Dao De Jing

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The Dao De Jing is a classic Chinese text. It is also known as the Tao Te Ching. The authorship of the Dao De Jing is traditionally attributed to Lao Zi, an ancient Chinese philosopher.

Translation of Dao De Jing by James Legge Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Chinese Pinyin
PART 1
1{a}
The Tao that can be trodden
is not the enduring and unchanging Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the enduring and unchanging name.
[第一章]
道可道,非常道。
名可名,非常名。
[第一章]
道可道,非常道。
名可名,非常名。
dào kě dào
fēicháng dào
míng kě míng
fēicháng míng
{b} (Conceived of as) having no name,
it is the Originator of heaven and earth;
(conceived of as) having a name,
it is the Mother of all things.
無,名天地之始﹔
有,名萬物之母。
无,名天地之始;
有,名万物之母。

míng tiāndì zhī shǐ
yǒu
míng wànwù zhī mǔ
{c} Always without desire we must be found,
If its deep mystery we would sound;
But if desire always within us be,
Its outer fringe is all that we shall see.
故常無,欲以觀其妙;
常有,欲以觀其徼。
故常无,欲以观其妙;
常有,欲以观其徼。
gù cháng wú
yù yǐ guān qí miào
cháng yǒu
yù yǐ guān qí jiǎo
{d} Under these two aspects, it is really the same;
but as development takes place, it receives the different names.
Together we call them the Mystery.
Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that is subtle and wonderful.
此兩者,
同出而異名,
同謂之玄。
玄之又玄,
眾妙之門。
此两者,
同出而异名,
同谓之玄。
玄之又玄,
众妙之门。
cǐ liǎng zhě
tóng chū ér yì míng
tóng wèi zhī xuán
xuán zhī yòu xuán
zhòng miào zhī mén
2{a}
All in the world know the beauty of the beautiful,
and in doing 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.
[第二章]
天下皆知美之為美,
斯惡矣﹔
皆知善之為善,
斯不善矣。
[第二章]
天下皆知美之为美,
斯恶矣;
皆知善之为善,
斯不善矣。
tiānxià jiē zhī měi zhī wèi měi
sī è yǐ
jiē zhī shàn zhī wèi shàn
sī bùshàn yǐ
{b} So it is that existence and non-existence give birth the one to (the idea of) the other;
that difficulty and ease produce the one (the idea of) the other;
that length and shortness fashion out the one the figure of the other;
that (the ideas of) height and lowness arise from the contrast of the one with the other;
that the musical notes and tones become harmonious through the relation of one with another;
and that being before and behind give the idea of one following another.
故有無相生,
難易相成,
長短相形,
高下相傾,
音聲相和,
前後相隨。
故有无相生,
难易相成,
长短相形,
高下相倾,
音声相和,
前後相随。
gù yǒu wú xiāng shēng
nán yì xiāng chéng
chángduǎn xiāng xíng
gāo xià xiāng qīng
yīn shēng xiāng hé
qián hòu xiāngsuí
{c} Therefore the sage manages affairs without doing anything,
and conveys his instructions without the use of speech.
是以聖人處「無為」之事,
行「不言」之教。
是以圣人处「无为」之事,
行「不言」之教。
shì yǐ shèngrén chǔ
「wú wèi」 zhī shì
xíng 「bù yán」 zhī jiào
{d} All things spring up,
and there is not one which declines to show itself;
they grow, and there is no claim made for their ownership;
they go through their processes,
and there is no expectation (of a reward for the results).
The work is accomplished,
and there is no resting in it (as an achievement).
The work is done, but how no one can see;
'Tis this that makes the power not cease to be.
萬物作焉而不辭,
生而不有,
為而不恃,
功成而弗居。
夫唯弗居,
是以不去。
万物作焉而不辞,
生而不有,
为而不恃,
功成而弗居。
夫唯弗居,
是以不去。
wànwù zuò yān ér bù cí
shēng ér bù yǒu
wèi ér bù shì
gōng chéng ér fú jū
fū wéi fú jū
shì yǐ bù qù
3{a}
Not to value and employ men of superior ability is the way to keep the people from rivalry among themselves;
not to prize articles which are difficult to procure is the way to keep them from becoming thieves;
not to show them what is likely to excite their desires is the way to keep their minds from disorder.
[第三章]
不尚賢,
使民不爭﹔
不貴難得之貨,
使民不為盜﹔
不見可欲,
使民心不亂。
[第三章]
不尚贤,
使民不争;
不贵难得之货,
使民不为盗;
不见可欲,
使民心不乱。
bù shàng xián
shǐ mín bù zhēng
bù guì nándé zhī huò
shǐ mín bù wèi dào
bú jiàn kě yù
shǐ mín xīn bù luàn
{b} Therefore the sage,
in the exercise of his government,
empties their minds,
fills their bellies,
weakens their wills,
and strengthens their bones.
是以「聖人」之治,
虛其心,
實其腹,
弱其志,
強其骨。
是以「圣人」之治,
虚其心,
实其腹,
弱其志,
强其骨。
shì yǐ 「shèngrén」 zhī zhì
xū qí xīn
shí qí fù
ruò qí zhì
qiáng qí gǔ
{c} He constantly (tries to) keep them without knowledge and without desire, and where there are those who have knowledge, to keep them from presuming to act (on it). When there is this abstinence from action, good order is universal. 常使民無知無欲。使夫智者不敢為也。為「無為」,則無不治。 常使民无知无欲。使夫智者不敢为也。为「无为」,则无不治。 cháng shǐ mín wúzhī wú yù shǐ fū zhì zhě bù gǎn wèi yě wèi wú wèi zé wú bù zhì
4{a}
The Tao is (like) the emptiness of a vessel; and in our employment of it we must be on our guard against all fulness. How deep and unfathomable it is, as if it were the Honoured Ancestor of all things!
[第四章]
「道」沖,而用之或不盈。淵兮,似萬物之宗﹔
[第四章]
「道」冲,而用之或不盈。渊兮,似万物之宗;
dào chōng ér yòng zhī huò bù yíng yuān xī sì wànwù zhī zōng
{b} We should blunt our sharp points, and unravel the complications of things; we should attemper our brightness, and bring ourselves into agreement with the obscurity of others. How pure and still the Tao is, as if it would ever so continue! 挫其銳,解其紛,和其光,同其塵﹔湛兮似或存。 挫其锐,解其纷,和其光,同其尘;湛兮似或存。 cuò qí ruì jiě qí fēn hé qí guāng tóng qí chén zhàn xī sì huò cún
{c} I do not know whose son it is. It might appear to have been before God. 吾不知誰之子?象帝之先。 吾不知谁之子?象帝之先。 wú bùzhī shuí zhī zǐ xiàng dì zhī xiān
5{a}
Heaven and earth do not act from (the impulse of) any wish to be benevolent;
they deal with all things as the dogs of grass are dealt with.
The sages do not act from (any wish to be) benevolent;
they deal with the people as the dogs of grass are dealt with.
[第五章]
天地不仁,以萬物為芻狗﹔
聖人不仁,以百姓為芻狗。
[第五章]
天地不仁,以万物为刍狗;
圣人不仁,以百姓为刍狗。
tiāndì bùrén
yǐ wànwù wèi chú gǒu
shèngrén bùrén
yǐ bǎixìng wèi chú gǒu
{b} May not the space between heaven and earth be compared to a bellows?
'Tis emptied, yet it loses not its power;
'Tis moved again, and sends forth air the more.
Much speech to swift exhaustion lead we see;
Your inner being guard, and keep it free.
天地之間,其猶橐蘥乎?
虛而不屈,動而愈出。
多言數窮,不如守中。
天地之间,其犹橐蘥乎?
虚而不屈,动而愈出。
多言数穷,不如守中。
tiāndì zhījiān qí yóu tuó hū
xū ér bù qū dòng ér yù chū
duō yán shǔ qióng bùrú shǒu zhōng
6{a}
The valley spirit dies not, aye the same;
The female mystery thus do we name.
Its gate, from which at first they issued forth,
Is called the root from which grew heaven and earth.
Long and unbroken does its power remain,
Used gently, and without the touch of pain.
[第六章]
谷神不死,
是謂玄牝。
玄牝之門,
是謂天地根。
綿綿若存,
用之不勤。
[第六章]
谷神不死,
是谓玄牝。
玄牝之门,
是谓天地根。
绵绵若存,
用之不勤。
gǔ shén bù sǐ
shì wèi xuán pìn
xuán pìn zhī mén
shì wèi tiāndì gēn
mián mián ruò cún
yòng zhī bù qín
7{a}
Heaven is long-enduring and earth continues long.
The reason why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long is because they do not live of, or for, themselves.
This is how they are able to continue and endure.
[第七章]
天長地久。
天地所以能長且久者,
以其不自生,
故能長久。
[第七章]
天长地久。
天地所以能长且久者,
以其不自生,
故能长久。
tiān cháng dì jiǔ
tiān dì suǒyǐ néng cháng qiě jiǔ zhě
yǐ qí bù zì shēng
gù néng cháng jiǔ
{b} Therefore the sage puts his own person last,
and yet it is found in the foremost place;
he treats his person as if it were foreign to him,
and yet that person is preserved.
Is it not because he has no personal and private ends,
that therefore such ends are realised?
是以聖人後其身而身先,
外其身而身存。
非以其無私邪?
故能成其私。
是以圣人後其身而身先,
外其身而身存。
非以其无私邪?
故能成其私。
shì yǐ shèngrén hòu qí shēn ér shēn xiān
wài qí shēn ér shēn cún
fēi yǐ qí wúsī xié
gù néng chéng qí sī
8{a}
The highest excellence is like (that of) water.
The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things,
and in its occupying, without striving (to the contrary), the low place which all men dislike.
Hence (its way) is near to (that of) the Tao.
[第八章]
上善若水。
水善利萬物而不爭。
處眾人之所惡,
故幾於道。
[第八章]
上善若水。
水善利万物而不争。
处众人之所恶,
故几於道。
shàng shàn ruò shuǐ
shuǐ shàn lì wànwù ér bù zhēng
chǔ zhòngrén zhī suǒ è
gù jǐ yú dào
{b} The excellence of a residence is in (the suitability of) the place;
that of the mind is in abysmal stillness;
that of associations is in their being with the virtuous;
that of government is in its securing good order;
that of (the conduct of) affairs is in its ability;
and that of (the initiation of) any movement is in its timeliness.
居善地,
心善淵,
與善仁,
言善信,
政善治,
事善能,
動善時。
居善地,
心善渊,
与善仁,
言善信,
政善治,
事善能,
动善时。
jū shàn dì
xīn shàn yuān
yǔ shàn rén
yán shàn xìn
zhèng shàn zhì
shì shàn néng
dòng shàn shí
{c} And when (one with the highest excellence) does not wrangle (about his low position), no one finds fault with him. 夫唯不爭,故無尤。 夫唯不争,故无尤。 fū wéi bù zhēng gù wú yóu
9{a}
It is better to leave a vessel unfilled, than to attempt to carry it when it is full. If you keep feeling a point that has been sharpened, the point cannot long preserve its sharpness.
[第九章]
持而盈之,不如其已﹔揣而銳之,不可長保。
[第九章]
持而盈之,不如其已;揣而锐之,不可长保。
chí ér yíng zhī bùrú qí yǐ chuài ér ruì zhī bù kě cháng bǎo
{b} When gold and jade fill the hall, their possessor cannot keep them safe. When wealth and honours lead to arrogancy, this brings its evil on itself. When the work is done, and one's name is becoming distinguished, to withdraw into obscurity is the way of Heaven. 金玉滿堂,莫之能守﹔富貴而驕,自遺其咎。功遂身退,天之道。 金玉满堂,莫之能守;富贵而骄,自遗其咎。功遂身退,天之道。 jīnyù mǎn táng mò zhī néng shǒu fùguì ér jiāo zì yí qí jiù gōng suì shēn tuì tiān zhī dào
10{a}
When the intelligent and animal souls are held together in one embrace, they can be kept from separating. When one gives undivided attention to the (vital) breath, and brings it to the utmost degree of pliancy, he can become as a (tender) babe. When he has cleansed away the most mysterious sights (of his imagination), he can become without a flaw.
[第十章]
載營魄抱一,能無離乎?專氣致柔,能嬰兒乎?滌除玄覽,能無疵乎?
[第十章]
载营魄抱一,能无离乎?专气致柔,能婴儿乎?涤除玄览,能无疵乎?
zǎi yíng pò bào yī néng wú lí hū zhuān qì zhì róu néng yīng'ér hū dí chú xuán lǎn néng wú cī hū
{b} In loving the people and ruling the state, cannot he proceed without any (purpose of) action? In the opening and shutting of his gates of heaven, cannot he do so as a female bird? While his intelligence reaches in every direction, cannot he (appear to) be without knowledge? 愛國治民,能無為乎?天門開闔,能為雌乎?明白四達,能無知乎? 爱国治民,能无为乎?天门开阖,能为雌乎?明白四达,能无知乎? àiguó zhì mín néng wú wèi hū tiān mén kāi hé néng wèi cí hū míngbai sì dá néng wúzhī hū
{c} (The Tao) produces (all things) and nourishes them; it produces them and does not claim them as its own; it does all, and yet does not boast of it; it presides over all, and yet does not control them. This is what is called 'The mysterious Quality' (of the Tao). 生之畜之,生而不有,為而不恃,長而不宰,是謂玄德。 生之畜之,生而不有,为而不恃,长而不宰,是谓玄德。[第十一章]
shēng zhī chù zhī shēng ér bù yǒu wèi ér bù shì cháng ér bù zǎi shì wèi xuán dé dì shíyī zhāng
11{a}
The thirty spokes unite in the one nave; but it is on the empty space (for the axle), that the use of the wheel depends.
Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that their use depends.
The door and windows are cut out (from the walls) to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space (within), that its use depends.
Therefore, what has a (positive) existence serves for profitable adaptation, and what has not that for (actual) usefulness.
[第十一章]
三十輻共一轂,當其無,有車之用。
埏埴以為器,當其無,有器之用。
鑿戶牖以為室,當其無,有室之用。
故有之以為利,無之以為用。
三十辐共一毂,当其无,有车之用。
埏埴以为器,当其无,有器之用。
凿户牖以为室,当其无,有室之用。
故有之以为利,无之以为用。
sānshí fú gòng yī gǔ dāng qí wú yǒu chē zhī yòng
shān zhí yǐwéi qì dāng qí wú yǒu qì zhī yòng
záo hù yǒu yǐwéi shì dāng qí wú yǒu shì zhī yòng
gù yǒu zhī yǐwéi lì wú zhī yǐwéi yòng
12{a}
Colour's five hues, from th' eyes their sight will take;
Music's five notes, the ears as deaf can make;
The flavours five deprive the mouth of taste;
The chariot course, and the wild hunting waste,
Make mad the mind; and objects rare and strange,
Sought for, men's conduct will to evil change.
[第十二章]
五色令人目盲﹔五音令人耳聾﹔五味令人口爽﹔馳騁畋獵,令人心發狂﹔難得之貨,令人行妨。
[第十二章]
五色令人目盲;五音令人耳聋;五味令人口爽;驰骋畋猎,令人心发狂;难得之货,令人行妨。
wǔ sè lìng rén mù máng wǔ yīn lìng rén ěr lóng wǔ wèi lìng rénkǒu shuǎng chíchěng tián liè lìng rénxīn fākuáng nándé zhī huò lìng rén xíng fāng
{b} Therefore the sage seeks to satisfy (the craving of) the belly, and not the (insatiable longing of the) eyes.
He puts from him the latter, and prefers to seek the former.
是以聖人為腹不為目,故去彼取此。 是以圣人为腹不为目,故去彼取此。 shì yǐ shèngrén wèi fù bù wèi mù gù qù bǐ qǔ cǐ
13{a}
Favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared; honour and great calamity, to be regarded as personal conditions (of the same kind).
[第十三章]
寵辱若驚,貴大患若身。
[第十三章]
宠辱若惊,贵大患若身。
chǒng rǔ ruò jīng guì dà huàn ruò shēn
{b} What is meant by speaking thus of favour and disgrace?
Disgrace is being in a low position (after the enjoyment of favour).
The getting that (favour) leads to the apprehension (of losing it), and the losing it leads to the fear of (still greater calamity):—this is what is meant by saying that favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared.
And what is meant by saying that honour and great calamity are to be (similarly) regarded as personal conditions?
What makes me liable to great calamity is my having the body (which I call myself); if I had not the body, what great calamity could come to me?
何謂寵辱若驚?
寵為下,得之若驚,失之若驚,是謂寵辱若驚。
何謂貴大患若身?
吾所以有大患者,為吾有身,及吾無身,吾有何患?
何谓宠辱若惊?
宠为下,得之若惊,失之若惊,是谓宠辱若惊。
何谓贵大患若身?
吾所以有大患者,为吾有身,及吾无身,吾有何患?
héwèi chǒng rǔ ruò jīng
chǒng wèi xià de zhī ruò jīng shī zhī ruò jīng shì wèi chǒng rǔ ruò jīng
héwèi guì dà huàn ruò shēn
wú suǒyǐ yǒu dà huànzhě wèi wú yǒu shēn jí wú wú shēn wú yǒu hé huàn
{c} Therefore he who would administer the kingdom, honouring it as he honours his own person, may be employed to govern it, and he who would administer it with the love which he bears to his own person may be entrusted with it. 故貴以身為天下,若可寄天下﹔愛以身為天下,若可托天下。 故贵以身为天下,若可寄天下;爱以身为天下,若可托天下。 gù guì yǐ shēn wèi tiānxià ruò kě jì tiānxià ài yǐ shēn wèi tiānxià
14{a}
We look at it, and we do not see it, and we name it 'the Equable.'
We listen to it, and we do not hear it, and we name it 'the Inaudible.'
We try to grasp it, and do not get hold of it, and we name it 'the Subtle.'
With these three qualities, it cannot be made the subject of description; and hence we blend them together and obtain The One.
[第十四章]
視之不見,名曰「夷」﹔
聽之不聞,名曰「希」﹔
搏之不得,名曰「微」。
此三者不可致詰,故混而為一。
[第十四章]
视之不见,名曰「夷」;
听之不闻,名曰「希」;
搏之不得,名曰「微」。
此三者不可致诘,故混而为一。
shì zhī bújiàn
míng yuē 「yí」
tīng zhī bù wén
míng yuē 「xī」
bó zhī bù de
míng yuē 「wēi」
cǐ sān zhě bù kě zhì jié
gù hùn ér wèi yī
{b} Its upper part is not bright, and its lower part is not obscure.
Ceaseless in its action, it yet cannot be named, and then it again returns and becomes nothing.
This is called the Form of the Formless, and the Semblance of the Invisible;
this is called the Fleeting and Indeterminable.
其上不皦,其下不昧。
繩繩不可名,復歸於無物。
是謂無狀之狀,無物之象,是謂惚恍。
其上不皦,其下不昧。
绳绳不可名,复归於无物。
是谓无状之状,无物之象,是谓惚恍。
qí shàng bù qí xià bù mèi
shéng shéng bù kě míng fù guī yú wú wù
shì wèi wú zhuàng zhī zhuàng wú wù zhī xiàng shì wèi hū huǎng
{c} We meet it and do not see its Front; we follow it, and do not see its Back.
When we can lay hold of the Tao of old to direct the things of the present day, and are able to know it as it was of old in the beginning, this is called (unwinding) the clue of Tao.
迎之不見其首,隨之不見其後。
執古之道,以御今之有。能知古始,是謂道紀。
迎之不见其首,随之不见其後。执古之道,以御今之有。
能知古始,是谓道纪。
yíng zhī bújiàn qí shǒu suí zhī bújiàn qí hòu zhí gǔ zhī dào yǐ yù jīn zhī yǒu
néng zhī gǔ shǐ shì wèi dào jì
15{a}
The skilful masters (of the Tao) in old times, with a subtle and exquisite penetration, comprehended its mysteries, and were deep (also) so as to elude men's knowledge. As they were thus beyond men's knowledge, I will make an effort to describe of what sort they appeared to be.
[第十五章]
古之善為士者,微妙玄通,深不可識。夫唯不可識,故強為之容:
[第十五章]
古之善为士者,微妙玄通,深不可识。夫唯不可识,故强为之容:
gǔ zhī shàn wèi shì zhě wēimiào xuán tōng shēn bù kě shí fū wéi bù kě shí gù qiáng wèi zhī róng
{b} Shrinking looked they like those who wade through a stream in winter;
irresolute like those who are afraid of all around them;
grave like a guest (in awe of his host);
evanescent like ice that is melting away;
unpretentious like wood that has not been fashioned into anything;
vacant like a valley, and
dull like muddy water.
豫兮若冬涉川﹔
猶兮若畏四鄰﹔
儼兮其若客﹔
渙兮若冰之釋﹔
敦兮其若朴﹔
曠兮其若谷﹔
混兮其若濁。
豫兮若冬涉川;
犹兮若畏四邻;
俨兮其若客;
涣兮若冰之释;
敦兮其若朴;
旷兮其若谷;
混兮其若浊。
Yù xī ruò dōng shè chuān yóu xī ruò wèi sìlín yǎn xī qí ruò kè huàn xī ruò bīng zhī shì dūn xī qí ruò pǔ kuàng xī qí ruò gǔ hùn xī qí ruò zhuó
{c} Who can (make) the muddy water (clear)?
Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear.
Who can secure the condition of rest?
Let movement go on, and the condition of rest will gradually arise.
孰能晦以理之徐明?
孰能濁以靜之徐清?
孰能安以動之徐生?
孰能晦以理之徐明?
孰能浊以静之徐清?
孰能安以动之徐生?
shú néng huì yǐ lǐ zhī xú míng shú néng zhuó yǐ jìng zhī xú qīng shú néng ān yǐ dòng zhī xú shēng
{d} They who preserve this method of the Tao do not wish to be full (of themselves).
It is through their not being full of themselves that they can afford to seem worn and not appear new and complete.
保此道者不欲盈。
夫唯不盈,故能蔽而新成。
保此道者不欲盈。
夫唯不盈,故能蔽而新成。
bǎo cǐ dào zhě bù yù yíng fū wéi bù yíng gù néng bì ér xīn chéng
16{a}
The (state of) vacancy should be brought to the utmost degree, and that of stillness guarded with unwearying vigour. All things alike go through their processes of activity, and (then) we see them return (to their original state). When things (in the vegetable world) have displayed their luxuriant growth, we see each of them return to its root. This returning to their root is what we call the state of stillness; and that stillness may be called a reporting that they have fulfilled their appointed end.
[第十六章]
致虛極,守靜篤,萬物並作,吾以觀復。夫物芸芸,各復歸其根。歸根曰靜,靜曰復命。
[第十六章]
致虚极,守静笃,万物并作,吾以观复。夫物芸芸,各复归其根。归根曰静,静曰复命。
zhì xū jí shǒu jìng dǔ wànw bìng zuò wú yǐ guān fù fū wù yún yún gè fù guī qí gēn guī gēn yuē jìng jìng yuē fù mìng
{b} The report of that fulfilment is the regular, unchanging rule. To know that unchanging rule is to be intelligent; not to know it leads to wild movements and evil issues. The knowledge of that unchanging rule produces a (grand) capacity and forbearance, and that capacity and forbearance lead to a community (of feeling with all things). From this community of feeling comes a kingliness of character; and he who is king-like goes on to be heaven-like. In that likeness to heaven he possesses the Tao. Possessed of the Tao, he endures long; and to the end of his bodily life, is exempt from all danger of decay. 復命曰常,知常曰明。不知常,妄作凶。知常容,容乃公。公乃王,王乃天,天乃道,道乃久,沒身不殆。 复命曰常,知常曰明。不知常,妄作凶。知常容,容乃公。公乃王,王乃天,天乃道,道乃久,没身不殆。 fù mìng yuē cháng zhī cháng yuē míng bùzhī cháng wàng zuò xiōng zhī cháng róng róng nǎi gōng gōng nǎi wáng wáng nǎi tiān tiān nǎi dào dào nǎi jiǔ mò shēn bù dài
17{a}
In the highest antiquity, (the people) did not know that there were (their rulers). In the next age they loved them and praised them. In the next they feared them; in the next they despised them. Thus it was that when faith (in the Tao) was deficient (in the rulers) a want of faith in them ensued (in the people).
[第十七章]
太上,下不知有之﹔其次,親而譽之﹔其次,畏之﹔其次,侮之。
[第十七章]
太上,下不知有之;其次,亲而誉之;其次,畏之;其次,侮之。
tài shàng xià bùzhī yǒu zhī qícì qīn ér yù zhī qícì wèi zhī qícì wǔ zhī
{b} How irresolute did those (earliest rulers) appear, showing (by their reticence) the importance which they set upon their words! Their work was done and their undertakings were successful, while the people all said, 'We are as we are, of ourselves!' 信不足焉,有不信焉。悠兮其貴言。功成事遂,百姓皆謂:「我自然」。 信不足焉,有不信焉。悠兮其贵言。功成事遂,百姓皆谓:「我自然」。 xìn bùzú yān yǒu bù xìn yān yōu xī qí guì yán gōng chéng shì suì bǎixìng jiē wèi wǒ zìrán
18{a}
When the Great Tao (Way or Method) ceased to be observed, benevolence and righteousness came into vogue. (Then) appeared wisdom and shrewdness, and there ensued great hypocrisy.
[第十八章]
大道廢,有仁義﹔智慧出,有大偽﹔
[第十八章]
大道废,有仁义;智慧出,有大伪;
dàdào fèi yǒu rén yì zhìhuì chū yǒu dà wěi
{b} When harmony no longer prevailed throughout the six kinships, filial sons found their manifestation; when the states and clans fell into disorder, loyal ministers appeared. 六親不和,有孝慈﹔國家昏亂,有忠臣。 六亲不和,有孝慈;国家昏乱,有忠臣。 liùqīn bù hé yǒu xiào cí guójiā hūnluàn yǒu zhōngchén
19{a}
If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it would be better for the people a hundredfold. If we could renounce our benevolence and discard our righteousness, the people would again become filial and kindly. If we could renounce our artful contrivances and discard our (scheming for) gain, there would be no thieves nor robbers.
