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Tao Te Ching

Verse Two

When people see things as beautiful,
ugliness is created.
When people see things as good,
evil is created.

Being and non-being produce each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low oppose each other.
Fore and aft follow each other.
Therefore the Master
can act without doing anything
and teach without saying a word.
Things come her way and she does not stop them;
things leave and she lets them go.
She has without possessing,
and acts without any expectations.
When her work is done, she takes no credit.
That is why it will last forever.


About the Verse:

This verse highlights the concept of duality in the world and how one thing cannot exist without its opposite. The Tao is the ultimate reality that encompasses both yin and yang, light and darkness, good and bad. It emphasizes the importance of accepting and embracing the natural order of the world, rather than trying to control or resist it.

The verse also emphasizes the idea of wu-wei, which is the concept of effortless action or non-action. The Master referred to in the verse is someone who embodies the Tao and acts in harmony with the natural flow of things. She doesn’t force anything to happen, but rather allows things to unfold naturally. By doing so, she is able to achieve great things without exerting excessive effort.

Overall, verse 2 teaches us to embrace the duality of the world and to act in harmony with the natural flow of things, rather than trying to impose our will on the world.



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