Lao-Tzu. (1996) Lao-tzu's Taoteching. Translated by Bill Porter (Red Pine), San Francisco: Mercury House.


The way that becomes a way is not the Immortal Way
the name that becomes a name is not the Immortal Name
the maiden of Heaven and Earth has no name
the mother of all things has a name
thus in innocence we see the beginning
in passion we see the end
two different names for one and the same
the one we call dark the dark beyond dark the door to all beginnings


All the world knows beauty but if that becomes beautiful this becomes ugly
all the word knows good but if that becomes good this becomes bad
the coexistence of have and have not the coproduction of hard and easy the
correlation of long and short

the codependence of high and low the correspondence of note and noise the
coordination of first and last is endless
thus the sage performs effortless deeds and teaches wordless lessons
he doesn’t start all things he begins he doesn’t presume on what he does he doesn’t
claim what he achieves
and because he makes no claim he suffers no loss


Bestowing no honours keeps people from fighting
prizing no treasures keeps people from stealing
displaying no attractions keeps people from making trouble
thus the rule of the sage empties the mind but fills the stomach weakens the will but
strengthens the bones
by keeping the people from knowing or wanting and those who know from daring
to act
he thus governs them all


The Tao is so empty those who use it never become full again
and so deep as if it were the ancestor of us all
dulling our edges untying our tangles softening our light merging our dust
and so clear as if it were present
I wonder whose child it is it seems it was here before the Ti


Heaven and Earth are heartless treating creatures like straw dogs
heartless is the sage treating people like straw dogs
between Heaven and Earth how like a bellows empty but inexhaustible each
movement produces more
taking only wastes it better to keep it inside


The valley spirit that doesn’t die we call the dark womb
as real as gossamer silk and yet we can’t exhaust it.
The valley spirit that doesn’t die we call the dark womb the dark womb’s mouth we
call the source of creation as real as gossamer silk and yet we can’t exhaust it.


Heaven is eternal and Earth is immortal
the reason they’re eternal and immortal is because they don’t live for themselves
hence they can live forever
thus the sage pulls himself back but ends up in front
he lets himself go but ends up safe
selflessness must be the reason whatever he seeks he finds


The best are like water bringing help to all without competing choosing what others
avoid hence approaching the Tao
dwelling with earth thinking with depth helping with kindness speaking with truth
governing with peace working with skill moving with time
and because they don’t compete they aren’t maligned


Instead of pouring in more better stop while you can
making it sharper won’t help it last longer
houses full of treasure can never be safe

the vanity of success invites its own failure
retire when your work is done this is the Way of Heaven


Can you hold fast your crescent soul and not let it wander
can you make your breath as soft as a baby’s
can you wipe your Dark Mirror free of dust
can you love people and lead them without imposing your will? can you serve and
govern without effort
can you be the female at Heaven’s Gate
can you light up the world without knowledge
beget things and keep them but beget without possessing keep without controlling
this is Dark Virtue


Thirty spokes converge on a hub but it’s the emptiness that makes a wheel work
pots are fashioned from clay but it’s the hollow that make a pot work
windows and doors are carved for a house but it’s the spaces that make a house
existence makes something useful but nonexistence makes it work


The five colours make our eyes blind the five tones make our ears deaf the five
flavours make our mouths numb
riding and hunting make our minds wild hard-to-get goods make us break laws
thus the rule of the sage puts the stomach ahead of the eyes thus he picks this over


Favour and disgrace are like warnings honour and disaster are like the body
and why are favour and disgrace like warnings favour means descending to gain it
is like a warning to lose it is like a warning thus are favour and disgrace like
and why are honour and disaster like the body the reason we have disaster is
because we have a body if we didn’t have a body we wouldn’t have disaster
who honours is body as much as the world can be entrusted with the world who
loves his body as much as the world can be encharged with the world


We look but don’t see it and call it indistinct we listen but don’t hear it and call it
faint we reach but don’t grasp it and call it ethereal
three failed means to knowledge I weave into one
with no light above and no shade below too fine to be named returning to nothing
this is the formless form the immaterial image this is the waxing waning we meet
without seeing its face we follow without seeing its back
holding onto this very Way we rule this very realm and discover its ancient past
this is the thread of the Way


