Chapter 27: Use Your Opportunities.

Benevolent folks leave no damage in their wake as they travel.

Virtuous orators give speeches with which one cannot find fault.

Truly good accountants don’t need calculators, computers, or even this year’s copy of the tax code to know what you owe.

(Now that is some serious math right there.)

One who is good at obstruction can close any door and keep it from opening.

One who truly understands the fine art of binding does not need rope, because rope can be untied. They play with your mind.

To be with wise people, often improving (themselves and the world around them) in the hopes of rescuing mankind, do not abandon people.

It is always good to save people and things and not to throw them away them as though they were unnecessary.

Speaking of inheriting understanding: good people should teach bad people.

“Bad” people, good people end up supporting financially.
They are not truly expensive to their masters, because there is no affection to provide.

Even though wisdom and knowledge would be
the best and most wonderful gift to give them,
it may confuse them.

You have to ask for something this special to appreciate it.

Chapter 26: Serious Character

Seriousness serves as the basis for gentle living,
Stillness, itself, serves as a hot-tempered ruler.

Because of this,
a serious ruler’s son,
finishing the day,
knows it will get him nowhere
to leave his heavy military supplies.

Although there are honored lands to behold,
he stays behind,
and can’t be bothered.

How can one make use
of the same services
which the public avail themselves of,
and set a good example, gentle under Heaven?

Being too gentle will lose a man his peers’ respect.
Being too hot-tempered or impatient will lose a man his title.

Chapter 25: The First Formation of the Tao

There existed

Something Thoughtless
Something Accomplished

before the world was born.

Lonely! Lonesome, standing alone, without needing to change.

Encircling one another,
becoming one shape in order to ward off danger,
they were able to act as
Mother to our Existence.

The eldest speak of times long since gone.
The past speaks of distant lands,
and distant lands speak of a return to our opposite ways:
a Rebellion inherent in our very Nature

That which causes Life is Great,
The Sky is Wide,
The Earth is Huge,
And Mankind is also Fantastic.

Among all these four things exists
The Greatness of the Tao,
and mankind resides as its highest form.

People’s laws are earthly.
The Earth takes its directions from the sky.
The Sky takes its directions from the Tao.
And the Tao takes its cues from Nature.

But if you’re reading close enough
you know that means that
Tao answers to no one but itself
and is constantly chasing its own tail
to create change,
because that’s where life exists.

Chapter 24: The Blessings Brought About By Hardship

If you stand on your tiptoes, you won’t have a firm stance.
While you are straddling a position, you make no advance.

People who are willing to parade themselves off to the world have nothing of value of which to shout.
People who boast and brag are not necessarily worthy of the merits and accomplishments of which they tout.

People who think their shit doesn’t stink will never actually get the power that they want, no matter how much power they have.

All those folks exist within the Tao in order to say: that which remains (humility, the knowledge of how to get things done when you are not in power, steady footing, etc.) eclipses all that stuff, even if it appears superfluous.