing, balancing, maturing, deepening, enveloping.

Giving birth yet without possessing
Acting yet without relying
Growing yet without directing
Appropriately called insightful ideal.


The world is present of an origin
    It happens that this acts as the mother of the world.

Grasp and hold what is the mother
    Knowledge of what is the child happens
Grasp knowledge of what is the child
    Return, keep to what is the mother
Till the end the body lacks danger.

Cork its bottle
    Obstruct its door
    Eventually the body lacks straining.

Open its bottle
    Complete its effort
    Eventually the body lacks hope.

Seeing the small say luminous
Keeping to yielding say strong
Using what is bright
    Return, merge with what is luminous.

An absence of offering bodily misfortune as a gift
Is appropriately called learning entirely.


Supposing myself to have as little knowledge as I do
    I am doing things relating to great tao
    It alone imposes appropriate respect.

Great tao is very even yet people are fond of byways
    Courts are very divided
    Fields are very weedy
    Granaries are very empty
    Clothes are ornamented and patterned
    Sharp swords are worn
    Food and drink satiate
    Money and goods are present in surplus.

Appropriately called robbery, extravagance
This way is also not tao.


That which is valuably established is not weeded out
That which is valuably embraced is not shed off.

It happens, children and grandchildren
    Sacrifice to ancestors without reflection.

Tending to relating to the body
    Its ideal will be real
Tending to relating to the family
    Its ideal will be bubbling over
Tending to relating to the community
    Its ideal will be growing
Tending to relating to the nation
    Its ideal will be abundant
Tending to relating to the world
    Its ideal will be everywhere.

So body happens seeing body
Family happens seeing family
Community happens seeing community
Nation happens seeing nation
World happens seeing world.

Why does it happen that I know the nature of the world?
This just happens.


Holding the richness of the ideal in the mouth
    Compares to relating to a newborn child.
Poisonous bugs are without stinging
Fierce animals are without grasping
Birds of prey are without pouncing.

There are weak bones and yielding tendons, yet a firm grasp
The male does not yet know union with the female
    Yet its virility is strong
    It has essence even at the extreme.
Screaming all day yet without being hoarse
    Harmonizing even at the extreme.

Knowing harmony say entireness
    Knowing entireness say luminous
In accord with giving birth say happy
    The mind results in animus, say strong.

Things reach the prime and then grow old?
    What is called this is without tao.
What is without tao comes to an early end.


Those who know are without words
Those with words are without knowing.

Corking its bottle
Obstructing its door
Blunting its sharpness
Untying its tangles
Harmonizing its brightness
Being together with the dusty earth
Appropriately called insightful togetherness.

So one cannot obtain it yet be attached
    One cannot obtain it yet be detached
    One cannot obtain it yet benefit
    One cannot obtain it yet be harmed
    One cannot obtain it yet treasure
    One cannot obtain it yet consider as common.

So it acts as the treasure of the world.


When governing the nation happens correctly
    Surprising use of strategy happens.
Absent of effort grabbing the world happens.

Why do I know this is so?
This just happens.

The world has an abundance of prohibitions and taboos
    Yet people become increasingly inadequate
People have an abundance of beneficial tools
    Confusion multiplies in the families of the nation
Men have an abundance of skills and cleverness
    Surprising things arise and multiply
Laws and decrees multiply conspicuously
    Robbers and thieves are present in abundance.

So sages say
    I am absent of action yet people transform themselves
    I am fond of stillness yet people correct themselves
    I am absent of effort yet people are of themselves wealthy
    I am absent from desire yet people of themselves exhibit true nature.


They who administrate are covered, muffled
    Their people are pure, honest
They who administrate are exacting, scrutinizing
    Their people are incomplete, deficient.

Such misfortune!
    The place of happiness place is to lean upon it
Such happiness!
    The place of misfortune is to be suppressed.

Who knows its limit?
It is absent from the correct.

The correct returns, acting surprising
The valued returns, acting as evil spirits.

The dirt in the eye of men,
    It is solid, everyday, long-lasting.

Appropriately it happens that sages are
    Square yet without cutting
    Pointed yet without piercing
    Straight yet not unbridled
    Bright yet not dazzling.


In governing people
    Noone compares efforts of the heavens to restraint.

In the end only restraint is appropriately called quickly resolving
What is called quickly resolving has heavy accumulation of ideal.

Following heavy accumulation of ideal
    Comes absence of lacking conquering
Following absence of lacking conquering
    Noone knows limits
When noone knows limits
    Presence of a nation can happen.

In the presence of the mother of a nation
    Growth and longevity may happen.

Appropriately called
    Deep roots, firm stalks, growth, life, longevity, looking at tao.


Governing a great nation looks like cooking tiny fish.

When it happens that tao is present in the world
    What is clever lacks spirit
    What is not clever lacks spirit
    What has spirit is not wounding man
    What has no spirit is not wounding man.

Sages also are not wounding man.

In the end both are without wounding each other
So ideal is reached, merges, comes within.


Those which are great nations flow and spread lower
The intersection of the world
The female of the world.

The female entirely conquers the male through stillness
It happens that stillness acts lower.

