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Tao Te Ching Chapter 23 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





Abstaining from speech marks him who is obeying the spontaneity of his nature. A violent wind does not last for a whole morning; a sudden rain does not last for the whole day. To whom is it that these (two) things are owing? To Heaven and Earth. If Heaven and Earth cannot make such (spasmodic) actings last long, how much less can man!


Therefore when one is making the Tao his business, those who are also pursuing it, agree with him in it, and those who are making the manifestation of its course their object agree with him in that; while even those who are failing in both these things agree with him where they fail.


Hence, those with whom he agrees as to the Tao have the happiness of attaining to it; those with whom he agrees as to its manifestation have the happiness of attaining to it; and those with whom he agrees

in their failure have also the happiness of attaining (to the Tao). (But) when there is not faith sufficient (on his part), a want of faith (in him) ensues (on the part of the others).

Express yourself completely,

then keep quiet.

Be like the forces of nature:

when it blows, there is only wind;

when it rains, there is only rain;

when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.


If you open yourself to the Tao,

you are at one with the Tao

and you can embody it completely.

If you open yourself to insight,

you are at one with insight

and you can use it completely.

If you open yourself to loss,

you are at one with loss

and you can accept it completely.


Open yourself to the Tao,

then trust your natural responses;

and everything will fall into place.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell














 

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