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Lao Tzu for Everyone

Students, Scholars

& Seekers

Peter Gilboy, Ph.D.



the Way

            第 四 十 三 章

Line 1  天下之至柔




Line 2   入於无



Line 3 (吾) 以知


Line 4  不言之教无為之益


likely scribal error, loan character or corrupted character




More on

"Not Doing"

       无wú 為wé , or "not doing," is to live our natural self as bestowed on us by the Way. Easy enough, we might think. And it is easy, Lao Tzu tells us, providing that we covered our own 道tào, or way.

       Our own 道 way is always with us.  It never goes away.  It is our first-self, the one prior to all the layers of social learning we have accrued over the years. But it is rare that our social learning encourages us to become our first-self, that is, become who we already are. 

      We know when we have uncovered our own natural 道 way because we are at ease in the world. No anxiety, artifice, or posturing.  We are in accord with our nature then, and, perhaps for the first time, regardless of what we do or where we go, we are at ease.  But as Lao Tzu tells us here, few there are who find it.


Click on each line number

 for Chinese-English interlinear

& commentary


What is most gentle

in the world

overcomes what is hardest

in the world.










What has no being

enters where

there is no space.







That's how I know

the worthiness 

of not doing.






When it comes to

teaching without words

and doing nothing of oneself,

rare it is that anyone

attains to it.

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