its simplicity, bound w/ the depth of its concepts, i find refreshing
The Tao-te Ching presented a way of life intended to restore harmony and tranquillity to a kingdom racked by widespread disorders. It was critical of the unbridled wantonness of self-seeking rulers and was disdainful of social activism based on the type of abstract moralism and mechanical propriety characteristic of Confucian ethics. The Dao of the Tao-te Ching has received a wide variety of interpretations because of its elusiveness and mystical overtones, and it has been a basic concept in both philosophy and religion.
In essence, it consists of “nonaction” (wuwei), understood as no unnatural action rather than complete passivity. It implies spontaneity, noninterference, letting things take their natural course: “Do nothing and everything is done.” Chaos ceases, quarrels end, and self-righteous feuding disappears because the Dao is allowed to flow unchallenged and unchallenging. Everything that is comes from the inexhaustible, effortless, invisible, and inaudible Way, which existed before heaven and earth. By instilling in the populace the principle of Dao, the ruler precludes all cause for complaint and presides over a kingdom of great tranquillity.
no unnatural action . . . i like that
the best way to live is like water —
live in accordance with the nature of things:
build your house on solid ground
keep your mind still
when giving, be kind
when speaking, be truthfulVERSE 8
Tao Te Ching
translated by Jonathan Star
I spent some time reading through all the different translations and interpretations in the book store, comparing the same verses, and knew pretty soon which one I wanted to read.