Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 23. Not joining

Chapter 23. Not joining

Restrain your speech and retain yourself.¹

Photo of a woodcut that just happens take form of Yin and Yang twirling into each other
CC_BY-SA 3.0 by artist EwigLernender

A tornado does not last the morning and heavy rain does not last till the end of the day.

Who has the power to deliver these but heaven and earth?

If heaven and earth cannot make these last a long time, how could man do it?

If someone is at harmony with the Tao in all things, through that harmony he is joined with the Tao.²

Virtuous person is joined with virtue, viceful person is joined with vice.

Who joins with the Tao, him the taoists receive with joy.

Who joins with virtue, him the virtuous receive with joy.

But who joins with vice, him the viceful gladly serve with vice.

For where there is lacking of trust there is no reciprocal trust to be met.


  1. Mathew 5:37 “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (KJV)
  2. Mr. Ervast: “Ancient teaching of human joining into God is the A and O of all spiritual life”

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

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