Unity in Variety

There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.
It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.

Lao-Tse: Tao Te Ching 25 (Mitchell)

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Lao-Tse: Tao Te Ching 1 (Mitchell)

The ancients attained oneness.
Heaven attained oneness and became clear.
Earth attained oneness and became stable.
Spirits attained oneness and became divine.
The valleys attained oneness and became fertile.
Creatures attained oneness and lived and grew.
Kings and nobles attained oneness and became leaders.
What made them so is oneness.
Dismantle the parts of a chariot, and there is no chariot.

Lao-Tse: Tao Te Ching 39 (Beck)