The Book of the Right Way of Laozi – 1


The speech that can be spoken is not true speaking.
The name that can be named is not true naming.
The nameless begets the high and the low.
The named is the mother of everything.
Therefore, in order to see things as they are one must be without desire.
Those who desire see the appearance.
These two are two sides of the same coin.
This is the mystery of mysteries.
The apparent is the door to the real.


[Processes are not “things.”
Language does not describe reality.
Reality is prelinguistic.
Language is the matrix of differentiation.
Therefore, if you would experience the eternal wonder of primary experience you must sacrifice desire.
Desirous attachment is time-bound.
These are just two different ways of describing the same process.
This is the threefold mystery.
It is the amazing manifold activity.]

道 可 道 , 非 常 道 。 名 可 名 , 非 常 名 。
無 名 天 地 之 始 ﹔ 有 名 萬 物 之 母 。
故 常 無 , 欲 以 觀 其 妙 ﹔ 常 有 , 欲 以 觀 其 徼 。
此 兩 者 , 同 出 而 異 名 , 同 謂 之 玄 。

玄 之 又 玄 , 眾 妙 之 門 。


Literal rendering:

1 speech can speech not constant speech
2 name can name not constant name
3 not name sky earth it begin
4 be name 10,000 thing it mother
5 reason always not desire in order to behold it wonderful
6 constant be desire in order to behold it go around
7 these both person alike go but different name
8 alike speak of it mysterious mysterious both mysterious
9 multitude wonderful it door