Tao Te Ching
by Lao Tze


1. The skilful traveller leaves no traces of his wheels or

footsteps; the skilful speaker says nothing that can be found fault

with or blamed; the skilful reckoner uses no tallies; the skilful

closer needs no bolts or bars, while to open what he has shut will be

impossible; the skilful binder uses no strings or knots, while to

unloose what he has bound will be impossible. In the same way the

sage is always skilful at saving men, and so he does not cast away any

man; he is always skilful at saving things, and so he does not cast

away anything. This is called 'Hiding the light of his procedure.'

2. Therefore the man of skill is a master (to be looked up to) by him

who has not the skill; and he who has not the skill is the helper of

(the reputation of) him who has the skill. If the one did not honour

his master, and the other did not rejoice in his helper, an

(observer), though intelligent, might greatly err about them. This is

called 'The utmost degree of mystery.'