Master Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching
Lao Tzu and the work entitled the Tao Te Ching is a classic Taoist text. The Tao Te Ching is full of rich meaning and wisdom. The Tao Te Ching has been translated many many times and each new translation seems to shine like the facet of a diamond shifting under the light. Many translations are somewhat recent and their words can not be quoted here. The following quotes are from the 1891 translation by J. Legge and can be viewed in entirety over at the Sacred-Texts site. What makes this translation interesting is how the translator tries to make it read like a poem written in English in some instances, as can be seen in the first quoted verse.
“Always without desire we must be found,
If its deep mystery we would sound;
But if desire always within us be,
Its outer fringe is all that we shall see.
Not to value and employ men of superior ability is the way to
keep the people from rivalry among themselves; not to prize articles
which are difficult to procure is the way to keep them from becoming
thieves; not to show them what is likely to excite their desires is
the way to keep their minds from disorder.
Heaven is long-enduring and earth continues long. The reason
why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long is
because they do not live of, or for, themselves. This is how they are
able to continue and endure.
Therefore the sage puts his own person last, and yet it is found in
the foremost place; he treats his person as if it were foreign to him,
and yet that person is preserved. Is it not because he has no
personal and private ends, that therefore such ends are realized?
Who can (make) the muddy water (clear)? Let it be still, and it
will gradually become clear. Who can secure the condition of rest?
Let movement go on, and the condition of rest will gradually arise.
Who is content
Needs fear no shame.
Who knows to stop
Incurs no blame.
From danger free
Long live shall he”
-Lao Tzu , Tao Te Ching