Taoist Consciousness By Father Axel

THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:

>>TAO THAT CAN BE ASCRIBED TO SOMETHING:

IS NOT ETERNAL TAO.

A NAME ASSIGNED:

IS NOT A NAME ETERNAL.

THE NAMELESS IS BOUNDARY OF HEAVEN & EARTH.

THE ONE NAMED:

IS THE MOTHER OF ITS CREATION.

BECOMING DETACHED FROM ALL FORMS OF DESIRE.

BECOMING ENABLED TO SEE THE MYSTERY HIDDEN WITHIN.

BY DESIRING EVERYTHING:
Taoist Consciousness
Taoist Consciousness By Father Axel


YOU WILL ONLY SEE ITS SURFACE.

THE OBSCURED AND THE OBVIOUS:

THEY EMERGE FROM THAT SAME SOURCE:

THE WELL OF DARKNESS.

DARKNESS SPAWNED FROM OBSCURITY.

UNDERSTANDING THE BEGINNING.

BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND.<<






CHAPTER TWO





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL:

YOU CREATE UGLINESS.

WHEN YOU PERCEIVE SOMETHING GOOD:

YOU CREATE EVIL.

EXISTENCE & NON-EXISTENCE MAKE EACH OTHER.

HARDSHIP & MELLOWING OUT SUPPORT EACH OTHER.

LONG & SHORT SET EACH OTHER.

HIGH & LOW SEPARATE EACH OTHER.

FRONT & BACK FOLLOW EACH OTHER.

THUS THE TAOTESSE ACTS:

BY DOING NOTHING.

THUS THE TAOTESSE TEACHES:

WITHOUT UTTERING ONE SINGLE WORD.

THE 10 000 THINGS APPROACH HER FROM ALL DIRECTIONS.

AND SHE OFFERS NO RESISTANCE.

THE 10 000 THINGS PASS RIGHT THROUGH HER.

AND SHE LETS THEM GO.

SHE OWNS EVERYTHING.

WHILST POSSESSING NOTHING.

SHE GOES INTO ACTION EXPECTING NOTHING.

WHEN SHE FINISHES HER WORK:

SHE TAKES NO CREDIT FOR IT.

THUS BEING WILL BE FOREVER & EVER.<<





CHAPTER THREE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>IF YOU PROMOTE TALENTED SUBJECTS:

THEY WILL TURN COMPETITIVE.

IF YOU TREASURE POSSESSIONS:

SUBJECTS WILL BEGIN TO STEAL.

DO NOT DISPLAY TREASURES:

THAT YOUR SUBJECTS MIGHT BECOME ENVIOUS.

THE TAOTESSE LEADS BY EMPTYING OUT:

HER SUBJECTS' BRAINS.

THE TAOTESSE LEADS BY FILLING:

HER SUBJECTS' STOMACHS.

THE TAOTESSE LEADS BY WEAKENING:

HER SUBJECTS' AMBITIONS.

THUS MAKING HER SUBJECTS STRONG.

VALUE SIMPLICITY AND FREEDOM WITHIN YOUR DESIRES.

AVOIDING THE TRAPS OF KNOWLEDGE AND MISGUIDED ACTION.

FOR YOU PRACTICING NON-DOING:

EVERYTHING WILL FALL INTO PLACE.<<





CHAPTER FOUR





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>TAO IS VACUUM.

IT CAN NOT BE EXHAUSTED.

IT CAN NOT BE FILLED.

INFINITELY DEEP.

THE ORIGIN OF THE 10 000 THINGS.

IT BLUNTS THE SHARP.

UNTIES THE KNOT.

SHADES THE LIGHT.

SPRINKLES ALL 10 000 THINGS INTO BEING.

HIDDEN.

YET ACTUALIZED HERE.

I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT TAO BIRTH.

IT IS OLDER THAN I AM.<<





CHAPTER FIVE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>HEAVEN & EARTH ARE INDIFFERENT.

THEY PLAY US LIKE STRAW POPPETS.

THE TAOTESSE DOESN'T TAKE SIDES.

SHE TREATS EVERYBODY LIKE A STRAW POPPET.

SPACE BETWIXT HEAVEN & EARTH IS LIKE A BALLOON.

IT IS EMPTY.

RETAINING ITS POWER.

THE MORE IT IS USED:

THE MORE IT PRODUCES.

THE MORE YOU TALK ABOUT IT:

THE LESS YOU UNDERSTAND.

STOP TALKING ABOUT NON-UNDERSTANDING.<<





CHAPTER SIX





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THE VALLEY SPIRIT IS PERENNIAL.

IT IS CALLED THE GREAT MOTHER.

THUS IT BIRTHES HEAVEN & EARTH.

JUST A VAPOUR.

INVISIBLE.

ALWAYS THERE.

USE IT AS YOU WISH.<<





CHAPTER SEVEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>TAO OF HEAVEN IS PERENNIAL.

TAO OF EARTH IS ETERNAL.

WHY DO THEY CONTINUE TO LIVE ON?

THEY BOTH DON'T LIVE FOR THEMSELVES.

THEREFORE:

THEY EXIST FOR OTHERS TO BE.

THE TAOTESSE PUTS HERSELF LAST.

AND FLIPSIDES INTO AUTHORITY.

SHE DETACHES HERSELF FROM THE 10 000 THINGS.

THUS SHE FLIPSIDES INTO 10 000 THINGS.

SHE HAS NO THOUGHTS ABOUT HERSELF.

THUS SHE IS CORNUCOPIA.<<





CHAPTER EIGHT





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THE SUPREME IS LIKE WATER SPARKLING THE 10 000 THINGS.

WHILST TRYING NOT TO BE ANYTHING LIKE THEM.

IT RAINS INTO FORGOTTEN PLACES.

LIKE TAO.

