Tao Te Ching 81

True words may not always be beautiful:
Beautiful words may not always be true.

Those who do good often prefer not to discuss it:
Those who prefer words usually have little to show for it.

Those who have figured out the Tao are rarely learnèd:
The learnèd often miss the bigger picture.

The enlightened don't worry about financial security.
   The more they help others: the richer they grow.
   The more they give: the more they're given.

The universal principle of cosmic energy flow always acts beneficially and never harmfully.
The deeds of one who follows this path should always be cooperative rather than competitive.

Finis. SGD.

Tao Te Ching 80

In a small country with few people it hardly matters how many weapons they have because they're not likely to use them on each other.

If there was concerted opposition to military systems and arms manufacturers there would be less refugees.

Instead of traveling all over the world by road and sea …
Instead of flaunting massive military muscle …
> Why not adopt a simpler lifestyle –
   enjoy your time on earth,
      admire your neighbours' frugality,
         and exist contentedly in your own community,
            making the best of available resources.

Establish good relations at local and national level …
   Enjoy the expansion in friendliness this opens up …
      Respect each others' right to exist.
          Don't imagine anywherelse is better than where you are now.

Tao Te Ching 79

At the end of a bitter dispute there will be ill-feeling.

Is there an alternative?

The enlightened may well be in the right,
but they would be well advised not to demand everything they're entitled to.¶

Let those who possess innergy* demonstrate their magnanimity:
Let those who possess none demonstrate their mean-mindedness.

In the great cosmic scheme of things…
   those who restrict the flow of energy will find ever greater restriction;
   while those who speed it onward will find every greater innergy.

*spiritual energy

¶ In China loan contracts were written on wood or clay tablets which were then broken in two, with each party retain half. To enforce or discharge a debt both halves had to be produced together before  cancelation or enforcement.


Tao Te Ching 78

Nothing in the world has less substance than water.
Yet nothing is better at wearing away adamantine rock.
   Nor can anything replace it.

People see this
   yet are incapable of learning this lesson
      or putting it into practice.

The enlightened person is …
… a whistle-blower who sees corruption and is outcast as a result of refusing to be drawn into it.
   S/he is the moral compass of the nation.
… someone who works selflessly to alleviate the effects of government action on the dispossessed.
   S/he is one of a beacon for the world.

Truth often lies within a lie:
   Lies are often masked by truth.

Tao Te Ching 77

The Tao is like the bow of heaven.
   When drawn, its top is bent down, its bottom bent up,
   and what was slack is tightened –
   creating the power where previously there was none.

The principles of cosmic energy flow
take resources from the strong to give to the weak.

Human ideas of energy flow take
   from those who have nothing
   to give to those who have most.

Who is qualified to offer the world spiritual riches?
   Only someone who understands Tao.

S/he alone can act without illusion,
   achieve objectives without demanding credit,
      and requires noone's permission.

Tao Te Ching 76

Alive, the body is soft and mobile:
Dead, it becomes hard and static.

All nature is fertile and flexible when alive,
becoming dry and rigid in death.

Whatever is dry and rigid brings tends toward death:
Whatever is fertile and flexible springs with life.

Thus, an inflexible army cannot win.
A large hardwood will be harvested.
A dominant personality doesn't always come out on top,
and may find a gentler more adaptable person prefered.


Tao Te Ching 75

If the people are starving
   it's because their rulers
      are stealing their food [throu taxes].

If the people are revolting
   it's because their rulers
      are making their lives impossible.

If the people are dying
   it's because their rulers
      are sacrificing them for their own ambitions.

      If the people's lives are unendurable
   then they who choose to die
are nobler than they who cling to life.

Tao Te Ching 74

The ineffectiveness of capital punishment is demonstrated by the fact that people still commit crimes.

Does such a law entitle me to execute criminals myself?

There exists but one master executioner for everyone.

If we presume to take hir place then we're like an unskilled person usurping the tools of a master carpenter – certain to end up with a self-inflicted injury.


Tao Te Ching 73

The foolhardy get themselves killed:
   the courageous survive.
[In time of war] who can say which is more useful?
   Yet on one, the Powers That Be pass judgment.
Not even philosophers can explain that.