[第十九章]
絕聖棄智,民利百倍﹔絕仁棄義,民復孝慈﹔絕巧棄利,盜賊無有。
[第十九章]
绝圣弃智,民利百倍;绝仁弃义,民复孝慈;绝巧弃利,盗贼无有。
jué shèng qì zhì mín lì bǎibèi jué rén qì yì mín fù xiào cí jué qiǎo qì lì dàozéi wú yǒu
{b} Those three methods (of government)
Thought olden ways in elegance did fail
And made these names their want of worth to veil;
But simple views, and courses plain and true
Would selfish ends and many lusts eschew.
此三者,以為文不足。故令有所屬:見素抱朴,少私寡欲。 此三者,以为文不足。故令有所属:见素抱朴,少私寡欲。 cǐ sān zhě yǐwéi wén bùzú gù lìng yǒusuǒ shǔ jiàn sù bào pǔ shǎo sī guǎ yù
20{a}
When we renounce learning we have no troubles.
The (ready) 'yes,' and (flattering) 'yea;'—
Small is the difference they display.
But mark their issues, good and ill;—
What space the gulf between shall fill?
What all men fear is indeed to be feared;
but how wide and without end is the range of questions (asking to be discussed)!
[第二十章]
絕學無憂。唯之與阿,相去幾何?善之與惡,相去若何?人之所畏,不可不畏。荒兮其未央哉!
[第二十章]
绝学无忧。唯之与阿,相去几何?善之与恶,相去若何?人之所畏,不可不畏。荒兮其未央哉!
jué xué wú yōu wéi zhī yǔ ā xiāng qù jǐhé shàn zhī yǔ è xiāng qù ruò hé rén zhī suǒ wèi bù kěbù wèi huāng xī qí wèiyāng zāi
{b} The multitude of men look satisfied and pleased; as if enjoying a full banquet, as if mounted on a tower in spring.
I alone seem listless and still, my desires having as yet given no indication of their presence.
I am like an infant which has not yet smiled. I look dejected and forlorn, as if I had no home to go to.
The multitude of men all have enough and to spare. I alone seem to have lost everything.
My mind is that of a stupid man; I am in a state of chaos.
Ordinary men look bright and intelligent, while I alone seem to be benighted. They look full of discrimination, while I alone am dull and confused.
I seem to be carried about as on the sea, drifting as if I had nowhere to rest. All men have their spheres of action, while I alone seem dull and incapable, like a rude borderer.
(Thus) I alone am different from other men, but I value the nursing-mother (the Tao).
眾人熙熙,如享太牢,如登春台。我獨泊兮其未兆,如嬰兒之未孩。 兮,若無所歸。眾人皆有餘,而我獨若遺。我愚人之心也哉!沌沌兮。俗人昭昭,我獨昏昏。俗人察察,我獨悶悶。澹兮其若海,飉兮若無止。眾人皆有以,我獨頑且鄙。我獨異於人,而貴食母。 众人熙熙,如享太牢,如登春台。我独泊兮其未兆,如婴儿之未孩。 兮,若无所归。众人皆有馀,而我独若遗。我愚人之心也哉!沌沌兮。俗人昭昭,我独昏昏。俗人察察,我独闷闷。澹兮其若海,飉兮若无止。众人皆有以,我独顽且鄙。我独异於人,而贵食母。 zhòngrén xī xī rú xiǎng tài láo rú dēng chūn tái wǒ dú bó xī qí wèi zhào rú yīng'ér zhī wèi hái xī ruò wú suǒ guī zhòngrén jiē yǒu yú ér wǒ dú ruò yí wǒ yú rén zhī xīn yě zāi dùn dùn xī sú rén zhāo zhāo wǒ dú hūn hūn sú rén chá chá wǒ dú mēn mēn dàn xī qí ruò hǎi xī ruò wú zhǐ zhòngrén jiē yǒu yǐ wǒ dú wán qiě bǐ wǒ dú yì yú rén ér guì shí mǔ
21. The grandest forms of active force,
From Tao come, their only source.
Who can of Tao the nature tell?
Our sight it flies, our touch as well.
Eluding sight, eluding touch,
The forms of things all in it crouch;
Eluding touch, eluding sight,
There are their semblances, all right.
Profound it is, dark and obscure;
Things' essences all there endure.
Those essences the truth enfold,
Of what, when seen, shall then be told.
Now it is so; 'twas so of old.
Its name—what passes not away;
So, in their beautiful array,
Things form and never know decay.
How know I that it is so with all the beauties of existing things?
By this (nature of the Tao).
[第二十一章]
孔德之容,惟道是從。道之為物,惟恍惟惚。惚兮恍兮,其中有象﹔恍兮惚兮,其中有物。窈兮冥兮,其中有精﹔其精甚真,其中有信。自今及古,其名不去,以閱眾甫。吾何以知眾甫之狀哉?以此。
[第二十一章]
孔德之容,惟道是从。道之为物,惟恍惟惚。惚兮恍兮,其中有象;恍兮惚兮,其中有物。窈兮冥兮,其中有精;其精甚真,其中有信。自今及古,其名不去,以阅众甫。吾何以知众甫之状哉?以此。
kǒng dé zhī róng wéi dào shì cóng dào zhī wèi wù wéi huǎng wéi hū hū xī huǎng xī qízhōng yǒu xiàng huǎng xī hū xī qízhōng yǒu wù yǎo xī míng xī qízhōng yǒu jīng qí jīng shèn zhēn qízhōng yǒu xìn zì jīn jí gǔ qí míng bù qù yǐ yuè zhòng fǔ wú hé yǐ zhī zhòng fǔ zhī zhuàng zāi yǐ cǐ
22{a}
The partial becomes complete;
the crooked, straight;
the empty, full;
the worn out, new.
He whose (desires) are few gets them;
he whose (desires) are many goes astray.
[第二十二章]
曲則全,枉則直,窪則盈,敝則新,少則多,多則惑。
[第二十二章]
曲则全,枉则直,洼则盈,敝则新,少则多,多则惑。
qū zé quán wǎng zé zhí wā zé yíng bì zé xīn shǎo zé duō duō zé huò
{b} Therefore the sage holds in his embrace the one thing (of humility),
and manifests it to all the world.
He is free from self-display,
and therefore he shines;
from self-assertion,
and therefore he is distinguished;
from self-boasting,
and therefore his merit is acknowledged;
from self-complacency,
and therefore he acquires superiority.
It is because he is thus free from striving,
that therefore no one in the world is able to strive with him.
是以聖人抱一為天下式。不自見,故明﹔不自是,故彰﹔不自伐,故有功﹔不自矜,故長。夫唯不爭,故天下莫能與之爭。 是以圣人抱一为天下式。不自见,故明;不自是,故彰;不自伐,故有功;不自矜,故长。夫唯不争,故天下莫能与之争。 shì yǐ shèngrén bào yī wèi tiānxià shì bù zì jiàn gù míng bù zì shì gù zhāng bù zì fá gù yǒu gōng bù zì jīn gù cháng fū wéi bù zhēng gù tiānxià mò néng yǔ zhī zhēng
{c} That saying of the ancients that 'the partial becomes complete' was not vainly spoken:—
all real completion is comprehended under it.
古之所謂「曲則全」者,豈虛言哉!誠全而歸之。 古之所谓「曲则全」者,岂虚言哉!诚全而归之。 gǔ zhī suǒwèi qū zé quán zhě qǐ xū yán zāi chéng quán ér guī zhī
23{a}
Abstaining from speech marks him who is obeying the spontaneity of his nature.
A violent wind does not last for a whole morning; a sudden rain does not last for the whole day. To whom is it that these (two) things are owing? To Heaven and Earth. If Heaven and Earth cannot make such (spasmodic) actings last long, how much less can man!
[第二十三章]
希言自然。故飄風不終朝,驟雨不終日。孰為此者?天地。天地尚不能久,而況于人乎?
[第二十三章]
希言自然。故飘风不终朝,骤雨不终日。孰为此者?天地。天地尚不能久,而况于人乎?
xī yán zìrán gù piāo fēng bù zhōng zhāo zhòu yǔ bù zhōng rì shú wèicǐ zhě tiāndì tiāndì shàng bùnéng jiǔ ér kuàng yú rén hū
{b} Therefore when one is making the Tao his business,
those who are also pursuing it,
agree with him in it,
and those who are making the manifestation of its course their object agree with him in that;
while even those who are failing in both these things agree with him where they fail.
故從事于道者,同于道﹔德者,同于德﹔失者,同于失。 故从事于道者,同于道;德者,同于德;失者,同于失。 gù cóngshì yú dào zhě tóng yú dào dé zhě tóng yú dé shī zhě tóng yú shī
{c} Hence, those with whom he agrees as to the Tao have the happiness of attaining to it;
those with whom he agrees as to its manifestation have the happiness of attaining to it;
and those with whom he agrees in their failure have also the happiness of attaining (to the Tao).
(But) when there is not faith sufficient (on his part),
a want of faith (in him) ensues (on the part of the others).
同于道者,道亦樂得之﹔同于德者,德亦樂得之﹔于失者,失亦樂得之。信不足焉,有不信焉。 同于道者,道亦乐得之;同于德者,德亦乐得之;于失者,失亦乐得之。信不足焉,有不信焉。 tóng yú dào zhě dào yì lè de zhī tóng yú dé zhě dé yì lè de zhī yú shī zhě shī yì lè de zhī xìn bùzú yān yǒu bù xìn yān
24{a}
He who stands on his tiptoes does not stand firm;
he who stretches his legs does not walk (easily).
(So), he who displays himself does not shine;
he who asserts his own views is not distinguished;
he who vaunts himself does not find his merit acknowledged;
he who is self-conceited has no superiority allowed to him.
Such conditions,
viewed from the standpoint of the Tao,
are like remnants of food,
or a tumour on the body,
which all dislike.
Hence those who pursue (the course) of the Tao do not adopt and allow them.
[第二十四章]
企者不立﹔跨者不行﹔自見者不明﹔自是者不彰﹔自伐者無功﹔自矜者不長。其在道也,曰:餘食贅形。物或惡之,故有道者不處。
[第二十四章]
企者不立;跨者不行;自见者不明;自是者不彰;自伐者无功;自矜者不长。其在道也,曰:馀食赘形。物或恶之,故有道者不处。
qǐ zhě bù lì kuà zhě bùxíng zì jiàn zhě bù míng zì shì zhě bù zhāng zì fá zhě wú gōng zì jīn zhě bù cháng qí zài dào yě yuē yú shí zhuì xíng wù huò è zhī gù yǒu dào zhě bù chǔ
25{a}
There was something undefined and complete,
coming into existence before Heaven and Earth.
How still it was and formless,
standing alone, and undergoing no change,
reaching everywhere and in no danger (of being exhausted)!
It may be regarded as the Mother of all things.
[第二十五章]
有物混成,先天地生。寂兮寥兮,獨立而不改,周行而不殆,可以為天地母。
[第二十五章]
有物混成,先天地生。寂兮寥兮,独立而不改,周行而不殆,可以为天地母。
yǒu wù hùn chéng xiāntiān dì shēng jì xī liáo xī dúlì ér bù gǎi zhōu xíng ér bù dài kěyǐ wèi tiāndì mǔ
{b} I do not know its name,
and I give it the designation of the Tao (the Way or Course).
Making an effort (further) to give it a name
I call it The Great.
吾不知其名,強字之曰道,強為之名曰大。 吾不知其名,强字之曰道,强为之名曰大。 wú bùzhī qí míng qiáng zì zhī yuē dào qiáng wèi zhī míng yuē dà
{c} Great, it passes on (in constant flow).
Passing on, it becomes remote.
Having become remote, it returns.
Therefore the Tao is great;
Heaven is great;
Earth is great;
and the (sage) king is also great.
In the universe
there are four that are great,
and the (sage) king is one of them.
大曰逝,逝曰遠,遠曰反。故道大,天大,地大,人亦大。域中有四大,而人居其一焉。 大曰逝,逝曰远,远曰反。故道大,天大,地大,人亦大。域中有四大,而人居其一焉。 dà yuē shì shì yuē yuǎn yuǎn yuē fǎn gù dào dà tiān dà dì dà rén yì dà yù zhōng yǒu sì dà ér rén jū qí yī yān
{d} Man takes his law from the Earth;
the Earth takes its law from Heaven;
Heaven takes its law from the Tao.
The law of the Tao is its being what it is.
人法地,地法天,天法道,道法自然。 人法地,地法天,天法道,道法自然。 rén fǎ dì dì fǎ tiān tiān fǎ dào dào fǎ zìrán
26{a}
Gravity is the root of lightness;
stillness, the ruler of movement.
[第二十六章]
重為輕根,靜為躁君。
[第二十六章]
重为轻根,静为躁君。
zhòng wèi qīng gēn jìng wèi zào jūn
{b} Therefore a wise prince,
marching the whole day,
does not go far from his baggage waggons.
Although he may have brilliant prospects to look at,
he quietly remains (in his proper place),
indifferent to them.
How should the lord of a myriad chariots carry himself lightly before the kingdom?
