Ralph Alan Dale. (2002) Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary. London: Watkins Publishing.

1. Transcending

The Tao that can be told
is not the universal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the universal name.

In the infancy of the universe,
there were no names.
Naming fragments the mysteries of life
into ten thousand things and their manifestations.

Yet mysteries and manifestations
spring from the same source:
The Great Integrity
which is the mystery within manifestation,
the manifestation within mystery,
the naming of the unnamed,
and the un-naming of the named.

When these interpenetrations
are in full attendance,
we will pass the gates of naming notions
in our journey toward transcendence.

2. Relativity

We know beauty because there is ugly.
We know good because there is evil.
Being and not being,
having and not having,
create each other.

Difficult and easy,
long and short,
high and low,
define each other,
just as before and after follow each other.

The dialectic of sound gives voice to music,
always transforming „is“ from „was“
as the ancestors of „to be“.

The wise
teach without telling,
allow without commanding,
have without possessing,
care without claiming.

In this way we harvest eternal importance
because we never announce it.

3. Tempering

Overpraising the gifted leads to contentiousness.
Overvaluing the precious invites stealing.
Craving the desirable loses contentment.

The natural person
desires without craving
and acts without excess.

By not doing,
everything is done.

4. The Great Integrity

The Great Integrity is an endless abyss,
yet, it is the inexhaustibly fertile
source of the universe.

It blunts all sharpness,
unties the entangled,
and merges with the dust!

Hidden but ever present-
this parent of the gods-
whose child may it be?

5. Yin and Yang

Yin and yang aren’t sentimental.
They exist without moralizing.
They act regardless of our wishes
within the ebb and flow
of every pregnant moment.

The space between yin and yang
is like a bellows –
empty, yet infinitely full.
The more it yields,
the more it fills.

Countless words
count less
than the silent balance
between yin and yang.

6. Life is Spirit

The spirit of life
never dies.

It is the infinite gateway
to mysteries within mysteries.

It is the seed of yin,
the spark of yang.

Always elusive,
endlessly available.

7. Modesty

The Great Integrity, having had no birth,
expresses its immortality
without pronouncements.

The wise are heard
through their silence,
always self-full through selflessness.

8. The Highest Good

The highest good is like water,
nourishing life effortlessly,
flowing without prejudice
to the lowliest places.

It springs from all
who nourish their community
with benevolent heart as deep as an abyss,
who are capable of lies and injustices,
who are rooted in the earth,
and whose natural rhythms of action
play midwife to the highest good
of each pregnant moment.

9. Overfulfillment

Keep filling your bowl,
and it will spill over.

Keep sharpening your knife,
and it will blunt.

Keep hoarding gold in your house,
and you will be robbed.

Keep seeking approval,
and you will be chained.

The Great Integrity leads to actualization,
never overfulfillment.

10. Limitations

When embracing the unity
of mind, body, emotions and spiritual being,
can we transcend our fragmentations
without leaving a trace?

When Qi Gong sculpts sinew suppleness,
can our flesh become soft as a new born babe?

Can we cleanse the inner vision,
leaving mind and spiritual purity?

Can our affairs of the heart,
and our affairs of state
be so unconditional
that we grant unqualified permissibility?

Can the gate to Yin be opened
without inviting Yang?

Can our reasonging mind be purged of coersion,
allowing our heart its unfettered joy?

Can we act like every other species,
seeking no reward,
taking no pride,
guiding without enslaving?

Such is our vision of the Great Integrity
on whose path we have at last planted both feet,
ready to move, step by step,
until we arrive at the unfettered gate.

11. The Importance of What Is Not

We join thirty spokes
to the hub of a wheel,
yet it’s the center hole
that drives the chariot.

We shape clay
to birth a vessel,
yet it’s the hollow within
that makes it useful.

We chisel doors and windows
to construct a room,
yet it’s the inner space
that makes it livable.

Thus do we
create what is
to use what is not.

12. Choices

Colors can make us blind!
Music can make us deaf!
Flavors can destroy our taste!
Possessions can close our options!
Racing can drive us mad
and its rewards obstruct our peace!

Thus, the wise
fill the inner gut
rather than the eyes,
always sacrificing the superficial
for the essential.

13. Identity

Accolades can usher in
great trouble for your body.
Censure can herald misery.

Why can favor and disfavor
both be harmful?

Because both accolades and censure,
when filtered through self as ego,
always place us in jeopardy.

But when the universe becomes your self,
when you love the world as yourself,
all reality becomes your haven,
reinventing you as your own heaven.

Only then, will you transcend tense
to fully be here now.
Only then, no harm
will the universe proffer
nor you to her,
for you will be
not you but she
and both-the universal Great Integrity.

14. Beyond Reason

That which we look at
but cannot see is the invisible.

That which we listen to
but cannot hear is the inaudible.

That which we reach for
but cannot grasp is the intangible.

Beyond reason, these three merge,
contradicting experience.

Their rising side isn’t bright.
Their setting side isn’t dark.

Sense-less, unnamable, they return
to the realms of nothingness.

Form without form,
image without image,
indefinable, ineluctable, elusive.

Confronting them, you see no beginning.
Following them, you see no end.

Yet, riding the plowless plow
can seed the timeless Tao,
harvesting the secret
transcendence of the Now.

