Concerning the query of the Original Post (OP) for A simple straight forward translation of the Tao has been provided, for myself at least, by Witter Bynner in the statement: "The Way to do is to be." As with many simply stated truths, such as "to thy own self be true," When they are closely examined, rather than just repeated by rote, via the mechanism of, as luecy7 put it, "mental masturbation" they appear to expand almost exponentially. Many of the lessons to be found within the study of the Tao are like this, hence their somewhat cryptic nature. "Mental masturbation" is insufficient to achieve the fullness of these lessons and therefore Mr. Bynner's suggestion is of significant import. The Way to Do (Tao) is to be (Tao). or The Way to do (The Way) is to be (The Way). Not a separate part from The Way for this would require of one a precarious balancing act(ion). Nor is it enough to be a part of The Way for it is here that distinctions from the Tao are drawn. Nay, one must BE The Way be the fullness of the Tao that is the Way.