Tao 2

Note: A video version of this translation can be found here:

There seems a fundamental interconnection between opposites.

There was no ugliness until humanity defined beauty;
There was no bad until humanity defined good;

These labels are human creations and mean nothing to Tao.

From the existence of Tao, humanity creates:
positive and negative,
difficult and easy,
long and short,
high and low,
sound and silence,
before and after.

This is why the sage remains non-committed,
wary of the heaviness of words.

And so the sage is like Tao itself:
A humble vessel for a most important cargo

It is the source of all things yet feels no superiority;
It gives life without trying to possess;
It helps without expecting gratitude;
It does all this without claiming to have value.
It is because it never claims to have value
That it is worth so much.

All 81 chapters of our version of the Tao Te Ching are available online for free here. If you are so inclined, an updated version of our translation is available as an e-book, here.

3 Responses to “Tao 2”
  1. I think your version captures the essence of Lao Tzu very well.

  2. myithaca says:

    This is my favourite verse and you`ve translated it brilliantly ! In fact, all the verses are very nicely done. Keep up the great work 🙂

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