The ancient masters of the Way aimed at the indiscernible and penetrated the dao
you would never know them I describe them with reluctance they were careful as if
crossing a river in winter cautious as if worried about neighbours reserved like
ephemeral like melting ice simple like uncarved wood open like valleys and murky
like puddles
but a puddle becomes clear when it’s still and stillness becomes alive when it’s
those who treasure this Way don’t try to be full not trying to be full they can hide
and stay hidden


Let limits be empty the center be still
ten thousand things rise we watch them return creatures without number all return
to their roots
return to their roots to be still to be still to revive to revive to endure knowing how
to endure is wisdom not knowing is to suffer in vain
knowing how to endure is to be all-embracing all embracing means impartial
impartial means the king the king means Heaven Heaven means the Way
and the Way means long life life without trouble.


During the High Ages people knew they were there then people loved and praised
them then they feared them finally they despised them
when honesty fails dishonesty prevails
hesitate and guard your words when their work succeeds let people think they did it


When the Great Way disappears we meet kindness and justice
when reason appears we meet great deceit
when the six relations fail we meet obedience and love
when the country is in chaos we meet honest officials


Get rid of wisdom and reason and people will live a hundred times better
get rid of kindness and justice and people once more will love and obey
get rid of cleverness and profit and thieves will cease to exist
but these three sayings are not enough hence let this be added
wear the undyed and hold the uncarved reduce self-interest and limit desires get rid
of learning and problems will vanish


Yes and no aren’t so far apart lovely and ugly aren’t so unalike
what others fear we too must fear
before the moon wanes everyone is gay as if they were at the Great Sacrifice or
climbing a tower in spring I sit here and make no sign like a child that doesn’t smile
lost with no one to turn to
while others enjoy more I alone seem forgotten my mind is so foolish so simple
others look bright I alone seem dim others are certain I alone am confused receding
like the ocean waxing without cease
everyone has a goal I alone am dumb and backward for I alone choose to differ
preferring still my mother’s breast


The expression of empty virtue comes from the Tao alone
the Tao as a thing waxes and wanes it waxes and wanes but inside is an image it
waxes and wanes but inside is a creature it’s distant and dark but inside is an
essence an essence fundamentally real and inside is a heart
throughout the ages its name has never changed so we might follow our fathers
how do we know what our fathers were like through this


Partial means whole crooked means straight hollow means full worn-out means
new less means content more means confused
thus the sage holds onto the one to use in guiding the world
not watching himself he appears not displaying himself he flourishes not flattering
himself he succeeds not parading himself he leads
because he doesn’t compete no one can compete against him
the ancients who said partial means whole came close indeed becoming whole
depends on this


Whispered words are natural a gale doesn’t last all morning a squall doesn’t last all
who else could make these only Heaven and Earth if Heaven and Earth can’t make
things last what about Man
thus in whatever we do let those on the Way be one with the Way let those who
succeed be one with success let those who fail be one with failure
be one with success for the Way succeeds too be one with failure for the Way fails


Who tiptoes doesn’t stand who strides doesn’t walk
who watches himself doesn’t appear who displays himself doesn’t flourish
who flatters himself achieves nothing who parades himself doesn’t lead
on the road they say too much food and a tiring pace some things are simply bad
thus the Taoist avoids them


Imagine a nebulous thing here before Heaven and Earth silent and elusive it stands
alone not wavering it travels everywhere unharmed it could be the mother of us all
not knowing its name I call it the Tao forced to name it I name it Great
great means ever-flowing ever-flowing means far-reaching far-reaching means
the Tao is great Heaven is great Earth is great the king is also great the realm
contains four greats of these the king is one
Man imitates Earth Earth imitates Heaven Heaven imitates the Tao the Tao imitates


Heavy is the root of light still is the master of busy
thus a lord might travel all day but never far from his supplies even in a guarded
camp his manner is calm and aloof
why would the lord of ten thousand chariots treat himself lighter than his kingdom
too light he loses his base too busy he loses command


Good walking leaves no tracks good talking reveals no flaws good counting counts
no beads
good closing locks no locks and yet it can’t be opened good tying ties no knots and
yet it can’t be undone
thus the sage is good at saving and yet abandons no one nor anything of use this is
called cloaking the light
thus the good instruct the bad the bad learn from the good
not honouring their teachers not cherishing their students the wise alone are
perfectly blind this is called peering into the distance


