Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 8. The inexpensive nature

Chapter 8. The inexpensive nature

Image of the Spout Falls, Liffey, Tasmania
Image of the Spout Falls in Liffey at 41° 41′ 54.97″ S, 146° 45′ 44.52″ E (Tasmania) . CC-BY 3.0 by artist and uploader JJ Harrison

Greatest virtue is like water.

Water is good for everything.

It can pass through to even the most unreachable places effortlessly.

That is why it is like the Tao.

It is virtuous like the heart by being deep.

By exposing itself it has the virtue of love.

It is virtuous like speech being trustworthy.

It is virtuous like like the government cleaning and arranging.

It is virtuous like a servant in his ability.

It is virtuous, like action, by always arriving at the right moment.

And because it does not compete, it does not have enemies.


Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka Ervast (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura ry.

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 6. The origin of beings

Chapter 6. The origin of beings

Photoshopped version of a 1972 photo
Color corrected version of a 1972 photo “The Blue Marble“. NASA images are PD unless otherwise noted.

Like the stream of the valley never dries, so the basic essence of the existing never dries.

I call it the Mother-depth.

The movement of the Mother-depth I call the parturient of the heaven and the earth.

Forever it stays, and moves without destination¹.


  1. Mr. Ervast: “This reminds us of the Indian sankhya-philosopy’s understanding of prakriti i.e. the female eternally creative basic essence.”

Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka Ervast (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura ry.

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 5. Value of emptiness

Chapter 5. Value of emptiness

Picture of old bellows
Image of a bellows by fourthandfifteen. via flicr.com CC-BY 2.0 by uploader NemesisIII

Not heaven nor earth have special preference; they consider all humans and beings as holy sacrificial figures.¹

A wise one makes not differentiation; he considers all humans as beings made for holy purposes.

Heavenly space is like bellows; even if it doesn’t contain anything solid, it never collapses onto itself and the more is put into movement, the more it gives birth.

But an inflated human soon deflates.

There is nothing better than self-control.


  1. Mr. Ervast: “Actually dogs made of straws that were used in sacrificial rites in the dry season. To the Logos i.e. the aware creative God all manifested life, humans, gods, animals and “lifeless” beings exist only as thought-images born from his sacrifice.

Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka Ervast (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura ry.

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 4. Innocent

Chapter 4. Innocent

The Tao is boundless; its depth is the origin of all being.

It makes edgy objects smooth; it yields order from disorder; it dims brightness, it is wholly silent and clean.

I don’t know who gave birth to it. It is older than God.


Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka Ervast (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura ry.

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 78. Embracing the truth

Chapter 78. Embracing the truth

The impact of a drop of water in a full glass of water
Image of a drop of water impacting some water that doesn’t mind it. CC-BY-SA 3.0 by photographer and uploader Roger McLassus.

Nothing in this world is as weak and bendable like water is, yet for breaking down the mighty there is nothing like it.

There is no choice to be made here.

The whole world knows that the soft can wear the hard down and that the weak wins the strong, but no-one endures to act it out in his actions.

That is why the wise one says: “He who bears the sins of his country, is truly the lord of the country. Who bears the sufferings of the people is truly their king.¹

The words of truth are always peculiar (paradoxes)!


  1. Mr. Ervast: “Even as this is the savior moral of all ages, there is also a view of the coming savior of the world.”

Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka Ervast (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura ry.

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 76. The danger of power

Chapter 76. The danger of power

Image of a small baby sleeping.
CC-BY 3.0 by artist and uploader Kamaljeee

When a human is born he is delicate and weak, when dying he is stiff and powerful.

The same is with all things. Trees and sprouts in their early growth are soft and flexibile, but when they are dying they are dried up and tough.

Their hardness and stiffness are the companions of death, but finesse and flexibility are the companions of life.

That is why the soldier by trusting in his force does not conquer death and similarly a a strong tree becomes only firewood. For the strong and thick should be low but silent and consenting should be high.


Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka Ervast (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura ry.

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 75. The evil of greed

Chapter 75. The evil of greed

Image of farm workers harvesting a rice crop by hand
Photo by Kusakabe Kimbei. PD-life-plus-70

The people suffer hunger because those above them set heavy tax burdens on them. This is the cause of their lacking.

The people are hard to govern because of the commanding nature of those who are above them. This is the source of confusion.

People despise death because enduring life is so much pain.

That is the reason of their carelessness towards death.

That is why it is better to live secluded than to make much a-do about your life.


Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka Ervast (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura ry.

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 74. The mistake of governance

Chapter 74. The mistake of governance

Image of an ancient statue of a woman holding weighing scales.
CC-BY-SA 3.0 Uploaded by photographer P.Lameiro

When the people don’t fear death, what use is punishment to scare them?

And if they were always kept in the fear of death and I would take to all evil-doers and kill them, would I dare to do it?

The great Executioner is always waiting.

If someone steals his job, he is like a beginner that steps into the building site of the master builder.

Such people rarely do not chop off their own hands.

 


Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka Ervast (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura ry.