If he do act lightly,
he has lost his root (of gravity);
if he proceed to active movement,
he will lose his throne.
是以君子終日行不離輜重。雖有榮觀,燕處超然。奈何萬乘之主,而以身輕天下?輕則失根,躁則失君。 是以君子终日行不离辎重。虽有荣观,燕处超然。奈何万乘之主,而以身轻天下?轻则失根,躁则失君。 shì yǐ jūnzǐ zhōng rì xíng bù lí zīzhòng suī yǒu róng guān yàn chǔ chāo rán nàihé wàn chéng zhī zhǔ ér yǐ shēn qīng tiānxià qīng zé shī gēn zào zé shī jūn
27{a}
The skilful traveller leaves no traces of his wheels or footsteps;
the skilful speaker says nothing that can be found fault with or blamed;
the skilful reckoner uses no tallies;
the skilful closer needs no bolts or bars,
while to open what he has shut will be impossible;
the skilful binder uses no strings or knots,
while to unloose what he has bound will be impossible.
In the same way the sage is always skilful at saving men,
and so he does not cast away any man;
he is always skilful at saving things,
and so he does not cast away anything.
This is called 'Hiding the light of his procedure.'
[第二十七章]
善行,無轍跡,
善言,無瑕謫﹔
善數,不用籌策﹔
善閉,無關楗而不可開,
善結,無繩約而不可解。
是以聖人常善救人,
故無棄人﹔
常善救物,故無棄物。
是謂襲明。
[第二十七章]
善行,无辙迹,
善言,无瑕谪;
善数,不用筹策;
善闭,无关楗而不可开,
善结,无绳约而不可解。
是以圣人常善救人,
故无弃人;
常善救物,故无弃物。
是谓袭明。
shàn xíng
wú zhé jì
shàn yán
wú xiá zhé
shàn shǔ
búyòng chóu cè
shàn bì
wú guān jiàn ér bù kě kāi
shàn jié
wú shéng yuē ér bù kě jiě
shì yǐ shèng rén cháng shàn jiù rén
gù wú qì rén
cháng shàn jiù wù
gù wú qì wù
shì wèi xí míng
{b} Therefore the man of skill is a master (to be looked up to) by him who has not the skill;
and he who has not the skill is the helper of (the reputation of) him who has the skill.
If the one did not honour his master,
and the other did not rejoice in his helper,
an (observer), though intelligent, might greatly err about them.
This is called 'The utmost degree of mystery.'
故善人者,不善人之師﹔不善人者,善人之資。不貴其師,不愛其資,雖智大迷,是謂要妙 故善人者,不善人之师;不善人者,善人之资。不贵其师,不爱其资,虽智大迷,是谓要妙 gù shàn rén zhě bùshàn rén zhī shī bùshàn rén zhě shàn rén zhī zī bù guì qí shī bù ài qí zī suī zhì dà mí shì wèi yāo miào
28{a}
Who knows his manhood's strength,
Yet still his female feebleness maintains;
As to one channel flow the many drains,
All come to him, yea, all beneath the sky.
Thus he the constant excellence retains;
The simple child again, free from all stains.
Who knows how white attracts,
Yet always keeps himself within black's shade,
The pattern of humility displayed,
Displayed in view of all beneath the sky;
He in the unchanging excellence arrayed,
Endless return to man's first state has made.
Who knows how glory shines,
Yet loves disgrace, nor e'er for it is pale;
Behold his presence in a spacious vale,
To which men come from all beneath the sky.
The unchanging excellence completes its tale;
The simple infant man in him we hail.
[第二十八章]
知其雄,守其雌,為天下谿。
為天下谿,常德不離,復歸于嬰兒。
知其白,守其黑,為天下式,常德不忒,復歸于無極。
知其榮,守其辱,為天下谷。
為天下谷,常德乃足,復歸于朴。
為天下式。
[第二十八章]
知其雄,守其雌,为天下溪。
为天下溪,常德不离,复归于婴儿。
知其白,守其黑,为天下式,常德不忒,复归于无极。
知其荣,守其辱,为天下谷。
为天下谷,常德乃足,复归于朴。
为天下式。
zhī qí xióng
shǒu qí cí
wèi tiānxià xī
wèi tiānxià xī
cháng dé bù lí
fù guīyú yīng'ér
zhī qí bái
shǒu qí hēi
wèi tiānxià shì
cháng dé bù tè
fù guī yú wú jí
zhī qí róng
shǒu qí rǔ
wèi tiānxià gǔ
wèi tiānxià shì
{b} The unwrought material,
when divided and distributed,
forms vessels. The sage,
when employed,
becomes the Head of all the Officers (of government);
and in his greatest regulations he employs no violent measures.
朴散則為器,聖人用之,則為官長,故大制不割。 朴散则为器,圣人用之,则为官长,故大制不割。 pǔ sàn zé wèi qì shèngrén yòng zhī zé wèi guān cháng gù dà zhì bù gē
29{a}
If any one should wish to get the kingdom for himself,
and to effect this by what he does,
I see that he will not succeed.
The kingdom is a spirit-like thing,
and cannot be got by active doing.
He who would so win it destroys it;
he who would hold it in his grasp loses it.
[第二十九章]
將欲取天下而為之,吾見其不得已。天下神器,不可為也,不可執也。為者敗之,執者失之。
[第二十九章]
将欲取天下而为之,吾见其不得已。天下神器,不可为也,不可执也。为者败之,执者失之。
jiàng yù qǔ tiānxià ér wèi zhī wú jiàn qí bù de yǐ tiānxià shén qì bù kě wèi yě bù kě zhí yě wèi zhě bài zhī zhí zhě shī zhī
{b} The course and nature of things is such that,
What was in front is now behind;
What warmed anon we freezing find.
Strength is of weakness oft the spoil;
The store in ruins mocks our toil.
Hence the sage puts away excessive effort, extravagance, and easy indulgence.
故物或行或隨,或噓或吹,或強或羸,或載或隳,是以聖人去甚,去奢,去泰。 故物或行或随,或嘘或吹,或强或羸,或载或隳,是以圣人去甚,去奢,去泰。 gù wù huò xíng huò suí huò shī huò chuī huò qiáng huò léi huò zǎi huò huī shì yǐ shèngrén qù shèn qù shē qù tài
30{a}
He who would assist a lord of men in harmony with the Tao will not assert his mastery in the kingdom by force of arms.
Such a course is sure to meet with its proper return.
[第三十章]
以道佐人主者,不以兵強天下。其事好還。師之所處,荊棘生焉。
[第三十章]
以道佐人主者,不以兵强天下。其事好还。师之所处,荆棘生焉。
yǐ dào zuǒ rén zhǔ zhě bù yǐ bīng qiáng tiānxià qí shì hǎo hái shī zhī suǒ chǔ jīngjí shēng yān
{b} Wherever a host is stationed, briars and thorns spring up.
In the sequence of great armies there are sure to be bad years.
大軍之后,必有凶年。 大军之后,必有凶年。 dà jūn zhīhòu bì yǒu xiōng nián
{c} A skilful (commander) strikes a decisive blow, and stops.
He does not dare (by continuing his operations) to assert and complete his mastery.
He will strike the blow, but will be on his guard against being vain or boastful or arrogant in consequence of it.
He strikes it as a matter of necessity;
he strikes it, but not from a wish for mastery.
善者果而已,不敢以取強。果而勿矜,果而勿伐,果而勿驕。 善者果而已,不敢以取强。果而勿矜,果而勿伐,果而勿骄。 shàn zhě guǒ éryǐ bù gǎn yǐ qǔ qiáng guǒ ér wù jīn guǒ ér wù fá guǒ ér wù jiāo
{d} When things have attained their strong maturity they become old.
This may be said to be not in accordance with the Tao:
and what is not in accordance with it soon comes to an end.
果而不得已,果而勿強。物壯則老,是謂不道,不道早已。 果而不得已,果而勿强。物壮则老,是谓不道,不道早已。 guǒ ér bù de yǐ guǒ ér wù qiáng wù zhuàng zé lǎo shì wèi bù dào bù dào zǎoyǐ
31{a}
Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen, hateful, it may be said, to all creatures. Therefore they who have the Tao do not like to employ them.
[第三十一章]
夫佳兵者,不祥之器,物或惡之,故有道者不處。
[第三十一章]
夫佳兵者,不祥之器,物或恶之,故有道者不处。
fū jiā bīng zhě bù xiáng zhī qì wù huò è zhī gù yǒu dào zhě bù chǔ
{b} The superior man ordinarily considers the left hand the most honourable place,
but in time of war the right hand.
Those sharp weapons are instruments of evil omen,
and not the instruments of the superior man;—
he uses them only on the compulsion of necessity.
Calm and repose are what he prizes;
victory (by force of arms) is to him undesirable.
To consider this desirable would be to delight in the slaughter of men;
and he who delights in the slaughter of men cannot get his will in the kingdom.
君子居則貴左,用兵則貴右。兵者不祥之器,非君子之器,不得已而用之,恬淡為上。勝而不美,而美之者,是樂殺人。夫樂殺人者,則不可得志于天下矣。 君子居则贵左,用兵则贵右。兵者不祥之器,非君子之器,不得已而用之,恬淡为上。胜而不美,而美之者,是乐杀人。夫乐杀人者,则不可得志于天下矣。 ūnzǐ jū zé guì zuǒ yòng bīng zé guì yòu bīng zhě bù xiáng zhī qì fēi jūnzǐ zhī qì bù de yǐ ér yòng zhī tiándàn wèi shàng shèng ér bù měi ér měi zhī zhě shì lè shārén fū lè shārénzhě zé bù kě dézhì yú tiānxià yǐ
{c} On occasions of festivity to be on the left hand is the prized position;
on occasions of mourning, the right hand.
The second in command of the army has his place on the left;
the general commanding in chief has his on the right;—
his place, that is, is assigned to him as in the rites of mourning.
He who has killed multitudes of men should weep for them with the bitterest grief;
and the victor in battle has his place (rightly) according to those rites.
吉事尚左,凶事尚右。偏將軍居左,上將軍居右,言以喪禮處之。殺人之眾,以悲哀泣之,戰勝以喪禮處之。 吉事尚左,凶事尚右。偏将军居左,上将军居右,言以丧礼处之。杀人之众,以悲哀泣之,战胜以丧礼处之。 jí shì shàng zuǒ xiōng shì shàng yòu piān jiāngjūn jū zuǒ shàngjiàng jūn jū yòu yán yǐ sàng lǐ chǔ zhī shārén zhī zhòng yǐ bēiāi qì zhī zhànshèng yǐ sàng lǐ chǔ zhī
32{a}
The Tao, considered as unchanging, has no name.
[第三十二章]
道常無名,
[第三十二章]
道常无名,
dào cháng wúmíng
{b} Though in its primordial simplicity it may be small,
the whole world dares not deal with (one embodying) it as a minister.
If a feudal prince or the king could guard and hold it,
all would spontaneously submit themselves to him.
朴雖小,天下莫能臣。侯王若能守之,萬物將自賓。 朴虽小,天下莫能臣。侯王若能守之,万物将自宾。 pǔ suī xiǎo tiānxià mò néng chén hóu wáng ruò néng shǒu zhī wànwù jiàng zì bīn
{c} Heaven and Earth (under its guidance) unite together and send down the sweet dew, which, without the directions of men, reaches equally everywhere as of its own accord. 天地相合,以降甘露,民莫之令而自均。 天地相合,以降甘露,民莫之令而自均。 tiāndì xiāng hé yǐ jiàng gānlù mín mò zhī lìng ér zì jūn
{d} As soon as it proceeds to action, it has a name.
When it once has that name, (men) can know to rest in it.
When they know to rest in it,
they can be free from all risk of failure and error.
始制有名,名亦既有,夫亦將知止,知止可以不殆。 始制有名,名亦既有,夫亦将知止,知止可以不殆。 shǐ zhì yǒumíng míng yì jì yǒu fū yì jiàng zhī zhǐ zhī zhǐ kěyǐ bù dài
{e} The relation of the Tao to all the world is like that of the great rivers and seas to the streams from the valleys. 譬道之在天下,猶川谷之于江海。 譬道之在天下,犹川谷之于江海。 pì dào zhī zài tiānxià yóu chuān gǔ zhī yú jiāng hǎi
33{a}
He who knows other men is discerning;
he who knows himself is intelligent.
He who overcomes others is strong;
he who overcomes himself is mighty.
He who is satisfied with his lot is rich;
he who goes on acting with energy has a (firm) will.
[第三十三章]
知人者智,自知者明。勝人者有力,自勝者強。知足者富。強行者有志。
[第三十三章]
知人者智,自知者明。胜人者有力,自胜者强。知足者富。强行者有志。
zhī rén zhě zhì zì zhī zhě míng shèng rén zhě yǒulì zì shèng zhě qiáng zhīzú zhě fù qiángxíng zhě yǒu zhì
{b} He who does not fail in the requirements of his position, continues long;
he who dies and yet does not perish, has longevity.
不失其所者久。死而不亡者壽。 不失其所者久。死而不亡者寿。 bù shī qí suǒ zhě jiǔ sǐ ér bù wáng zhě shòu
34{a}
All-pervading is the Great Tao! It may be found on the left hand and on the right.