Recognize the male but hold onto the female and be the world’s maid being the
world’s maid don’t lose your ancient virtue not losing your ancient virtue be a
newborn child again
recognize the pure but hold onto the defiled and be the world’s valley being the
world’s valley be filled with ancient virtue being filled with ancient virtue be
uncarved wood again
recognize the white but hold onto the black and be the world’s guide being the
world’s guide don’t stray from the ancient virtue not straying from ancient virtue be
without limits again
uncarved wood can be split to make tools the sage makes it his chief official a
master tailor doesn’t cut


Trying to govern the world with force I see this not succeeding
the world is a spiritual thing it can’t be forced to force it is to harm it to control it is
to lose it
sometimes things lead sometimes they follow sometimes blow hot sometimes blow
cold sometimes expand sometimes collapse
therefore the sage avoids extremes avoids extravagance avoids excess


Use the Tao to help your king don’t use weapons to rule the land such things soon
where armies camp brambles grow
best to win then stop don’t make use of force
win but don’t be proud win but don’t be vain win but don’t be cruel win when you
have no choice this is to win without force
virility means old age this isn’t the Tao what isn’t the Tao ends early


Weapons are not auspicious tools some things are simply bad thus the Taoist shuns
in peace the ruler honours the left in war he honours the right
weapons are not auspicious weapons are not a ruler’s tools he wields them when he
has no choice dispassion is the best
thus he does not beautify them he who beautifies them enjoys killing others he who
enjoys killing others achieves no worldly rule
thus we honour the left for joy we honour the right for sorrow the left is where the
adjutant stands the commander on the right
which means at a funeral when you kill another honour him with your tears when
the battle is won treat it as a wake
the first distinction gives us names after we have names we should know restraint
who knows restraint knows no trouble


The Tao has never had a name simple and though small no one can command it
if a lord upheld it the world would be his guest
when Heaven joins with Earth they bestow sweet dew no one gives the order it
comes down to all
to picture the Tao in the world imagine rivers and the sea


Who knows others is perceptive who knows himself is wise
who conquers others is forceful who conquers himself is strong
who knows contentment is wealthy who strives hard succeeds
who doesn’t lose his place endures who dies but doesn’t perish lives on


The Tao drifts it can go left or right
everything lives by its grace but it doesn’t speak when its work succeeds it makes
no claim it has no desires
shall we call it small
everything turns to it but it wields no control shall we call it great
therefore the sage never acts great thus he can do great things


Hold up the Great Image and the world will come and be beyond harm safe serene
and at one
fine food and song detain passing guests
when the Tao speaks it’s senseless and plain we look and don’t see it we listen and
don’t hear it


What you would shorten you should therefore lengthen what you would weaken
you should therefore strengthen what you would topple you should therefore raise
what you would take you should therefore give
this is called hiding the light the weak conquering the strong
fish can’t survive out of the deep as state’s greatest tool is not meant to be shown


The Tao never does a thing yet there is nothing it doesn’t do
if a ruler could uphold it people by themselves would change and changing if their
desires stirred he would make them still with simplicity that has no name
stilled by nameless simplicity they would not desire and not desiring be at peace
the world would fix itself


Higher Virtue is not virtuous thus it possesses virtue Lower Virtue is not without
virtue thus it possesses no virtue
Higher Virtue lacks effort and the thought of effort Higher Kindness involves effort
but not the thought of effort Higher Justice involves effort and the thought of effort
Higher Ritual involves effort but no response until it threatens and compels
when the Way is lost virtue appears when virtue is lost kindness appears when
kindness is lost justice appears when justice is lost ritual appears
ritual marks the waning of belief and onset of confusion augury is the flower of the
Way and beginning of delusion
thus the great choose thick over thin the fruit over the flower therefore they pick
this over that


Of things that became one in the past Heaven became one and was clear Earth
became one and was still spirits became one and were active
streams became one and were full kings became one and ruled the world
but by implication Heaven would crack if it were always clear Earth would crumble
if it were always still spirits would fail
if they were always active streams would dry up if they were always full kings
would fall if they were always high and noble
thus the noble is based on the humble the high is founded on the low
thus do kings refer to themselves as orphaned widowed and destitute but this is the
basis of humility
counting a carriage as no carriage at all
not wanting to clink like jade they clunk like rocks


The Tao moves the other way the Tao works through weakness
the things of this world come from something something comes from nothing


