DAO DE JING Part One Dao (The Way) 2
Sight obscures. Noise deafens.
Desire messes with your heart. The world messes with your mind.
A Master watches the world but keeps focused on what’s real.
Winning can be just as bad as losing.
Confidence can mess you up just as much as fear.
What does “winning can be just as bad as losing” mean?
If you’re down, you might be able to get up.
But if you’re up, you can get knocked down real fast.
Don’t worry about the score,
just do what you have to do.
What does “confidence can mess you up just as much as fear” mean?
Fear can keep you from getting the job done,
but confidence can get you in over your head.
Walk tall, but don’t get cocky.
Know your limits, and nothing can ever hold you back.
Deal with what you can. The rest will follow
You can’t see Dao, no matter how hard you look.
You can’t hear Dao, no matter how hard you listen.
You can’t hold on to Dao, no matter how hard you grab.
But it’s there. It’s in you, and it’s all around you.
The ancient Masters were damn impressive.
They were deep. Real deep.
Words can’t even begin to describe how deep they were.
You can only talk about how they acted.
They were careful, like a man walking on thin ice.
They were cautious, like a soldier behind enemy lines.
They were polite, like a guest at a party.
They moved quickly, like melting ice.
They were as plain as a block of wood.
Their minds were as wide as a valley,
and their hearts as clear as spring water.
Can you wait for that kind of openness and clarity
before you try to understand the world?
Can you hold still until events have unfolded
before you do the right thing?
When you act without expectations, you can accomplish great things.
Keep your head clear. Stay calm.
Watch as everything happens around you.
Everything reverts to its original state, which was nothing.
And when something becomes nothing, it gets right with Tao.
If you don’t understand that,
you’re going to screw up somewhere down the line.
If you figure it out, you’ll always know what to do.
If you get right with Tao, you won’t be afraid to die,
because you know you will .
When a Master takes charge, hardly anybody notices.
The next best leader is obeyed out of love.
After that, there’s the leader obeyed out of fear.
The worst leader is one who is hated.
Trust and respect people. That’s how you earn their trust and respect.
The Masters don’t give orders; they work with everybody else.
When the job’s done, people are amazed at what they accomplished
When people lose touch with Dao,
they start talking about “righteousness” and “sanctity.”
When people forget what’s true,
they start talking about “self-evident truths.”
When people have no respect for one another,
they start talking about “political correctness” and “family values.”
When the nation is unstable,
people start talking about “patriotism.”
Get rid of sanctity. People will understand the truth and be happier.
Get rid of morality. People will respect each other and do what’s right.
Get rid of value and profit. People will not steal if they do not desire.
If that’s not possible, go to Plan B: Be simple. Be real.
Do your work as best you can. Don’t think about what you get for it.
Stay focused. Get rid of all your crap
Don’t spend too much time thinking about stupid shit.
Why should you care if people agree or disagree with you?
Why should you care if others find you attractive or not?
Why should you care about things that worry others?
Call bullshit on all that.
Let other people get worked up and try to enjoy themselves.
I’m not going to give myself away.
A baby doesn’t know how to smile, but it’s still happy.
Let other people get excited about stuff. I’m not going to hang on to anything.
I’m not going to fill my mind with ideas.
I’m not going to get stuck in a rut, tied down to any one place.
Other people are clever; I guess I must be stupid.
Other people have goals; I guess I must be aimless.
Like the wind. Or the waves.
I’m not like other people.I’m getting right with Tao.
A Master stays focused on Dao. Nothing else, just Dao.
But you can’t pin Dao down– you can’t even see it!
How are you supposed to focus on something like that?
Just remember what Lao Tzu said:
The universe began as a void. The void fills with images.
Images lead to the creation of objects. And every object has Dao at its core.
That’s the way it’s been, ever since the world began.
How can I be so sure? I just know
Learn how to stand still if you want to go places.
Get on your knees if you want to stand tall.
If you want wisdom, empty your mind.
If you want the world, renounce your riches.
Push yourself until you’re exhausted, and then you’ll find your strength.
You can go far if you don’t have anything to carry.
The more you acquire,
he less you can really see.
A Master takes this to heart and sets an example for everybody else.
She doesn’t show off so people take notice.
She’s not out to prove anything so people take her at her word.
She doesn’t brag about herself but people know what she’s done.
She hasn’t got an agenda
but people know what she can do.
She’s not out to get anybody so nobody can get in her way.
“Learn how to stand still if you want to go places.”
That’s not as crazy as it sounds.
Get in touch with Tao, and you’ll see what I mean.
When you have nothing to say, you may as well keep your mouth shut.
The wind and the rain don’t go on forever.
If nature knows enough to give it a rest sometimes, so should you.
If you’re ready for Dao, you can live with Dao.
If you’re ready to succeed, you can live with success.
If you’re ready to fail, you can live with failure.
Trust your instincts, and others will trust you.
Keep your feet firmly planted unless you want to fall on your face.
Learn how to pace yourself if you want to get anywhere.
Don’t call attention to yourself if you want people to notice your work.
Nobody respects people who always have excuses.
Nobody gives credit to people who always take it.
People who hype themselves have nothing else to offer.
Think of being in touch with Dao like eating at a buffet:
Take only what you need. Save some for everybody else
Something perfect has existed forever, even longer than the universe.
It’s a vast, unchanging void. There’s nothing else like it.
It goes on forever and never stops, and everything else came from it.
I don’t know what else to call it so I’ll call it Dao.
What’s it like? I can tell you this much: it’s great.
So great that it endures. Something that endures goes a long way.
And something that goes a long way always comes back to the beginning.
Dao’s great. Heaven’s great. Earth’s great.
And someone in touch with Dao is great, too.
Those are the four greatest things in the universe.
Someone who’s in touch with Dao is in touch with the earth.
The earth is in touch with heaven. Heaven’s in touch with Dao.
Dao’s in touch with the way things are.