Original . . .
As soon as beauty is known by the world as beautiful, it becomes ugly.
As soon as virtue is being known as something good, it becomes evil.
Therefore being and non-being give birth to each other.
Difficult and easy accomplish each other.
Long and short form each other.
High and low distinguish each other.
Sound and tone harmonize each other.
Before and after follow each other as a sequence.
Realizing this, the saint performs effortlessly according to the natural Way without personal desire, and practices the wordless teaching thru one’s deeds.
The saint inspires the vitality of all lives, without holding back. He nurtures all beings with no wish to take possession of.
My interpretation . . .
We only know beauty because there is ugliness.
We only know good because there is evil.
Without this duality how would we learn to make the right choices? How would we grow in wisdom? How would we experience the joy if we had not the counter weight of sorrow? For every positive in life there is a negative to accompany it.
A wise man understands the necessity for duality, but he does not succumb to its negative influence, rather he seeks a perfect balance between the two.
A wise man enjoys the learning curve he must take to create the object far more than it’s completion.
A wise man has the ability to see both sides of an argument. He knows that perception leads the hearts of men, and makes allowances for it’s deception in others as well as himself.
He is empathetic towards those who take the opposite view, and never glories in prideful conceit.
His success goes with him and his works endure forever.