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Chapter 19
Only when sageness is eliminated and craftiness discarded,
Will people benefit a hundredfold.
Only when humanity is eradicated and righteousness abandoned,
Will people return to filial piety and parental affection.
Only when skill is thrown away and profit ignored,
Will there be no more robbers or thieves.
Yet, these three are inadequate as a doctrine,
We therefore urge the following:
Manifest plainness and embrace simplicity;
Reduce selfishness and have few desires;
And get rid of learning and have no worries.

Chapter 20
How much difference is there between ready approval
And outright denunciation?
How much difference is there between good and evil?
What people fear cannot but be feared.
The multitude are merry, as if feasting on a day of sacrifice,
Or as if ascending a tower to enjoy the scenery in springtime
I alone remain tranquil and reluctant to distinguish.
I feel broad and far-reaching, as if at a loss.
I am indifferent and without concern,
Like an infant that cannot smile.
I am wearied indeed, as if I have no home to return to.
The multitude are so brilliant and self-exhibiting,
I alone seem to be lost in darkness and ignorance.
The multitude are so observant and discriminating,
I alone intend to make no distinctions.
The multitude possess more than enough,
I alone seem to lack everything.
The multitude have their reason for taking action,
I alone seem to be clumsy and incapable of nothing.
The multitude like to be endorsed and supported,
I alone value the realization and attainment of the Dao.

Chapter 21
The character of the great De
Follows from the Dao alone.
What is called the Dao
Appears elusive and vague.
Vague and elusive as it is,
There is the image in it.
Elusive and vague as it is,
There is the real in it.
Profound and obscure as it is,
There is the essence in it.
The essence is very concrete
And contains the proof inside itself.
From the present back to the past
Its name continues to ever last,
By which alone we may know the beginning of all things.
How do I know their beginning as such?
Only through this.

Chapter 22
To yield is yet to be preserved intact.
To be bent is yet to become straight.
To be hollow is yet to become full.
To be worn out is yet to be renewed.
To have little is yet to gain.
To have much is yet to be perplexed.
Therefore the sage holds on to the One
And thus becomes a model for the world.
He does not cling to his ideas.
Therefore he is able to see things clearly.
He does not claim to be always right.
Therefore he is able to tell right from wrong.
He does not boast of himself.
Therefore he is given credit.
He does not think himself superior.
Therefore he is qualified for leadership.
It is only because he does not compete
That the world cannot compete with him.
How could such an old saying be false
As "To yield is yet to be preserved intact?"
Truly one will be preserved wholly without going to the contrary.
This is a constant and natural precept.

Chapter 23
A whirlwind does not last a whole morning;
A rainstorm does not last a whole day.
What causes them to be so?
It is Heaven and Earth.
If Heaven and Earth cannot make them last long,
How much less can man?
Therefore, he who seeks the Dao is identified with the Dao.
He who seeks De is identified with De.
He who seeks Heaven is identified with Heaven.
He who is identified with the Dao¡ª
The Dao is also happy to have him.
He who is identified with De¡ª
De is also happy to have him.
He who is identified with Heaven--
Heaven is also happy to have him.

 

Chapter 1-4 | Chapter 5-12 | Chapter 13-18 | Chapter 19-23 | Chapter 24-28 | Chapter 29-35
Chapter 36-40 | Chapter 41-49 | Chapter 50-54 | Chapter 55-60 | Chapter 61-66
| Chapter 67-73 | Chapter 74-81 |




 

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