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Of what use is it to throw everything away and become wise?
Up until now your luck has depended on the behavior of others, their compliments and appreciation, and your achievements and possessions; on kids, sex, alcohol and drugs; on the weather, on wishes and expectations which bring you only short moments of joy and satisfaction. When youíve gotten what you wanted the pleasure is over, and that makes you want more again and again and again, and the result you hoped for is lost. Youíll always have to have more. The Tao Te Ching describes the road back, back to oneness and simplicity, back to contentment, back to yourself, back to what you once were as a child. With every step in the right direction youíll have to do less, until you finally donít have to do anything anymore, donít want anything at all, without a thing to lose. Then you will never be afraid again, you won't know pain and grief anymore, youíll never get sick again, never be tense or restless; you will have no expectations so will experience no disappointments ever again. Then you will be wise and invulnerable.
The Ineffable, about which is spoken, is not the eternal Ineffable A name for the Unnameable, is but a name The Unnameable is what makes everything what it is By naming things you divide the Indivisible Only one who gives up all his desires can experience the Indivisible One who still cherishes desires, will experience only dissension Both will see the same reality, but experience it differently One who goes from the false reality into the other, Will pass through the narrow gate and receive the secret of true life
When people think `thisī is beautiful, they must think `thatī is ugly When people say `thisī is good, than they have to say `thatī is evil This is Inevitable People create a false reality out of the real one Hard and easy are relative Long and short depend upon each other High and low are determined by a position Sound and voice need one another Before and beyond assume a point of view Thatís why a wise man acts without intentions And wonít decide for others what to do Heíll let anything happen as it happens He wonít consider what he does as his own merit And only therein is he praiseworthy
When you praise people for their achievements, people will compete When you call things valuable, people will steal When people flaunt desirable things, it will make other people restless Therefore the sage sets himself to the task of emptying their heads To make sure theyíre not hungry, discourage their ambitions and strengthen their bodies So people will be without anxiety and without the desire for knowledge And the scientists will be played off the field When people wonít labour anymore All will live in peace
That which maintains the Creation Is like an empty barrel thatís inexhaustible It is like a fathomless emptiness, filling the whole Creation Its sharpness brings about curves Its angles dissolve It dims its light It restrains its touch How pure and calm it stays, like deep waters I donít know its origin It seems like it is even older than that by which it is brought forth
The Creation does not pretend to be friendly It treats all things impartially One who is wise doesnít act friendly All people are equal to him The Universe is like bellows Although empty, it fills continuously The harder it works, the more it brings forth The more you talk about it, the wearier you get Therefore, you'd better stick to what really matters