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Tao Te Ching: Something mysteriously formed

Tao Te Ching: Something mysteriously formed
Photo: Daoist monk at the Santaidong near Nanjing, ca. 1900.




Something mysteriously formed, 
Born before heaven and Earth. 
In the silence and the void, 
Standing alone and unchanging, 
Ever present and in motion. 

Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.
Being great, it flows
It flows far away.
Having gone far, it returns.
Therefore, "Tao is great;
Heaven is great;
Earth is great;
The king is also great."
These are the four great powers of the universe,
The heavy is the root of the light. 
The still is the master of unrest.
Therefore the sage, traveling all day, 
Does not lose sight of his baggage. 
Though there are beautiful things to be seen,
He remains unattached and calm.
Why should the lord of ten thousand
chariots act lightly in public?
To be light is to lose one's root.
To be restless is to lose one's control.
(Tao Te Ching, Chapter 25)



Recommended Reading:
'Tao Te Ching: Illustrated Edition'
By Lao Tsu (Author), Gia-Fu Feng (Translator) (Author), Jane English (Translator) (Author), Toinette Lippe (Translator) (Author), Jacob Needleman (Introduction) (Author)
Purchase Book:


For nearly two generations, this translation of the Tao Te Ching has been the standard for those seeking access to the wisdom of Taoist thought. Now Jane English and her long-time editor, Toinette Lippe, have refreshed and revised the translation, so that it more faithfully reflects the Classical Chinese in which it was first written, while taking into account changes in our own language and eliminating any lingering infelicities. This beautiful oversized edition features over a hundred new photographs by Jane English that help express the vast spirit of the Tao. Also included is an introduction by the well-known writer and scholar of philosophy and comparative religion, Jacob Needleman.
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