The Tao Te Ching — Poem #2

A portal to great and profound wisdom for deep thinkers.

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The Tao Te Ching, The Tao Te Ching (in simplified Chinese: 道德经; also known as the Lao Tzu or Laozi, which is also the name of the author) is a Chinese classic text over 2,600 years old. This important work, consisting of 81 paragraphs is fundamental reading for understanding the pure nature of love, as well as the mystical, philosophical, and religious elements in Taoism and Zen.

The Tao Te Ching is a primary text for, existentialists, atheists, agnostics, and serious spiritual seekers.

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Photo by Jack Prichett on Unsplash

Here is Entry #2: Self Culture-Self Development

When you experience beauty, you now have a

reference point and awareness of the ugly.

In the same way when you experience the good,

you are now aware of the bad.

Thus in every person and thing, there is polarity and duality;

what exists does so through paradox, contradiction

and ambiguity.

There is no having without not having.

Struggle creates ease.

There is no long without short and vice versa.

Musical notes and tones create harmony in

sound through the relation of one with another.

High creates low as low creates high.

Front and back are inseparable.

Knowing this, the person of profound wisdom

goes about the business of living without doing anything

and conveys profound teachings without words.

Events come and go and this individual makes no

claim to cause them or benefit from them.

Without regrets about the past or expectation for

the future they do what needs to be done,

and then move on detached from the form

of what has occurred.

This makes it eternal.


The Tao Te Ching had a strong influence on the development of Chan Buddhism, the form of Buddhism that eventually led to Zen. In 1972 I began a 40-year long project of researching word for word and sentence by sentence over 20 Mandarin to English translations of the Tao Te Ching to create what many experts believe to be the most truthful, and accurate meta-analysis of the Tao Te Ching ever organized. Many artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and gardeners, have used this meta-analysis and the related commentaries, of which this story is one, as a source of inspiration.

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By L. Harrison

The influence of the Tao Te Ching has spread widely outside East Asia and it is among the most translated works in world literature. It is studied by people of all faiths as a source of wisdom, spiritual clarity, and life lessons.

I look forward to reading your comments about this story.

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By Pixabay

Author — Lewis Harrison is a pioneering psychonaut, writer, and teacher. He offers a wide range of personalized and customized online courses on Zen, Taoism, personal development, self-improvement, and various life lessons. To learn about these courses and to read his extended posts go to

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I offer advice on the arts, innovation, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health, game theory strategies, and love.

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