Tao Te Ching – Verse 19

Throw away holiness and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away morality and justice,
and people will do the right thing.
Throw away industry and profit,
and there won’t be any thieves.

If these three aren’t enough,
just stay at the center of the circle
and let all things take their course.
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End sagacity; abandon knowledge
The people benefit a hundred times

End benevolence; abandon righteousness
The people return to piety and charity

End cunning; discard profit
Bandits and thieves no longer exist

These three things are superficial and insufficient
Thus this teaching has its place:
Show plainness; hold simplicity
Reduce selfishness; decrease desires

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
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Pretense is folly.
If they must, ask them to study.
Ask them to remember the beginning.
Exhausted, they may find the peace of Zero.

(translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)
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(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)

Tao Te Ching – Verse 12

Colors blind the eye.
Sounds deafen the ear.
Flavors numb the taste.
Thoughts weaken the mind.
Desires wither the heart.

The Master observes the world
but trusts his inner vision.
He allows things to come and go.
His heart is open as the sky.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
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The five colors make one blind in the eyes
The five sounds make one deaf in the ears
The five flavors make one tasteless in the mouth

Racing and hunting make one wild in the heart
Goods that are difficult to acquire make one cause damage

Therefore the sages care for the stomach and not the eyes
That is why they discard the other and take this

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
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Colors blur sight.
Sounds blur hearing.
Tastes blur the Nectar.
Chasing drives Bliss away.
Lust blurs calm.
In the Nothingness of Zero is Unimaginable Peace.

(translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)
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Tao Te Ching – Verse 10

Can you coax your mind from its wandering
and keep to the original oneness?
Can you let your body become
supple as a newborn child’s?
Can you cleanse your inner vision
until you see nothing but the light?
Can you love people and lead them
without imposing your will?
Can you deal with the most vital matters
by letting events take their course?
Can you step back from you own mind
and thus understand all things?

Giving birth and nourishing,
having without possessing,
acting with no expectations,
leading and not trying to control:
this is the supreme virtue.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
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In holding the soul and embracing oneness
Can one be steadfast, without straying?
In concentrating the energy and reaching relaxation
Can one be like an infant?
In cleaning away the worldly view
Can one be without imperfections?
In loving the people and ruling the nation
Can one be without manipulation?
In the heavenly gate’s opening and closing
Can one hold to the feminine principle?
In understanding clearly all directions
Can one be without intellectuality?

Bearing it, rearing it
Bearing without possession
Achieving without arrogance
Raising without domination
This is called the Mystic Virtue

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
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Be empty and know effulgent Zero.
Breathe softly and know Blissful Nothingness.
Stop looking, then see what was hidden.
Love in secret.
Watch without touching.
Rule All while resting in Zero.

(translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)
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