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Community Outreach: Thursday Lecture WEI Bilingual Training Center: Daodejing (1-5) on February 18 2016

Original Text is from:

and from: (Chinese Text)

The Book of the Way (Dao De Jing) by Lao Zi

《道德经》作者: 老子

1. The Nameless Eternal Dao 道可道,非常道。名可名,非常名。無名天地之始﹔有名萬物之母。故常無,欲以觀其妙﹔常有,欲以觀其徼。此兩者同出而異名,同謂之玄。玄之又玄,眾妙之門。 Ways that can be spelled out. Cannot be the eternal way.5 Names that can be named Must change with time and place.6 “Emptiness” is what I call the origin of heaven and earth; “Existence” is what I call the mother of everything that had a birth.7 Appreciate Emptiness, that we may see nature of the Way’s versatility; Appreciate Existence, that we may see the extent of the Way’s possibilities. These two, Emptiness and Existence, came from the same source. Though they bear different names, they serve the same mystical cause. A mystery within a mystery, Such is the gateway to all versatility.8


2. Relativity and the Meaning of Existence 天下皆知美之為美,斯惡已﹔皆知善之為善,斯不善矣。有無相生,難易相成,長短相形,高下相傾,音聲相和,前后相隨。是以聖人處無為之事,行不言之教﹔萬物作焉而不辭,生而不有,為而不恃,功成而不居。夫唯不居,是以不去。 People under heaven see beauty in what they call “beauty.” That way they know of the “ugly.” Similarly people see good in what they call “good,” That way they know of the “bad.” Existence and Emptiness are concepts that make sense by comparison. Similarly, long lends meaning to short, and high to low. Harmony is produced when sounds combine in unison. Because the fore goes, so the back follows. Thus the Sage would not act as if he could act on his will. He teaches the unspoken teaching. No word is ever spoken, yet living things thrive. No ownership is claimed, though Nature begets all creation. Humility is maintained even as achievement is made9 No credit is claimed even as work is done. . Because no credit is claimed, so no credit is ever lost.10


3. The Art of Government 不尚賢,使民不爭﹔不貴難得之貨,使民不為盜﹔不見可欲,使民心不亂。是以聖人之治,虛其心,實其腹﹔弱其志,強其骨。常使民無知無欲。使夫智者不敢為也,為無為,則無不治。 The wise ruler treats able men the same as he would treat others. In so doing he avoids strife. He plays down precious goods. In so doing he discourages the emergence of thieves. He makes an effort to stem the emergence of objects of desire. In so doing he ensures that his citizens’ minds Will not be thrown into disarray. Thus the Sage’s governance Satisfies the real needs of people, While emptying their minds of desires; Builds up the inner strengths (bones) of people While weakening their vain ambitions.11 He would preserve the natural simplicity of his citizens’minds and reduce their desires. In so doing the clever people will learn that their contrivance will not work. Because the Sage does nothing but following the law of nature Nothing will deviate from their natural and orderly places.




4. The Character and the Benefits of the Dao 道沖而用之或不盈。淵兮,似萬物之宗。挫其銳,解其紛,和其光,同其塵。湛兮,似或存。吾不知誰之子,象帝之先。 The Way (Dao) is like water that simmers slowly, Perpetually emitting its energy without boiling over. It is like a deep, deep pool in the mountains, Unfathomable yet could well harbor the origin of all life forms. It can blunt sharp angles, Resolve disputes, Soften light that otherwise dazzles, Re-establish concordance where there is discord. Unfathomable, who would know its existence? Today I know of no child of anyone Who resembles our ancient forefathers.12 (Who followed the Dao).


5. The Impartial Laws of Nature 天地不仁,以萬物為芻狗﹔聖人不仁,以百姓為芻狗。天地之間,其猶橐龠乎?虛而不屈,動而愈出。多言數窮,不如守中。 Heaven and earth are unkind. They treat everything like the straw dogs used in sacrifice. The Sages too are unkind. In their eyes everyone is no different from a straw dog.13 Within the bounds of Heaven and Earth, There is plenty of space, Much like there is space within a bellows. Hollow but unyielding is this space. The more you work on it, The more air comes out. Words are superfluous and soon reach their limits. It is far better to adhere to impartiality and the middle way



①刍(chu)狗:用草扎成的狗。古代专用于祭祀之中,祭祀完毕,就把它扔掉或烧掉。比喻轻贱无用的东西。在本文中比喻:天地对万物,圣人对百姓都因不经意、不留心而任其自长自消,自生自灭。正如元代吴澄据说 :“刍狗,缚草为狗之形,祷雨所用也。既祷则弃之,无复有顾惜之意。天地无心于爱物,而任其自生自成;圣人无心于爱民,而任其自作自息,故以刍狗为喻。” 

2 Comments to Community Outreach: Thursday Lecture WEI Bilingual Training Center: Daodejing (1-5) on February 18 2016:

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myessays on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 12:45 AM
I read a very useful book name The book of the way the author of this book explain his feelings in words. This is very interesting book for readers people enjoy his evening tea while reading this book this is a great time pass also
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xbox gift card on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 8:11 AM
most expressive and well informative post thanks a lot for sharing
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