[第三十四章]
大道氾兮,其可左右。
[第三十四章]
大道氾兮,其可左右。
dàdào xī qí kě zuǒyòu
{b} All things depend on it for their production, which it gives to them, not one refusing obedience to it.
When its work is accomplished, it does not claim the name of having done it.
It clothes all things as with a garment, and makes no assumption of being their lord;—
it may be named in the smallest things.
All things return (to their root and disappear), and do not know that it is it which presides over their doing so;—
it may be named in the greatest things.
萬物恃之以生而不辭,功成不名有,衣養萬物而不為主。常無欲,可名于小﹔萬物歸焉而不為主,可名為大。 万物恃之以生而不辞,功成不名有,衣养万物而不为主。常无欲,可名于小;万物归焉而不为主,可名为大。 wànwù shì zhī yǐ shēng ér bù cí gōng chéng bù míng yǒu yī yǎng wànwù ér bù wéizhǔ cháng wú yù kě míng yú xiǎo wànwù guī yān ér bù wéizhǔ kě míng wèi dà
{c} Hence the sage is able (in the same way) to accomplish his great achievements.
It is through his not making himself great that he can accomplish them.
以其終不自為大,故能成其大。 以其终不自为大,故能成其大。 yǐ qí zhōng bù zì wèi dà gù néng chéng qí dà
35{a}
To him who holds in his hands the Great Image (of the invisible Tao), the whole world repairs.
Men resort to him, and receive no hurt, but (find) rest, peace, and the feeling of ease.
[第三十五章]
執大象,天下往。往而不害,安平太。
[第三十五章]
执大象,天下往。往而不害,安平太。
zhí dàxiàng tiānxià wǎng wǎng ér bù hài ān píng tài
{b} Music and dainties will make the passing guest stop (for a time).
But though the Tao as it comes from the mouth,
seems insipid and has no flavour,
though it seems not worth being looked at or listened to,
the use of it is← inexhaustible.
樂與餌,過客止。道之出口,淡乎其無味。視之不足見,聽之不足聞,用之不足既。 乐与饵,过客止。道之出口,淡乎其无味。视之不足见,听之不足闻,用之不足既。 lè yǔ ěr guo kè zhǐ dào zhī chūkǒu dàn hū qí wú wèi shì zhī bùzú jiàn tīng zhī bùzú wén yòng zhī bùzú jì
36{a}
When one is about to take an inspiration,
he is sure to make a (previous) expiration;
when he is going to weaken another,
he will first strengthen him;
when he is going to overthrow another,
he will first have raised him up;
when he is going to despoil another,
he will first have made gifts to him:—
this is called 'Hiding the light (of his procedure).'
[第三十六章]
將欲歙之,必固張之﹔將欲弱之,必固強之﹔將欲廢之,必固興之﹔將欲取之,必固與之。是謂微明。
[第三十六章]
将欲歙之,必固张之;将欲弱之,必固强之;将欲废之,必固兴之;将欲取之,必固与之。是谓微明。
jiàng yù shè zhī bì gù zhāng zhī jiàng yù ruò zhī bì gù qiáng zhī jiàng yù fèi zhī bì gù xīng zhī jiàng yù qǔ zhī bì gù yǔ zhī shì wèi wēi míng
{b} The soft overcomes the hard;
and the weak the strong.
柔勝剛,弱勝強。 柔胜刚,弱胜强。 róu shèng gāng ruò shèng qiáng
{c} Fishes should not be taken from the deep;
instruments for the profit of a state should not be shown to the people.
魚不可脫于淵,國之利器,不可以示人。 鱼不可脱于渊,国之利器,不可以示人。 yú bù kě tuō yú yuān guó zhī lì qì bù kěyǐ shì rén
37{a}
The Tao in its regular course does nothing (for the sake of doing it),
and so there is nothing which it does not do.
[第三十七章]
道常無為而無不為。
[第三十七章]
道常无为而无不为。
dào cháng wú wèi ér wú bù wèi
{b} If princes and kings were able to maintain it,
all things would of themselves be transformed by them.
侯王若能守之,萬物將自化。 侯王若能守之,万物将自化。 hóu wáng ruò néng shǒu zhī wànwù jiàng zì huà
{c} If this transformation became to me an object of desire,
I would express the desire by the nameless simplicity.
Simplicity without a name
Is free from all external aim.
With no desire, at rest and still,
All things go right as of their will.
化而欲作,吾將鎮之以無名之朴。鎮之以無名之朴,夫亦將不欲。不欲以靜,天下將自正。 化而欲作,吾将镇之以无名之朴。镇之以无名之朴,夫亦将不欲。不欲以静,天下将自正。 huà ér yù zuò wú jiàng zhèn zhī yǐ wúmíng zhī pǔ zhèn zhī yǐ wúmíng zhī pǔ fū yì jiàng bù yù bù yù yǐ jìng tiānxià jiàng zì zhèng
PART 2
38{a}
(Those who) possessed in highest degree the attributes (of the Tao)
did not (seek) to show them, and therefore they possessed them (in fullest measure).
(Those who) possessed in a lower degree those attributes (sought how) not to lose them,
and therefore they did not possess them (in fullest measure).
[第三十八章]
上德不德,是以有德﹔下德不失德,是以無德。
[第三十八章]
上德不德,是以有德;下德不失德,是以无德。
shàng dé bù dé shì yǐ yǒu dé xià dé bù shī dé shì yǐ wú dé
{b} (Those who) possessed in the highest degree those attributes did nothing (with a purpose),
and had no need to do anything.
(Those who) possessed them in a lower degree were (always) doing,
and had need to be so doing.
上德無為而無以為﹔下德無為而有以為。 上德无为而无以为;下德无为而有以为。 shàng dé wú wèi ér wú yǐwéi xià dé wú wèi ér yǒu yǐwéi
{c} (Those who) possessed the highest benevolence were (always seeking) to carry it out,
and had no need to be doing so.
(Those who) possessed the highest righteousness were (always seeking) to carry it out,
and had need to be so doing.
上仁為之而無以為﹔上義為之而有以為。 上仁为之而无以为;上义为之而有以为。 shàng rén wèi zhī ér wú yǐwéi shàng yì wèi zhī ér yǒu yǐwéi
{d} (Those who) possessed the highest (sense of) propriety were (always seeking) to show it,
and when men did not respond to it,
they bared the arm and marched up to them.
上禮為之而莫之應,則攘臂而扔之。 上礼为之而莫之应,则攘臂而扔之。 shàng lǐ wèi zhī ér mò zhī yīng zé rǎng bì ér rēng zhī
{e} Thus it was that when the Tao was lost,
its attributes appeared;
when its attributes were lost,
benevolence appeared;
when benevolence was lost,
righteousness appeared;
and when righteousness was lost,
the proprieties appeared.
故失道而后德,失德而后仁,失仁而后義,失義而后禮。 故失道而后德,失德而后仁,失仁而后义,失义而后礼。 gù shī dào ér hòu dé shī dé ér hòu rén shī rén ér hòu yì shī yì ér hòu lǐ
{f} Now propriety is the attenuated form of leal-heartedness and good faith,
and is also the commencement of disorder;
swift apprehension is (only) a flower of the Tao,
and is the beginning of stupidity.
夫禮者,忠信之薄,而亂之首。前識者,道之華,而愚之始。 夫礼者,忠信之薄,而乱之首。前识者,道之华,而愚之始。 fū lǐ zhě zhōng xìn zhī bó ér luàn zhī shǒu qián shí zhě dào zhī huá ér yú zhī shǐ
{g} Thus it is that the Great man abides by what is solid, and eschews what is flimsy;
dwells with the fruit and not with the flower.
It is thus that he puts away the one and makes choice of the other.
是以大丈夫處其厚,不居其薄﹔處其實,不居其華。故去彼取此。 是以大丈夫处其厚,不居其薄;处其实,不居其华。故去彼取此。 shì yǐ dàzhàngfū chǔ qí hòu bù jū qí bó chǔ qíshí bù jū qí huá gù qù bǐ qǔ cǐ
39{a}
The things which from of old have got the One (the Tao) are—
Heaven which by it is bright and pure;
Earth rendered thereby firm and sure;
Spirits with powers by it supplied;
Valleys kept full throughout their void,
All creatures which through it do live,
Princes and kings who from it get,
The model which to all they give.
All these are the results of the One (Tao).
[第三十九章]
昔之得一者:天得一以清﹔地得一以寧﹔神得一以靈﹔谷得一以盈﹔萬物得一以生﹔侯王得一以為天下正。
[第三十九章]
昔之得一者:天得一以清;地得一以宁;神得一以灵;谷得一以盈;万物得一以生;侯王得一以为天下正。
xī zhī de yī zhě tiān de yī yǐ qīng dì de yī yǐ níng shén de yī yǐ líng gǔ de yī yǐ yíng wànwù de yī yǐ shēng hóu wáng de yī yǐwéi tiānxià zhèng
{b} If heaven were not thus pure, it soon would rend;
If earth were not thus sure, 'twould break and bend;
Without these powers, the spirits soon would fail;
If not so filled, the drought would parch each vale;
Without that life, creatures would pass away;
Princes and kings, without that moral sway,
However grand and high, would all decay.
其致之也,天無以清,將恐裂﹔地無以寧,將恐廢﹔神無以靈,將恐歇﹔谷無以盈,將恐竭﹔萬物無以生,將恐滅﹔侯王無以貞,將恐蹶。 其致之也,天无以清,将恐裂;地无以宁,将恐废;神无以灵,将恐歇;谷无以盈,将恐竭;万物无以生,将恐灭;侯王无以贞,将恐蹶。 qí zhì zhī yě tiān wú yǐ qīng jiàng kǒng liè dì wú yǐ níng jiàng kǒng fèi shén wú yǐ líng jiàng kǒng xiē gǔ wú yǐ yíng jiàng kǒng jié wànwù wú yǐ shēng jiàng kǒng miè hóu wáng wú yǐ zhēn jiàng kǒng jué
{c} Thus it is that dignity finds its (firm) root in its (previous) meanness,
and what is lofty finds its stability in the lowness (from which it rises).
Hence princes and kings call themselves 'Orphans,'
'Men of small virtue,' and as 'Carriages without a nave.'
Is not this an acknowledgment that in their considering themselves mean they see the foundation of their dignity?
So it is that in the enumeration of the different parts of a carriage we do not come on what makes it answer the ends of a carriage.
They do not wish to show themselves elegant-looking as jade,
but (prefer) to be coarse-looking as an (ordinary) stone.
故貴以賤為本,高以下為基。是以侯王自稱孤、寡、不穀。此非以賤為本邪?非乎?故致譽無譽。是故不欲琭琭如玉,珞珞如石。 故贵以贱为本,高以下为基。是以侯王自称孤、寡、不谷。此非以贱为本邪?非乎?故致誉无誉。是故不欲琭琭如玉,珞珞如石。 gù guì yǐ jiàn wèi běn gāo yǐxià wèi jī shì yǐ hóu wáng zìchēng gū guǎ bù gǔ cǐ fēi yǐ jiàn wèi běn xié fēi hū gù zhì yù wú yù shì gù bù yù rú yù luò luò rú shí
40{a}
The movement of the Tao
By contraries proceeds;
And weakness marks the course
Of Tao's mighty deeds.
[第四十章]
反者道之動﹔
弱者道之用。
[第四十章]
反者道之动;
弱者道之用。
fǎn zhě dào zhī dòng
ruò zhě dào zhī yòng
{b} All things under heaven sprang from
It as existing (and named);
that existence sprang from
It as non-existent (and not named).
天下萬物生于有,有生于無。 天下万物生于有,有生于无。 tiānxià wànwù shēng yú yǒu yǒu shēng yú wú
41{a}
Scholars of the highest class,
when they hear about the Tao,
earnestly carry it into practice.
Scholars of the middle class,
when they have heard about it,
seem now to keep it and now to lose it.
Scholars of the lowest class,
when they have heard about it,
laugh greatly at it.
If it were not (thus) laughed at,
it would not be fit to be the Tao.
[第四十一章]
上士聞道,勤而行之﹔中士聞道,若存若亡﹔下士聞道,大笑之。不笑不足以為道。
[第四十一章]
上士闻道,勤而行之;中士闻道,若存若亡;下士闻道,大笑之。不笑不足以为道。
shàng shì wén dào qín ér xíng zhī zhōng shì wén dào ruò cún ruò wáng xià shì wén dào dàxiào zhī bù xiào bùzú yǐwéi dào
{b} Therefore the sentence-makers have thus expressed themselves:—
'The Tao, when brightest seen, seems light to lack;
Who progress in it makes, seems drawing back;
Its even way is like a rugged track.
Its highest virtue from the vale doth rise;
Its greatest beauty seems to offend the eyes;
And he has most whose lot the least supplies.
Its firmest virtue seems but poor and low;
Its solid truth seems change to undergo;
Its largest square doth yet no corner show.
A vessel great, it is the slowest made;
Loud is its sound, but never word it said;
A semblance great, the shadow of a shade.'
