flow free

XXXIV

The way flows free in all directions.
It's the source of all things,
Even the smallest.

It doesn't lay claim 
To great wonders.
It is humble, without wants.

All seek it,
But it doesn't 
Seek to master.

It doesn't strive,
And so it accomplishes 
Wonderful things.

power

XXXIII

If you understand others you are smart,
If you understand yourself you are wise.
Self-mastery and compassion are gracious powers.
The truly wealthy know they have enough.
The successful are those that try again.

names

XXXII

The way has no name.
It never changes.
It seems insignificant,
But nothing can contain it.

When we follow the way,
There is no need for law
Because it is written in our hearts.
We know when to cease naming
Because names can’t encompass all things.

All things end in the way,
Just as all rivers flow to the sea.

bad omens

XXXI

Weapons are bad omens.
We all should detest them.
It is wise to avoid them.

When we rejoice in victory,
We delight in slaughter.
When we resort to violence,
We will never bring peace to the world.

Briars bloom

XXX

No need of weapons,
No need of force.

Briars bloom
Where armies march.

After war:
Only crows and strife.

This is not the way.

compassion

XXIX

Out of compassion, the master
Avoids extravagance and excess.
Want to rule the world?
It cannot be done.
You’ll only make it worse
If you try.

limitless potential

XXVIII

From the block of wood,
Tools are made.
The Master uses these tools
But prefers the block’s
Limitless potential.
Know the honorable,
But embrace the disgraced.
Accept the world as it is,
And the way will always go with you.