DAO DE JING Part One Dao (The Way) 1

A modern interpretation of Lao Tzu’s classic  perpetrated by Ron Hogan

Part One – DAO (The Way)




If you can talk about it, it ain’t Dao.

If it has a name – it’s just another thing.

Dao doesn’t have a name.

Names are for ordinary things.


Stop wanting stuff; it keeps you from seeing what’s real.
When you want stuff, all you see are things.


Those two sentences mean the same thing.
Figure them out, and you’ve got it made.



If something looks beautiful to you, something else must be ugly.
If something seems good, something else must seem bad.

You can’t have something without nothing.
If no job is difficult, then no job is easy.
Some things are up high because other things are down low.
You know you’re listening to music because it doesnt sound like noise.
All that came first, so this must be next.

The Masters get the job done without moving a muscle
and get their point across without saying a word.

When things around them fall apart, they stay cool.
They don’t own much, but they use whatever’s at hand.
They do the work without expecting any favours.
When they’re done, they move on to the next job.
That’s why their work is so damn good


If you toss compliments around cheaply,

people will waste your time trying to impress you.
If you give things too much value, you’re going to get ripped off.
If you try to please people, you’ll just make them pissed.

The Master leads by clearing the crap out of people’s heads

 and opening their hearts.
He lowers their aspirations and makes them suck in their guts.

He shows you how to forget what you know and what you want,
so nobody can push you around.
If you think you’ve got the answers, he’ll mess with your head.

Stop doing stuff all the time, and watch what happens.


How much Dao is there? More than you’ll ever need.
Use all you want, there’s plenty more where that came from.

You can’t see Dao, but it’s there.
Damned if I know where it came from.
It’s just always been around.


Dao’s neutral: it doesn’t worry about good or evil.
The Masters are neutral: they treat everyone the same.

Lao Tzu said Dao is like a bellows: It’s empty,

but it could help set the world on fire.
If you keep using Dao, it works better.
If you keep talking about it, it won’t make any sense.

Be cool


Dao is an eternal mystery, and everything starts with Dao.

Everybody has Dao in them. They just have to use it.


Dao never stops. Why?
Because it isn’t trying to accomplish anything.

The Masters hang back.
That’s why they’re ahead of the game.

They don’t hang on to things.
That’s how they manage to keep them.

They don’t worry
about what they can’t control.
That’s why they’re always satisfied.


“Doing the right thing” is like water.
It’s good for all living things,and flows without thinking about where it’s going

…just like Dao.

Keep your feet on the ground.
Remember what’s important.
Be there when people need you.
Say what you mean.
Be prepared for anything.
Do whatever you can,
whenever it needs doing.


If you don’t compare yourself to others,
nobody can compare to you.


If you drink too much, you get drunk.
The engine won’t start if you’re always tinkering with it.

If you hoard wealth, you fall into its clutches.
If you crave success, you succumb to failure.

Do what you have to do,then walk away.
Anything else will drive you nuts.


Can you hold on to your ego and still stay focused on Tao?

Can you relax your mind and body and brace yourself for a new life?

Can you check yourself and see past what’s in front of your eyes?

Can you be a leader and not try to prove you’re in charge?

Can you deal with what’s happening and let it happen?

Can you forget what you know and understand what’s real?

Start a job and see it through. Have things without holding on to them.
Do the job without expectation of reward. Lead people without giving orders. That’s the way you do it


A wheel has spokes,
but it rotates around a hollow center.

A pot is made out of clay or glass,
but you keep things in the space inside.

A house is made of wood or brick,
but you live between the walls.

We work with something,
but we use nothing