PRIME LOCATION MAKES A GOOD DWELLING.

DEPTH OF THINKING MAKES A GOOD MIND.

KIND-HEARTEDNESS MAKES A GOOD GIFT.

INTEGRITY MAKES GOOD GOVERNMENT.

ACCOMPLISHMENT MAKES A GOOD JOB.

PROPER TIMING MAKES A GOOD DECISION.

NON-COMPETITION:

AND THE 10 000 THINGS ARE AT PEACE.<<





CHAPTER NINE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>IT IS EASIER TO CARRY SOME EMPTY CUP.

THAN ONE THAT IS FILLED TO THE BRINK.

A POINTED KNIFE GETS BLUNT EASILY.

THE MORE WEALTH YOU POSSESS:

THE HARDER IT IS TO KEEP IT SAFE.

PRIDE CARRIES WITH IT ITS OWN PROBLEMS.

WHEN YOU HAVE FULFILLED YOUR TASK:

JUST WALK AWAY FROM IT.

THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN.<<





CHAPTER TEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>NURTURE DARKNESS:

THAT OF YOUR 3 CLOUD SOULS & 7 WHITE SOULS.

UNTIL YOU HAVE BECOME WHOLE AGAIN.

CAN YOU DO THIS:

AND NOT FAIL IN YOUR EFFORT?

CAN YOU FOCUS ON YOUR INNER LIFE FORCE:

UNTIL YOU HAVE BECOME PLIABLE LIKE A INFANT?

WHILST CLEANING YOUR FIVE KITCHENS:

WILL YOU DISCOVER ACCUMULATED GRIME & DIRT?

CAN YOU LOVE OTHERS:

AND LEADING THEM WITH NO HIDDEN AGENDA?

WHEN HEAVEN GIVES AND TAKES:

ARE YOU CONTENT WITH THE OUTCOME?

WHEN YOU COMPREHEND THE 10 000 THINGS:

CAN YOU FORGET UNDERSTANDING?

GIVING BIRTH AND NOURISHING.

MAKING WITHOUT POSSESSING.

EXPECTING NOTHING IN RETURN.

TO GROW WITHOUT EXERTING CONTROL:

THE MYSTERIOUS VIRTUE.<<





CHAPTER ELEVEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO





>>THIRTY SPOKES ARE JOINED TO MAKE ONE WHEEL.

ITS CENTRAL VOID ALLOWS THE WHEEL TO FUNCTION.

WE SCULPT CLAY TO BECOME A POT.

ITS CENTRAL VOID ALLOWS THE POT TO BE FILLED.

WE ASSEMBLE WOOD TO BECOME A HOUSE.

ITS CENTRAL VOID ALLOWS US TO LIVE WITHIN.

WE OPERATE WITH SUBSTANCE:

BUT ONLY USE ITS EMPTINESS.<<





CHAPTER TWELVE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>FIVE COLOURS BLIND YOUR EYE.

FIVE NOTES DEAFEN YOUR EAR.

FIVE FLAVOURS NUMB YOUR TONGUE.

TOO MUCH ACTION UNBALANCES YOUR MIND.

TOO MUCH WEALTH CAUSES CRIME.

THE TAOTESSE ACTS UPON WHAT SHE FEELS.

AND NOT WHAT SHE SEES.

SHE AVOIDS THE LATTER:

BUT PREFERS THE FORMER.<<





CHAPTER THIRTEEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>SUCCESS IS AS DANGEROUS AS FAILURE.

OFTEN WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMY.

WHAT IS MEANT BY:

'SUCCESS IS AS DANGEROUS AS FAILURE'?

AS A SUPERIOR YOU ARE SOMEBODY ELSE'S INFERIOR.

BEING GRANTED A BOON:

AND GETTING PUNISHED IN RETURN.

THAT IS MEANT BY:

'SUCCESS IS AS DANGEROUS AS FAILURE'.

WHAT IS MEANT BY:

'WE ARE OFTEN OUR OWN WORST ENEMY'?

I IDENTIFY AS EGO:

THAT IS MY ENEMY.

IF I IDENTIFY AS NON-EGO:

I HAVE NO ENEMY.

CARE FOR THE WORLD LIKE FOR YOURSELF.

THEN YOU BEGIN TO CARE FOR OTHER THINGS.<<





CHAPTER FOURTEEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>IF YOU LOOK FOR IT:

IT CAN NOT BE SEEN.

IF YOU LISTEN FOR IT:

IT CAN NOT BE HEARD.

IF YOU TRY TO GRAB IT:

IT CAN NOT BE CAUGHT.

THESE THREE CAN NOT BE DESCRIBED ANY FURTHER.

WE TAKE THEM AS ONE.

ITS HEIGHT IS NOT ILLUMINATED.

ITS DEPTH IS NOT DARK.

UNENDING.

UN-NAMEABLE.

IT RETURNS TO NOTHINGNESS.

FORMLESS FORMS.

IMAGELESS IMAGES.

SUBTLE.

BEYOND UNDERSTANDING.

IF YOU APPROACH IT:

YOU WILL NOT SEE A BEGINNING.

IF YOU FOLLOW IT:

YOU WILL FIND NO END.

WHEN WE FOLLOW TAO OF THE ANCIENT TAOTESSES:

WE CAN USE IT TO DIRECT OUR MODERN LIFE.

TO KNOW THE ANCIENT ORIGIN OF TAO:

THAT IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM.<<





CHAPTER FIFTEEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THE TAOTESSES OF OLD WERE PROFOUND.

THEY KNEW THE WAYS OF REFINEMENT AND INSIGHT.

THEIR WISDOM WAS BEYOND COMPREHENSION.

THEIR KNOWLEDGE WAS SUPERIOR.

SO THAT I CAN ONLY GIVE A VAGUE IMPRESSION.

