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Tao Quotes

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28 Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32
Chapter 33 Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36 Chapter 37 Chapter 38 Chapter 39 Chapter 40
Chapter 41 Chapter 42 Chapter 43 Chapter 44 Chapter 45 Chapter 46 Chapter 47 Chapter 48
Chapter 49 Chapter 50 Chapter 51 Chapter 52 Chapter 53 Chapter 54 Chapter 55 Chapter 56
Chapter 57 Chapter 58 Chapter 59 Chapter 60 Chapter 61 Chapter 62 Chapter 63 Chapter 64
Chapter 65 Chapter 66 Chapter 67 Chapter 68 Chapter 69 Chapter 70 Chapter 71 Chapter 72
Chapter 73 Chapter 74 Chapter 75 Chapter 76 Chapter 77 Chapter 78 Chapter 79 Chapter 80
Chapter 81              

 

 

Secret Two: Oneness

Chapter 33

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

知人者智: Knowing others is wisdom;
自知者明: Knowing yourself is enlightenment。
胜人者有力: Defeating others is power;
自胜者强: Defeating yourself is strength。
知足者富: Being content is rich。
强行者有志: Being perseverant is willpower。
不失其所者久: Keeping your natural endowment is longevity。
死而不亡者寿: Realizing you die but not perish is immortality。

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 33:

Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing yourself is enlightenment.
Oh he who knows that others have blind spots is wise.
Oh he who knows that our true reality is Oneness is enlightened.
Defeating others is power;
Defeating yourself is strength.
Oh defeating oneself is the toughest battle of all!
Being content is rich.
Being persistent is willpower.
Oh defeating your desire of wanting more, you are rich!
Oh defeating your laziness to follow Tao, you have willpower!
Holding on to your natural endowment is longevity.
Realizing you die but do not perish is immortality.
Oh defeating your wasteful way, you can live long!
Oh defeating the fear of death, you can lead an immortal life here and now!

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Chapter 22

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

曲则全: Yield and be preserved whole,
枉则直: Bend and be straight,
洼则盈: Hollow and be filled,
弊则新: Wear out and be renewed,
少则得: Have little and gain much,
多则惑: Have much and be confused.
是以圣人抱一为天下式: Therefore, Shengren embraces Oneness as the model of the world.
不自见故明: He is not self-centered and hence is enlightened.
不自是故彰: He is not self-righteous and hence is appreciated.
不自伐故有功: He is not contentious and hence is recognized.
不自矜故长: He is not arrogant and hence becomes a leader.
夫唯不争,故天下莫能与之争: He does not compete, hence no one in the world can compete with him.
古之所谓曲则全者,岂虚言哉: The ancients say, “Yield and be preserved whole.” Is that an empty saying?
诚全而归之: If you practice it sincerely, you will attract all things to you.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 22:

Oh be whole! Yield and be preserved.
Be a bamboo! Bend and be straight.
Be water! Empty and be full.
Be creative! Wear out and be new.
Be content! Have little and gain much.
Be aware! Have much and be confused.
Therefore the sage embraces Oneness to show the world how to live as one.
Oh, avoid being self-centered! He does not see only his point of view but embraces all view points and thus he is enlightened with the whole.
Oh, avoid being self-righteous! He does not think he is always right and others always wrong and thus he is appreciated.
Oh, avoid being self-promoted! He does not self-promote by boasting and claiming credits and therefore he receives recognition.
Oh, avoid being arrogant! He has the ability but does not become arrogant and thus he becomes a leader.
Oh cooperation! He does not compete and hence no one in the world can compete with him.
The ancient saying, “Yield and be preserved.” Are they empty words?
No! They are true words of Oneness and have been echoing through time for thousands of years.

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Chapter 24

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

企者不立: He who stands on tiptoe cannot stand long.
跨者不行: He who strides cannot walk far.
自见者不明: He who is self-centered is not enlightened.
自是者不彰: He who is self-righteous is not appreciated.
自伐者无功: He who is contentious gets no credits.
自矜者不长: He who is arrogant cannot last long.
其在道也,曰余食赘行: In terms of Tao, it is called wasting food and greedy action.
物或恶之: All things hate him,
故有道者不处: Therefore, followers of Tao avoid such a man.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 24:

He who stands on tiptoes cannot stand long.
He who strides cannot walk far.
Oh self-centered! He who only sees his own point of view is not enlightened.
Oh self-righteous! He who thinks he is always right is not appreciated.
Oh contentious! He who competes for credits achieves nothing.
Oh arrogant! He who is arrogant by looking down upon others cannot last long.
If such a man becomes a leader, he will be excessive and greedy.
All creatures dislike him. Therefore, followers of Tao avoid being such a man.

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Chapter 40

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

反者道之动: Returning is the movement of Tao.
弱者道之用: Softness is the function of Tao.
天下万物生于有: Wanwu, the ten thousand things, in the world are born from yo, visible things.
有生于无: Yo, visible things are born from wu, invisible things.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 40:

Returning is the movement of Tao.
Oh, return to the root and then back to life!
Oh, swing like a pendulum!
Softness is the use of Tao.
Oh, breathe softly! Refreshing water! Clean air!
The ten thousand things in the world are born of tangible things.
Oh, mothers give birth to children, all are tangible.
All tangible things are born of intangible things.
Oh space, time and energy are intangible.
Yes, all tangible and intangible things are born of Tao.