So when a great nation is lower than a tiny nation
    It next grabs the tiny nation
When a tiny nation is lower than a great nation
    It next grabs the great nation.

So some are lower and it happens they grab
Some are lower and yet they grab.

Without fail a great nation desires to bring together and rear others
Without fail a tiny nation desires to enter into the efforts of others.

In the end for both of these to acquire their desired position
Those which are great appropriately act low.


That which is tao is treasurehouse for the 10000 things
    Treasure of the valuing man
    Place of refuge for the man who is not valuing.

Embellished words can cause respect to be marketed
Doing valued things can cause lavish praise to enter
Men who are not valuing, why be rejecting their presence?

So establish the emperor
    Install three ministers
    Even though it happens
    That the gift of the large jade disk is preceded by a team of horses
    It can not compare to sitting, emulating this tao.

Why did it happen that in ancient times
    There were those who treasured this tao?
    Did they go without saying
    Seek and finding happens
    Possess faults and escape from the anomalous happens?

So it acts as the treasure of the world


Acting absent of acting
Effort absent of effort
Tasting absent of tasting
Great, small, abundant, few
Repay hatred, ideal happens.

Planning the difficult relates to what is easy
    Acting great relates to what is small
The difficult efforts of the world seed doing related to what is easy
    The great efforts of the world seed doing related to what is small.

Appropriately it happens
    That sages eventually lack great action
    So they are able to perfect what is great.

In the end light promises seed scanty belief
    Abundant easiness seeds abundant difficulty.

Appropriately it happens
    That sages see all things as being equally difficult
So eventually an absence of difficulty is with them.


What is peaceful is easily maintained
What is not begun is easily planned
What is fragile is easily shattered
What is tiny is easily scattered.

Acting relates to the not yet present
Governing relates to the not yet confused.

A tree as big as the embrace of a man is born relating to very tiny shoots
A nine story tower is raised relating to a pile of earth
A journey of a thousand li begins in relating to where you stand.

Those who act are spoiling
Those who take hold of are losing

Appropriately it happens that sages are absent of action
    So there is an absence of spoiling
Are absent of taking hold of
    So there is an absence of losing.

The following of people of effort in the entire
    Relates to perfecting part yet spoiling
Following care throughout as if just beginning
    Comes an absence of spoiling effort.

Appropriately it happens that sages
    Desire without desiring
    Are without treasuring goods difficult to obtain
    Learn without learning
    Return to the place where the collective mind passes
    And come to support the self-nature of the 10000 things
    Yet without venturing to act.


Those ancients who valued acting in tao
    Did not come to be luminous
    People attaining it came to be foolish.

The difficulty with governing people?
    It happens that what is wise is abundant.
So if it happens that wisdom governs the nation
    It is the enemy of the nation
If it does not happen that wisdom governs the nation
    It is the good luck of the nation

Those who know both these things
    Also investigate the patterns of entireness
To know and investigate patterns
    Is appropriately called insightful ideal.

Insightful ideal goes with the penetrating, with the far-reaching

With it things go with turning back
    And will reach the great alignment.


In the place of rivers and seas
    The ability to act as that which is the king of one hundred valleys happens
It happens they value being low
    So the ability to act as the king of one hundred valleys happens.

Appropriately it happens that
    Desire to be above people seeds the occurrence of words being low
    Desire to precede people seeds the occurrence of the body following
Appropriately it happens that sages
    Dwell above yet people lack heaviness
    Dwell in front yet people are without being held back
Appropriately it happens
    That the world joyfully supports them yet without tiring.

It happens they lack contention
So in the world noone is able to be contending with them.


In the world each says
    My tao is great and seems to lack resemblance
    In the end only great therefore seems to lack resemblance.
It looks like resemblance goes with the long-lasting
    With what is tiny as well.

In the end I possess three principles I am obtaining yet defending
    One, say compassion
    Two, say thrift
    Three say lack of venturing to act to precede the world.

Compassion, so be able to be brave
Thrift, so be able to expand
Lack venturing to act to precede the world
    So be able to perfect tools of growth.

Right now, abandon compassion just to be brave
    Abandon thrift just to expand
    Abandon being behind just to precede
Death goes with these.

In the end with compassion
    A war happens and next comes conquering
    Keeping to it happens and next comes solidity.

The heavens attain helping
    It happens that compassion is defending.


Those who value acting as sergeants lack ferocity
Those who value war lack anger
Those who value conquering lack engagement
Those who value using men are acting low.

Appropriately called ideal of lacking being contending
Appropriately called strength to be using men
Appropriately called distributing the ancient limit of the heavens.


Strategists possess words
    I am without venturing to act as lord yet act as guest
    Without venturing to enter an inch yet fall back a foot.

Appropriately called
    Going absent of going
    Grabbing absent of an arm
    Throwing absent of opposition
    Taking hold of absent of an enemy.

No misfortune is greater than relating to light opposition
Light opposition severs and destroys my principles.

So when opposing strategies escalate each other
Conquering goes with those who mourn.


My words
    Are very easy to know
    Are very easy to practice.
In the world
    Noone is able to know
    Noone is able to practice.

