Daodejing 20

Stop seeing distinctions
and there are no worries–
the difference between
“no” and “yes” is so small;

the difference between
good and bad. Those who fear
are to be feared. Distinctions:

the multitude enjoy themselves,
as if at a banquet or on a tower
in spring. The Taoist looks
listless and still, nearly invisible.

The Taoist is like a baby
before its first smiled,
looking sad, forlorn, homeless.

The multitude appears to have
enough and more. The Taoist
appears to have nothing at all
—simple-minded and rumpled.

The ordinary look happy, intelligent;
the Taoist looks benighted.

The ordinary look like
they have all the answers;
the Taoist looks confused, drifting.

The ordinary have places to be;
the Taoist looks like a bumpkin.

Yes, the Taoist–nourished by
The Way of the creative universe
as if it were mother’s milk–is different.



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