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The Tao Te Ching

A Translation by Stan Rosenthal

16. RETURNING TO THE ROOT

It is only by means of being
that non-being may be found.

When society changes
from its natural state of flux,
to that which seems like chaos,
the inner world of the superior man
remains uncluttered and at peace.
By remaining still, his self detatched,
he aids society in its return
to the way of nature and of peace.
The value of his insight may be clearly seen
when chaos ceases.

Being one with the Tao is to be at peace,
and to be in conflict with it,
leads to chaos and dysfunction.

When the consistency of the Tao is known,
the mind is receptive to its states of change.

It is by being at one with the Tao,
that the sage holds no prejudice
against his fellow man.
If accepted as a leader of men,
he is held in high esteem.

Throughout his life,
both being and non-being,
the Tao protects him.