Chapters 50 – 55

<< Dao De Jing / 道德經 >>

Chapter 50


Between birth and death,
Three in ten are companions of life,
Three in ten are companions of death,
And three in ten merely passing from birth to death,
As they live their lives on the gross level.
While the Master gives himself up
To whatever life and death bring.
He/She has nothing left to hold on to:
No illusion in the mind,
No resistance in the body.
The Master doesn’t think about her actions –
They flow from the center of her being.
She clings to nothing,
Therefore she is ready for death.
As a person is ready for sleep
After a good day’s work.

Chapter 51


All things arise from Tao
They are fostered by character
They are shaped by matter
And they are completed by circumstances
Therefore, all things of the universe worship Tao
It is not mandatory
But it is in the nature of things

Tao gives birth to all things
Feeds them, grows them, develops them
Comforts them, protects them, let them dwell in peace
Creating without possessing
Guiding without interfering
Giving without expecting payback
That is why the love of Tao
Is in the nature of things

Chapter 52


In the beginning it was the Tao.
All things come from it.
All things return to it.
To know the origin, trace back the manifestations.
Once you recognize the children and realize the mother,
You are free of sorrow.

Keep your mouth shut,
Guard the senses,
And life is ever fulfilled.
Open your mouth,
Get lost in busyness,
And life is always in toil.

If you close your mind in judgements
And traffic with desires,
Your mind will be troubled.
If you keep your mind from judging
And aren’t led by the senses,
Your mind will find peace.

Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light
And return to the source of light.
Then all danger is gone.
This is to rest in the eternal Absolute.

Chapter 53


The great Way is easy,
Yet people prefer to be sidetracked.
If I have even just a little sense,
I will walk on the Tao,
And my only fear will be of straying from it.

When rich people get richer,
And farmers lose their lands;
When government officials spend on weapons instead of cures,
And the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible,
While the poor have nowhere to turn –
All this is robbery and chaos,
Certainly not the way of Tao.

Chapter 54


Whoever is planted in the Tao
Cannot be uprooted.
Whoever embraces the Tao
Cannot be led astray.
And the spirit will carry on from generation to generation.

Cultivate Tao in your self,
And your character will become genuine.
Cultivate Tao in your family,
And your family will flourish.
Cultivate Tao in your country,
And your country will prosper.
Cultivate Tao in the world,
And the world will have peace.

How do I know this is the Way?
By looking inside myself.

Chapter 55


Whoever is in harmony with the Tao is like a newborn.
Its bones and muscles are soft,
But its grip is powerful.
It doesn’t know about the union of male and female,
Yet it is whole nevertheless.
So intense is its vitality,
That it can roar all day without becoming hoarse.
This is complete harmony.

The Master knows harmony and constancy,
Therefore the Master knows enlightenment.
She lets things come and go effortlessly,
Never rushes about driven by desires.
She expects nothing,
Thus she is forever content.

If too much energy is used, exhaustion follows.
It is not the way of Tao.
Whoever is not in harmony with the Tao will not last.