THEY ALL WERE VERY CAREFUL:

LIKE SOMEONE CROSSING A FROZEN STREAM IN WINTER.

BECOMING ATTENTIVE:

AS IF BEING SURROUNDED BY THE ENEMY ON ALL SIDES.

COURTEOUS AS A GUEST INVITED.

FLUID AS ICE MELTING IN THE SUNSHINE.

COMPLETE AS SOME UNCARVED WOODBLOCK.

RECEPTIVE AS THE VALLEY.

TURBID AS MUDDIED WATER.

WHO IS THAT?

BECOMING ENABLED TO SIT QUIETLY:

UNTIL HIS MUD HAS FINALLY SETTLED?

AND HIS WATER CLEARED IN TRANSPARENCY?

CAN YOU SIT IN TRANQUILITY?

UNTIL ACTION IS UN-DONE?

THE TAOTESSE DOESN'T SEEK FULFILLMENT.

ONLY THOSE WHO ARE EMPTY CAN BE USED.

BRINGING FORTH THE FEELING OF COMPLETENESS.<<





CHAPTER SIXTEEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>IF YOU CAN EMPTY YOUR MIND OF ALL THOUGHTS:

YOUR HEART WILL EMBRACE PEACE.

OBSERVE THE WORKINGS OF CREATION.

CONTEMPLATE THEIR RETURN TO THE SOURCE.

ALL CREATURES OF THE UNIVERSE

RETURN TO THEIR STARTING POINT.

TRANQUILITY IS RETURNING TO THE SOURCE.

SUBMITTING UNDER THE MANDATE OF HEAVEN.

RETURNING UNDER HEAVEN'S MANDATE:

THIS IS CALLED STABILITY.

KNOWING STABILITY IS CALLED ENLIGHTENMENT.

NOT-KNOWING IS CALLED CONSTANCY.

THE SOURCE OF ALL EVIL:

HAVING NO ROOTS.

BY OBSERVING CONSTANCY:

YOU ARE ABLE TO ACCEPT THINGS AS THEY ARE.

BY ACCEPTING THINGS AS THEY ARE:

YOU BECOME IMPARTIAL.

BEING IMPARTIAL:

YOU BECOME ONE WITH HEAVEN.

BEING ONE WITH HEAVEN:

YOU BECOME ONE WITH TAO.

BEING ONE WITH TAO:

YOU ARE NO LONGER CONCERNED.

ABOUT LOSING YOUR LIFE:

IN THAT STABILITY OF TAO IN WHICH YOU ARE.<<





CHAPTER SEVENTEEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>A SUCCESSFUL QUEEN IS THE ONE,

WHO IS NOT KNOWN TO HER SUBJECTS.

THE NEXT BEST QUEEN IS THE ONE,

WHO IS PRAISED BY HER SUBJECTS.

THE NEXT BEST QUEEN IS THE ONE,

WHO IS FEARED BY HER SUBJECTS.

THE WORST QUEEN IS THE ONE,

WHO IS DESPISED BY HER SUBJECTS.

IF YOU DON'T TRUST YOUR SUBJECTS:

THEY WILL TURN UNTRUSTWORTHY.

THE BEST QUEEN VALUES HER WORDS:

SHE USES THEM SPARINGLY.

WHEN SHE HAS ACCOMPLISHED HER TASK;

HER SUBJECTS WILL UTTER:

''AMAZING! WE DID THIS ALL BY OURSELVES!''<<





CHAPTER EIGHTEEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>WHEN GREAT TAO IS DISCARDED:

RIGHTEOUSNESS EMERGES.

WHEN POLITICAL TALK RULES THE DAY:

DECEIT FOLLOWS BEHIND.

WHEN THERE IS DISCORD WITHIN THE FAMILY:

THEY ALL TALK ABOUT UNITY LOVE.

WHEN THE NATION TUMBLES INTO CHAOS:

THE MINISTERS OF STATE TALK ABOUT PATRIOTISM.<<





CHAPTER NINETEEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>FORGET EVERYTHING ABOUT KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM:

AND YOUR SUBJECTS WILL FARE A HUNDRED TIMES BETTER.

ABANDON ALL COMPASSION AND RIGHTEOUSNESS:

AND YOUR SUBJECTS WILL DISPLAY BROTHERLY LOVE.

THROW AWAY GREED AND PROFIT:

AND THERE WILL BE NO MORE THIEVES.

THESE THREE POINTERS ARE NOT IMPORTANT.

THEY WILL NOT SUFFICE:

TO KEEP US IN THE CENTRE OF THE WHEEL.

THEREFORE:

EMBRACE MODESTY.

PUT YOUR SUBJECTS FIRST.

NO DESIRES.<<





CHAPTER TWENTY





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>ABANDON ALL KNOWLEDGE:

YOUR PROBLEMS WILL BE OVER.

WHAT DIFFERENCE BETWIXT 'YES' & 'NO'?

WHAT DIFFERENCE BETWIXT 'GOOD' & 'EVIL'?

DO YOU HAVE TO 'FEAR' WHAT OTHERS 'FEAR'?

TALK OF FOOLS.

YOUR SUBJECTS ARE JOYFUL:

AS IF CHINESE NEW YEAR HOLIDAY APPROACHES.

BUT I AM UNCONCERNED AND EXPRESS NO EMOTIONS:

LIKE A INFANT BEFORE SHE HAS LEARNED TO SMILE.

MY SUBJECTS HAVE MORE THAN THEY NEED.

I POSSESS NOTHING.

I AM LOST.

I AM A DRIFTER WITH NO PLACE TO GO.

I AM JUST A FOOL:

MY MIND HAS FALLEN INTO CHAOS.

MY SUBJECTS ARE SHINING INTELLIGENT.

I ALONE BEING DARK STUPID.

MY SUBJECTS ARE SMART.