Words possess an ancestor
Efforts possess a sovereign.

In the end only with absence of knowledge
    Appropriate lack of self-knowledge happens
Knowledge of that which is the self is rare
    And then that which is the self is treasured.

Appropriately it happens that sages have
    A covering of coarse cloth
    A bosom of jade.


Knowing, lack of knowing
Better, lack of knowing
Knowing, a disease.

In the end only when the disease is sick
    Appropriate lack of the disease happens.
Sages lack the disease
    It happens the disease was sick.

Appropriately lack of the disease happens.


People lack respect for impressive strength
And then greatly impressive strength is reached.

An absence of improper familiarity for what is their place of residence
An absence of detesting what is their place of living
In the end only without detesting
    Appropriate lack of detesting happens.

Appropriately it happens that sages
    Know themselves without displaying themselves
    Are fond of themselves without treasuring themselves.

So detach from that, grab this.


Bravery in relation to venturing, next comes being killed
Bravery in relation to lack of venturing, next comes being mobile
Each of these two benefits some, harms some.
The place of the heaves dislikes
    Who knows why it is so?

Appropriately it happens that sages see it just as difficult.

The tao of the heavens
    Without contending yet values conquering
    Without words yet values responding
    Without summoning yet attracts to itself
    Is easy-natured yet values a place for everything.

The net of the heavens is vast, expansive
A coarse mesh yet without loss.


When people lack respect for death
    How does it happen that death looks threatening?
Suppose people entirely respect death
    Yet there are those who act strange.
I may obtain hold of them yet who would venture to be killing them?

Entireness possesses that which is the master killer, killing.
In the end taking the place
    Of that which is the master killer, killing
Is appropriately called
    Taking the place of the great carpenter, carving.

In the end take the place of the great carpenter, carving
It is rarely true that a lack of wounding the hand goes with this.


The hunger of people
    It happens that those above feed by taxing abundantly
Appropriately hunger happens.

The difficulty in governing people
    It happens that those above possess action
Appropriately the difficulty in governing happens.

The lightness of people at death
    It happens that those above reach for the thickness of life
Appropriately lightness at death happens.

In the end only those who are absent of acting to live
Are appropriately wise in relating to treasuring life.


The life of man is also yielding, weak
    His death is also rigid, unyielding.
The 10000 things, the grass and trees
    Their living is also yielding, fragile
    Their dying is also dried up, withered.
So that which is rigid, unyielding is the pupil of dying
    That which is yielding, weak is the pupil of living

Appropriately it happens that
    With unyielding soldiers, next comes lack of conquering
    With an unyielding tree, next comes being attacked.

Dwelling in the unyielding and great is worse
Dwelling in the yielding and supple is better.


The tao of the heavens, it is just like opening up a bow
    With that which towers being restrained
    That which is lowered being lifted
    That which has surplus being decreased
    That which lacks enough being supplemented.

The tao of the heavens
    Decreasing in the presence of surplus
    Yet supplementing what lacks enough.

The tao of man, and then it lacks being so
    Reducing what lacks enough
    Coming to esteem the presence of surplus.

Who is able to come to esteem presence of surplus in the world?
Only those present with tao.

Appropriately it happens that sages
    Act yet without relying
    Are of outstanding service yet without dwelling therein

They lack desire to display principles.


In the world nothing is supple and weak in relation to water
Yet of those things which attack the firm and unyielding
    Nothing is able to do better
In what is absent, this easily happens.

Being supple conquers the unyielding
Being weak conquers the firm
In the world
    Noone is without knowing it
    Noone is able to practice it.

Appropriately it happens that sages say
    He who accepts the disgrace of a nation
    Is appropriately called lord of the grain shrine
    He who accepts the misfortune of a nation
    Is appropriately acting as the king of the world.

Correct words look like they turn back.


Harmonize great resentment
    Seed the presence of a surplus of resentment
    How can valuing actions happen peacefully?

Appropriately it happens that sages
    Take hold of the left of a contract
    Yet lack censure in relating to men.
    Presence of ideal controls the agreement
    Absence of ideal controls its resolution.

The tao of heaven is absent of favorites
It is entirely with the valuing man.


A tiny nation, few people
Suppose the presence of 10 or one hundred times too many tools
    Yet they are unused
Suppose people heavy with death
    Yet lack moving far.

Even present with boats and carriages
    There is an absence of a place to be riding
Even present with armor and weapons
    There is an absence of a place to be displaying them.

Suppose men return to knotting cords and using them
    What is eaten is sweet
    What serves as clothing is beautiful
    What is a home is peaceful
    What is common is joyful.

Nearby nations overlook each other
    Crowing, barking sounds are heard by each other
People reach old age and die
    Without coming and going between each other.


Believed words lack embellishment
    Embellished words lack belief.

Those who value lack argument
    Those who argue lack valuing
Those who know lack learning
    Those who learn lack knowing.

The sages are without accumulating
Grasping, it happens they act
    Others later gain presence
Grasping, it happens they give
    Others later gain abundance.

The tao of the heavens
    Benefitting yet without spoiling
The tao of the sages
    Acting yet without contending.