故建言有之:明道若昧﹔進道若退﹔夷道若纇﹔上德若谷﹔大白若辱﹔廣德若不足﹔建德若偷﹔質真若渝﹔大方無隅﹔大器晚成﹔大音希聲﹔大象無形﹔道隱無名。 故建言有之:明道若昧;进道若退;夷道若纇;上德若谷;大白若辱;广德若不足;建德若偷;质真若渝;大方无隅;大器晚成;大音希声;大象无形;道隐无名。 gù jiàn yán yǒu zhī míng dào ruò mèi jìn dào ruò tuì yí dào ruò shàng dé ruò gǔ dà bái ruò rǔ guǎng dé ruò bùzú jiàn dé ruò tōu zhì zhēn ruò yú dàfāng wú yú dà qì wǎn chéng dà yīn xī shēng dàxiàng wú xíng dào yǐn wúmíng
{c} The Tao is hidden, and has no name;
but it is the Tao which is skilful at imparting (to all things what they need)
and making them complete.
夫唯道,善貸且成。 夫唯道,善贷且成。 fū wéi dào shàn dài qiě chéng
42{a}
The Tao produced One;
One produced
Two; Two produced Three;
Three produced All things.
All things leave behind them the Obscurity (out of which they have come),
and go forward to embrace the Brightness (into which they have emerged),
while they are harmonised by the Breath of Vacancy.
[第四十二章]
道生一,一生二,二生三,三生萬物。萬物負陰而抱陽,沖氣以為和。
[第四十二章]
道生一,一生二,二生三,三生万物。万物负阴而抱阳,冲气以为和。
dào shēng yī yīshēng èr èr shēng sān sān shēng wànwù wànwù fù yīn ér bào yáng chōng qì yǐwéi hé
{b} What men dislike is to be orphans, to have little virtue, to be as carriages without naves; and yet these are the designations which kings and princes use for themselves. So it is that some things are increased by being diminished, and others are diminished by being increased. 人之所惡,唯孤、寡、不谷,而王公以為稱。故物或損之而益,或益之而損。 人之所恶,唯孤、寡、不谷,而王公以为称。故物或损之而益,或益之而损。 rén zhī suǒ è wéi gū guǎ bù gǔ ér wánggōng yǐwéi chèn gù wù huò sǔn zhī ér yì huò yì zhī ér sǔn
{c} What other men (thus) teach, I also teach. The violent and strong do not die their natural death. I will make this the basis of my teaching. 人之所教,我亦教之。強梁者不得其死,吾將以為教父。 人之所教,我亦教之。强梁者不得其死,吾将以为教父。 rén zhī suǒ jiào wǒ yì jiào zhī qiáng liáng zhě bù de qí sǐ wú jiàng yǐwéi jiàofù
43{a}
The softest thing in the world dashes against and overcomes the hardest; that which has no (substantial) existence enters where there is no crevice. I know hereby what advantage belongs to doing nothing (with a purpose).
[第四十三章]
天下之至柔,馳騁天下之至堅。無有入無間。吾是以知無為之有益,
[第四十三章]
天下之至柔,驰骋天下之至坚。无有入无间。吾是以知无为之有益,
tiānxià zhī zhì róu chíchěng tiānxià zhī zhì jiān wú yǒu rù wú jiàn wú shì yǐ zhī wú wèi zhī yǒuyì
{b} There are few in the world who attain to the teaching without words, and the advantage arising from non-action. 不言之教,無為之益,天下希及之。 不言之教,无为之益,天下希及之。 bù yán zhī jiào wú wèi zhī yì tiānxià xī jí zhī
44{a}
Or fame or life,
Which do you hold more dear?
Or life or wealth,
To which would you adhere?
Keep life and lose those other things;
Keep them and lose your life:—
which brings
Sorrow and pain more near?
[第四十四章]
名與身孰親?身與貨孰多?
[第四十四章]
名与身孰亲?身与货孰多?
míng yǔ shēn shú qīn shēn yǔ huò shú duō
{b} Thus we may see,
Who cleaves to fame,
Rejects what is more great;
Who loves large stores ,
Gives up the richer state.
得與亡孰病?是故甚愛必大費﹔多藏必厚亡。 得与亡孰病?是故甚爱必大费;多藏必厚亡。 de yǔ wáng shú bìng shì gù shèn ài bì dà fèi duō zàng bì hòu wáng
{c} Who is content,
Needs fear no shame.
Who knows to stop,
Incurs no blame.
From danger free,
Long live shall he.
故知足不辱,知止不殆,可以長久。 故知足不辱,知止不殆,可以长久。 gù zhīzú bù rǔ zhī zhǐ bù dài kěyǐ chángjiǔ
45{a}
Who thinks his great achievements poor,
Shall find his vigour long endure.
Of greatest fulness, deemed a void,
Exhaustion ne'er shall stem the tide.
Do thou what's straight still crooked deem;
Thy greatest art still stupid seem,
And eloquence a stammering scream.
[第四十五章]
大成若缺,其用不弊。大盈若沖,其用不窮。大直若屈,大巧若拙,大辯若訥。
[第四十五章]
大成若缺,其用不弊。大盈若冲,其用不穷。大直若屈,大巧若拙,大辩若讷。
dà chéng ruò quē qí yòng bù bì dà yíng ruò chōng qí yòng bù qióng dà zhí ruò qū dà qiǎo ruò zhuō dà biàn ruò nè
{b} Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven. 靜勝躁,寒勝熱。清靜為天下正。 静胜躁,寒胜热。清静为天下正。 jìng shèng zào hán shèng rè qīng jìng wèi tiānxià zhèng
46{a}
When the Tao prevails in the world, they send back their swift horses to (draw) the dung-carts. When the Tao is disregarded in the world, the war-horses breed in the border lands.
[第四十六章]
天下有道,卻走馬以糞。天下無道,戎馬生于郊。
[第四十六章]
天下有道,却走马以粪。天下无道,戎马生于郊。
tiānxià yǒu dào què zǒu mǎ yǐ fèn tiānxià wú dào róngmǎ shēng yú jiāo
{b} There is no guilt greater than to sanction ambition; no calamity greater than to be discontented with one's lot; no fault greater than the wish to be getting. Therefore the sufficiency of contentment is an enduring and unchanging sufficiency. 禍莫大于不知足﹔咎莫大于欲得。故知足之足,常足矣。 祸莫大于不知足;咎莫大于欲得。故知足之足,常足矣。 huò mò dà yú bùzhī zú jiù mò dà yú yù de gù zhīzú zhī zú cháng zú yǐ
47{a}
Without going outside his door, one understands (all that takes place) under the sky; without looking out from his window, one sees the Tao of Heaven. The farther that one goes out (from himself), the less he knows.
[第四十七章]
不出戶,知天下﹔不窺牖,見天道。其出彌遠,其知彌少。
[第四十七章]
不出户,知天下;不窥牖,见天道。其出弥远,其知弥少。
bù chū hù zhī tiānxià bù kuī yǒu jiàn tiān dào qí chū mí yuǎn qí zhī mí shǎo
{b} Therefore the sages got their knowledge without travelling; gave their (right) names to things without seeing them; and accomplished their ends without any purpose of doing so. 是以聖人不行而知,不見而明,不為而成。 是以圣人不行而知,不见而明,不为而成。 shì yǐ shèngrén bùxíng ér zhī bújiàn ér míng bù wèi ér chéng
48{a}
He who devotes himself to learning (seeks) from day to day to increase (his knowledge); he who devotes himself to the Tao (seeks) from day to day to diminish (his doing).
[第四十八章]
為學日益,為道日損。
[第四十八章]
为学日益,为道日损。
wèi xué rìyì wèi dào rì sǔn
{b} He diminishes it and again diminishes it, till he arrives at doing nothing (on purpose). Having arrived at this point of non-action, there is nothing which he does not do. 損之又損,以至于無為。無為而無不為。 损之又损,以至于无为。无为而无不为。 sǔn zhī yòu sǔn yǐzhì yú wú wèi wú wèi ér wú bù wèi
{c} He who gets as his own all under heaven does so by giving himself no trouble (with that end). If one take trouble (with that end), he is not equal to getting as his own all under heaven. 取天下常以無事,及其有事,不足以取天下。 取天下常以无事,及其有事,不足以取天下。 qǔ tiānxià cháng yǐ wú shì jí qí yǒu shì bùzú yǐ qǔ tiānxià
49{a}
The sage has no invariable mind of his own; he makes the mind of the people his mind.
[第四十九章]
聖人常無心,以百姓心為心。
[第四十九章]
圣人常无心,以百姓心为心。
shèngrén cháng wú xīn yǐ bǎixìng xīn wèi xīn
{b} To those who are good (to me), I am good; and to those who are not good (to me), I am also good;—and thus (all) get to be good. To those who are sincere (with me), I am sincere; and to those who are not sincere (with me), I am also sincere;—and thus (all) get to be sincere. 善者,吾善之﹔不善者,吾亦善之﹔德善。信者,吾信之﹔不信者,吾亦信之﹔德信。 善者,吾善之;不善者,吾亦善之;德善。信者,吾信之;不信者,吾亦信之;德信。 shàn zhě wú shàn zhī bùshàn zhě wú yì shàn zhī dé shàn xìn zhě wú xìn zhī bù xìn zhě wú yì xìn zhī dé xìn
{c} The sage has in the world an appearance of indecision, and keeps his mind in a state of indifference to all. The people all keep their eyes and ears directed to him, and he deals with them all as his children. 聖人在天下,歙歙焉,為天下渾其心,百姓皆注其耳目,聖人皆孩之。 圣人在天下,歙歙焉,为天下浑其心,百姓皆注其耳目,圣人皆孩之。 shèngrén zài tiānxià shè shè yān wèi tiānxià hún qí xīn bǎixìng jiē zhù qí ěrmù shèngrén jiē hái zhī
50{a}
Men come forth and live; they enter (again) and die.
[第五十章]
出生入死。
[第五十章]
出生入死。
chūshēngrùsǐ
{b} Of every ten, three are ministers of life (to themselves); and three are ministers of death. 生之徒十有三﹔死之徒十有三。 生之徒十有三;死之徒十有三。 shēng zhī tú shí yǒu sān sǐ zhī tú shí yǒu sān
{c} There are also three in every ten whose aim is to live, but whose movements tend to the land (or place) of death. And for what reason? Because of their excessive endeavours to perpetuate life. 人之生,動之于死地,亦十有三。夫何故?以其生生之厚。 人之生,动之于死地,亦十有三。夫何故?以其生生之厚。 rén zhī shēng dòng zhī yú sǐ dì yì shí yǒu sān fū hé gù yǐ qí shēng shēng zhī hòu
{d} But I have heard that he who is skilful in managing the life entrusted to him for a time travels on the land without having to shun rhinoceros or tiger, and enters a host without having to avoid buff coat or sharp weapon. The rhinoceros finds no place in him into which to thrust its horn, nor the tiger a place in which to fix its claws, nor the weapon a place to admit its point. And for what reason? Because there is in him no place of death. 蓋聞善攝生者,路行不遇兕虎,入軍不被甲兵。兕無所投其角,虎無所措其爪,兵無所容其刃。夫何故?以其無死地。 盖闻善摄生者,路行不遇兕虎,入军不被甲兵。兕无所投其角,虎无所措其爪,兵无所容其刃。夫何故?以其无死地。 gài wén shàn shè shēng zhě lù xíng bù yù sì hǔ rù jūn bù bèi jiǎ bīng sì wú suǒ tóu qí jué hǔ wú suǒ cuò qí zhǎo bīng wú suǒ róng qí rèn fū hé gù yǐ qí wú sǐ dì
51{a}
All things are produced by the Tao, and nourished by its outflowing operation. They receive their forms according to the nature of each, and are completed according to the circumstances of their condition. Therefore all things without exception honour the Tao, and exalt its outflowing operation.
[第五十一章]
道生之,德畜之,物形之,勢成之。是以萬物莫不尊道而貴德。
[第五十一章]
道生之,德畜之,物形之,势成之。是以万物莫不尊道而贵德。
dào shēng zhī dé chù zhī wù xíng zhī shì chéng zhī shì yǐ wànwù mò bù zūn dào ér guì dé
{b} This honouring of the Tao and exalting of its operation is not the result of any ordination, but always a spontaneous tribute. 道之尊,德之貴,夫莫之命而常自然。 道之尊,德之贵,夫莫之命而常自然。 dào zhī zūn dé zhī guì fū mò zhī mìng ér cháng zìrán
{c} Thus it is that the Tao produces (all things), nourishes them, brings them to their full growth, nurses them, completes them, matures them, maintains them, and overspreads them. 故道生之,德畜之﹔長之育之﹔成之熟之﹔養之覆之。 故道生之,德畜之;长之育之;成之熟之;养之覆之。 gù dào shēng zhī dé chù zhī cháng zhī yù zhī chéng zhī shú zhī yǎng zhī fù zhī
{d} It produces them and makes no claim to the possession of them; it carries them through their processes and does not vaunt its ability in doing so; it brings them to maturity and exercises no control over them;—this is called its mysterious operation. 生而不有,為而不恃,長而不宰。是謂玄德。 生而不有,为而不恃,长而不宰。是谓玄德。 shēng ér bù yǒu wèi ér bù shì cháng ér bù zǎi shì wèi xuán dé
52{a}
(The Tao) which originated all under the sky is to be considered as the mother of them all.
