Tao Te Ching Chapter 20

Banish learning, and vexations end.

Between 'Ah!' and 'Ough!'

How much difference is there?

Between 'good' and 'evil'

How much difference is there?'

That which men fear

Is indeed to be feared;

But, alas, distant yet is the dawn (of awakening)!


The people of the world are merry-making,

As if partaking of the sacrificial feasts,

As if mounting the terrace in spring;

I alone am mild, like one unemployed,

Like a new-born babe that cannot yet smile,

Unattached, like one without a home.


The people of the world have enough and to spare,

But I am like one left out,

My heart must be that of a fool,

Being muddled, nebulous!


The vulgar are knowing, luminous;

I alone am dull, confused.

The vulgar are clever, self-assured;

I alone, depressed.

Patient as the sea,

Adrift, seemingly aimless.


The people of the world all have a purpose;

I alone appear stubborn and uncouth.

I alone differ from the other people,

And value drawing sustenance from the Mother.

Tao Te Ching