Lao Tse — Tao Te Ching

21. Te comes out from Tao. And Tao abides in the Primordial Depths.

Te is That Which acts and drives. It is as mysterious and hidden as Tao. Yet, It also exists!

It can assume a form.

It possesses Power. Its Power is superior to everything existing in this world.

Te can be seen. From ancient times till present, the Voice of Te sounds and tells the Will of the Creator of the entire material world.

Where can I see the countenance of Te? Everywhere!

22. Being satisfied with little, you can gain much. Seeking much, you will go astray. The wise heed this precept. If it could only be so with all people!

The wise trust not only their physical eyes, thus they can see clearly.

The wise do not think that they alone are right, thus they know the truth.

They do not seek glory, yet people respect them.

They do not seek power, yet people follow them.

They do not fight against anyone, thus no one can vanquish them.

They do not feel pity for themselves, thus they can develop successfully.

Only those who do not seek to be ahead of others are capable of living in harmony with everyone.

The wise care about everyone, and thus they become an example to all.

They do not praise themselves, yet they are respectable.

They do not elevate themselves, yet they are esteemed by others.

In ancient times, people said that imperfect moves towards becoming perfect. Are these words vain? No! Truly, by achieving Unity, you come to Perfection!

23. Speak less and be simple!

Strong winds do not blow all morning. Strong rain does not continue all day long. What does this depend on? On the sky and the earth.

The sky and the earth, though large, cannot give birth to anything eternal. Neither can man. Therefore, it is better to serve Eternal Tao.

Those who serve Tao with their deeds receive the right to attain Mergence with It.

Those who have refined themselves* to the state of Te become coessential to Te.

Those who have refined themselves to the state of Tao become coessential to Tao.

Those who are coessential to Te gain the bliss of Te.

Those who are coessential to Tao gain the bliss of Tao.

But the unworthy one is deprived of this possibility.

It is unwise to doubt this truth!

24. The one who stands on tiptoes cannot stand for long.

The one who walks with long strides cannot walk for long.

The one who is seen by everyone cannot keep power for long.

The one who praises oneself cannot win glory.

The one who lives pitying oneself becomes weak and cannot develop.

The one who is envious cannot achieve success.

The one who praises oneself cannot gain prestige.

The one who indulges in gluttony does meaningless things and becomes irritated by everything, such a person cannot find peace.

Looking from Tao, one can see that all this is caused by vicious desires. All this is absurd behavior. Everyone turns away from such people.

On the contrary, the one who aspires to Mergence with Tao does not do anything like that.


Refined the consciousness (soul).


To be continue.

Classics of Spiritual Philosophy and the Present

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