Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 1






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1. On the Eternal Tao

The Tao that can be told of
Is not the Eternal Tao;
The Names that can be given
Are not Eternal Names.

Non-being(Nothingness) is the origin of Heaven and Earth;
Being(Significance) is the Mother of All Things.

We can perceive the Mystery of Something
Coming out of Nothing, through this Nothingness
If we use Significance, we will be able to understand the Difference
Between All Things and their Inter-Relationships.

These two (Nothingness and Significance)
Are derived from the same Source
And yet, they are of Different Names
So we call it Mystery.

We use these two Extremes
to call the Eternal Tao.
It is the Mystery of Mysteries.
This is how it becomes the Gate of Mystery to All Life.

Lao Tzu did mention Tao in two other chapters – Chapter 62, where he says that “Tao is the mystery of all things,” and in Chapter 67, where he says that “The whole world regards my Tao, but it is so large that it is beyond understanding. People do not view it as ordinary Tao. If you can describe what Tao looks like, gradually it can be boxed in, and it will no longer be a mystery. In other words, it is neither the Eternal Tao nor the Eternal Truth.”

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