A good walker leaves no tracks;
A good speaker makes no slips;
A good reckoner needs no tally.
A good door need no lock,
Yet no one can open it.
Good binding requires no knots, Yet no one can loosen it.
Therefore the sage takes care of all men
And abandons no one.
He takes care of all things
And abandons nothing.
This is called “following the light.”
What is a good man?
A teacher of a bad man.
What is a bad man?
A good man’s charge.
If the teacher is not respected,
And the pupil not cared for,
Confusion will arise, however clever one is.
This is the crux of mystery.
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 27
One may move so well that a foot-print never shows,
Speak so well that the tongue never slips,
Reckon so well that no counter is needed,
Seal an entrance so tight, though using no lock,
That it cannot be opened,
Bind a hold so firm, though using no cord,
That it cannot be untied.
And these are traits not only of a sound man
But of many a man thought to be unsound.
A sound man is good at salvage,
At seeing that nothing is lost.
Having what is called insight,
A good man, before he can help a bad man,
Finds in himself the matter with the bad man.
And whichever teacher
Discounts the lesson
Is as far off the road as the other,
Whatever else he may know.
That is the heart of it.
Tao Te Ching 27, Witter Bynner translation