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2.3: Wisdom is not Belief

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    Chapter Two

    As soon as beauty is known by the world as beautiful, it becomes ugly.

    As soon as virtue is being known as something good, it becomes evil.

    Therefore being and non-being give birth to each other.

    Difficult and easy accomplish each other.

    Long and short form each other.

    High and low distinguish each other.

    Sound and tone harmonize each other

    Before and after follow each other as a sequence.

    Realizing this, the sage performs effortlessly according to the natural Way without personal

    desire, and practices the wordless teaching thru one’s deeds.

    The sage inspires the vitality of all lives, without holding back.

    He nurtures all beings with no wish to take possession of.

    He devotes all his energy but has no intention to hold on to the merit.

    When success is achieved, he seeks no recognition.

    Because he does not claim for the credit, hence shall not lose it.

    Chapter Thirty-three

    One who knows other people is wise.

    One who knows himself is enlightened.

    To overcome others is strong.

    To overcome oneself is the will of power.

    One who is contented is rich.

    One who is determined has the strength of will.

    Those who embrace their true nature shall long live.

    He who is enlightened with the original nature,

    Although dies physically, is eternally united with the everlasting Tao.


    Chapter Forty-seven

    Tao exists in one’s own true self.

    It cannot be found outside of one’s true nature.

    Hence, there is no need to leave the house to take journey in order to know the world.

    There is no need to look outside of the window to see the nature of Tao.

    The further one departs from Tao, the less one will be able to know.

    Therefore a sage is wise to know without seeking for It.

    He is wise to understand without seeing It.

    He is wise to accomplish according to the Natural Way.


    Chapter Forty-eight

    In pursuing knowledge, one learns with intellect and desires.

    Therefore one’s knowledge is accumulated day after day.

    In pursuing Tao, one is enlightened with the true nature and thus diminishes daily one’s worldly

    desires and knowledge.

    The continuous depletion of one’s desires persists until one acts accordingly to the natural Way.

    By acting without personal intention enables one to accomplish all things.

    Therefore, to rule over the world,

    One must act naturally without personal desires.

    If one pursues with extreme effort, one shall fail to rule the world.


    Chapter Fifty-six

    The wise does not speak.

    He who speaks is not wise.

    Keep silent and close one’s mouth.

    Keep guard on one’s sensory organs.

    Round off one’s edges.

    Untie the entangled.

    Harmonize with the glory.

    Mix with the lowliness.

    This is called the Mystic Unity.

    Because the wise is unified with all and has no distinction,

    Thus, one cannot get close to him,

    Nor can one keep far away from him,

    One cannot benefit him,

    Nor can one harm him,

    One cannot honor him,

    Nor can one disgrace him.

    Therefore, he is honored by the whole world.


    Chapter Seventy-one

    One who knows what people do not know,

    Is a person of enlightenment.

    One who pretends to know what he is ignorant of, is at fault.

    He who is aware of what he does not know, shall not be at fault.

    Therefore, a sage is flawless for he is aware of what he truly knows and what he knows not,

    hence he is flawless.


    Chapter Eighty-one

    Words of truth are not pleasing.

    Pleasing words are not truthful.

    The wise one does not argue.

    He who argues is not wise.

    A wise man of Tao knows the subtle truth,

    And may not be learned.

    A learned person is knowledgeable but may not know the subtle truth of Tao.

    A sage does not possess and accumulate surplus for personal desire.

    The more he helps others, the richer his life becomes.

    The more he gives to others, the more he gets in return.

    The Tao of Nature benefits and does not harm.

    The Way of a sage is to act naturally without contention.

    2.3: Wisdom is not Belief is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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