June 15th, 2010

Chapter 32

Tao is real, yet unnamable,
It is original non-differentiation and invisible.
Nevertheless, nothing in the universe can dominate it.
If rulers and lords were able to abide with it, all things in the universe would yield to them naturally.
Heaven and earth are unified and rain the dew of peace.
Without being ordered to do so, people become harmonious by themselves.
When discrimination begins, names arise.
After names arise, one should know where to abide.
When one knows where to abide, one is never exhausted.
To abide with Tao in the world is to be the same as mountain streams flowing to the rivers and to the sea.

             Translated by Chang Chung-yuan, 1975.


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.