May200914

“Distinctions”
Dao de jing

As soon as everyone in the world knows that the beautiful are beautiful,
There is already ugliness.
As soon as everyone knows the able,
There is ineptness.

Determinacy (you) and indeterminacy (wu) give rise to each other,
Difficult and easy complement each other,
Long and short set each other off,
High and low complete each other,
Refined notes and raw sounds harmonize (he) with each other,
And before and after lend sequence to each other–
This is really how it all works.

It is for this reason that sages keep to service that does not entail coercion (wuwei)
And disseminate teachings that go beyond what can be said.

In all that happens (wanwu),
The sages develop things but do initiate them,
They act on behalf of things but do not lay any claim to them,
They see things through to fruition but do not take credit for them.
It is only because they do not take credit for them that things do not take their leave.

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