Daodejing: transcending the polarity

As human beings we tend to take a very judgmental view of what we see around us. We either like something or we don’t and are quick to compare it with other items.

A wise person transcends this polarity by acting without action (無為) and teaching without words just as the Dao allows nature to take its course without interfering with its workings.

In other words, try to resist the urge to rush to judgment and accept things on their own terms.

「天下皆知美之為美,斯惡已。皆知善之為善,斯不善已。故有無相生,難易相成,長短相形,高下相傾,音聲相和,前後相隨;是以聖人處無為之事,行不言之教,萬物作焉而不辭;生而不有,為而不恃,功成而弗居;夫唯弗居,是以不去。」
When the whole world knows to regard beauty as beauty, there is ugliness.
When the whole world knows to regard good as good, there is evil.
Thus, tangible and intangible nurture each other;
Difficult and easy complete each other;
Long and short define each other;
High and low determine each other;
Pitch and sound harmonize each other;
Front and back follow each other.
That’s why the wise:
Conduct their affairs with effortless action;
Spread their teaching without words;
Let all things unfold without controlling them;
Nurture them without making any claim on them;
Work for them without making them dependent;
Succeed without dwelling in it.
It is precisely because they do not dwell on their success,
That it stays with them forever.

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