15. Linking With Ancient Times

In ancient times
the people knew the Great Integrity
with subtlety and profundity.

Because they are so unfathomable to us,
we can describe the ancients
only with great effort.

They were-
cautious as those crossing an icy stream,
wary as those surrounded by dangers,
dignified as guests,
yielding as melting ice,
innocent as virgin wood,
open and broad as valleys,
merging freely as muddy water.

But today, who can reamin patient
while the mud so gradually clears?
Who can remain still
while the moment for action
so slowly emerges?

We observers of the Great Integrity,
who in our times,
like those ancients,
never seeking fulfillment,
are never unfulfilled.

16. Tranquility

Allow the heart to empty itself of all turmoil!
Retrieve the utter tranquility of mind
from which you issued.

Although all forms are dynamic,
and we all grow and transform,
each of us is compelled to return to our root.
Our root is quietude.

To fully return to our root is to be enlightened.
Never to experience tranquility is to act blindly,
a sure path to disaster.

To know tranquility is to embrace all.
To embrace all is to be just.
Justice is the foundation for wholeness.
Wholeness is the Great Integrity.
The Great Integrity is the infinite fulfilling itself.

17. Leaders

There are four types of leaders:
The best leader is indistinguishable
from the will of those who select her.
The next best leader enjoys the love
and praise of the people.
The poor leader rules through coersion and fear.
And the worst leader is a tyrant despised
by the multitudes who are the victims of his power.

What a world of difference among these leaders!
In the last two types, what is done
is without sincerity or trust-only coersion.
In the second type, there is a harmony
between the leader and the people.
In the first type, whatever is done happens
so naturally that no one presumes to take the credit!

18. The Paradoxes of Abandoning the Great Integrity

When the Great Integrity was abandoned,
humanity and justice appeared.

When knowledge and teachers appeared,
hypocrisy was thier inevitable accompaniment.

When family relationships lost thier harmony,
filial piety and parental affection were suddenly birthed.

When a nation succumbs to chaos and corruption,
patriotic politicians are always at hand announcing themselves.

19. The Paradoxes of Returning to the Great Integrity

Banish the intellectual!
Discard knowledge!
We will all benefit a hundredfold!

Eliminate all institutions of charity and justice!
We can then return
to our natural love for each other.

Let everyone be released
from our addictions to shrewdness and profit!
Then, thievery will disappear!

These three negate the Great Integrity.
But to negate these negations is insufficient.
Three affirmations are also necessary.

The first is to embrace simplicity and integrity.
The second is to consume only the needs of our body and soul.
The third is to allow our love and concern for others to define our essentiality.

20. The Sadness of Superficialities and of the Unfulfilled Great Integrity

It is sometimes deeply depressing to be a rebel,
knowing that we can never share most people’s way of life, nor can they share ours.

Schooling stuffs the brains of our children with trivia.
The more the trivia, the more their anxieties.
They indoctrinate the children to believe that the consequences are grave
when they fail to distinguish „good“ from „evil“, and agreement from disagreement.
What gross nonsense!

To escape the rubbish of all this so-called knowledge,
in the winter people run to the great feasts of lamb, pork and ox,
and they climb high in the mountains to view the first signs of spring.

We are so different! Having no desire for trivialities,
nor for their compensations, we are like infants not yet knowing how to laugh!
Ever wandering, and having no home to which we may return.

While most people are obsessed with superficialities, we feel empty.
While most people feel they know so much, we feel simple-minded.
While most people believe they live happily in the best of all possible worlds,
we are despaired to witness this world!
It is so painful to know that we will always be outsiders,
endlessly moving like the ocean, aimlessly blowing like the wind.

While we fear what others fear, we don’t treasure what others treasure.
Our treasure is the Great Integrity.
However, until it is shared, it will not be the Universal Integrity,
for we are part of them, and they are part of us.

21. The Great Integrity is a Paradox

The Great Integrity is a paradox.
It is inherent in the universe,
yet its form is so illusive.
It is the Vital Essence of every entity,
yet nothing announces its essential character.

The Great Integrity was apparent
before time, space and matter appeared to seperate.
How can we re-mind and re-infuse ourselves
with this very touchstone of all essentialities and connections?

Be re-fusing time, space and matter
with the spiritualization of our materiality,
and with the materilization of our spirituality.

Then, when our dualities and numeralities
become blurred and forgotten,
the Great Integrity will re-merge in forms
of such incredible depths and dimensions of enlightenment,
precisely because our temporary fragmentary consciousness
created a multi-millennial amnesia.

22. Celebrate Paradox!

No-thing remains itself.
Each prepares the path to its opposite.

To be ready for wholeness, first be fragmented.
To be ready for rightness, first be wronged.
To be ready for fullness, first be empty.
To be ready for renewal, first be worn out.
To be ready for success, first fail.
To be ready for doubt, first be certain.

Because the wise observe the world
through the Great Integrity,
they know they are not knowledgeable.
Because they do not perceive
only through their perceptions,
they do not judge this right and that wrong.
Because they do not delight in boasting,
they are appreciated.
Because they do not announce their superiority,
they are acclaimed.
Because they never compete,
no one can compete with them.

