Abandon learning—it brings only sorrow.
What is good and what is bad?
Must I fear what others fear?
The limit to our ignorance is endless.
Yet there is endless joy to be had—
The world is like a great spring feast.
I take in the views from high above it all,
Calm, alone, and expressionless as an unborn infant,
With nothing to do, and nowhere to go.
The people indulge in an abundance of wealth,
While I appear to have nothing.
The people are sharp and clear-minded,
Whereas I seem confused.
The people are confident and assertive,
But I look dull and withdrawn.
The people are gainfully employed,
Yet I remain stubbornly idle.
My mind is foolish, indeed rather vulgar.
Aimless as the restless winds,
I seem to have no direction at all.
I suppose I am rather different from everyone else.
Yet I am content. Everything I need is right here.
You may order or download The Tao Te Ching here.
List of verses here