My translation of chapter 44 of Tao Te Ching:
Your fame or your body, which is more important? (Paul's comment: the answer is obvious)
Your body or your possessions, which is more valuable? (Paul's comment: the answer is obvious)
Gaining possession or losing possession, which causes distress? (Paul's comment: the answer is obvious)
the more we treasure something, the more impending unhappiness we have stored up;
the more we possess, the more sadness will come in time of lost.
Content with the little possession that we have, we harbor no chance to being disgraced,
Knowing when to stop early, we will never find ourselves caught in a dangerous situation,
And we can stay happy forever.
Paul's comment: The essence of this chapter is in the last three lines. The logic lies before these lines. Whether or not one buys Lao Tz's logic is another issue. At the very least, Lao Tz tried to support his contention with arguments rather than as if preaching some "eternal truth" for everybody to follow. He was not a religious guru, he was in kinship with today's free spirited intellect. He was an anarchist more than a liberal. And he certain hated autocracy.