Verily, fragmentation prepares the path to wholeness,
the mother of all origins and realizations.

23. Sincerity

Speak few words, but say them with quietude and sincerity,
and they will be long lasting,
for a raging wind cannot blow all morning,
nor a sudden rainstorm last throughout the day.

Why is this so?
Because it is the nature of the sky and the earth to be frugal.
Even human beings cannot alter this nature
without suffering the consequences.

When we sincerely follow the ethical path,
we become one with it.
When we become one with the ethical path, it embraces us.

When we completely lose our way, we become one with loss.
When we become one with loss, loss embraces us.

When we sincerely follow the Great Integrity,
we become one with it.
When we are one with the Great Integrity, it embraces us.

But when nothing is done sincerely,
no-thing and no one embraces us.

24. Avoiding Voids

Standing on tiptoe will only make you tipsy,
Walking with long strides will not allow a long walk.
Shining the light on yourself will never enlighten you.
Being self-righteous precludes you from being right.
Boasting about yourself will never boost your eminence.
Prading yourself parodies leadership.

Tao consciousness avoids
the cultivation of all these ego bloated voids.

25. Naming the Nameless

What preceded life? The earth.
What preceded the earth? The universe.
What preceded the universe?
The soundless and shapeless, origin of origins,
ever transforming and having no beginning nor end.

This Mother of the universe is boundless, and nameless.
But if we wanted to share with you anything
about this remarkable non-executing executor,
we must invent a name for it.

We call it the Tao because Tao means great.
Incredibly great because it occupies infinite space,
being fully present in the whole universe, and in every infinitesimal particle.

Because this Great Integrity created the universe,
and the universe created the earth,
and the earth created us, we are all incredibly great.

Life derives from the nature of the earth.
The earth derives from the nature of the universe.
The universe derives from the nature of the Great Integrity.
And the Great Integrity is the omnipresent, omnigenous omniform,
the universal material and the spiritual substance,
and the holoversal interlinkage and coition of existence.

26. Seductions

Inner strength is the master
of the frivolities.
Tranquility is the master
of all the agitated emotions.

Those who succumb to frivolities
have lost their inner strength.
Those who succumb to agitated emotions
have lost their tranquility.

The wise cultivated
inner strength and tranquility.
That is why they are not seduced
by addicitive temptations.

27. Wisdom is Effortless Mutuality

The expert traveler leaves no footprints.
The expert speaker makes no mispronunciations.
The expert in calculation needs no calculator.

The expert in closing things needs no lock,
yet not one can open what has been closed.
The expert in binding uses no knots,
yet no one can pull apart what has been bound.

The expert in caring for things never wastes anything.
The expert at helping people never abandons anyone.

These are the paths to enlightenment.
Those who arrive at their destination
teach those who are still on the path,
while those still on the path
are sources of wisdom for the teachers.

28. The Fusion of Opposites

To know the masculine and be true to the feminine
is to be the waterway of the world.

To be the waterway of the world is to flow with the Great Integrity,
always swirling back to the innocence of childhood.

To know yang and to be true to yin is
to echo the universe.

To echo the universe is to merge with the Great Integrity,
ever returning to the infinite.

To know praise and be true to the lowly
is to be a model for the planet.

To be a model for the planet is to express the Great Integrity
as the Primal Simplicity – like an uncarved block.

When the uncarved block goes to the craftsman,
it is transformed into something useful.

The wise craftsman cuts as little as necessary
because he follows the Great Integrity.

29. We Are the World

Those who have most power and wealth
treat the planet as a thing to be possessed,
to be used and abused according to their own dictates.

To violate this integrity
is certain to call forth disaster
since each and every one of us
is an inherent part of this very organism.

All attempts to control and the world
can only lead to its decimation
and to our own demise
since we are an inseperable part
of what we are senslessly trying to coerce.

Any attempt to possess the world
can only lead to its loss
and to our own dissolution
since we are an intrinsic part
of what we are foolishly trying to possess.

The world’s pulse is our pulse.
The world’s rhythms are our rhythms.
To treat our planet with care, moderation and love
is to be in synchrony with ourselves
and to live in the Great Integrity.

30. Defense and Aggression

Those on the path of the Great Integrity
never use military force to conquer others.
Every aggressive act harvests its own counter-terrorism.

Wherever the military marches,
the killing fields lay waste to the land,
yielding years of famine and misery.

When attacked, those on the path of the Great Integrity
defend themselves benevolently,
never revenging.

Achieve success without arrogance,
without seeking glory,
and without violating others.

Aggression leaches our strength and humanity,
subverting the Great Integrity,
and inviting disaster.

31. War

The finest weapons are the worst evils.
They are universally loathed.
Therefore, help guide your nation to the non-aggressive path.

The wise hold steady on the passive yin path.
Those who are aggressive prefer the active yang.

Weapons are instruments of coercion and devils of death.
Resort to them only in dire necessity.
Peace is our natural state of being.

If weapons must be wielded to defend ourselves,
and we are victorious, never rejoice.
Can there be joy over the slaughter of others?

On joyous occassions,
we attune with the yang side.
On the sad occassions, with the yin.

During battle, the soldiers are on the left yang side,
engaging in the combat.
The commanders are on the right yin side,
observing the action.

