Wednesday, May 14, 2008

2: Don’t Split the Unity!


When everyone in the world sees beauty,
Then ugly exists.
When everyone sees good,
Then bad exists.
What is and what is not create each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Tall and short shape each other.
High and low rest on each other.
Voice and tone blend with each other.
First and last follow each other.
So, the sage acts by doing nothing,
Teaches without speaking,
Attends all things without making claim on them,
Works for them without making them dependent,
Demands no honor for his deed.
Because he demands no honor,
He will never be dishonored.

Don't Split the Unity

In the second chapter, Lao Tzu continues by presenting a consequence of what he stated in the first chapter. Because the opposites of existence are united in a necessary whole, it's detrimental to separate them – either in deed or in value...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 2 Translation and Commentary

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