Daodejing 2


#2*

Under-heaven all
know the reason why
the beautiful is
beautiful:
the existence of
the ugly;

All know the reason
why the good is the
good: the existence
of the bad.

Therefore, to-be and
To-not-be beget
One another,
Difficulty and ease
Complement one another,
Long and short
Measure one another,
High and low
Complete one another,
Note and voice
Harmonize one another,
Front and back
Follow one another.

 Hence, the sage does by
doing-without-doing (wú-wěi),
teaches without words,
[aids] 10, 000 things
to grow without decrease,
generates but
without owning,
does but without
possessing,
greatly achieves
but without taking credit.

Never taking the
Credit, nothing is
Ever lost.[1]

*Translation by LU Wenlong & Keith Wayne Brown, ©2013.


[1] Very difficult phrasing here. Literally it says, “Only not taking credit, yet never losing.” So that more time is not spent trying to understand the strange phrase, we humbly offer the interpretation.

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