After the battle, the soldiers who have slain others,
move to the yin side of mourn,
while the commanders, now on the yang side,
are celebrating victory even though it is a funeral.

32. Is It Not Time To Unify the Fragments?

Although the Great Integrity is infinite,
and therefore undefined,
it is silent in its Primal Simplicity.

Nothing is its superior.
When humanity embraces the Great Integrity,
all life on earth will be grateful.

All yin and yang will be harmonized
in the sweet daily dew, and peace will reign
on the planet without anyone commanding it.

When the Primal Simplicity atomized
into the 10,000 fragments, with their 10,000 names,
our planet became endangered.

Now – are there not enough fragments?
Is it not time to stop and return to the universal sea
from which all streams emereged?

To return to the Great Integrity
is to obliterate
the list of the 10,000 endangered species.

33. Who Are You?

If you understand others, you are astute.
If you understand yourself, you are insightful.

If you master others, you are uncommonly forceful.
If you master yourself you have uncommon inner strength.

If you know when you have enough, you are wealthy.
If you carry your intentions to completion, you are resolute.

If you find your roots and nourish them, you will know longevity.
If you live a long creative life, you will leave an eternal legacy.

34. Humility and Greatness

The Great Integrity is unboundable like a flood.
It cannot be manipulated this or that way.
It is the very wellspring of life,
always outpouring, never commanding.

Although the source of every need,
it is never demanding.
It does its work silently
and unpretentiously.

All return to the Great Integrity
as our liberating universal home.
By never seeking greatness,
greatness permeates in deed.

35. The Consummate Food and the Ultimate Music

When you merge with the universe,
the whole world is attracted to you,
discovering through you
its own security, peace and good health.

Passing guests may stop by-at first attracted
to your savory food and inspirational music.
But they might leave more deeply enriched
than they could have anticipated-

Because the silent song of Tao
is the ulimate music,
and the infinate delicacy of Tao
is the consummate nourishment.

36. Too Much Invites Disaster

What becomes overexpanded becomes diminished.
What is too strong becomes weakend.
What is too high is cut down.
What is overpossessed becomes impoverished.

It is in the nature of process that in the final stages,
those who are overextended,
overharmed and overprivileged,
shall overcome.

Disaster stalks the fish
which swims up from its deep water home,
and the army which threatens to conquer
those beyond its own borders.

37. The Primal Simplicity

The Great Integrity imposes no action,
yet it leaves nothing undone.
Were governemnts to embrace it,
everything would develop naturally.

If thereafter an old ego should reincarnate,
the already permeated Primal Simplicity
would neutralize it in its pervasive silence.

Returning to silence is returning to peace.
Returning to peace, the world reharmonizes itself.

38. Distinguishing the Highest From the Lowest Morality

You can recognize the highest virtuousness
because it never places itself on display.
You can readily recognize the lowest virtuousness
because it is always announcing itself.

The highest virtue quietly serves universal needs.
The lowest virtue actively strives for personal success.
The highest morality serves common needs.
The lowest morality is self-serving.

True benevolence
acts without intention.
But when rituals go unheeded,
they are enforced with rolled-up sleeves.

Failing the Great Integrity, we resort to virtuousness.
Failing virtuousness, we resort to moralizing.
Failing moralizing, we resort to dogma,
the most superficial form of faith and loyalty,
and the nourishment for confusion.

Natural persons are attracted
to substance rather than form,
to the nutritious fruit rather than the enticing flower,
to that which dwells deeply within,
rather than to that which clings superficially to the surface.

39. Then and Now

In ancient times, all entities had their own integrity and function.
The sky was clear and endless.
The earth was calm and firm.
The gods were charged with spiritual powers.
The wells were clean and full.
The 10,000 creatures were healthy and fecund.
Leaders were elected to plan the work and defense of the community.
How wonderously concordant!

If the sky were not endless, it could have fallen.
If the earth were not firm, it could have burst.
If the gods did not exercise their spiritual powers,
they would have been abandoned.
If the wells were not full, they could have dried up.
If the 10,000 creatures were not productive,
they could have become extinct.
If the leaders did not plan the work and defense of the community,
they would have been replaced.
In this way, each entity had its own essentiality,
each part complementing every other.

Nowadays, when the privileged among us identify themselves
with the orphan, the widower and the hungry one,
it may be an opportunistic appeal for the support of the lowly,
or a realization that loudly trumpeting self-glory negates itslef,
or a premonition that shining like jade, and resounding like stone chimes
attracts the desperate adventurers among those deprived of hope,
inviting disaster among those who create these deprivations.

40. All Is Pardox

The movement of the Great Integrity is infinite,
yet its character is passive.
Being defies every form of life,
yet all originate in, and return to, non-being.

41. Observing and Nourishing Paradox

When most people hear about the Great Integrity,
they waiver between belief and disbelief.
When wise people hear about the Great Integrity,
they diligently follow its path.
When ignorant people hear about it
they laugh out loud!
By this very laughter, we know its authenticity.

It is said –
enlightenment appears dark,
the progressive way appears retrograde,
the smooth way appears jagged,
the highest peak of revelation appears empty like a valley,
the cleanest appears to be soiled,
the greatest abundance appears insufficient,
the most enduring inner strength appears like weakenss,
and creativity appears imitative.