[第五十二章]
天下有始,以為天下母。
[第五十二章]
天下有始,以为天下母。
tiānxià yǒu shǐ yǐwéi tiānxià mǔ
{b} When the mother is found, we know what her children should be. When one knows that he is his mother's child, and proceeds to guard (the qualities of) the mother that belong to him, to the end of his life he will be free from all peril. 既得其母,以知其子,復守其母,沒身不殆。 既得其母,以知其子,复守其母,没身不殆。 jì de qí mǔ yǐ zhī qí zǐ fù shǒu qí mǔ mò shēn bù dài
{c} Let him keep his mouth closed, and shut up the portals (of his nostrils), and all his life he will be exempt from laborious exertion. Let him keep his mouth open, and (spend his breath) in the promotion of his affairs, and all his life there will be no safety for him. 塞其兌,閉其門,終身不勤。開其兌,濟其事,終身不救。 塞其兑,闭其门,终身不勤。开其兑,济其事,终身不救。 sāi qí duì bì qí mén zhōngshēn bù qín kāi qí duì jì qí shì zhōngshēn bù jiù
{d} The perception of what is small is (the secret of) clear-sightedness; the guarding of what is soft and tender is (the secret of) strength. 見小曰明,守柔曰強。 见小曰明,守柔曰强。 jiàn xiǎo yuē míng shǒu róu yuē qiáng
{e} Who uses well his light,
Reverting to its (source so) bright,
Will from his body ward all blight,
And hides the unchanging from men's sight.
用其光,復歸其明,無遺身殃﹔是為習常。 用其光,复归其明,无遗身殃;是为习常。 yòng qí guāng fù guī qí míng wú yí shēn yāng shì wèi xí cháng
53{a}
If I were suddenly to become known, and (put into a position to) conduct (a government) according to the Great Tao, what I should be most afraid of would be a boastful display.
[第五十三章]
使我介然有知,行于大道,唯施是畏。
[第五十三章]
使我介然有知,行于大道,唯施是畏。
shǐ wǒ jiè rán yǒu zhī xíng yú dàdào wéi shī shì wèi
{b} The great Tao (or way) is very level and easy; but people love the by-ways. 大道甚夷,而人好徑。 大道甚夷,而人好径。 dàdào shèn yí ér rén hǎo jìng
{c} Their court(-yards and buildings) shall be well kept, but their fields shall be ill-cultivated, and their granaries very empty. They shall wear elegant and ornamented robes, carry a sharp sword at their girdle, pamper themselves in eating and drinking, and have a superabundance of property and wealth;—such (princes) may be called robbers and boasters. This is contrary to the Tao surely! 朝甚除,田甚蕪,倉甚虛﹔服文采,帶利劍,厭飲食,財貨有餘﹔是為盜夸。非道也哉! 朝甚除,田甚芜,仓甚虚;服文采,带利剑,厌饮食,财货有馀;是为盗夸。非道也哉! zhāo shèn chú tián shèn wú cāng shèn xū fù wéncǎi dài lì jiàn yàn yǐnshí cái huò yǒu yú shì wèi dào kuā fēi dào yě zāi
54{a}
What (Tao's) skilful planter plants,
Can never be uptorn;
What his skilful arms enfold,
From him can ne'er be borne.
Sons shall bring in lengthening line,
Sacrifices to his shrine.
[第五十四章]
善建者不拔,善抱者不脫,子孫以祭祀不輟。
[第五十四章]
善建者不拔,善抱者不脱,子孙以祭祀不辍。
shàn jiàn zhě bù bá shàn bào zhě bù tuō zǐsūn yǐ jìsi bù chuò
{b} Tao when nursed within one's self,
His vigour will make true;
And where the family it rules,
What riches will accrue!
The neighbourhood where it prevails,
In thriving will abound;
And when 'tis seen throughout the state,
Good fortune will be found.
Employ it the kingdom o'er,
And men thrive all around.
修之于身,其德乃真﹔修之于家,其德乃餘﹔修之于鄉,其德乃長﹔修之于國,其德乃豐﹔修之于天下,其德乃普。 修之于身,其德乃真;修之于家,其德乃馀;修之于乡,其德乃长;修之于国,其德乃丰;修之于天下,其德乃普。 xiū zhī yú shēn qí dé nǎi zhēn xiū zhī yú jiā qí dé nǎi yú xiū zhī yú xiāng qí dé nǎi cháng xiū zhī yú guó qí dé nǎi fēng xiū zhī yú tiānxià qí dé nǎi pǔ
{c} In this way the effect will be seen in the person,
by the observation of different cases;
in the family;
in the neighbourhood;
in the state;
and in the kingdom.
故以身觀身,以家觀家,以鄉觀鄉,以國觀國,以天下觀天下。 故以身观身,以家观家,以乡观乡,以国观国,以天下观天下。 gù yǐ shēn guān shēn yǐ jiā guān jiā yǐ xiāng guān xiāng yǐ guó guān guó yǐ tiānxià guān tiānxià
{d} How do I know that this effect is sure to hold thus all under the sky?
By this (method of observation).
吾何以知天下然哉?以此。 吾何以知天下然哉?以此。 wú hé yǐ zhī tiānxià rán zāi yǐ cǐ
55{a}
He who has in himself abundantly the attributes (of the Tao) is like an infant.
Poisonous insects will not sting him;
fierce beasts will not seize him;
birds of prey will not strike him.
[第五十五章]
含「德」之厚,比于赤子。毒蟲不螫,猛獸不據,攫鳥不搏。
[第五十五章]
含「德」之厚,比于赤子。毒虫不螫,猛兽不据,攫鸟不搏。
hán dé zhī hòu bǐ yú chìzǐ dú chóng bù shì měng shòu bù jù jué niǎo bù bó
{b} (The infant's) bones are weak and its sinews soft,
but yet its grasp is firm.
It knows not yet the union of male and female,
and yet its virile member may be excited;—
showing the perfection of its physical essence.
All day long it will cry without its throat becoming hoarse;—
showing the harmony (in its constitution).
骨弱筋柔而握固。未知牝牡之合而朘作,精之至也。終日號而不嗄,和之至也。 骨弱筋柔而握固。未知牝牡之合而朘作,精之至也。终日号而不嗄,和之至也。 gǔ ruò jīn róu ér wò gù wèi zhī pìn mǔ zhī hé ér zuò jīng zhī zhì yě zhōng rì háo ér bù á hé zhī zhì yě
{c} To him by whom this harmony is known,
(The secret of) the unchanging (Tao) is shown,
And in the knowledge wisdom finds its throne.
All life-increasing arts to evil turn;
Where the mind makes the vital breath to burn,
(False) is the strength,
(and o'er it we should mourn.)
知和曰「常」,知常曰「明」。益生曰「祥」。心使氣曰「強」。 知和曰「常」,知常曰「明」。益生曰「祥」。心使气曰「强」。 zhī hé yuē cháng zhī cháng yuē míng yì shēng yuē xiáng xīn shǐ qì yuē qiáng
{d} When things have become strong, they (then) become old,
which may be said to be contrary to the Tao.
Whatever is contrary to the Tao soon ends.
物壯則老,謂之不道,不道早已。 物壮则老,谓之不道,不道早已。 wù zhuàng zé lǎo wèi zhī bù dào bù dào zǎoyǐ
56{a}
He who knows (the Tao) does not (care to) speak (about it);
he who is (ever ready to) speak about it does not know it.
[第五十六章]
知者不言,言者不知。
[第五十六章]
知者不言,言者不知。
zhī zhě bù yán yán zhě bùzhī
{b} He (who knows it) will keep his mouth shut
and close the portals (of his nostrils).
He will blunt his sharp points
and unravel the complications of things;
he will attemper his brightness,
and bring himself into agreement with the obscurity (of others).
This is called 'the Mysterious Agreement.'
塞其兌,閉其門,挫其銳,解其紛,和其光,同其塵,是謂「玄同」。 塞其兑,闭其门,挫其锐,解其纷,和其光,同其尘,是谓「玄同」。 sāi qí duì bì qí mén cuò qí ruì jiě qí fēn hé qí guāng tóng qí chén shì wèi xuán tóng
{c} (Such an one) cannot be treated familiarly or distantly;
he is beyond all consideration of profit or injury;
of nobility or meanness:—
he is the noblest man under heaven.
故不可得而親,不可得而疏﹔不可得而利,不可得而害﹔不可得而貴,不可得而賤。故為天下貴。 故不可得而亲,不可得而疏;不可得而利,不可得而害;不可得而贵,不可得而贱。故为天下贵。 gù bù kě de ér qīn bù kě de ér shū bù kě de ér lì bù kě de ér hài bù kě de ér guì bù kě de ér jiàn gù wèi tiānxià guì
57{a}
A state may be ruled by (measures of) correction;
weapons of war may be used with crafty dexterity;
(but) the kingdom is made one's own (only) by freedom from action and purpose.
[第五十七章]
以正治國,以奇用兵,以無事取天下。
[第五十七章]
以正治国,以奇用兵,以无事取天下。
yǐ zhèng zhì guó yǐ jī yòng bīng yǐ wú shì qǔ tiānxià
{b} How do I know that it is so?
By these facts:—
In the kingdom the multiplication of prohibitive enactments increases the poverty of the people;
the more implements to add to their profit that the people have,
the greater disorder is there in the state and clan;
the more acts of crafty dexterity that men possess,
the more do strange contrivances appear;
the more display there is of legislation,
the more thieves and robbers there are.
吾何以知其然哉?以此:天下多忌諱,而民彌貧﹔人多利器,國家滋昏﹔人多伎巧,奇物滋起﹔法令滋彰,盜賊多有。 吾何以知其然哉?以此:天下多忌讳,而民弥贫;人多利器,国家滋昏;人多伎巧,奇物滋起;法令滋彰,盗贼多有。 wú hé yǐ zhī qí rán zāi yǐ cǐ tiānxià duō jìhui ér mín mí pín rén duō lì qì guójiā zī hūn rén duō jì qiǎo jī wù zī qǐ fǎlìng zī zhāng dàozéi duō yǒu
{c} Therefore a sage has said,
'I will do nothing (of purpose),
and the people will be transformed of themselves;
I will be fond of keeping still,
and the people will of themselves become correct.
I will take no trouble about it,
and the people will of themselves become rich;
I will manifest no ambition,
and the people will of themselves
attain to the primitive simplicity.'
故聖人云:「我無為,而民自化﹔我好靜,而民自正﹔我無事,而民自富﹔我無欲,而民自朴」。 故圣人云:「我无为,而民自化;我好静,而民自正;我无事,而民自富;我无欲,而民自朴」。 gù shèngrén yún wǒ wú wèi ér mín zì huà wǒ hǎo jìng ér mín zì zhèng wǒ wú shì ér mín zì fù wǒ wú yù ér mín zì pǔ
58{a}
The government that seems the most unwise,
Oft goodness to the people best supplies;
That which is meddling, touching everything,
Will work but ill, and disappointment bring.
Misery!—happiness is to be found by its side!
Happiness!—misery lurks beneath it!
Who knows what either will come to in the end?
[第五十八章]
其政悶悶,其民淳淳﹔其政察察,其民缺缺。禍兮,福之所倚,福兮,禍之所伏。孰知其極?
[第五十八章]
其政闷闷,其民淳淳;其政察察,其民缺缺。祸兮,福之所倚,福兮,祸之所伏。孰知其极?
qí zhèng mēn mēn qí mín chún chún qí zhèng chá chá qí mín quē quē huò xī fú zhī suǒ yǐ fú xī huò zhī suǒ fú shú zhī qí jí
{b} Shall we then dispense with correction?
The (method of) correction shall by a turn become distortion,
and the good in it shall by a turn become evil.
The delusion of the people (on this point)
has indeed subsisted for a long time.
其無正也。正復為奇,善復為妖。人之迷,其日固久。 其无正也。正复为奇,善复为妖。人之迷,其日固久。 qí wú zhèng yě zhèng fù wèi jī shàn fù wèi yāo rén zhī mí qí rì gù jiǔ
{c} Therefore the sage is (like) a square which cuts no one (with its angles);
(like) a corner which injures no one (with its sharpness).
He is straightforward, but allows himself no license;
he is bright, but does not dazzle.
是以聖人方而不割,廉而不劌,直而不肆,光而不耀。 是以圣人方而不割,廉而不刿,直而不肆,光而不耀。 shì yǐ shèngrén fāng ér bù gē lián ér bù guì zhí ér bù sì guāng ér bù yào
59{a}
For regulating the human (in our constitution) and rendering the (proper) service to the heavenly, there is nothing like moderation.
[第五十九章]
治人事天,莫若嗇。
[第五十九章]
治人事天,莫若啬。
zhì rénshì tiān mò ruò sè
{b} It is only by this moderation that there is effected an early return (to man's normal state).
That early return is what I call the repeated accumulation of the attributes (of the Tao).
With that repeated accumulation of those attributes, there comes the subjugation (of every obstacle to such return).