When a great person hears of the Way he follows it with devotion when an average
person hears of the Way he doesn’t know if it’s real or not
when a small person hears of the Way he laughs out loud if he didn’t laugh it
wouldn’t be the Way
hence these sayings arose the brightest path seems dark the quickest path seems
slow the smoothest path seems rough the highest virtue low the whitest white pitch-
black the greatest virtue wanting
the staunchest virtue timid the truest truth uncertain the perfect square lacks corners
the perfect tool does nothing the perfect sound is hushed the perfect form is
the Tao is hidden and has no name but because it’s the Tao it knows how to start
and how to finish


The Tao gives birth to one one gives birth to two two gives birth to three three
gives birth to ten thousand things
ten thousand things with yin at their backs and yang in their embrace and breath
between for harmony
what the world hates to be orphaned widowed or destitute kings use for their titles
thus some gain by losing others lose by gaining
thus what people teach I teach too tyrants never choose their deaths this becomes
my teacher


The weakest thing in the world excels the strongest thing in the world what doesn’t
exist finds room where there is none thus we know doing nothing succeeds
teaching without words succeeding without effort few in the world can equal this


Which is more vital fame or health which is more precious health or riches which is
more harmful loss or gain
the deeper the love the higher the cost the bigger the treasure the greater the loss
who knows contentment suffers no shame who knows restraint encounters no


The greatest thing seems incomplete yet it never wears out the fullest thing seems
empty yet it never runs dry the straightest thing seems crooked
the cleverest thing seems clumsy the richest thing seems poor
activity overcomes cold stillness overcomes heat who can be perfectly still is able
to govern the world


When the Tao prevails courier horses manure fields instead of roads when the Tao
fails war-horses are raised on the border
no crime is worse than yielding to desire no wrong is greater than discontent no
curse is crueller than getting what you want
the contentment of being content is true contentment indeed


Without going out his door he knows the whole world without looking out his
window he knows the Way of Heaven the farther people go the less people know
therefore the sage knows without moving names without seeing succeeds without


Those who seek learning gain every day those who seek the Way lose every day
they lose and they lose until they find nothing to do nothing to do means nothing
not dome who rules the world isn’t busy
if someone is busy he can’t rule the world


The sage has no mind of his own his mind is the mind of the people
to the good he is good to the bad he is good until they become good
to the true he is true to the false he is true until they become true
in the world the sage withdraws with others he merges his mind people open their
ears and eyes the sage covers them up


Appearing means life disappearing means death
thirteen are the followers of life thirteen are the followers of death but people living
to live join the land of death’s thirteen and why because they live to live
it’s said that those who guard life well aren’t injured by soldiers in battle or harmed
by rhinos or tigers in the wild
for rhinos have nowhere to sink their horns tigers have nowhere to sink their claws
and soldiers have nowhere to sink their blades and why because for them there is
no land of death


The Way begets them Virtue keeps them matter shapes them usage completes them
thus do all things honour the Way and glorify Virtue
the honour of the Way the glory of Virtue and not conferred but always so the Way
begets and keeps them cultivates and trains them steadies and adjusts them nurtures
and protects them
but begets without possessing acts without presuming and cultivates without
controlling this is called Dark Virtue


The world has a maiden she becomes the world’s mother
who knows the mother understands the child who understands the child keeps the
mother safe and lives without trouble
who blocks the opening who closes the gate lives without toil
who unblocks the opening who meddles in affairs lives without hope
who sees the small has vision who protects the weak has strength
who uses his light who trusts his vision lives beyond death this is the Hidden


Were I sufficiently wise I would follow the Great Way and only fear going astray
the Great Way is smooth but people love byways
their palaces are spotless their fields are overgrown and their granaries are empty
they wear fine clothes they carry sharp swords they tire of food and drink and
possess more than they need this is called robbery and robbery is not the Way


What is planted right is not uprooted what is held right is not ripped away future
generations worship it forever
cultivated in thee self virtue becomes real cultivated in the family virtue multiplies
cultivated in the village virtue increases cultivated in the state virtue prospers
cultivated in the world virtue abounds
thus view the self through the self view the family through the family view the
village through the village view the state through the state view the world through
the world
how do we know what the world is like through this


