The Tao can’t be perceived.
Smaller than an electron,
it contains uncountable galaxies.
If powerful men and women
could remain centered in the Tao,
all things would be in harmony.
The world would become a paradise.
All people would be at peace,
and the law would be written in their hearts.
When you have names and forms,
know that they are provisional.
When you have institutions,
know where their functions should end.
Knowing when to stop,
you can avoid any danger.
All things end in the Tao
as rivers flow into the sea.
(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
The Tao, eternally nameless
Its simplicity, although imperceptible
Cannot be treated by the world as subservient
If the sovereign can hold on to it
All will follow by themselves
Heaven and Earth, together in harmony
Will rain sweet dew
People will not need to force it; it will adjust by itself
In the beginning, there were names
Names came to exist everywhere
One should know when to stop
Knowing when to stop, thus avoiding danger
The existence of the Tao in the world
Is like streams in the valley into rivers and the ocean
(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
Nameless is Nothingness.
The path of Zero is Blissful.
But in teaching its intricacies,
It may be endless lifetimes,
To forget that horror.
(translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)
from I Ching Online