The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth.
The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name; this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.
Not much is known about Lao Tzu, at least nothing that is certain. Some even doubt whether he is the author of the Tao Te Ching. However, his name became legendary with this writing, which also happens to be his only work.
Lao Tzu (his name is sometimes written Lao Tse or Lao Zi, and he is also known as Li Erand Lao Dan) was supposedly born in Honan on the 24th of March in the year 604 BC. His name means “old-young” and he has been called the “Old Master”.
Lao Tzu was very old, when he rode on a water buffalo to retire in the mountains to a province in the western frontiers. There he was approached by a border official named Guan Yin Zi, who urged the master to write down his teachings so that they might be passed on.
Lao Tzu then retreated into the solitude of the mountain pass, wrote the Tao Te Ching, whereupon he went westward and was never seen again.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
The rigid and inflexible will surely fail, while the soft and flowing will prevail.
The sage works anonymously, but does not wait around for praise.
The softest thing in the universe overcomes the hardest thing in the universe.
The Way of Heaven is to benefit others and not to injure. The Way of the Sage is to act but not to compete.
The way to do is to be.
Thus the Master travels all day without leaving home. However splendid the views, she stays serenely in herself.
To have little is to possess. To have plenty is to be perplexed.
To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.
To see things in the seed, that is genius.
When you accept yourself, the whole world accepts you.
When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole World belongs to you.