Great talents mature slowly.
Great sounds are silent.
Great forms look helpless.
Transcendent squareness has no corners.

The Great Integrity hides behind all forms,
stubbornly nourishing the paradoxes that can enlighten us.

42. The Principles of Transformation

The Great Integrity expresses one.
One manifests as two.
Two is transformed into three.
And three generates all the myriad entities of the universe.

Every entity always returns to yin after engaging yang.
The fusion of these two opposites
births the Vital Energy that sustains the harmony of life.

But for most people, this harmony is decimated
by inheriting a condition
of relative misery, scarcity and victimization.

Politicians cleverly pretend that they too originate
from the toxic soil of this misery,
even while designing the very laws
that legitimate victimization.

But watch out – those who hoard oversufficiency
will be diminished!
And those who are diminished
will become bountiful!

These commonly known truths
that common people teach each other,
are also my truths.

As you sow, so shall you reap.
Such is the heart of my teaching
in a world forced to live heartlessly.

43. The Value of Minimums

That which is most tender
can overcome that which is most rigid.
That which has least substance
can penetrate that which has least space.

Acting without deliberate action,
and teaching without uttering a word
are rarely practiced.
So few find their way to the Great Integrity!

44. Choices

Which do you value more –
your wealth or your wellness?
Which is more harmful –
to lead or to lose?

The greater is your attachemnt,
the more bereft is your release.
The more you hoard,
the less is left to enjoy.

Those on the path
to the Great Integrity
flow without forcing,
leaving no space for disasters.

45. Illusions and Reality

Completeness can seem incomplete,
yet the completeness that we achieve can be remarkable.
Fullness can seem empty,
yet the fullness that we achieve can be very useful.

Truth can appear as a lie.
Staightness can appear as twisted.
Skillfulness can appear to be clumsy.
Eloquence can sound like foolishness.

But the dialectic of yin and yang is not illusory.
Activity can overcome cold.
Tranquility can overcome heat.
And peacefulness is the natural seed of a violent world.

46. Enough Is Enough!

When the Great Integrity permeated our lives,
freely galloping horses fertilized the fields.

When the Great Integrity was lost,
war horses bred in the countryside.

There is no greater calamity
than acquisitiveness racing out of control.

Only those who know when enough is enough
can ever have enough.

47. Going Beyond

We can understand the world as it is
without leaving our home.
We can understand the world as it might be
without peering dreamily out our window.

The further we go,
the less we know.

Wise people understand the 10,000 things
without going to each one.
They know them without having to look at each one,
and they transform all without acting on each one.

48. All Is Done Without Doing

To obtain a diploma requires the storage of trivia.
To obtain the Great Integrity requires their abandonment.

The more we are released from vested fragments of knowledge,
the less we are compelled to take vested actions,
until all is done without doing.

When the ego interferes
in the rhythms of process,
there is so much doing!
But nothing is done.

49. Wisdom

Wise people are not absorbed
in their own needs.
They take the needs of all people as their own.

They are good to the good,
But they are also good to those
who are still absorbed in their own needs.

Because goodness is in the very nature
of the Great Integrity.

Wise people trust
those who trust.
But they also trust those who do not trust.

Because trusting is in the very nature
of the Great Integrity.

Wise people merge with all others
rather than stand apart judgmentally.
In this way, all begin to open their ears and hearts,
more prepared to return to the innocence of childhood.

50. The Forces of Life and Death

Every one of us is born,
And everyone dies.

However, three of every ten
seem to be born to live,
three seem to be born to die,
and three live lifefully or deathfully
according to their chosen life styles.

But only one in ten
seems to survive all dangers.
When walking through the jungle,
she never fears the rhinoceros
because there seems to be no place in her to butt his horns.
She never fears the tiger
because there seems to be no place to sink his claws,
and she never fears weapons
because there seems to be no place their steel can penetrate.

This is the fulfilled person of the Great Integrity
who leaves no space in life for premature death.

51. Natural Birthing

All in the universe derive from the Primal Integrity.
The interaction of yin and yang shapes and nourishes them,
and evolution ever transforms them
in their endless ecological dance.

Therefore, in its own way,
every entity celebrates its Primal Mother.
Not out of any mandate.
Not our of any obligation.
But solely as the expression of its own integrity.

52. Returning to Our Origins

Everything has a common origin
that we might call the Mother of the Universe.

Once in pre-conscious times, we were all a part of this Mother,
just as we-all her children-were part of each other.

This is when we were all umbilically still attached
to the Great Integrity.

Some thousands of years ago, our species alone
issued a declaration of independance from our Mother.
Now it is time to reunite with her.

Thereafter, we will never any more suffer the 10,000 miseries
that only we human beings have acquired.

Block all the loopholes! Shut all the doors to the old temptations!
And we will never again feel deprived.

If we crawl through the loopholes, if we race through the gate
back to the 10,000 addictions, we will never be fulfilled.

How shall we know the Great Integrity?
When our insights proliferate even in the smallest matters.
When our strength is boundless even while ever yielding.

We can keep our outsights when returning to our insights.
In this way, we will reharmonize with our Mother,
celebrating the Great Integrity on a higher level.