I ALONE BEING FORLORN.

MY SUBJECTS ARE ADROIT.

I ALONE BEING CONFUSED.

I FLOAT ONATOP THE SEA WAVES:

WIND-BLOWN HERE AND THERE AND EVERYWHERE.

MY SUBJECTS HAVE GOALS IN LIFE.

I ALONE BEING CLUELESS.

I AM DIFFERENT FROM MY SUBJECTS.

I AM NURSED FROM THE BIG BREASTS OF MY MOTHER.<<





CHAPTER 21





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO





>>GREATEST VIRTUE IS GIVEN OUT TO YOU:

BY FOLLOWING TAO.

ITS FORM IS INVISIBLE.

UNTOUCHABLE.

TAO IS IMPONDERABLE.

EVANESCENT.

I KOW IT IS THERE.

FADING IN AND OUT:

IT MANIFESTS ITSELF.

REMOVED AND OBSCURED:

IT SHINES FORTH RADIANTLY.

ITS EFFULGENCE IS THE ORIGIN.

ORDER LIES WITHIN.

SINCE PRIMORDIAL TIMES.

TAO ALWAYS EXISTED:

BEYOND 'EXISTING' & 'NON-EXISTING'.

HOW DO I KNOW THAT?

JUST LOOKING INSIDE!<<





CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>IF YOU WANT TO BECOME COMPLETE:

YOU FIRST HAVE TO BREAK.

IF YOU WANT TO BECOME STRAIGHT:

YOU FIRST HAVE TO BECOME WARPED.

IF YOU WANT TO BECOME FULL:

YOU FIRST HAVE TO BECOME EMPTY.

IF YOU WANT TO BECOME YOUNG:

YOU FIRST HAVE TO BECOME OLD.

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO DESIRES:

ALL THESE ARE EASILY ACHIEVED.

ALL THOSE WHO CRAVE THINGS ARE PASSED OVER.

FOR THESE REASONS:

THE TAOTESSE EMBRACES TAO:

FOR HER YOUNIVERSE TO FOLLOW.

BECAUSE SHE HAS NO CENTRE:

HER SUBJECTS CAN PERCEIVE HER LUMINOSITY FROM WITHIN.

BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T TAKE HERSELF SERIOUSLY:

SHE MAKES A FINE MODEL TO ASPIRE TO.

BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T PUT HERSELF IN THE FOREGROUND:

SHE RECEIVES MERIT.

BECAUSE SHE WANTS NOTHING FROM HER YOUNIVERSE:

HER YOUNIVERSE EXERTS NO POWER OVER HER.

WHEN THE ANCIENT TAOTESSES SAID:

'IF YOU WANT TO BECOME COMPLETE

YOU FIRST HAVE TO BREAK':

THEY WERE NOT APPLYING EMPTY WORDS.

ALL WHO DO THIS WILL BE MENDED.<<





CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>NATURE USES NO WORDS.

WHEN THE STORM RAGES:

IT WILL NOT LAST FOREVER.

WHEN TORRENTIAL RAINS POUR DOWN:

IT WILL NOT LAST FOREVER.

WHO IS BEHIND ALL THIS?

HEAVEN & EARTH.

WHY DO WE ENDLESSLY TALK ABOUT MINUTE THINGS?

WHILST TAO ACHIEVES GIGANTIC THINGS IN NO TIME?

IF YOU OPEN YOURSELF TO TAO:

YOU & TAO.

FUSING INTO ONE.

IF YOU OPEN YOURSELF TO VIRTUE:

YOU & VIRTUE.

FUSING INTO ONE.

IF YOU OPEN YOURSELF TO LOSS:

YOU BECOME LOST.<<





CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THOSE WHO STAND ON TIPTOES:

THEY DON'T STAND SECURE.

THOSE WHO RUSH OFF AHEAD OF OTHERS:

THEY DON'T GET FAR.

THOSE WHO TRY TO OUTSHINE OTHERS:

THEY DIM DOWN THEIR LIGHT.

THOSE WHO THINK THEMSELVES RIGHTEOUS:

THEY DON'T KNOW HOW WRONG THEY ARE.

THOSE WHO SHOW OFF WITH THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

THEY PUT DOWN ALL THOSE OTHER THINGS THEY HAVE ACHIEVED.

CONSIDERING TAO:

ALL THESE ACTIONS ARE UNBECOMING.

IF YOU FOLLOW TAO:

AVOID THESE.<<





CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>BEFORE YOUNIVERSE WAS BROUGHT INTO EXISTENCE:

THERE WAS SOMETHING HIDDEN WITHIN PRIMORDIAL CHAOS.

ALONE BY ITSELF.

DEVOID OF EVERYTHING.

SENTINEL.

UNCHANGING.

PERENNIAL PRESENCE.

SAFELY LOCKED AWAY.

MOTHER.

I CALL IT TAO.

IF BEING FORCED TO NAME HER:

THE GREAT!

BECAUSE SHE IS GREAT:

SHE IS EVERYWHERE.

BEING EVERYWHERE:

SHE IS ETERNAL.

BEING ETERNAL:

EVERYTHING RETURNS BACK INTO HER WOMB.

TAO IS GREAT!

HEAVEN IS GREAT!

EARTH IS GREAT!

HUMANITY IS GREAT!

THESE ARE THE FOUR GREAT ITEMS IN YOUNIVERSE.

HUMANITY FOLLOWS EARTH.

EARTH FOLLOWS HEAVEN.

HEAVEN FOLLOWS TAO.

TAO FOLLOWS ITSELF.<<





CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>CARRYING WEIGHT:

THE FOUNDATION OF BEING LIGHT.

MOTIONLESSNESS:

THE FOUNDATION OF MOVEMENT.

THUS THE TAOTESSE TRAVELS ALL DAY.

