The Book of the Right Way by Laozi – 2


Everyone under the sun knows that by taking the beautiful as beautiful, nausea follows.

Everyone knows that by taking the good as good, bad follows.

Therefore, causes bring about their opposite effects. Difficult and easy complete each other.

Long and short inform each other; above and below overturn each other.

Past and future harmonize together.

Truly, because the sage lives effortlessly he is effective.

He teaches without speaking.

He sees all things as they are, but does not relinquish them.

They appear, yet he does not hold onto them. He acts, yet does not depend on them.

He is accomplished, yet does not dwell on his accomplishments.

Truly, a man alone has no home, because he has nowhere to go.

天 下 皆 知 美 之 為 美 , 斯 惡 已 。

皆 知 善 之 為 善 , 斯 不 善 已 。

有 無 相 生 , 難 易 相 成 , 長 短 相 形 ,

高 下 相 盈 , 音 聲 相 和 , 前 後 相 隨 。

恆 也 。 是 以 聖 人 處 無 為 之 事 ,

行 不 言 之 教 ﹔ 萬 物 作 而 弗 始 ,

生 而 弗 有 , 為 而 弗 恃 , 功 成 而 不 居 。

夫 唯 弗 居 , 是 以 不 去 。


Beauty causes ugliness;

Goodness causes badness.

Birth and death produce life;

Difficulty and ease produce vitality;

Long and short produce horizontal space.

Height and depth produce vertical space;

Pitch and timbre produce music;

Past and future produce temporality.

Thus, the sage is effective effortlessly and he teaches wordlessly.

Everything appears, yet he disdains nothing;

He gives himself up to everything, yet he does not seek to control anything;

Everything reacts on him, yet he does not depend on anything.

He acts, but he does not think about himself;

Because he takes nothing for himself, everything is given to him.


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