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Amazing art pieces, articles, books, videos from the great masters

“Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. The world is sacred. It can't be improved. If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it.”

 
 
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The Tao Te Ching: An Illustrated Journey

by Lao Tzu  (Author), Stephen Mitchell  (Translator)

Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way) is a timeless guide to the art of living. Its central figure, the Master, lives in harmony with the Tao, the irreducible essence of the universe. Surrendering to it as the Master teaches, we feel whole. Emptying ourselves of judgment and desire, we discover the universal truths within: Without wanting, we find peace; if we let go of what we love, our love becomes present.

Stephen Mitchell's acclaimed translation of this age-old text has sold more than half a million copies worldwide. Here, for the first time, it is illustrated with Chinese paintings selected by Asian art expert Dr. Stephen Little. The perfect depiction of plants, animals, and birds expresses harmony with nature, the principal teaching of the Tao; the mountainous landscapes are the heavenly home of the Tao. Each brushstroke is painted with precision, just as each word of Mitchell's translation speaks with unmatched power.

This inspired translation, combined with the best images in Chinese art, will ensure that the Tao Te Ching continues to exert a profound influence into the next century.

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Tao Te Ching

translated by Stephen Mitchell
Chapter One

The tao that can be told
Is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
Is not the eternal Name.

The unnameable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
Of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realise the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
Arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.

Chapter Two

When people see some things as beautiful,
Other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

Chapter Three

If you overesteem great men,
people become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.

The Master leads
by emptying people's minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.

Practice not-doing
and everything will fall into place.