Another passage, DDJ II
, with spooky overtones of similarity to how some Buddhist discourses are worded, at the very least:
From the heavens descending all know beauty's as the beautiful, dividing the ugly thereafter.
All know skill's as the skillful, dividing the unskillful thereafter.
Because of this existence and nonexistence mutually arise, [because of this] difficulty and ease mutually [into each other] transform, [because of this] long and short mutually differentiate,
[because of this] high and low mutually overflow [into each other], [because of this] music and noise mutually harmonize, [because of this] soon and later mutually follow,
Therefore the sagely man dwells with wú wèi toward things, he acts without speaking[,] this he teaches;
With 10,000 things created here[,] as a result he [i.e. the sagely man] does not speculate, they [self-]generate without causality.
He acts but without claim [to his actions], the work he accomplishes but there is no dwelling.
He only has nondwelling, on account of this he has no departure.
For the sake of contextualization, and possibly self-effacement, here are some more 'professional' translators' take on the passage:
All in the world know the beauty of the beautiful, and in doing this they have (the idea of) what ugliness is; they all know the skill of the skilful, and in doing this they have (the idea of) what the want of skill is. So it is that existence and non-existence give birth the one to (the idea of) the other; that difficulty and ease produce the one (the idea of) the other; that length and shortness fashion out the one the figure of the other; that (the ideas of) height and lowness arise from the contrast of the one with the other; that the musical notes and tones become harmonious through the relation of one with another; and that being before and behind give the idea of one following another. Therefore the sage manages affairs without doing anything, and conveys his instructions without the use of speech. All things spring up, and there is not one which declines to show itself; they grow, and there is no claim made for their ownership; they go through their processes, and there is no expectation (of a reward for the results). The work is accomplished, and there is no resting in it (as an achievement). The work is done, but how no one can see; 'tis this that makes the power not cease to be.
(John C.H. Wu)
When all the world recognizes beauty as beauty, this in itself is ugliness. When all the world recognizes good as good, this in itself is evil. Indeed, the hidden and the manifest give birth to each other. Difficult and easy complement each other. Long and short exhibit each other. High and low set measure to each other. Voice and sound harmonize each other. Back and front follow each other. Therefore, the sage manages his affairs without ado, and spreads his teaching without talking. He denies nothing to the teeming things. He rears them, but lays no claim to them. He does his work, but sets no store by it. He accomplishes his task, but does not dwell upon it. And yet it is just because he does not dwell on it that nobody can ever take it away from him.
(D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus)
Everywhere it is obvious that if beauty makes a display of beauty, it is sheer ugliness. It is obvious that if goodness makes a display of goodness, it is sheer badness. For "to be and not to be are mutually conditioned. The difficult, the easy, are mutually definitioned. The long, the short, are mutually exhibitioned. Above, below, are mutually cognitioned. The sound, the voice, are mutually coalitioned. Before and after are mutually positioned." Therefore the holy man abides by non-assertion in his affairs and conveys by silence his instruction. When the ten thousand things arise, verily, he refuses them not. He quickens but owns not. He acts but claims not. Merit he accomplishes, but he does not dwell on it. "Since he does not dwell on it It will never leave him."
(Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel)
When every one recognizes beauty to be only a masquerade, then it is simply ugliness. In the same way goodness, if it is not sincere, is not goodness. So existence and non-existence are incompatible. The difficult and easy are mutually opposites. Just as the long and the short, the high and the low, the loud and soft, the before and the behind, are all opposites and each reveals the other. Therefore the wise man is not conspicuous in his affairs or given to much talking. Though troubles arise he is not irritated. He produces but does not own; he acts but claims no merit; he builds but does not dwell therein; and because he does not dwell therein he never departs.