My teachings are very easy to understand
and very easy to practice;
yet so few in this world understand,
and so few are able to practice.
My words have a source (Nature).
My deeds have a master (Tao).
The people have no knowledge of this,
therefore they have no knowledge of me.
This is why sage dresses plainly,
even though his interior is filled
with precious jade.
As I Understand It:
Lao Tzu teaching is simple: live a Tao-centered life rather than an ego-centered one. Allow the life-sustaining energy of the Tao to guide you. Abstain from hateful thoughts and deeds. Give up trying to control the world. Stay simple. Be humble. Respect your own creative genius and that of the others.
The sage-like individuals dress plainly but within they conceal treasures. The treasures, the “precious jade” are frugality, humility and compassion.
Dyer, W. Wayne. Change Your Thought–Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao. Hay House, Inc. 2007.
The Way of Lao Tzu (Tao-te Ching), Translated, with introductory essays, comments, and notes by Chan, Wing-Tsit. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1963.