October 15th, 2009

Chapter thirty-two: Sacred power

The way goes on forever nameless.
Uncut wood, nothing important,
yet nobody under heaven
dare try to carve it.
If rulers and leaders could use it,
the ten thousand things
would gather in homage,
heaven and earth would drop sweet dew,
and people, without being ordered,
would be fair to one another.

To order, to govern,
is to begin naming;
when names proliferate,
it's time to stop.
If you know when to stop
you're in no danger.

The Way to the world
is as a stream to a valley,
a river to the sea.
goban
  • trevoke

32

The Tao is forever undefined.
Small though it is in the unformed state, it cannot be grasped.
If kings and lords could harness it,
The ten thousand things would come together
And gentle rain fall.
Men would need no more instruction and all things would take their course.
Once the whole is divided, the parts need names.
There are already enough names.
One must know when to stop.
Knowing when to stop averts trouble.
Tao in the world is like a river flowing home to the sea.
-
-
Tao is an eternal mystery,
so small you can never take hold of it.

If a leader gets right with Tao,
people will follow him on instinct.
All will be right with the world.
People will do the right thing
without being told.

Everything that comes from Tao
needs a name.
But once everything has its name,
you should make no other distinction between things.
This prevents you
from becoming trapped by them.

Everything in the universe is full of Tao
and leads to Tao,
just like the water in rivers
that flows into oceans.
-

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.