He who contains virtue in abundance resembles a newborn child wasps don’t sting
him beasts don’t claw him birds of prey don’t carry him off his bones are weak and
his tendons are soft and yet his grip is firm
he hasn’t known the union of sexes and yet his penis is stiff so full of essence is he
he cries all day yet ever gets hoarse so full of breath is he who knows how to breath
endures who knows how to endure is wise
who lengthens his life tempts luck who breathes with his will is strong
but virility means old age this isn’t the Way what isn’t the Way ends early


Those who know don’t talk those who talk don’t know
seal the opening close the gate dull the edge untie the tangle soften the light join the
dust this is called the Dark Union
it can’t be embraced it can’t be abandoned it can’t be helped it can’t be harmed it
can’t be exalted it can’t be debased thus does the world exalt it


Use direction to govern a country use indirection to fight a war use inaction to rule
the world how do we know this works
the greater the prohibitions the poorer the people the sharper the weapons the
darker the realm
the smarter the scheme the stranger the outcome the finer the treasure the thicker
the thieves
thus the sage declares I change nothing and the people transform themselves I stay
still and the people adjust themselves
I do nothing and the people enrich themselves I want nothing and the people
simplify themselves


Where government stands aloof the people open up where government steps in the
people slip away
happiness rests in misery misery hides in happiness
who knows where they end there is no direction direction turns into indirection
good turns into evil the people have been lost for a long long time
thus the sage is an edge that doesn’t cut a point that doesn’t pierce a line that doesn’t
extend a light that doesn’t blind


In governing people and caring for Heaven nothing surpasses economy
economy means planning ahead planning ahead means accumulating virtue
accumulating virtue means overcoming all overcoming all means knowing no limit

knowing no limit means guarding the realm
guarding the realm’s mother means living long
this means deep roots and a solid trunk the Way of long and lasting life


Ruling a great state is like cooking a small fish
when you govern the world with the Tao spirits display no powers
Not that they don’t have power, But their power will not harm people.
Inasmuch as none of them harms anybody, Therefore virtue belongs to them both.


The great state is a watershed the confluence of the world the female of the world
through stillness the female conquers the male in order to be still she needs to be
the great state that is lower governs the small state the small state that is lower is
governed by the great state
some lower themselves to govern some lower themselves to be governed
the great state’s only desire is to unite and lead others the small state’s only desire is
to join and serve others
for both to achieve their desire the greater needs to be lower


The Tao is creation’s sanctuary treasured by the good it keeps the bad alive
beautiful words might be the price noble deeds might be the gift how can we
abandon people who are bad
thus when emperors are enthroned or ministers installed though there be great discs
of jade followed by teams of horses they don’t rival one who sits and offers up this
why the ancients exalted it did they not proclaim who searches thereby finds who
errs thereby escapes thus the world exalts it


Act without acting work without working taste without tasting
great or small many or few repay each wrong with virtue
plan for the hard while it’s easy work on the great while it’s small
the hardest task in the world begins easy the greatest goal in the world begins small
therefore the sage never acts great he thus achieves great things
who quickly agrees is seldom trusted who makes it all easy finds it all hard
therefore the sage makes everything hard he thus finds nothing hard


It’s easy to rule while it’s peaceful it’s east to plan before it arrive it’s easy to break
while it’s fragile it’s easy to disperse while it’s small
act before it exists govern before it rebels
as giant tree grows from the tiniest shoot a great tower rises from a basket of dirt a
thousand mile journey begins at your feet
but to act is to fail to control is to lose therefore the sage doesn’t act he thus doesn’t
fail he doesn’t control he thus doesn’t lose
when people pursue a task they always fail near the end care at the end as well as
the start means an end to failure
the sage thus seeks what no one seeks he doesn’t prize hard to-get-goods he studies
what no one studies he turns to what others pass by to help all things be natural he
thus dares not act


The ancient masters of the Way tried not to enlighten but to keep men in the dark
what makes the people hard to rule is knowledge who rules the realm with
knowledge spreads evil in the realm who rules without knowledge spreads virtue in
the realm
who understands these two understands the universal key this is called Dark Virtue
Dark Virtue goes deep goes far goes the other way until it reaches perfect harmony


The reason the sea can govern a hundred rivers is because it has mastered being
lower thus it can govern a hundred rivers
thus if the sage would be above the people he should speak as if he were below
them if he would be before them he should act as though he were behind them
thus when the sage is above the people are not burdened when he is in front the
people are not hindered the world never wearies of pushing him forward
because he doesn’t struggle no one can struggle against him