WITHOUT EVER LEAVING HER WAGON.

EVEN THOUGH SHE HAS MUCH TO LOOK AT:

SHE IS AT PEACE IN HER INDIFFERENCE TO VISTAS.

WHY SHOULD THE COMMANDER OF A THOUSAND CHARIOTS

FIND AMUSEMENT IN THE ABSURDITY OF THE YOUNIVERSE?

IF YOU DO STUPID THINGS:

YOU LOSE ALL CONTACT WITH YOUR ROOTS.

BECOMING DISTRACTED:

RUINING THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR FACULTIES.<<





CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>A GOOD JOURNEYMAN LEAVES NO TRACES.

A GOOD SPEAKER IS WELL REHEARSED.

A GOOD BOOKKEEPER HAS A FINE MEMORY.

A GOOD DOOR IS EASY TO OPEN.

A GOOD KNOT WILL NOT COME UNDONE.

THUS THE TAOTESSE IS WILLING TO HELP EVERYONE.

SHE DOESN'T KNOW THE MEANING OF REJECTION.

SHE IS THERE TO HELP ALL OF CREATION.

SHE DOESN'T ABANDON EVEN THE SMALLEST CREATURE.

THIS IS CALLED EMBRACING THE LIGHT.

WHAT IS A GOOD PERSON:

OTHER THAN A BAD PERSON'S TEACHER?

WHAT IS A BAD PERSON:

OTHER THAN A GOOD PERSON'S TEACHER?

IF YOU DISHONOUR YOUR TEACHER:

IF YOU FORSAKE YOUR STUDENT:

YOU WILL JUST BETRAY YOURSELF.

NO MATTER HOW SMART YOU ARE.

IT IS A SECRET OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE.<<





CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>KNOW THE MASCULINE:

BUT STAY WITH THE FEMININE.

BECOMING A POOL FOR YOUNIVERSE.

IF YOU EMBRACE YOUNIVERSE:

TAO WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU.

YOU BECOME LIKE A CHILD.

KNOW THE WHITE:

BUT KEEP THE BLACK.

BECOME A MODEL FOR YOUNIVERSE.

IF YOU ARE A MODEL FOR YOUNIVERSE:

TAO WITHIN WILL EMPOWER YOU:

TO RETURN YOU WHOLE TO ETERNAL BEGINNING.

KNOW THE HONOURABLE:

BUT DO NOT SHUN THE DISHONOURED.

EMBRACING YOUNIVERSE AS IT IS:

IF YOU EMBRACE YOUNIVERSE WITH COMPASSION:

THEN VIRTUE WILL RETURN YOU TO THAT UNCARVED WOODBLOCK.

THAT BLOCK OF WOOD:

WHICH IS WHITTLED DOWN INTO USEFUL THINGS.

BY CREATING VOID WITHIN THE SOLID:

THE TAOTESSE USES HER APPLIANCES.

YET SHE STILL RETAINS THAT UNCARVED BLOCK OF WOOD:

DUE TO ITS LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES.

GREAT WORKS DO NOT DISCARD SUBSTANCE.<<





CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>DO YOU WANT TO RULE YOUNIVERSE?

DO YOU WANT TO CONTROL IT?

I DO NOT THINK THIS CAN BE DONE.

YOUNIVERSE IS A SACRED VESSEL.

IT CAN NOT BE CONTROLLED.

TRYING:

YOU WILL ONLY MAKE IT WORSE.

IT SLIPS THROUGH YOUR FINGERS:

AND DISAPPEARS.

SOME PEOPLE ARE MEANT TO LEAD.

WHILST OTHERS ARE MEANT TO FOLLOW.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE A JOLLY GOOD TIME WALKING THROUGH LIFE.

WHILST OTHERS ARE BURDENED BY LIFE ITSELF.

SOME PEOPLE ARE BIG AND STRONG.

WHILST OTHERS ARE SMALL AND WEAK.

SOME PEOPLE ALWAYS WILL BE NURTURED AND PROTECTED.

WHILST OTHERS WILL MEET WITH IMMINENT DESTRUCTION.

THE TAOTESSE ACCEPTS THINGS AS THEY ARE.

AVOIDING EXTRAVAGANCE, EXCESSES & EXTREMES.

OUT OF COMPASSION.<<





CHAPTER THIRTY





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THOSE WHO LEAD SUBJECTS WHILST FOLLOWING TAO:

DO NOT USE WEAPONS TO ENFORCE LAW.

APPLYING FORCE ALWAYS INVITES TROUBLE.

IN THOSE PLACES WHEREIN ARMIES MARCHED:

THORNS & CREEPERS BLOOM.

AFTER ARMIES HAVE ENGAGED IN BATTLE:

BAD YEARS SHALL FOLLOW SOON.

THE SKILLFUL GENERAL STRIKES FIRST AND DECISIVE:

THEN HALTS HIS ACTIONS.

WHEN VICTORY IS GAINED IN BATTLE:

THERE IS NO PRIDE LEFT.

WHEN THE BATTLE IS OVER:

ARROGANCE RAISES ITS HEAD.

WAR IS DEPLOYED:

WHEN NEGOTIATIONS HAVE FAILED.

THE GENERAL OVERCOMING HIS ENEMY:

HE SHOULD NOT DOMINATE.

THE STRONGEST GENERAL WEAKENS OVER TIME.

THIS IS NOT THE WAY OF TAO.

THAT WHICH IS NOT TAO:

IT SOON ENDS.<<





CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>WEAPONS:

THE BEARERS OF BAD NEWS.

ALL SUBJECTS SHOULD DESPISE THEM.

THE TAOTESSE VALUES THE LEFT SIDE.

IN TIME OF WAR SHE VALUES THE RIGHT SIDE.

