The Dao de jing (1-3)

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Dao de jing

a> A dao that may be spoken is not the enduring Dao. A name that may be named is not an enduring name.
No names – this is the beginning of heaven and earth. Having names – this is the mother of the things of the world.

b> Make freedom from desire your constant norm; thereby you will see what is subtle. Make having desires your constant norm; thereby you will see what is manifest.

These two arise from the same source but have different names. Together they may be termed ‘the mysterious’.
Mystery and more mystery: the gate of all that is subtle.

a> All in the world deem the beautiful to be beautiful; it is ugly. All deem the good to be good; it is bad.

b> What is and what is not give birth to one another,
What is difficult and what is easy complete one another,
Long and short complement one another,
High and low incline towards one another,
Note and noise harmonize with one another,
Before and after follow one another.

c> Therefore the sage dwells in the midst of non-action (wuwei) and practices the wordless teaching.

d> Herein arise the things of the world, it does not turn from them; what it gives birth to it does not possess; what it does it does not retain. The achievements complete, it makes no claim to them. Because it makes no claim to them, they never leave it.

a> Do not honor the worthy. This will keep the people from contention. Do not prize rare things. This will keep the people from becoming thieves. Do not display the desirable. The hearts of the people will not be turbulent.

b> Hence the governance of the sage:
Empty their minds and fill their bellies,
Weaken their wills and strengthen their bones.
Always render the people free of knowledge and desire. Ensure that the clever do not dare to act.

c> Engage in non-action (wuwei) and nothing will go unruled.