Can you embrace both the abstract and the concrete,
And see them as two sides of the same oneness?
This will help you maintain integrity
And avoid internal contradiction.
Meditating upon, and subtilizing your inner energy
Allows you to become as pure and receptive as a newborn.
Examining your perceptions of the world
Allows you to cleanse them of all dust and distortion.
Identifying with the people over whom you have influence
Prevents being distracted by your own self-interest.
As temptations avail themselves to you
Can you remain steadfast as a mother bird in her nest?
As you grow wise and knowledgeable about many things,
Can you retain the modesty of an amateur?
Both the Tao and the sage nurture the people
Without assuming any ownership of them.
They act without expecting results,
And lead without controlling.
Human beings call this virtue.
It is the very embodiment of Tao—
Tao manifesting itself via the human heart.
You may order or download The Tao Te Ching here.
List of verses here