WEAPONS ARE MEANT FOR DESTRUCTION:

THEREFORE AVOIDED BY THE TAOTESSE.

ONLY AS A LAST RECOURSE:

WILL THE TAOTESSE WIELD HER SWORD.

IF PEACE IS HER TRUE OBJECTIVE:

HOW CAN SHE TRIUMPH IN VICTORIOUS WAR?

THOSE WHO DELIGHT IN THEIR VICTORY

REVEL IN THE SLAUGHTER OF HUMANITY.

THOSE WHO REITERATE TO VIOLENCE:

NEVER WILL BRING PEACE TO YOUNIVERSE.

THE LEFT SIDE IS PLACE OF HONOUR IN MANY CELEBRATIONS.

THE RIGHT SIDE IS PLACE OF MOURNING IN A FUNERAL.

WHEN LIEUTENANTS TAKE UP THE LEFT SIDE

IN PREPARATION FOR BATTLE:

THE GENERAL SHOULD STAND ON THEIR RIGHT SIDE.

BECAUSE HE KNOWS THE OUTCOME WILL BE DEATH.

THE DEATH OF SUBJECTS SHOULD

BE ACKNOWLEDGED WITH GREAT SORROW.

THE VICTORY CELEBRATIONS SHOULD HONOUR

THOSE WHO HAVE PERISHED.<<





CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>TAO IS NAMELESS.

UNCHANGING.

YET IT APPEARS AS BEING OF NO IMPORTANCE.

NOTHING IN YOUNIVERSE CAN CONTAIN IT.

IF A QUEEN STANDS BY HER PRINCIPLES:

HER SUBJECTS WILL FOLLOW WILLINGLY.

HEAVEN THEN WOULD REIGN UPON EARTH:

LIKE A SWEET RAIN NOURISHING PARADISE.

SUBJECTS WOULD HAVE NO NEED FOR LAW:

LAW WOULD THEN BE WRITTEN OUT:

FROM WITHIN THEIR BEATING HEARTS.

LABELING IS REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH ORDER:

BUT LABELING CAN NOT ORDER ALL THE 10 000 THINGS.

LABELING MAKES THE 10 000 THINGS IMPERSONAL.

YOU SHOULD KNOW WHEN TO STOP NAMING THINGS.

KNOWING WHEN TO HALT NAMING THINGS:

AVOIDING THE PITFALLS OF YOUR OWN MAKING.

ALL THE 10 000 THINGS END IN TAO.

JUST LIKE STREAMS & RIVERS:

FLOWING OUT THROUGH VALLEYS INTO THE SEA.<<





CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THOSE WHO KNOW OTHERS:

THEY ARE INTELLIGENT.

THOSE WHO KNOW THEMSELVES:

THEY ARE WISE.

THOSE WHO MASTER OTHERS:

THEY ARE STRONG.

THOSE WHO MASTER THEMSELVES:

THEY HAVE TRUE POWER.

THOSE WHO KNOW THEY HAVE ENOUGH:

THEY ARE TRULY WEALTHY.

THOSE WHO PERSIST:

THEY WILL REACH THEIR GOAL.

THOSE WHO KEEP THEIR COURSE:

THEY HAVE A STRONG WILL.

THOSE WHO EMBRACE DEATH:

THEY WILL NOT PERISH.

BUT RETAIN LIFE EVERLASTING.<<





CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>GREAT TAO:

FLOWING UNOBSTRUCTED IN EVERY DIMENSION.

THE 10 000 THINGS RELY ON IT.

BECOMING IMPREGNATED AND BORN.

DENYING NOT EVEN THE SMALLEST THING:

MORPHING INTO EXISTENCE.

HAVING ACCOMPLISHED MIRACLES:

TAO DOES NOT CLAIM OWNERSHIP.

TAO NOURISHES INFINITE YOUNIVERSES OUT THERE.

TAO DOES NOT CONTROL ITS TINIEST CONSCIOUSNESS.

BECAUSE TAO BEARS NO DESIRES AND APPETITES:

IT IS MODEST IN ITS DEMANDS.

ALL CONSCIOUSNESSES CRAWL INTO TAO.

SEEKING SHELTER.

TAO EXERTS NO CONTROL OVER ALL THOSE CONSCIOUSNESSES.

BECAUSE TAO ASPIRES NOT TO GREATNESS:

IT ACCOMPLISHES THE GREATEST THINGS.<<





CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>SHE WHO FOLLOWS TAO:

INCORPORATES HER YOUNIVERSE WITH EVERY BREATH.

SHE WHO FEARLESSLY TRODS:

NEVER BEING HARMED.

HER HEART VIBRATES IN ACCORD & COOLNESS:

WHERE THERE IS MUSIC AND FINE CUISINE.

SUBJECTS WILL PAUSE TO ENJOY:

WORDS DESCRIBING THEIR TAO

APPEAR BORING AND MILDEWED.

WHEN APPRECIATING TAO:

THERE IS NOTHING TO SEE FOR THEM.

WHEN HEARKENING TO TAO:

THERE IS NOTHING TO HEAR FOR THEM.

IF THEY WERE USING UP ALL OF TAO:

IT WOULD ALWAYS STAY CORNUCOPIA.<<





CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>IF YOU WANT IT RETURNING TO TAO:

YOU HAVE TO TRANSMIT IT.

IF YOU WANT TO LIMIT IT:

YOU HAVE TO AMPLIFY IT.

IF YOU WANT TO EXCAVATE IT:

YOU HAVE TO EMBELLISH IT.

IF YOU WANT TO CLAIM OWNERSHIP:

YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT AWAY.

THIS IS CALLED PERCEPTION:

SPELLING OUT THE 10 000 THINGS!

SOFT & YIELDING

OVERCOMES

HARD & UNYIELDING.

