The Tao doesn’t take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn’t take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.
The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.
Hold on to the center.
(Stephen Mitchell’s translation)
I asked the snake, gold/green and sleek,
“Which is better, rain or sunshine?”
The snake struck at my boot and bit,
because I had gotten too close.
My words of enlightened wondering
were felt by the snake
as the warmth of a too-near threat,
and he slipped away,
down the hill like a tiny stream.
There was no good, nor bad in the snake’s bite.
The next time, I will simply stand further away,
and ask again, in a whisper.
Other chapters and responses here; feel to discuss, or add your own: http://taochow.wikispaces.com/Chapter+05