Tao-te ching is divided into two sections: the Book of Tao, and the Book of Te. Still modern discoveries of older versions showed another division: the Book of Te
and the Book of Tao, which gives something like: The Classic of Te and Tao.
The first section of the book is mostly interested in philosophical ideas regarding the Tao and its manifestation. The second part,
addresses the problem of governing the country from the point of view of a Taoist (that is, a person who follows the Tao).
Its entire summary includes commentaries on the most known Taoist topics such as Tao, w
u (emptiness), wu-wei (nondoing), fu (return), and so forth.
Generally speaking, the content of the book is made of short essays approaching
the features of Tao - the creator and sustainer of everything in the Universe - and the way of following the Tao which is the supreme goal of Taoist sages.
Also the book teaches the art of governing the country and basically doing everything by following the Tao or Taoist ethics. This is why many specialists
consider the book a handbook of ruling addressed to the people of the high society in ancient China.
Much appreciated are the short statements that stress the relativity of everything in
the universe including the natural phenomena and the general behavior of man. Below is a quote from the chapter 2.
All in the world know the beauty of the beautiful, and in doing (Legge's translation).
this they have (the idea of) what ugliness is; they all know the skill
of the skilful, and in doing this they have (the idea of) what the
want of skill is.
-> Forward to Tao-te ching by Jhian
-> Commented chapters: chap. 1 | chap. 2 | chap.3 | chap. 12 | chap.18
chap. 22 | chap. 60
-> Our online course explaining the basics here
-> Sarah's Tao-te ching Meaning blog