LIKE A CARP HIDDEN IN DEEP WATER:

KEEP YOUR WEAPONS OUT OF SIGHT.<<





CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>TAO NEVER ACTS BY FORCE.

THERE IS NOTHING IT CAN NOT DO.

IF QUEENS WOULD FOLLOW TAO:

ALL THE 10 000 THINGS WOULD FORMAT THEMSELVES.

IF THE 10 000 THINGS FORMAT:

THEY WILL DEVELOP SELFISH DESIRES.

EXTINGUISH THEM ALL BY:

APPLYING UNCARVED WOODBLOCK POWER.

THROUGH UNCARVED WOODBLOCK POWER:

FUTURE GENERATIONS WOULD LOSE THEIR SELFISH DESIRES.

BY LOSING THEIR SELFISH DESIRES:

YOUNIVERSE WOULD SETTLE IN TRANQUILITY.<<





CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THE HIGHEST GOOD:

NOT SEEKING DOING GOOD.

ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BECOME GOOD.

ANY SUBJECT SEEKS TO DO GOOD THINGS.

REALIZING THAT IT CAN NOT BE DONE ALL THE TIME.

THE TAOTESSE DOES NOT FORCE VIRTUE UPON OTHERS.

THUS SHE IS ENABLED TO ACCOMPLISH HER TASK.

ANY SUBJECT WHICH APPLIES FORCE:

WILL REALIZE THAT IT ACCOMPLISHES NOTHING.

A KIND SUBJECT ACTS FROM THE HEART:

ACCOMPLISHING A MANIFOLD OF THINGS.

A RIGHTEOUS SUBJECT ACTS OUT OF PITY:

IT LEAVES A MANIFOLD OF THINGS UNDONE.

A MORAL SUBJECT ACTS OUT OF DUTY:

IF THE 10 000 THINGS DO NOT ALIGN THEMSELVES PROPERLY:

THEN IT ROLLS UP ITS SLEEVES AND APPLIES FORCE.

WHEN TAO IS FORGOTTEN:

THERE IS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

WHEN RIGHTEOUSNESS IS FORGOTTEN:

THERE IS MORALITY.

WHEN MORALITY IS FORGOTTEN:

THERE IS LAW.

LAW IS ONLY A HUSK OF TRUE FAITH.

TRUSTING IS THE BEGIN OF CHAOS.





COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF THE 10 000 THINGS:

IT IS NOT DERIVED FROM TAO ITSELF.

IT EMERGES FROM THE DEPTH OF MISCONCEPTIONS.

THE TAOTESSE PARTAKES OF THE FRUIT OFFERED:

DISCARDING ITS SHELL.

SHE DWELLS IN TAO.

AND NOT WITHIN THE BOX HIDING IT.

THIS IS HOW SHE GAINS WISDOM.<<





CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THE TAOTESSES OF OLD:

THEY ACHIEVED UNITY WITH TAO.

HEAVEN ACHIEVED UNITY AND BECAME PURE.

EARTH ACHIEVED UNITY AND FOUND PEACE.

SPIRITS ACHIEVED UNITY AND BEGAN TO ADMINISTER.

VALLEYS ACHIEVED UNITY TO BECOME FILLED.

HUMANITY ACHIEVED UNITY THAT IT COULD PROSPER.

QUEENS ACHIEVED UNITY TO SET EXAMPLE.

THAT IS POWER OF UNITY.

WITHOUT UNITY:

THE SKY BECOMES FILTHY.

WITHOUT UNITY:

THE EARTH BECOMES UNSTABLE.

WITHOUT UNITY:

THE SPIRITS BECOME UNRESPONSIVE AND DISAPPEAR.

WITHOUT UNITY:

THE VALLEYS BECOME DRY AS A DESERT.

WITHOUT UNITY:

HUMANITY CAN NOT REPRODUCE AND GOES EXTINCT.

WITHOUT UNITY:

QUEENS BECOME CORRUPT AND FALL.

THE GREAT TAOTESSES VIEW THE SMALL:

BEING THEIR FOUNDATION.

THE EXALTED BEINGS TAKE THE LOW:

BEING THEIR FOUNDATION.





THEIR GREATEST ASSET:

IT BECOMES THEIR HUMILIATION.

THEY SPEAK OF THEMSELVES:

AS BEING ORPHANS & WIDOWS.

THUS THEY TRULY SEEK SIMPLICITY.

DO NOT SHINE LIKE A PRECIOUS GEM:

BECOME SHALLOW.

LIKE SOME ORDINARY PEBBLE.<<





CHAPTER FOURTY





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>ALL MOTION RETURNS TO TAO.

WEAKNESS IS HOW TAO WORKS.

ALL THE 10 000 THINGS ARE BORN FROM SUBSTANCE.

SUBSTANCE IS BORN FROM NOTHINGNESS.<<





CHAPTER FOURTY-ONE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>WHEN A QUEEN HEARS ABOUT TAO:

SHE DILIGENTLY PUTS IT INTO PRACTICE.

WHEN A SUBJECT HEARS ABOUT TAO:

IT BELIEVES HALF OF IT AND DOUBTS THE OTHER HALF.

WHEN A FOOL HEARS ABOUT TAO:

HE LAUGHS OUT LOUD AT THE VERY NOTION OF IT.

IF HE DID NOT LAUGH:

IT WOULD NOT BE AUTHENTIC TAO.

THUS IT IS SAID:

BRIGHTNESS OF TAO LOOKS LIKE DARKNESS.

ADVANCEMENT OF TAO LOOKS LIKE RETREAT.

THE EASY PATH LOOKS ROUGH.

THE SUPERIOR PATH LOOKS EMPTY.

THE PURE LOOKS TO BE TARNISHED.

TRUE VIRTUE DOESN'T LOOK APPEALING ENOUGH.

CAUTIOUS VIRTUE LOOKS LIKE COWARDICE.

