Chapters 1 – 6

<< Dao De Jing / 道德經 >>

Chapter 1


The Way, once put into words, is no longer the absolute Dao

The Name, once named, is nothing but a name

The Nameless is the original face of Heaven and Earth

The Named is the beginning of ten thousand misconceptions

Ever desireless, one can see the truth

Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations

These two spring from the same source, yet diverge in path

Passing through hidden gates, one discovers the Dao – the Secret of All Life

Chapter 2


When we conceive the idea of beauty, we conceive the idea of ugliness

When we consider something as good, it gives rise to the concept of evil

Therefore, being and non-being generate each other

Difficult and easy bring about each other

Long and short exist because of each other

High and low are determined by each other

Tones and sounds echoing each other

Before and after following one another

That’s why the wise take action through nonaction, and teach without words

They watch all things arise, without prejudices and opinions

They create something, yet never take possession of it

They do something, expecting no reward

Once the work is done, they let it go

Because they don’t take credit, the credit truly belongs to them

Chapter 3


No one should be given special treatment; thus, people have nothing to fight over

No thing should be overpriced; thus, people have nothing to steal

No desire should be stirred; thus, the minds are not astir

Therefore, the sage way to govern is to help people realize emptiness and refrain from egotistical ambitions

Meanwhile keeping people well-fed and strong-boned

If everyone is humble and living a simple life, then no one would be too arrogant to presume oneself know better

Practice nonaction with right efforts; thus, all may live in peace

Chapter 4


The Dao is inexhaustible and unfathomable, like the fountainhead of all things

It curbs aggression, resolves conflicts, softens the dazzle and calms the bustle

So deep yet so clear, ever present!

I can’t fathom its origin

But I know it is older than God

Chapter 5


Nature doesn’t have the idea about good and bad

It treats all things impartially

Likewise, the Sages don’t hold prejudices

They treat all people equally

The Universe is like a bellows, empty of meaning, yet filled with infinite possibilities

The more you talk, the further astray you are from the truth

Therefore, we’d better hold fast to the center in silence

Chapter 6


The Spirit of the Space has eternal life

It is also called the Great Creator, who gives rise to infinite worlds

The gateway lies in the root of Heaven and Earth

Everlasting, its energy seems to be

If you draw upon it, life will be effortless