Flowering of Goodness    

J Krishnamurti

Tao Te Ching

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Buddhist Classics

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Tao Te Ching
Book Two



     To know yet to think that one does not know is best;
     Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.
It is by being alive to difficulty that one can avoid it. The sage meets with no difficulty. It is because he is alive to it that he meets with no difficulty.


When the people lack a proper sense of awe, then some awful visitation will descend upon them.
Do not constrict their living space; do not press down on their means of livelihood. It is because you do not press down on them that they will not weary of the burden.
Hence the sage knows himself but does not display himself, loves himself but does not exalt himself.
Therefore he discards the one and takes the other.


     He who is fearless in being bold will meet with his death;
     He who is fearless in being timid will stay alive.
     Of the two, one leads to good, the other to harm.
     Heaven hates what it hates,
     Who knows the reason why?
Therefore even the sage treats some things as difficult.
The way of heaven
     Excels in overcoming though it does not contend,
     In responding though it does not speak,
     In attracting though it does not summon,
     In laying plans though it appears slack.
The net of heaven is cast wide. Though the mesh is not fine, yet nothing ever slips through.


When the people are not afraid of death, wherefore frighten them with death? Were the people always afraid of death, and were I able to arrest and put to death those who innovate, then who would dare? There is a regular executioner whose charge it is to kill. To kill on behalf of the executioner is what is described as chopping wood on behalf of the master carpenter. In chopping wood on behalf of the master carpenter, there are few who escape hurting their own hands instead.


     The people are hungry:
     It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes
     That the people are hungry.
     The people are difficult to govern:
     It is because those in authority are too fond of action
     That the people are difficult to govern.
     The people treat death lightly:
     It is because the people set too much store by life
     That they treat death lightly.
It is just because one has no use for life that one is wiser than the man who values life.

...Excerpt from the Tao Te Ching

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Daily Words of Wisdom