Chapter 6

The spirit of the valley never dies
it is called the dark female
The dark female is a gate
it is called the root of Heaven and Earth
It is ever so soft
use it gently

Chapter 16

Extend emptiness to the utmost
carefully guard your silence
All things rise together
and I see them return
They bloom in abundance
then each return to their root
To return to the root is stillness
this is to revive life
That life can be revived means it is everlasting
Knowing this is called enlightenment
Not knowing that life is everlasting
you have no direction of your actions and this is not good
Knowing that life is everlasting makes you magnanimous
One who is magnanimous
can come to have the bearing of a duke
One who has the bearing of a duke
can come to have the bearing of a king
Having the bearing of a king leads to Heaven
Heaven leads to The Way
The Way leads to eternity
The end of your body is not dangerous

Chapter 26

Heavy is the root of light
Calm is the ruler of restless
Therefore the wise person is traveling all day
without leaving the wagon
Even if there are great things to see
he remains idle and detached
How can the leader of a great fleet of chariots
regard himself to be of light importance in the world?
Being light you have lost your root
Being restless you have lost the command

Chapter 27

The skilful traveler does not leave tracks
The eloquent speaker says nothing he can be reproached for
The skilful reckoner needs no tally stick
One who is smart when closing a door has no need to bolt it
yet the door cannot be opened
One who is good at tying does not need to make a knot
but it cannot be untied
This is how the wise person
is always good at saving people
and thus no one is abandoned
Always good at saving things
and thus nothing is discarded
This is making practical use of insight
Thus the skilful is the teacher for the unskilled
The unskilled is the raw material for the skilful
If you do not value your teacher
the teacher is not fond of his material
so even if you are intelligent you will be greatly confused
This is the important thing about being clever

Chapter 29

Those who want to take the world and manipulate it
I see they will not succeed
The world is a vessel for Spirit and should not be manipulated
Those who want to manipulate it will ruin it
Those who want to take it will lose it
So for all beings it is so that
some walk ahead while others follow
some snivel while others sob loudly
some are robust while others are skinny
some destroy while others are destroyed
Therefore the wise person will get rid of
extremes extravagance and exaggeration


Chapter 41

When superior scholars hear of The Way
they do their best to walk it
When average scholars hear of The Way
they hold it for a while but lose it
When inferior scholars hear of The Way
they laugh loudly
If they were not laughing it would not be The Way
That is why the saying goes
The obvious way seems obscure
The way forward seems to be leading backwards
The even way seems rugged
The highest virtue seems to be in low places
The purest white seems sullied
All embracing virtue is not sufficient
Strong virtue is unreliable
The plain truth seems able to change
A big square does not have corners
A big pot takes time to make
A loud tone may sound faint
A large image has no shape
The Way cannot be seen and has no name
But only The Way is so great that
it can both begin and end things


Chapter 42

One is born of The Way
Two is born of one
Three is born of two
The myriads of worldly things are born from three
The myriads of things carry yin at their back
and hold yang at their chest
They are opposite energies that are in harmony
What people dislike is to be lonely insignificant and miserable
That is why kings and lords refer to themselves by these names
And so it is that some things increase by being decreased
and other things decrease by being increased
What it is that people are showing
is exactly what I teach them
Those who use unyielding strength
will not die a natural death
I will consider this the father of my teachings

Tai Chi – The True History & Principles on