Tao is eternal and absolute,
Yet in its nameless, potential, and undifferentiated state,
It exerts little influence upon the world.
No one in the world can harness it wholly.
If only the rulers of the world could master it,
Then everything would naturally fall into place,
All our problems would be solved,
The people would be perfectly content,
And they would no longer need to be governed to get along.
Civilization gives rise to institutions,
And the habit of categorizing things,
Yet we need to recognize the limits of their efficacy:
To mark boundaries is to impose barriers upon the world.
Why is this important?
Because the way Tao manifests in the world
Is analogous to streams joining together into a great river
And those rivers uniting into an all-encompassing ocean.
You may order or download The Tao Te Ching here.
List of verses here