Flowering of Goodness    

J Krishnamurti

Tao Te Ching

1 - 5
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26 - 30
31 - 35
36 - 40
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46 - 50
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56 - 60
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76 - 81

Buddhist Classics

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Tao Te Ching
Book One



     I do my utmost to attain emptiness;
     I hold firmly to stillness.
     The myriad creatures all rise together
     And I watch their return.
     The teeming creatures
     All return to their separate roots.
     Returning to one's roots is known as stillness.
     This is what is meant by returning to one's destiny.
     Returning to one's destiny is known as the constant.
     Knowledge of the constant is known as discernment.
     Woe to him who wilfully innovates
     While ignorant of the constant,
     But should one act from knowledge of the constant
     One's action will lead to impartiality,
     Impartiality to kingliness,
     Kingliness to heaven,
     Heaven to the way,
     The way to perpetuity,
     And to the end of one's days one will meet with no danger.


The best of all rulers is but a shadowy presence to his subjects.
     Next comes the ruler they love and praise;
     Next comes one they fear;
     Next comes one with whom they take liberties.
When there is not enough faith, there is lack of good faith.
     Hesitant, he does not utter words lightly.
     When his task is accomplished and his work done
     The people all say, 'It happened to us naturally.'


     When the great way falls into disuse
     There are benevolence and rectitude;
     When cleverness emerges
     There is great hypocrisy;
     When the six relations are at variance
     There are filial children;
     When the state is benighted
     There are loyal ministers.


     Exterminate the sage, discard the wise,
     And the people will benefit a hundredfold;
     Exterminate benevolence, discard rectitude,
     And the people will again be filial;
     Exterminate ingenuity, discard profit,
     And there will be no more thieves and bandits.
     These three, being false adornments, are not enough
     And the people must have something to which they can attach themselves:
     Exhibit the unadorned and embrace the uncarved block,
     Have little thought of self and as few desires as possible.


     Exterminate learning and there will no longer be worries.
     Between yea and nay
     How much difference is there?
     Between good and evil
     How great is the distance?
     What others fear
     One must also fear.
     And wax without having reached the limit.
     The multitude are joyous
     As if partaking of the t'ai lao offering
     Or going up to a terrace in spring.
     I alone am inactive and reveal no signs,
     Like a baby that has not yet learned to smile,
     Listless as though with no home to go back to.
     The multitude all have more than enough.
     I alone seem to be in want.
     My mind is that of a fool - how blank!
     Vulgar people are clear.
     I alone am drowsy.
     Vulgar people are alert.
     I alone am muddled.
     Calm like the sea;
     Like a high wind that never ceases.
     The multitude all have a purpose.
     I alone am foolish and uncouth.
     I alone am different from others
     And value being fed by the mother.

...Excerpt from the Tao Te Ching

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Daily Words of Wisdom