Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.
The universe is sacred.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it, you will ruin it.
If you try to hold it, you will lose it.
So sometimes things are ahead and sometimes they are behind;
Sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily;
Sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness;
Sometimes one is up and sometimes down.
Therefore the sage avoids extremes, excesses, and complacency.
(Tao Te Ching; Chapter 28)
'Tao Te Ching'
By Lao Tsu (Author), Gia-Fu Feng (Translator), Jane English (Translator), Toinette Lippe (Translator), Jacob Needleman (Introduction)
For nearly two generations, Gia-fu Feng and Jane English's translation of the Tao Te Ching has been the standard for those seeking access to the wisdom of Taoist thought. Now Jane English and her long-time editor, Toinette Lippe, have revised and refreshed the translation so that it more faithfully reflects the Classical Chinese in which it was first written, taking into account changes in our own language and eliminating any lingering infelicities. They have retained the simple clarity of the original rendering of a sometimes seemingly obtuse spiritual text, a clarity that has made this version a classic in itself, selling over a million copies.
Written most probably in the sixth century B.C. by Lao Tsu, this esoteric but infintely practical book has been translated into English more frequently than any other work except the Bible. Gia-fu Feng and Jane English's superb translation—the most accessible and authoritative modern English translation—offers the essence of each word and makes Lao Tsu's teaching immediate and alive. This edition includes an introduction and notes by the well-known writer and scholar of philosophy and comparative religion, Jacob Needleman.