I would say that book of Tao one of the profoundest books in the world’s philosophy.
The message of the book is simple and its dozen ideas are repeated in epigrammatic form again and again.
Briefly the ideas are: the rhythm of life, the unity of all world and human phenomena, the importance of keeping the original simplicity of human nature, the danger of over government and interference with simple life of the people, the doctrine of wu-wei or ,,inaction”…
Tao Te Ching,
and Stanley Lombardo…
Tao called Tao is not Tao.
Names can name no lasting name.
Nameless: the origin of heaven and earth.
Naming: the mother of ten thousand things.
Empty of desire, perceive mystery.
Filled with desire, perceive manifestations.
These have the same source, but different names.
Call them both deep-
Deep and again deep:
The gateway to all mystery.
Recognize beauty and ugliness is born.
Recognize good and evil is born.
Is and Isn’t produce each other.
Hard depends on easy,
Long is tested by short,
High is determined by low,
Sound is harmonized by voice,
After is followed by before.
The Sage is devoted to non-action,
Moves without teaching,
Creates ten thousand things without instruction,
Lives but does not own,
Acts but not presume,
Accomplishes without taking credit.
When no credit is taken,
Don’t glorify heroes,
And people will not contend.
Don’t treasure rare objects,
And no one will steal.
Don’t display what people desire,
And their hearts will not be disturbed.
The Sage rules
By emptying hearts and filing bellies,
By weakening ambitions and strengthening bones;
Away from knowing and wanting;
Deters those who know too much
From going too far:
And the natural order is not disrupted.