The world calls me great great but useless because I am great I am useless if I were
of use I would have stayed small
but I possess three treasures I treasure and uphold first is compassion second is
austerity third is reluctance to excel
because I am compassionate I can be valiant because I am austere I can be
extravagant because I am reluctant to excel I can be chief of all tools
if I renounced compassion for valour austerity for extravagance reluctance for
supremacy I would die
compassion wins every battle and outlasts every attack what Heaven creates let
compassion protect


In ancient times the perfect officer wasn’t armed the perfect warrior wasn’t angry
the perfect victor wasn’t hostile the perfect commander acted humble
this is the virtue of nonaggression this is using the strength of others this is uniting
with Heaven which was the ancient end


In warfare there is a saying rather than a host better to be a guest rather than
advance an inch better to retreat a foot
this means to form no column to wear no armour to brandish no weapon to repulse
no enemy
no fate is worse than to have no enemy without an enemy we would lose our
thus when opponents are evenly matched the remorseful one prevails


My words are easy to understand easy to employ but no one can understand them
no one can employ them
words have an ancestor deeds have a master because they have no understanding
people fail to understand me rare are they who understand me thus I am exalted
the sage therefore wears coarse cloth and keeps his jade inside


To understand yet not understand is transcendence not to understand yet understand
is affliction
the reason the sage is not afflicted is because he treats affliction as affliction hence
he is not afflicted


When people no longer fear authority a greater authority will appear
don’t restrict where people dwell don’t repress how people live if they aren’t
repressed they won’t protest
thus the sage knows himself but doesn’t reveal himself he loves himself but doesn’t
exalt himself thus he picks this over that


Daring to act means death daring not to act means life
of these two one benefits one harms what Heaven hates who knows the reasons
the Way of Heaven wins easily without a fight answers wisely without a word
comes quickly without a summons plans ingeniously without a thought
the Net of Heaven is all-embracing it mesh is wide but nothing escapes


If people no longer fear death why do we threaten to kill them
and if others fear death and still act perverse and we catch and kill them who else
will dare
as long as people fear death the executioner will exist to kill in the executioner’s
place is to take the carpenter’s place who takes the carpenter’s place is bound to hurt
his hands


The reason the people are hungry is because those above levy so many taxes thus
the people are hungry
the reason the people are hard to rule is because those above are so forceful thus the
people are hard to rule
the reason people think little of death is because those above think so much of life
thus the people think little of death meanwhile those who do nothing to live are
more esteemed than those who love life


When people are born they are soft and supple when they perish they are hard and

when plants shoot forth they are soft and tender when they die they are withered
and dry
thus it is said the hard and strong are followers of death the soft and weak are
followers of life
when an army becomes strong it suffers defeat when a plant becomes hard it snaps
the hard and strong dwell below the soft and weak dwell above


The Way of Heaven is like stringing a bow pulling sown the high lifting up the low
shortening the long lengthening the short
the Way of Heaven takes from the long and supplements the short unlike the Way
of Man taking from the short and giving to the long
who can find the long and give it to the world only those who find the Way
thus the sage does not presume on what he does or claim what he achieves thus he
chooses to hide his skill


Nothing in the world is weaker than water but against the hard and the strong
nothing excels it for nothing can change it
the soft overcomes the hard the weak overcomes the strong this is something
everyone knows but no one is able to practice
thus the sage declares who accepts a country’s disgrace we call the lord of soil and
grain who accepts a country’s misfortune we call king of all under Heaven upright
words sound upside down


In resolving a great dispute a dispute is sure to remain how can this be good
thus the sage holds the left marker he makes no claim on others
thus the virtuous oversee markers the virtueless oversee taxes
the Way of Heaven favours no one but always helps the good


Imagine a small state with a small population let there be labour-saving tools that
aren’t used let people consider death and not move far
let there be boats and carts but no reason to ride them let there be armour and
weapons but no reason to employ them
let people return to the use of knots and be satisfied with their food and pleased
with their clothing and content with their homes and happy with their customs
let there be a state so near people hear its dogs and chickens and live out their lives
without making a visit


True words aren’t beautiful beautiful words aren’t true
the good aren’t eloquent the eloquent aren’t good
the wise aren’t learned the learned aren’t wise
the sage accumulates nothing but the more he does for others the greater his
existence the more he gives to others the greater his abundance
the Way of Heaven is to help without harming the Way of the sage is to act without