53. Not Yet On the Way

Those who have the smallest grain of wisdom
would want to walk the simple path of the Great Integrity.
Their only fear would be to go astray.

Indeed, there is a good reason to fear
when most of the world is piled into two wagons
racing toward each other on a single lane road.

In one over-crowded wagon is the vast majority
who live in weedy fields
with empty granaries.

In the other wagon are those
whose garments are opulently embroidered.
They gorge themselves
on rich foods far beyond their appetites,
and guzzle their inebriating drinks far beyond their thurst.

They accumulate wealth
even beyond their avaricious cravings
while armed to the teeth against their starving neighbors.

Surely such thevish degradation
couldn’t be the way to the Great Integration.

54. The Whole Is In Each Part

Whatever is planted deeply is not easily uprooted.
Whatever is embraced sincerely does not crave escape.
Ever since we lost our intuition as our main guide in life,
these virtues have had to be consciously cultivated to survive.

Cultivate them in yourself and they will be genuine.
Cultivate them in your family and they will surely flourish.
Cultivate them in your community and they will be long lasting.
Cultivate them in your country and they will be widely porpogated.
Cultivated them in the world and they will certainly become universal.

In this way you will know others by what you do yourself.
You will know families by what you contribute as a family.
You will know the world by what you do as a planetary citizen.

How do we know this?
Because we know that each part is the whole,
and the whole is in each part.

55. The Promises of the Great Integrity

When we live in complete integrity,
we will be innocent like newborn babies.
Wasps and scorpions will not sting us,
Wild beasts will not maul us.
Birds of prey will not seize us.

Our bones will be pliable, our sinews soft.
Yet our grip will be firm.
Even before we have known conjugality,
our sexuality will be easily aroused
because we will be so virile.

We’ll sing all day long without becoming hoarse
because we’ll be in full harmony.
To be in harmony
is to live in the Great Integrity.
To live in the Great Integrity is the ultimate wisdom.

However, to interfere with nature is to seek control.
To seek control is to create dis-stress.
To create dis-stress produces exhaustion.
All these negations of the Great Integrity
also negate life and its longevity.

56. How to Prepare for the Great Integrity

Those who know don’t lecture.
Those who lecture don’t know.

To prepare the way for the Great Integrity –
Close the rationalizing routes!
Shut the gloomy gates!
Blunt the sharp edges!
Release those who are tethered!
Soften the blinding lights!
Unite the world!

We cannot achieve the Great Integrity
through intimacy or emotional detachment,
nor through posturing or humility.

Since the Great Integrity makes no judgements or demands,
how will we know when it has arrived?
When it permeates us with its universal „is-ness“.

57. Simplicity Blossoms When Coercion Dies

Govern a state with predictable actions.
Fight a war with surprise attacks.
But the univere becomes ours
only by eliminating coercive acts.
By not doing, nothing lacks.

How do we know these lessons?
By tuning into our Essence.

The more taboos and prohibitions there are,
the poorer the people become.
The more deadly weapons there are,
the more our fears turn us numb.

When craftiness spreads far,
the more bizarre what is done,
The stricter the laws there are,
the less the robbers run.

Therefore, the wise know
to make no one a foe.
The less coercing we do,
The more tranquillities grow.

When harmony reigns,
and we rule ourselves with felicity,
everyone gains,
and we’ll all live in simplicity.

58. Alternatives

When a government is more benign,
the people are more productive.
When a government is more tyrannical,
the people are more rebellious.

But whatever the government,
if disaster is the bitter fruit of others‘ good fortune,
how long can such injustice be tolerated?
How long we have endured the hypocrisies!

Those pretending to be righteous act deceitfully.
Those pretending to be religious revert to evil.
We have been deluded!
And each day it becomes worse!

Be firm and armed, but do no harm!
Be sharp as a knife, but do not cut!
Be ready to transform, but do not provoke!
Illuminate the darkenss of ignorance, but do not blind!

59. The Importance of Moderation

To serve humanity,
there is nothing more important
than to moderate.

To be moderate
is to return to the female yin principle.

To return to the yin
is to become nurturing.

To be nurturing
is to acquire enormous capacity.

To have enormous capacity
is to be ready for the Great Integrity

To be ready for the Great Integrity
is to be ready to serve humanity.

In this way we will become firmly planted
in the Great Integrity,
the pathway to a clear vision and a long life.

60. Our Future

Govern a country like you would fry a small fish –
with care, respect and with the least interference.

When the world is governed according to the Great Integrity,
evil will lose it power.

Not only will evil lose its power,
it will no longer even exist.

When evil ceases to exist,
neither will good exist.

Without good and evil,
we simply will live totally in our human natures.

No one will compromise anyone else
because we will all be inextricable parts of the Great Integrity.

61. A Plea for Mutual Humility

In our era,
when the Great Integrity has been lost,
seperate states have arisen.
Some become very large.
Others remain very small.

When the larger ones
try to conquer the small,
at first the smaller ones are defeated
even though yang aggression
meets yang resistance.
But death stalks the people
on both sides of war.

Is it not better for great countries
to be like vast low lying lands
into which all streams passively go?

And the smaller countries,
like the innocent streams,
can be welcomed
at the end of thier passage
by wide open arms,
calmly receiving their flow?

