Tao Te Ching
by Lao Tze


1. When we renounce learning we have no troubles.

The (ready) 'yes,' and (flattering) 'yea;'—

Small is the difference they display.

But mark their issues, good and ill;—

What space the gulf between shall fill?

What all men fear is indeed to be feared; but how wide and without end

is the range of questions (asking to be discussed)!

2. The multitude of men look satisfied and pleased; as if enjoying a

full banquet, as if mounted on a tower in spring. I alone seem

listless and still, my desires having as yet given no indication of

their presence. I am like an infant which has not yet smiled. I look

dejected and forlorn, as if I had no home to go to. The multitude of

men all have enough and to spare. I alone seem to have lost

everything. My mind is that of a stupid man; I am in a state of


Ordinary men look bright and intelligent, while I alone seem to be

benighted. They look full of discrimination, while I alone am dull

and confused. I seem to be carried about as on the sea, drifting as

if I had nowhere to rest. All men have their spheres of action, while

I alone seem dull and incapable, like a rude borderer. (Thus) I alone

am different from other men, but I value the nursing-mother (the Tao).