The structure of consciousness
The stable root in peace
25.1 There is a mystery, Beneath abstraction, Silent, depthless, Alone, unchanging, Ubiquitous and liquid, The mother of nature. 25.1 There is a being, of unknown origin, which existed before heaven and earth; imperceptible and undefined, unique and immutable, omnipresent, the mother of everything there is.
25.2 It has no name, but I call it "the Way"; It has no limit, but I call it "limitless".
25.3 Being limitless, it flows away forever; Flowing away forever, it returns to my self:
25.4 The Way is limitless, So nature is limitless, So the world is limitless, And so I am limitless.
25.5 For I am abstracted from the world, The world from nature, Nature from the Way, And the Way from what is beneath abstraction.
26.1 Gravity is the source of lightness, Calm, the master of haste.
26.2 A lone traveler will journey all day, watching over his belongings; Only safe in his own bed may he lose them in sleep.
26.3 So the captain of a great vessel should not act lightly or hastily.
26.4 Acting lightly, he loses sight of the world, Acting hastily, he loses control of himself. The captain can not treat his great ship as a small boat; Rather than glitter like jade He must stand like stone.
27.1 The perfect traveler leaves no trail to be followed; The perfect speaker leaves no question to be answered; The perfect accountant leaves no working to be completed;
27.2 The perfect container leaves no lock to be closed; The perfect knot leaves no end to be traveled.
27.3 So the sage nurtures all men And abandons no one. He accepts everything And rejects nothing. He attends to the smallest details.
27.4 For the strong must guide the weak; The weak are raw material to the strong.
27.5 If the guide is not respected, Or the material is not cared for, Confusion will result, no matter how clever one is. This is the secret of perfection: When raw wood is carved, it becomes a tool; When a man is employed, he becomes a tool; The perfect carpenter leaves no wood to be carved.
25.2 I do not know it by its own name. I designate it by the word Principle. If it were necessary to name it, one would call it the Great,
25.3 great going forth, great distance, great return. (The principle of the great cyclic evolution of the cosmos, of the becoming and ending of all beings).
25.4 The name Great befits (proportionally) four (superimposed) beings: The emperor, the earth, heaven (the classical Chinese triad), and the Principle.
25.5 The emperor owes his greatness to the earth (his theater), earth owes its greatness to heaven (of which it is the fruit), heaven owes its greatness to the Principle (of which it is the principal agent). (Greatness borrowed, as one can see, whereas) the Principle owes its essential greatness to its underived, uncreated existence.
26.1 The heavy is the base (root) of the light. Stillness is the prince of movement. (These things should be always united in a just temperament).
26.2 Therefore a wise prince, when he travels (in his light carriage), never separates himself from the heavy wagons which carry his baggage. However beautiful the landscape through which he passes, he takes care to lodge only in peaceful places.
26.3 Alas, how could an emperor behave so foolishly,
26.4 losing all authority by dint of frivolity, and all the rest through his waywardness?
27.1 A good walker leaves no trace, a good speaker offends no one, a good reckoner needs no tally,
27.2 an expert locksmith can make one that no one can open, an expert on knots can make them so that no one can untie them. (all specialists have their speciality, which makes their fame, from which they take their profit).
27.3 Likewise the Sage (Confucian politician), the professional saviour of men and things, has his own procedures.
27.4 He considers himself as the born master of other men, regarding them as material born for his craft. Now that is to blind oneself, (to shade out the light, the Daoist principles).
27.5 Not wishing to rule, nor to appropriate, others; although wise, seeming like a madman (persisting to live in retreat); this is the essential truth.