Would not this mutual humility
save countless lives now,
while serving as a rehearsal
for the coming of the Tao?

62. Rehearsals for the Great Integrity

The Great Integrity is the sanctuary
of all human beings.

For those who are honest and caring,
it is a guide and a treasure.

For those who are dishonest and deceitful,
it is also a treasure
because a good word can rationalize a selfish act,
and because a good act, now and then,
can serve as a mask for living extravagantly
from the misery of others.

Since the Great Integrity is so universally acknowledged,
don’t cast away those who use it opportunistically.
Rather cast away the opportunites to live selfishly
so that the Great Integrity
can more fully permeate all our lives.

We might begin
with the inauguration ceremonies of our leaders.
Instead of showering them with precious gifts,
instead of the public swearing of meaningless oaths,
why not share a meditation on the Great Integrity
as a prelude to its comprehensive embrace?

63. The Secrets of Getting Things Done

Act without acting on.
Work without working at.

Enter bountifulness when it is still insufficiency.
Answer with kindness whn faced with hostility.

Begin a difficult task in its easy stage
because large problems grow from small ones.

Begin a large task in its formative state
because complex issues originate from simple ones.

But beware of those who promise quick and easy solutions!
Accept problems as challenges.

In this way, the sage accomplishes great tasks
without ever having to struggle with them.

64. Timing

It is easy to hold
what is stable.
It is easy to mold
what is not yet formed.

It is easy to shatter
what is still fragile.
It is easy to scatter
what is yet light and small.

Therefore, act now rather than wait.
Get things done before it’s too late.

A huge tree that you can’t get your arms around
grows from a tiny seedling birth.
A tower of nine stories high
rises from a small heap of earth.

A thousand mile journey begins with one step.
This is an ancient tale.
Those who procrastinate,
and those who take premature actions fail.

Those who interfere in processes disrupt them.
Those who hold tightly to possessions lose everything.
Wise people succeed because they never force an outcome.
They never suffer a loss because they are not attached to anything.

Many succeed in gathering a few assets.
But when the stakes begin to sail, and
greed crashes through all cautionary boundaries,
failures unmercifully prevail.

Wise people don’t accumulate possessions,
or teach anyone to amass things.
They devote themselves to the natural rhythms
that the Great Integrity brings.

65. The Loss of Innocence

In ancient times,
before there were those who governed,
and those who governed over,
the sage blended with others,
and all was done through the Primal Simplicity.
People lived in innocence.

When the Great Fragmentation
replaced the Great Integrity,
cleverness defeated wisdom.
Even some enlightened sages
became victims of the rulers
commanding the highest intrigue.

66. Wisdom Always Comes From Below

Why do all the hundreds of great rivers
flow naturally to the sea?
Because the sea is always lower than the rivers.

When are thousands of people attracted to a sage?
When she positions herslef below them,
always listening, tirelessly responding to their needs.

Never commanding.
Never coercing.
Never manipulating.

Such a sage is forever adored.
Since she treats everyone with love and respect,
everyone loves and respects her.

67. The Three Treasures

When people hear about the Great Integrity, they say it is useless folly.
Because it is not like anything in the world we know, they also find it inconceivable.

On the contrary!
The Great Integrity has given us three treasures to cherish:
The first is love.
The second is moderation.
The third is humility.

If you love, you will be fearless.
If you are moderate, you might always sense abundance in life.
If you live in humility, you will be widely trusted.

But you will not have the capacity to love if you are fearful.
Even worse, if you are fearless and without love, you will always be courting disaster.

If you live in insufficiency, you have no opportunity to be moderate.
If you live in overabundance, you not only live immoderately,
but are always courting disaster.

If no one trusts you, then compensatory ego will preclude humility.
If everyone trusts you, and you lack humility, you will always court disaster.

The three treasures are practical guides to the Great Integrity.
The greatest foolishness is to live without them.

68. The Ethics of War

The best soldier fights
without vengeance,
without anger
and without hate.

He puts himslef humbly
below his comrades,
thereby eliciting
the highest loyalty from them.

This is the power
of non-belligerence
and cooperation.
It is the ancient path to the Great Integrity.

69. In War the Defender Will Be Victorious

There is a saying
among those wise in military affairs:
„We do not act as host taking the initiative,
but would rather be the guest
assuming the defensive posture.
Rather than advancing one inch,
we would rather retreat one foot.“

This is called
advancing without moving,
rolling up one’s sleeves without baring one’s arms,
fighting without weapons,
capturing the enemy without attacking.

There is no greater disaster
than boasting of one’s invincibility.
Such boasts lead to the loss of the Three Treasures.
Therefore, when two opposing sides
meet in battle,
the one without an enemy
will by victorious.

70. So Easy to Understand and Practice!

The Great Integrity is so easy to understand,
and so easy to practice.
Yet it is not understood.
Nor is it practiced.

It is not understood
because people’s heads are filled
with 10,000 trivia and rationalizations,
leaving no space for anything else.

It is not practiced because people are kept busy, though bored,
with the 10,000 corruptions and miseries
that leave no time for the Three Treasures.

The Great Integrity is so ancient,
as old as the universe itself!
How can we expect people to remember it
after so many millennia of repression?