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Chapter 2

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

天下皆知美之为美,斯恶已: When everyone in the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness appears.
皆知善之为善,斯不善已: When everyone knows good as good, evil appears.
故有无相生,难易相成: Therefore, visible things and invisible things produce each other; difficult and easy complete each other;
长短相形,高下相倾: Long and short measure each other; high and low level each other;
音声相和,前后相随: Tone and voice harmonize each other; front and back follow each other;
是以圣人处无为之事,行不言之教: Therefore, Shengren acts with invisible action wuwei, teaches without talking.
万物作焉而不辞: The ten thousand things live naturally and are not hindered.
生而不有: Creates without possessing,
为而不恃: Acts without expectation,
功成而不居: Achieves without taking credit.
夫唯不居,是以不去: Because he does not take credit, he is not forgotten.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 2:

When everyone in the world knows something is beautiful, oh that thing turns ugly!
When everyone worships a man as good, oh that man turns evil!
Oh, good overflows to bad and bad converts to good! This is the yin and yang of Oneness, a coin with two sides.
Therefore visible things and invisible things produce each other - like water and vapor.
Difficult and easy complement each other – like one stick is easy to break and many sticks are difficult to break.
Oh, hold your judgment! Long and short measure each other – the index finger is long and the other fingers are short, together they make the hand useful.
Oh, sunrise and sunset! High and low level each other – the sun does not change but it changes in the eyes of the observer.
Oh, listen! Sound and voice harmonize each other – voice echoes through a valley and returns to the ears of the sound maker.
Oh, look! Front and back follow each other – a school of fish moves in unison in the sea. Which is the front? Which is the back? Even a fish with a tail cannot tell!
Therefore, the sage acts with invisible action wuwei to get things done before they are labeled as good or bad.
He practices the teaching without words to prevent arguments about the opposite meanings of words.
By living in Oneness, the sage assists the ten thousand things to live naturally.
He creates without possessing,
Acts without expectation.
When the job is done, he does not take credit.
Oh, he doesn’t have to! He is one with Tao and he is never forgotten.

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Chapter 28

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

知其雄,守其雌,为天下溪: Know the strength of a male, but keep the softness of a female. Be the stream of the world.
为天下溪,常德不离: Being the stream of the world, you will never depart from the Eternal Te,
复归于婴儿: And return again to the state of a newborn baby.
知其白,守其黑,为天下式: Know the bright, but keep the dark. Be the model for the world.
为天下式,常德不忒: Being a model for the world, you never err by following the Eternal Te,
复归于无极: And return again to the infinity, wuji.
知其荣,守其辱,为天下谷: Know glory, but keep humility. Be the valley of the world.
为天下谷,常德乃足: Being the valley of the world, you have abundance of the Eternal Te.
复归于朴: And return again to the simplicity of Pu, an uncarved wood.
朴散则为器: When the block is carved, it becomes vessels.
圣人用之则为官长: When Shengren uses them, he becomes a great ruler.
故大制不割: Therefore a great ruler of Te of Oneness does not cut up.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 28:

Know the strength of a male, but keep the softness of a female. Be the stream of the world.
Being the stream of the world,
Never depart from the Eternal Te, and return again to the state of a newborn baby.
Oh, be a baby! Be soft! Be whole!
Know the bright side, but keep to the dim side.
Oh, dim your brilliance! Act with invisible action wuwei! Be a model of Oneness for the world.
Being a model of Oneness for the world,
Never err in the Eternal Te, and return again to the infinity, wuji.
Know glory, but keep humility. Be the valley of the world.
Being the valley of the world, never have lack of the Eternal Te,
And return once more to the simplicity of Pu, the uncarved block.
When the block is carved, different kinds of things appear.
Oh, be cautious! All living things live independently but they function as a whole.
Therefore, the sage rules the world without cutting up the delicate balance of the whole.
Oh, let the harmony of all things flourish!
Let all things live freely and naturally!
Oh, be a baby! Be humble! Be whole!

