Tao Te Ching
by Lao Tze


1. There was something undefined and complete, coming into

existence before Heaven and Earth. How still it was and formless,

standing alone, and undergoing no change, reaching everywhere and in

no danger (of being exhausted)! It may be regarded as the Mother of

all things.

2. I do not know its name, and I give it the designation of the Tao

(the Way or Course). Making an effort (further) to give it a name I

call it The Great.

3. Great, it passes on (in constant flow). Passing on, it becomes

remote. Having become remote, it returns. Therefore the Tao is

great; Heaven is great; Earth is great; and the (sage) king is also

great. In the universe there are four that are great, and the (sage)

king is one of them.

4. Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from

Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its

being what it is.