THE CLEAN LOOKS POLLUTED.

A SQUARE LOOKS LIKE HAVING NO CORNERS.

THE FASTEST VESSELS TAKE THE LONGEST TIME TO ARRIVE.

THE HIGHEST NOTES CAN NOT BE HEARD.

THE GREATEST IMAGE HAS NO FORM.

TAO HIDES WITHIN THE NAMELESS.

ALONE IT NOURISHES:

AND COMPLETES THE 10 000 THINGS.<<





CHAPTER FOURTY-TWO





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>TAO GAVE BIRTH TO ONE.

ONE GAVE BIRTH TO TWO.

TWO GAVE BIRTH TO THREE.

THREE GAVE BIRTH TO THE 10 000 THINGS.

ALL THE 10 000 THINGS ARE YIN-BORN.

THEY ALL CRAVE YANG-INSEMINATION.

THEY BLEND THEIR CHI:

IN ORDER TO PRODUCE HARMONY CONCOCTION.

SUBJECTS DESPISE BEING ORPHANED & WIDOWED & POOR.

BUT QUEENS TAKE UP THOSE AS TITLES.

IN LOSING MUCH IS GAINED MUCH.

IN GAINING MUCH IS LOST MUCH.

WHAT OTHERS TEACH:

I WILL ALSO TEACH:

'THE STRONG & VIOLENT ONES:

THOSE WILL NOT SUFFER NATURAL DEATH'.<<





CHAPTER FOURTY-THREE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THAT WHICH OFFERS NO RESISTANCE:

OVERCOMING THE HARDEST MATTER.

THAT WHICH OFFERS NO RESISTANCE:

ENTERING WHERE IS NO FREE SPACE.

FEW IN THE YOUNIVERSE CAN COMPREHEND:

TEACHING WITHOUT WORDS.

UNDERSTANDING THE VALUE OF NON-DOING.<<





CHAPTER FOURTY-FOUR





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT:

YOUR HONOUR OR YOUR LIFE?

WHICH IS MORE VALUABLE:

YOUR POSSESSIONS OR YOUR PERSON?

WHICH IS MORE DESTRUCTIVE:

SUCCESS OR FAILURE?

BECAUSE OF THIS:

GREAT COMPASSION DEMANDS GREATER SACRIFICE.

GREAT WEALTH REQUIRES GREATER LOSS.

KNOWING WHEN YOU HAVE ENOUGH:

PREVENTING YOU FROM DISGRACE.

KNOWING WHEN TO STOP:

PREVENTING YOU FROM DANGER.

BRINGING ON A HAPPY LONG LIFE.<<





CHAPER FOURTY-FIVE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:

IT APPEARS TO BE FLAWED.

ITS USEFULNESS STILL RETAINED.

THE GREATEST FULLNESS:

IT APPEARS TO BE EMPTIED.

ITS INEXHAUSTIBILITY STILL AVAILABLE.

THE GREATEST STRAIGHTNESS:

IT APPEARS TO BE WARPED.

ITS FUNCTIONALITY STILL POSSIBLE.

THE GREATEST CRAFTSMANSHIP:

OBVIOUSLY FOOLING AROUND.

THE GREATEST RHETORIC:

OBVIOUSLY CONFUSED.

MOTION OVERCOMES COLD.

INACTIVITY OVERCOMES HEAT.

THAT WHICH IS PURE AND SERENE:

THE UNIVERSAL IDEAL.<<





CHAPTER FOURTY-SIX





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>WHEN YOUNIVERSE FOLLOWS TAO:

HORSES ROAM FREE TO FERTILIZE THE FIELDS.

WHEN YOUNIVERSE DOES NOT FOLLOW TAO:

WAR HORSES ARE BRED OUTSIDE THE CITY.

THERE IS NO GREATER SIN THAN DESIRE.

THERE IS NO GREATER CURSE THAN BEING DISCONTENT.

THERE IS NO GREATER PUNISHMENT THAN BEING GREEDY.

THEREFORE:

IF YOU KNOW THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH:

YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH.<<





CHAPTER FOURTY-SEVEN





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>WITHOUT OPENING YOUR DOOR:

YOU CAN KNOW THE YOUNIVERSE.

WITHOUT LOOKING OUT OF YOUR WINDOW:

YOU CAN UNDERSTAND TAO'S PATH.

THE MORE KNOWLEDGE YOU SEEK:

THE LESS YOU COMPREHEND.

THE TAOTESSE UNDERSTANDS WITHOUT LEAVING HER ABODE.

SHE SEES CLEARLY WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE 10 000 THINGS.

SHE ACCOMPLISHES EVERYTHING BY DOING NOTHING.<<





CHAPTER FOURTY-EIGHT





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>IF YOU SEEK KNOWLEDGE:

YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY.

IF YOU SEEK TAO:

YOU UNLEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY.

LESS AND LESS REMAINS.

UNTIL YOU ARRIVE AT NOTHINGNESS.

WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT NOTHINGNESS:

NOTHING WILL BE UNDONE.

MASTERING YOUNIVERSE IS ACHIEVED BY:

LETTING THE 10 000THINGS TAKE THEIR NATURAL COURSE.

YOU CAN NOT MASTER YOUNIVERSE BY:

CHANGING ITS NATURAL COURSE.<<





CHAPTER FOURTY-NINE





THUS SPAKE LORD LAO:





>>THE TAOTESSE HAS NO MIND OF HER OWN.

SHE UNDERSTANDS HOW HER SUBJECTS TICK.

THOSE WHO ARE GOOD:

SHE TREATS GOOD.

THOSE WHO ARE BAD:

SHE TREATS GOOD.

THIS IS HOW SHE ATTAINS TRUE GOODNESS.

THOSE WHO ARE TRUSTWORTHY:

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