Tao Te Ching #42: “Those who take less shall have more, Those given more shall have less”

The Way produces one;
one produces two,
two produces three,
three produces all beings:
all beings bear yin and embrace yang,
with a mellowing energy for harmony.
The things people dislike
are only to be alone, lacking, and unworthy;
yet these are what monarchs call themselves.
Therefore people may gain from loss,
and may lose from gain.
What others teach,
I also teach.
The strong cannot master their death:
I take this to be the father of teachings.

– Thomas Cleary


The Tao gives birth to one
one gives birth to two
two gives birth to three
three gives birth to ten thousand things
ten thousand things with yin at their backs
yang in their embrace
and breath between for harmony
what the world hates
to be orphaned widowed or destitute
kings use for their titles
thus some gain by losing
others lose by gaining
what others teach
I teach too
tyrants never choose their death
this becomes my teacher

– Red Pine


The number one of the Way was born.
A duad from this monad formed.
The duad next a triad made;
The triad bred the myriad,
Each holding yang
And held by yin,
Whose powers’ balance interaction
Brings all ten thousand to fruition.

By the names men most of all abhor—
“Orphaned,” “wanting,” “destitute”—
Kings and lords make themselves known.
For in this world
Those who take less shall have more,
Those given more shall have less.
These words have taught
And so shall I teach:
“Who live by might never do die right”;
These my authority, my guiding light.

– Moss Roberts