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 Daoist looks

listless and still, nearly invisible.

 

The Daoist is like a baby

before its first smile,

looking sad, forlorn, homeless.  

 

The multitude appear to have 

enough and more. The Daoist—

simple-minded and rumpled—

appears to have nothing at all.

 

The ordinary look happy, 

intelligent; the Daoist looks 

benighted. 

 

The ordinary look like

they have all the answers;

the Daoist looks confused, 

drifting.  

 

The ordinary have places to be;

the Daoist looks like a bumpkin.

 

Yes, the Daoist—nourished by 

the way of the creative universe

as if it were mother’s milk—

is different.

 

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