Translation: Tao Te King -Chapter 55. Marvelous harmony

Chapter 55. Marvelous harmony

Picture of a painting portraying children playing and enjoying themselves
“Children Playing in an Autumn Courtyard” (秋庭婴戏图), close-up detail of a larger vertical-scroll painting on silk by Chinese artist Su Hanchen (苏汉臣, active 1130-1160s AD) of the Song Dynasty period. PD-ancient / PD life-plus-hundred uploaded by PericlesofAthens

The man, who is filled by the Tao, is like a small child.¹

Poisonous animals will not sting him; wild beasts will not attack him and birds of pray do not strike their claws into him.²

His young bones are not hard and his tendons not strong, but his grip is firm and sure.

He is full of manliness, even if unaware of his gender.

Even if he were to yell all day, his voice will never go hoarse.

From this we can see his harmony with nature.

The knowledge of this harmony is the eternal Tao.

This eternal Tao is the enlightenment of the spirit.

Unreasonable manners blossom in a human, and when mind yields to passions, they grow day by day.

But after reaching their summit they will cast the human to his destruction.

This is against the nature of Tao. What is against Tao, its end is near.


  1. Matthew 18:3 “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (KJV)
  2. Mark 16:17-18 “17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (KJV)

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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