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Chapter 54

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

善建者不拔: He who is good at building cannot be uprooted;
善抱者不脱: He who is good at embracing cannot be slipped.
子孙祭祀不辍: Children and grandchildren keep their ceremonial sacrifice to their ancestors unceasingly.
修之于身,其德乃真: Cultivate it for himself, his Te becomes real;
修之于家,其德乃余: Cultivate it in his family, his Te overflows;
修之于乡,其德乃长: Cultivate it in his village, his Te multiplies;
修之于国,其德乃丰: Cultivate it in his country, his Te is abundant;
修之于天下,其德乃普: Cultivate it in the world, his Te is universal.
故以身观身: Therefore, through himself to observe others;
以家观家: Through his own family to observe other families;
以乡观乡: through his own village to observe other villages;
以国观国: through his own country to observe other countries;
以天下观天下: Through his own world to observe the world.
吾何以知天下之然哉?以此: How do I know the world is like this? By this.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 54:

He who solidly builds virtuous Te cannot be uprooted.
He who firmly embraces Oneness cannot be separated.
Oh, Te is like an invisible column of Oneness rooted in Tao, and children and grandchildren embrace it unceasingly for generations to come.
Swirling from small to large, this invisible column of Oneness echoes through space and time:
Cultivate it in yourself and Te will be true:
Oh true reality is an unbroken whole!
Cultivate it in the family and Te will be more than enough:
Oh, be content and have enough to share!
Cultivate it in the village and Te will last long:
Oh, live for others and end up living long!
Cultivate it in the country and Te will be abundant:
Oh, love the people! Rule without ruling! The people will have abundance!
Cultivate it in the world and Te will be universal:
Oh universal love for all living creatures! Love the animals! Love the forest!
Oh mysterious! This column of Oneness is invisible but is transparent to those who embody it. Therefore compare and
Observe the man who cultivates Tao and the other who does not:
Oh, the man of Tao is truly whole and the other has a hole in his whole!
Observe the Tao family and the other family:
Oh, one is content with enough while the other never gets enough!
Observe the Tao village and the other village:
Oh, one lives altruistically for others; the other lives selfishly for itself.
Observe the Tao country and the other country:
Oh, one rules with love and the other rules with fear.
And observe the Tao world and the other world:
Oh, one loves animals and the other kills animals for fun.
How do I know the world is like this?
I know because I embrace Oneness. Oneness transcends space and time. You know?

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Chapter 39

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

昔之得一者: From ancient times these things obtain Oneness:
天得一以清: Heaven obtains Oneness and becomes clear;
地得一以宁: Earth obtains Oneness and becomes still;
神得一以灵: Spirit Shen obtains Oneness and becomes divine;
谷得一以盈: Valley obtains Oneness and becomes full.
万物得一以生: The ten thousand things obtain Oneness and become living things;
侯王得一以为天下贞: Dukes and kings obtain Oneness and the world becomes peaceful and prosperous.
其致之:It is becoming that:
天无以清将恐裂: If Heaven always stays clear, it will be in danger of being cracked;
地无以宁将恐发: If Earth always stays still, it will be in danger of being crumbled;
神无以灵将恐歇: If spirit Shen always stays divine, it will be in danger of being made powerless;
谷无以盈将恐竭: If the valley always stays full, it will be in danger of being dried up;
万物无以生将恐灭: If the ten thousand things want to live forever, they will be in danger of being extinct;
侯王无以高贵将恐蹶: If dukes and kings always want to stay in power, they will be in danger of being overthrown.
故贵以贱为本: Therefore, the power comes from humility;
高以下为基: The high is based on the low.
是以侯王自称孤、寡、不榖: Hence dukes and kings call themselves orphans, widowers and unworthy.
此非以贱为本耶: Aren’t they using humility as their foundation?
非乎: No!
故致数车无车: Hence counting all the parts of a carriage does not make a carriage.
不欲琭琭如玉,落落如石: Not wanting to be precious like jades or common like stones.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 39:

Oh Tao gives birth to Oneness, and from Oneness, all things are derived.
From ancient times the following have obtained Oneness:
Heaven obtains Oneness and becomes clear;
Earth obtains Oneness and becomes still;
Spirit Shen obtains Oneness and becomes divine;
Valley obtains Oneness and becomes full;
The ten thousand things obtain Oneness and become alive;
Dukes and kings obtain Oneness and set the right order in the world.
Oh from Oneness comes yin and yang, the dual reality of the universe!
Therefore Oneness is constantly changing from one opposite to another. If things do not change, they will be eliminated.
If Heaven always stays clear, there wouldn’t be day and night, summer and fall, and Heaven would be cracked.
If Earth always remains still, the ocean wouldn’t have currents and the core of the earth wouldn’t heat up the surface, and Earth would be crumbled.
If the spirit Shen is always divine, there wouldn’t be any evils. Wouldn’t that be nice? Yet, if that happened, Spirit Shen is no longer needed and it would be dissolved.
If the valley is always full, the lakes always filled with water, they will become stagnant. There wouldn’t be any rainfalls and rainbows, and therefore the valley and lakes would eventually die off.
If the ten thousand things always alive, there would be no death and no renewal; sorry, there wouldn’t be enough food to get around either and therefore all things would be extinct.
If dukes and kings always stay in power, there wouldn’t be any freedom of choice and everyone would be born to bondage, and therefore the system would be overthrown.
Oh, here is a kind reminder for the rulers:
Power comes from humility;
The high is based on the low.
Dukes and kings call themselves orphans, widowers and unworthy.
Are they being humble?
No! Calling low names does not necessary make a man humble; just as counting parts of a carriage doesn’t make a carriage.
He who has obtained Oneness looks beyond the appearance of smooth jade and roughness of rock, he looks inside.

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