… never strives, yet outperforms all opposition.
… never speaks, yet always responds eloquently.
… is not summoned, yet always present.
… goes at its own pace, yet organises everything perfectly.
Its net is vast and loosely woven yet nothing slips throu it.


Tao Te Ching 72

If people become habituated to violence –
   far worse awaits them.

Do not condemn the poor:
Do not despise their efforts.
   If a ruler acknowledges them
   they will eat out of hir hand.

In this spirit,
   as the wise gain insight
      so they should learn humility.
   With growing self-respect
      should come modesty.
Every experience should teach discrimination.


Tao Te Ching 71

Not to know is OK –
   to imagine you do is the problem.
Unless you recognise your shortcomings
   you cannot correct them.

Enlightened folk do not have shortcomings
… so long as they are aware of them.
That is why enlightened folk don't have shortcomings.


Tao Te Ching 70

My ideas are easy to follow, and easy to practise.
The world can't follow, and doesn't practise.
   My ideas are grounded in reality:
   My deeds based on clear principles.
The world can't see this, and therefore can't see my message.

Those who do are few – we are a rare species indeed.
Within our plain dress we conceal jade.


Tao Te Ching 69

In deploying military forces pay heed to the dictum:
   Better a guest than a host.
Play the responsive role:
   for retreat can serve better than advance.

March in formation formlessly.
   Raise arms harmlessly.
      Fight enemies without enmity.
         Maintain defences undefensively.
Yet never underestimate your opponent or you will lose everything.

When evenly matched forces meet,
the more humane side will win.


Tao Te Ching 68

The great generals are not men of war.
The best fighters don't get angry.
Those good at outwitting enemies do it before hostilities commence.

Good managers operate on the same footing as their workforce –
which allows everyone to share in the energy of consensus,
the surest way to promote goodwill.

By observing patterns of flow in the natural world
our forebears discerned that cooperation was the basic principle of existence.


Tao Te Ching 67

Everyone must acknowledge that the overwhelming power of Tao [cosmic energy flow] is beyond any other force in the world we can comprehend.
If there were something greater Tao wouldn't hold our attention for a moment.

Three values should be treasured above all:
… humaneness:
… focussed thought:
… unambitiousness.

Humaneness also gives one courage:
Focussed thought leads to good strategy:
Unambitiousness fits one for leadership.

Courage without humaneness may well produce strategic thinking,
but leads to over-ambitiousness and disaster.
When you fight be open to humaneness and victory will be assured.
Act with fore-thought and you will be safe.

The Powers-That-Be respond by guiding and guarding those who moderate their behaviour.


Tao Te Ching 66

Rivers and oceans are lords of the landscape.
It's because they occupy the lowest position
that they're more powerful than mountains.

So, if the intelligent aspire to positions of trust
they must practise humility as followers of opinion rather than leaders.
In this way people don't feel politicians in power are imposing on them.
They may be ahead of public opinion
but the populace doesn't feel dictated to,
and so elects them willingly.
So long as leaders don't descend to petty bickering
the public won't argue with them.


Tao Te Ching 65

The mythic kings of prehistory who governed by invoking Tao
used it not to educate people, but to keep life simple and harmonious.
The smarter the populace, the harder to govern.

Using only intellectuality to rule is to steal the state from its people.
Placing humanity first is a blessing all round.
Yet both approaches are arcs of statecraft whose convergence in the hands of a Tao-aware leader creates ideal governance.

Perfect intunity with all-that-is [/Mystic Union] opens a vista that revealing there is no single straight pathway to any objective, whether to left or right, above or below, for all significant destinations lie beyond our current event-horizon; and thus no human eye can predict an optimum route.
We have only the empowerment of Tao [/cosmic energy forces] to guide us on the invisible trackway.


Tao Te Ching 64

Control is easy when things are quiet.
The best time to plan is before they kick off.

Small (problems) are easiest to solve.
Think ahead and act: don't procrastinate.

Trees were once saplings.
The tallest tower was once a hole in the ground.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Opinionated folk tend to mess things up:
Opportunists generally fail.
By taking a measured approach the wise stand a better chance of success.
Remember, disaster can strike at any stage of a project:
minimise risk by being as careful towards the end as you were at the beginning.

Avoid being led by your appetites,
attaching no particular value to exclusivity.
Learn how to forget.
Learn how to correct public misperception/s.
Learn how to work in harmony with nature without presuming to know better.