The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion, by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, , at sacred-texts.com
Whatever is at rest can easily be taken in hand; while yet no omens have appeared plans can be easily formed.
What is brittle is easily broken; what is minute is easily scattered.
Act before necessity arises; regulate before disorder commences. 1
The trunk that can scarcely be embraced sprang from a tiny shoot; the tower that is nine stories high was raised from a mound of earth; the journey of a thousand li 2 commenced when the foot was placed on the ground. 3
Who makes, mars; who grasps, loses. 4
The Holy Man practises non-action, hence he never injures; he never grasps, hence he never loses. The majority are too eager for results in attending to their affairs, and spoil everything. There would be no such failures were they as cautious at the end as at the beginning. 5
Hence the Holy Man desires passionlessness; 6 he does not prize articles that are rare; he
studies to be unlearned; 7 he reverts to that which the masses pass by. In this way he promotes the natural development of all things without venturing to interfere.
108:1 "Take time by the forelock." Remember that everything depends on being right in the beginning.
108:2 "li"—1894 ft. English, making 27 4-5 li equal to ten miles.
108:3 I Pet. v, 8, 9.
108:4 See chap. 29.
108:5 i.e. if they ceased to "take thought for the morrow," and only cared to be true to themselves and their duty. Heb. iii, 14.
108:6 "The common herd are full of incessant solicitude; the holy Man is simple and ignorant."—Chuang-tzu.
"Desire nothing to happen as you wish, but wish things to happen as they do."—Epictetus.
"Whatever is agreeable to thee, O Universe, is agreeable to me; nothing is early or late for me that is seasonable for you."—Marcus Aurelius.
"Desire is guided from without, will from within."—Ancient Wisdom. p, 279.
"One should neither rejoice at obtaining what is pleasant, nor sorrow in obtaining what is unpleasant."—Bhagavad Gita.
"One who has self-control, looks within at his mind, and in his mind there is no mind; he looks at his form, and in his form there is no form; he looks further and observes Nature, and in Nature there is no Nature."—The Classic of Purity.
109:7 The student will here recall Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (born near Treves A.D. 1401, died 1473) and his favorite phrase "learned ignorance," or "learned not-knowing." Wisdom is from within, it is born of the spirit; intellect is from without, it leads to superstition.
"If thou wilt know or learn anything profitably, desire to be unknown, and to be little esteemed."—Thomas à Kempis.