Tao 45

True perfection seems unfinished,
Yet it will live to see all worldly attempts fade to dust.
True fullness seems empty,
yet any vessel we might fill will run dry before it does.
True straightness seems crooked,
but the best route through the mountains has many twists and turns.
True intelligence seems stupid
to those who think they know better.
True eloquence seems mute,
but its silence speaks volumes.

Movement is necessary to overcome the cold,
But when excessive movement threatens to set the world aflame,
Cool stillness will bring things back to order.


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.

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