Book - Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
Stephen Mitchell Translation
When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad1.
Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.
Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything2
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess3,
acts but doesn’t expect4.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.
go with the flow
What you own owns you
avoid greed and compulsive consumption
4: Detachment from results makes you more relaxed and better performing
Other translations I like
Beauty and ugliness have one origin.
Name beauty, and ugliness is.
Recognizing virtue recognizes evil.
Is and is not produce one another.
The difficult is born in the easy,
long is defined by short, the high by the low.
Instrument and voice achieve one harmony.
Before and after have places.
That is why the sage can act without effort
and teach without words,
nurture things without possessing them,
and accomplish things without expecting merit:
only one who makes no attempt to possess it
cannot lose it.
Stephen Addiss & Stanley Lombardo
Recognize beauty and ugliness is born.
Recognize good and evil is born.
Is and Isn’t produce each other. Hard depends on easy, Long is tested by short,
High is determined by low, Sound is harmonized by voice, After is followed by before.
Therefore the sage is devoted to non action, Moves without teaching,
Creates ten thousand things without instruction, Lives but does not own, Acts but does not presume,
Accomplishes without taking credit. When no credit is taken, Accomplishment endures.