That is why
sages dress in rags
while they wear the Three Treasures
deep inside their hearts.

71. Healing the Mind

Academia confuses knowledge with knowing.
Most everyone applauds the memorization of the 10,000 trivia.
Beware! These schooled addictions are not just myths –
They are a form of mental illness.

Any fragment of the mind,
divorced from the heart, spirit, human community,
and from the primal reality of the universe,
is an abomination of the Great Integrity.

Let us prepare for the Great Integrity
by cleansing oursleves of all these cobwebs
of cluttered fragments that paralyze the mind.
In this way we will function as our own holisitic physicians.

72. Comparing Coercive Power and the Empowerment of the Great Integrity

When people no longer fear the power of government,
a far greater empowerment appears –
the Great Integrity –
which never needs to enforce itself.

Then, we will never again be driven from our homes
or be compelled to labor for the benefit of others.
We will all work naturally to fulfill ourselves,
and to meet our community needs.

In the Great Integrity,
we will all love ourselves and all others,
not as compensations for ego deprivations and defilements,
but as natural expressions of our humanity.

73. Courage, Patience and Paradoxes

The world we live in
requires great courage and patience.

Those with great courage, but little patience,
tend to kill or be killed.

Those with great courage as well as great patience
will tend to survive.

But the Great Integrity never judges you
for whatever path you happen to take.

The Great Integrity never strives
but always fulfills itself,

Never is commanded
but always responds.

Never is summoned
but always appears.

Never is impatient
but all is done on time.

74. Ruling By Fear

People do not fear death
when they are forced to live in hopeless misery,
Thereby the executioners are no threat
to fearless rebels who dare to make trouble.
They might even execute the executioners.

When people do fear death,
they do not defy the executioners at first.
But how long can the killings go on
before those who fear death
also become fearless?
Then, they too might execute the executioners.

By that time, the only ones left
who might serve as the executioners
would be the people themselves.
However, it is said that those who hew wood
in place of skilled carpenters
are likely to cut their own hands.

75. Who Can Enjoy the Treasures of Life?

Why are the people so hungry?
Because their grain is devoured
by the rich in taxes.
That is why people are starving.

Why are people so rebellious?
Because the government deprives them
of their liberties and rights.
That’s why people are rebellious.

Why do the people not fear death?
Because their lives
are made so miserable
that death seems no worse than life.

Thus, no one can enjoy the treasures of life –
neither the rich who squander their humanity,
nor the government which tyrannizes the people,
nor the people who have nothing to gain from life.

76. Let Yin Predominate Over Yang

When we are born,
we are soft and supple.
But when we’ve parished
there’s no more tenderness
to be cherished.

When plants are young,
they are pliable and fragile.
When they die,
as they lose their green,
they wither and dry.

The sharp sword and knife
tryst always with death,
while love without strife
is an ever devoted
disciple of life.

An inflexible army
seals its own fate.
When a tree branch grows brittle,
it easily snaps,
whether long or little.

Wherever you go,
the rigid lie low.
While the weightless in the sky,
and all that is gentle,
fly boundlessly high.

77. Two Opposite Processes

The Way of the Great Integrity
is like stringing a bow,
pulling down the high,
lifting up the low –

Shortening the long,
lengthening the short
to take from the excessive
and give insufficiency support.

How opposite to our social norms
which increasingly impoverish the poor
to further enrich the rich
who do not need any more.

How can we gather the world’s wealth
to create abundance for all in need?
Through rediscovering the Great Integrity,
by acting without praising the deed.

78. Appearance and Reality

Nothing in the world
is softer and weaker than water.
Yet there is nothing better
for subsiding all that is harder and stronger.

Everyone observes how weak overcomes strong,
how gentleness overcomes rigidity.
Yet, the principle is seldom put into conscious practice.

Though some may say it is useless
to accept responsibility
for the calamities and toxicities of the world,
taking such responsibility
might put us on the road to the Great Integrity.

Just remember that truth often masquerades as falsity,
and falsity is truth.

79. The Toxicity of Blame

Harboring a resentment
is sure to leave some resentment behind.
How can this be good?
It cannot.
Therefore, the wise accept all responsibility.

Although those who hold the power
keep blaming and bleeding the people,
the violated Gret Integrity blames no one.
Once achieving the Great Integrity,
we will all function with a pure heart.

80. Transforming Our Lives

Let us fashion small states with few inhabitants
who, without stress,
can produce more than they require,
who are happy with their lives
that they have no thought of migrating elsewhere –

Who inherit weapons and armor,
but no need to use them,
who return to honest forms of communication,
and the simple enjoyments
of an ecological way of life.

Although these states may be so close to each other
that they hear the barking of each other’s dogs
and the crowing of each other’s cocks,
living contentedly,
they will have no need to invade each other’s space.

81. The Paradoxes of Life

Profound words are not clever.
Clever words are not profound.

Wise people are not quarrelsome.
Quarrelsome people are not wise.

Those who are intelligent are not idealogues.
Those who are idealogues are not intelligent.

The enlightened never hoard anything.
They share their possessions.

The more they give,
the greater their abundance.

The Great Integrity is the physician of the universe
who heals without harming and who acts without contention.

Source: http://taointegrity.blogspot.de