Part 6: Chapters 24, 34-35, 42


by Lao Tzu Icon

Chapter 24: Brahma

1 There was something undefined and complete, coming into existence before Heaven and Earth.

It was still and formless, standing alone, and undergoing no change. It reaches everywhere yet in no danger of being exhausted! It may be regarded as the Mother of all things.

2 I do not know its name, but I call it as an effect of the Way or Course of the Tao. Making an effort further, I call it Brahma [originally ‘The Great’].

3 The Brahma passes on in constant flow. Passing on, it becomes remote. Having become remote, it returns. Therefore:

  • The Tao [The Absolute] is Brahma.
  • Heaven [Metaphysics] is Brahma.
  • Earth [Physics] is Brahma.
  • The sage-king [Life] is also Brahma.

Thus, in the universe these four are Brahma.

4 Man takes his law from the Earth.

  • The Earth takes its law from Heaven
  • Heaven takes its law from the Tao
  • The law of the Tao or True Nature is Its being what It is.

Chapter 34: The tao of the Brahma

1 All-pervading is the Brahma! It may be found on the left hand and on the right.

2 All things depend on it for their production, which it gives to them, not one refusing obedience to it.

When its work is accomplished, it does not claim* the name of having done it. It clothes all things as with a garment, and makes no assumption of being their lord.

It may be named in the smallest things.

All things return (to their root and disappear), and do not know that it is it which presides over their doing so.

It may be named in the greatest things.

*Superphysics note: This is similar to Hinduism where the ego is detached from the effect of action

3 Hence in the same way, the sage is able to accomplish his great achievements. It is through his not making himself great that he can accomplish them.

Chapter 35: The Effects of the Brahma

1 The man who holds in his hands the knowledge of the Brahma, the whole world repairs. Men resort to him, and receive no hurt, but find rest, peace, and ease.

2 Music and dainties will make the passing guest stop for a time.

The use of the spoken Tao is inexhaustible, even if it seems:

  • insipid and has no flavour, and
  • not worth being looked at or listened to

Chapter 42: The Three Gunas

  • The Tao produced One. [Supreme Tao or God-consciousness]
  • One produced Two. [Duality]
  • Two produced Three. [Three Gunas]
  • Three produced All things. [Brahma or Mind of God or All Multiverses]

All things leave behind them the Obscurity out of which they have come, and go forward to embrace the Brightness into which they have emerged, while they are harmonised by the Breath of Nothingness.

2 What men dislike is to be orphans, to have little virtue, to be as carriages without naves; and yet these are the designations which kings and princes use for themselves. So it is that some things are increased by being diminished, and others are diminished by being increased.

3 What other men (thus) teach, I also teach. The violent and strong do not die their natural death. I will make this the basis of my teaching.

Chapter 40: The Tao and the tao

1 The movement of the Tao proceeds by contraries; [Positive-Negative] Weakness marks the course of Tao’s mighty deeds.

2 All things under heaven sprang from the Tao or True Nature as existing as the tao or nature. This nature sprang from the True Nature as originally non-existent and not named.

Chapter 51: The Operation of the Tao or True Nature

1 All things are produced by the Tao, and nourished by Its outflowing operation. They receive their forms according to the tao of each, and are completed according to the circumstances of their condition. Therefore, all things honour the Tao or True Nature, and exalt Its outflowing operation.

2 This honouring of the Tao and exalting of its operation is the result of a spontaneous tribute, and not any ordination.

3 Thus, the Tao produces all things, nourishes them, brings them to their full growth, nurses them, completes them, matures them, maintains them, and overspreads them.

4 It produces them and makes no claim of ownership of them. It carries them through their processes and does not vaunt its ability in doing so. It brings them to maturity and exercises no control over them. This is called Its ‘mysterious operation’.

Chapter 52: We are the Children of the Tao or our True Nature

1 The Tao which originated all under the sky is to be considered as the mother of them all.

2 When the mother is found, we know what her children should be. When a person knows that he is the child of the Tao or his own True Nature, and guards the qualities of the Tao that belong to him, then he will be free from all peril to the end of his life.

3 If he keeps closed his mouth and nostrils, then his life will be exempt from laborious exertion.

If he keeps his mouth open and breathes to promote his selfish affairs, then his life will have no safety.

4 The secret of clear-sightedness is the perception of what is small.

The secret of strength is the guarding of what is soft and tender.

5 If he uses the light of the Tao his True Nature, he will revert to Its Source so bright. His body will ward all blight.