Heaven is eternal, earth everlasting.
They endure this way because they do not live for themselves.
In the same way, the wise person puts himself last, and thereby finds himself first;
Holds himself outside, and thereby remains at the center;
Abandons himself, and is thereby fulfilled.
Can you marry your spirit and body to the oneness and never depart from it?
Can you ride your breath until your entire being is as supple as the body of an infant?
Can you cleanse your inner vision until you see heaven in every direction?
Can you love the people and govern them without conniving and manipulating?
Can you bear heaven's children in all that you do and are?
Can you give the wisdom of your heart precedence over the learning of your head?
Giving birth, nourishing life, shaping things without possessing them, serving without expectation of reward, leading without dominating: These are the profound virtues of nature, and of nature's best things.
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing the self is enlightenment.
Conquering others is power; conquering the self is strength.
Know what is enough, and you'll be rich. Persevere, and you'll develop a will.
Remain in the center, and you'll always be at home. Die without dying, and you'll endure forever.
When the world practices Tao, horses fertilize the fields.
When the world ignores Tao, horses are bred for war.
There is no greater calamity than desire, no greater curse than greed.
Know that enough is enough, and you'll always have enough.
English language translations of the Tao Te Ching -