Of this subjugation we know not what shall be the limit;
and when one knows not what the limit shall be,
he may be the ruler of a state.
夫為嗇,是謂早服﹔早服謂之重積德﹔重積德則無不克﹔無不克則莫知其極﹔莫知其極,可以有國﹔ 夫为啬,是谓早服;早服谓之重积德;重积德则无不克;无不克则莫知其极;莫知其极,可以有国; fū wèi sè shì wèi zǎo fù zǎo fù wèi zhī zhòng jīdé zhòng jīdé zé wú bù kè wú bù kè zé mò zhī qí jí mò zhī qí jí kěyǐ yǒu guó
{c} He who possesses the mother of the state may continue long.
His case is like that (of the plant) of which we say that its roots are deep and its flower stalks firm:—
this is the way to secure that its enduring life shall long be seen.
有國之母,可以長久﹔是謂深根固柢,長生久視之道。 有国之母,可以长久;是谓深根固柢,长生久视之道。 yǒu guó zhī mǔ kěyǐ chángjiǔ shì wèi shēn gēn gù dǐ cháng shēng jiǔ shì zhī dào
60{a}
Governing a great state is like cooking small fish.
[第六十章]
治大國,若烹小鮮。
[第六十章]
治大国,若烹小鲜。
zhì dà guó ruò pēng xiǎo xiān
{b} Let the kingdom be governed according to the Tao,
and the manes of the departed will not manifest their spiritual energy.
It is not that those manes have not that spiritual energy,
but it will not be employed to hurt men.
It is not that it could not hurt men,
but neither does the ruling sage hurt them.
以道蒞天下,其鬼不神﹔非其鬼不神,其神不傷人﹔非其神不傷人,聖人亦不傷人。 以道莅天下,其鬼不神;非其鬼不神,其神不伤人;非其神不伤人,圣人亦不伤人。 yǐ dào lì tiānxià qí guǐ bù shén fēi qí guǐ bù shén qí shén bù shāng rén fēi qí shén bù shāng rén shèngrén yì bù shāng rén
{c} When these two do not injuriously affect each other,
their good influences converge in the virtue (of the Tao).
夫兩不相傷,故德交歸焉。 夫两不相伤,故德交归焉。 fū liǎng bù xiāng shāng gù dé jiāo guī yān
61{a}
What makes a great state is its being (like) a low-lying, down-flowing (stream);—
it becomes the centre to which tend (all the small states) under heaven.
[第六十一章]
大國者下流,天下之交也,天下之牝。
[第六十一章]
大国者下流,天下之交也,天下之牝。
dà guó zhě xiàliú tiānxià zhī jiāo yě tiānxià zhī pìn
{b} (To illustrate from) the case of all females:—
the female always overcomes the male by her stillness.
Stillness may be considered (a sort of) abasement.
牝常以靜勝牡,以靜為下。 牝常以静胜牡,以静为下。 pìn cháng yǐ jìng shèng mǔ yǐ jìng wèi xià
{c} Thus it is that a great state,
by condescending to small states,
gains them for itself;
and that small states,
by abasing themselves to a great state,
win it over to them.
In the one case the abasement leads to gaining adherents,
in the other case to procuring favour.
故大國以下小國,則取小國﹔小國以下大國,則取大國。故或下以取,或下而取。 故大国以下小国,则取小国;小国以下大国,则取大国。故或下以取,或下而取。 gù dà guó yǐxià xiǎo guó zé qǔ xiǎo guó xiǎo guó yǐxià dà guó zé qǔ dà guó gù huò xià yǐ qǔ huò xià ér qǔ
{d} The great state only wishes to unite men together and nourish them;
a small state only wishes to be received by,
and to serve, the other.
Each gets what it desires, but the great state must learn to abase itself.
大國不過欲兼畜人,小國不過欲入事人。夫兩者各得所欲,大者宜為下。 大国不过欲兼畜人,小国不过欲入事人。夫两者各得所欲,大者宜为下。 dà guó búguò yù jiān chù rén xiǎo guó búguò yù rù shì rén fū liǎng zhě gè de suǒ yù dà zhě yí wèi xià
62{a}
Tao has of all things the most honoured place.
No treasures give good men so rich a grace;
Bad men it guards, and doth their ill efface.
[第六十二章]
道者萬物之奧。善人之寶,不善人之所保。
[第六十二章]
道者万物之奥。善人之宝,不善人之所保。
dào zhě wànwù zhī ào shàn rén zhī bǎo bùshàn rén zhī suǒ bǎo
{b} (Its) admirable words can purchase honour; (its) admirable deeds can raise their performer above others. Even men who are not good are not abandoned by it. 美言可以市尊,美行可以加人。人之不善,何棄之有? 美言可以市尊,美行可以加人。人之不善,何弃之有? měiyán kěyǐ shì zūn měi xíng kěyǐ jiā rén rén zhī bùshàn hé qì zhī yǒu
{c} Therefore when the sovereign occupies his place as the Son of Heaven, and he has appointed his three ducal ministers, though (a prince) were to send in a round symbol-of-rank large enough to fill both the hands, and that as the precursor of the team of horses (in the court-yard), such an offering would not be equal to (a lesson of) this Tao, which one might present on his knees. 故立天子,置三公,雖有拱璧以先駟馬,不如坐進此道。 故立天子,置三公,虽有拱璧以先驷马,不如坐进此道。 gù lì tiānzǐ zhì sān gōng suī yǒu gǒng bì yǐ xiān sìmǎ bùrú zuò jìn cǐ dào
{d} Why was it that the ancients prized this Tao so much? Was it not because it could be got by seeking for it, and the guilty could escape (from the stain of their guilt) by it? This is the reason why all under heaven consider it the most valuable thing. 古之所以貴此道者何?不曰求以得,有罪以免耶?故為天下貴。 古之所以贵此道者何?不曰求以得,有罪以免耶?故为天下贵。 gǔ zhī suǒyǐ guì cǐ dào zhě hé bù yuē qiú yǐ de yǒu zuì yǐmiǎn yē gù wèi tiānxià guì
63{a}
(It is the way of the Tao) to act without (thinking of) acting; to conduct affairs without (feeling the) trouble of them; to taste without discerning any flavour; to consider what is small as great, and a few as many; and to recompense injury with kindness.
[第六十三章]
為無為,事無事,味無味。大小多少,報怨以德。
[第六十三章]
为无为,事无事,味无味。大小多少,报怨以德。
wèi wú wèi shì wú shì wèi wú wèi dàxiǎo duōshǎo bào yuàn yǐ dé
{b} (The master of it) anticipates things that are difficult while they are easy, and does things that would become great while they are small. All difficult things in the world are sure to arise from a previous state in which they were easy, and all great things from one in which they were small. Therefore the sage, while he never does what is great, is able on that account to accomplish the greatest things. 圖難于其易,為大于其細。天下難事,必作于易,天下大事,必作于細。是以聖人終不為大,故能成其大。 图难于其易,为大于其细。天下难事,必作于易,天下大事,必作于细。是以圣人终不为大,故能成其大。 tú nán yú qí yì wèi dà yú qí xì tiānxià nán shì bì zuò yú yì tiānxià dà shì bì zuò yú xì shì yǐ shèngrén zhōng bù wèi dà gù néng chéng qí dà
{c} He who lightly promises is sure to keep but little faith; he who is continually thinking things easy is sure to find them difficult. Therefore the sage sees difficulty even in what seems easy, and so never has any difficulties. 夫輕諾必寡信,多易必多難。是以聖人猶難之,故終無難矣。 夫轻诺必寡信,多易必多难。是以圣人犹难之,故终无难矣。 fū qīng nuò bì guǎ xìn duō yì bì duō nán shì yǐ shèngrén yóu nán zhī gù zhōng wú nán yǐ
64{a}
That which is at rest is easily kept hold of; before a thing has given indications of its presence, it is easy to take measures against it; that which is brittle is easily broken; that which is very small is easily dispersed. Action should be taken before a thing has made its appearance; order should be secured before disorder has begun.
[第六十四章]
其安易持,其未兆易謀,其脆易泮,其微易散,為之于未有,治之于未亂。
[第六十四章]
其安易持,其未兆易谋,其脆易泮,其微易散,为之于未有,治之于未乱。
qí ān yì chí qí wèi zhào yì móu qí cuì yì pàn qí wēi yì sàn wèi zhī yú wèi yǒu zhì zhī yú wèi luàn
{b} The tree which fills the arms grew from the tiniest sprout; the tower of nine storeys rose from a (small) heap of earth; the journey of a thousand li commenced with a single step. 合抱之木,生于毫末﹔九層之臺,起于累土﹔千里之行,始于足下。 合抱之木,生于毫末;九层之臺,起于累土;千里之行,始于足下。 hé bào zhī mù shēng yú háo mò jiǔ céng zhī qǐ yú lèi tǔ qiānlǐ zhī xíng shǐ yú zú xià
{c} He who acts (with an ulterior purpose) does harm; he who takes hold of a thing (in the same way) loses his hold. The sage does not act (so), and therefore does no harm; he does not lay hold (so), and therefore does not lose his bold. (But) people in their conduct of affairs are constantly ruining them when they are on the eve of success. If they were careful at the end, as (they should be) at the beginning, they would not so ruin them. 為者拜之,執者失之,是以聖人無為,故無敗,無執,故無師。民之從事,常于几成而敗之﹔慎終如始,則無敗事。 为者拜之,执者失之,是以圣人无为,故无败,无执,故无师。民之从事,常于几成而败之;慎终如始,则无败事。 wèi zhě bài zhī zhí zhě shī zhī shì yǐ shèngrén wú wèi gù wú bài wú zhí gù wú shī mín zhī cóngshì cháng yú jǐ chéng ér bài zhī shèn zhōng rú shǐ zé wú bài shì
{d} Therefore the sage desires what (other men) do not desire, and does not prize things difficult to get; he learns what (other men) do not learn, and turns back to what the multitude of men have passed by. Thus he helps the natural development of all things, and does not dare to act (with an ulterior purpose of his own). 是以聖人欲不欲,不貴難得之貨﹔學不學,復眾人之所過。以輔萬物之自然,而不敢為。 是以圣人欲不欲,不贵难得之货;学不学,复众人之所过。以辅万物之自然,而不敢为。 shì yǐ shèngrén yù bù yù bù guì nándé zhī huò xué bù xué fù zhòngrén zhī suǒ guo yǐ fǔ wànwù zhī zìrán ér bù gǎn wèi
65{a}
The ancients who showed their skill in practising the Tao did so, not to enlighten the people, but rather to make them simple and ignorant.
[第六十五章]
古之善為道者,非以明民,將以愚之。
[第六十五章]
古之善为道者,非以明民,将以愚之。
gǔ zhī shàn wèi dào zhě fēi yǐ míng mín jiàng yǐ yú zhī
{b} The difficulty in governing the people arises from their having much knowledge. He who (tries to) govern a state by his wisdom is a scourge to it; while he who does not (try to) do so is a blessing. 民之難治,以其智多。故以智治國,國之賊﹔不以智治國,國之福。 民之难治,以其智多。故以智治国,国之贼;不以智治国,国之福。 mín zhī nán zhì yǐ qí zhì duō gù yǐ zhì zhì guó guó zhī zéi bù yǐ zhì zhì guó guó zhī fú
{c} He who knows these two things finds in them also his model and rule. Ability to know this model and rule constitutes what we call the mysterious excellence (of a governor). Deep and far-reaching is such mysterious excellence, showing indeed its possessor as opposite to others, but leading them to a great conformity to him. 知此兩者,亦稽式。常知稽式,是謂「玄德」,「玄德」深遠﹔與物反矣,然后乃至大順。 知此两者,亦稽式。常知稽式,是谓「玄德」,「玄德」深远;与物反矣,然后乃至大顺。 zhī cǐ liǎng zhě yì jī shì cháng zhī jī shì shì wèi xuán dé xuán dé shēn yuǎn yǔ wù fǎn yǐ ránhòu nǎizhì dà shùn
66{a}
That whereby the rivers and seas are able to receive the homage and tribute of all the valley streams, is their skill in being lower than they;—it is thus that they are the kings of them all. So it is that the sage (ruler), wishing to be above men, puts himself by his words below them, and, wishing to be before them, places his person behind them.
[第六十六章]
江海之所以能為百谷王者,以其善下之,故能為百谷王。是以聖人欲上民,必以言下之﹔欲先民,必以身后之。
[第六十六章]
江海之所以能为百谷王者,以其善下之,故能为百谷王。是以圣人欲上民,必以言下之;欲先民,必以身后之。
jiāng hǎi zhī suǒyǐ néng wèi bǎi gǔ wáng zhě yǐ qí shàn xià zhī gù néng wèi bǎi gǔ wáng shì yǐ shèngrén yù shàng mín bì yǐ yán xià zhī yù xiān mín bì yǐ shēn hòu zhī
{b} In this way though he has his place above them, men do not feel his weight, nor though he has his place before them, do they feel it an injury to them. 是以聖人處上而民不重,處前而民不害。 是以圣人处上而民不重,处前而民不害。 shì yǐ shèngrén chǔ shàng ér mín bù zhòng chǔ qián ér mín bù hài
{c} Therefore all in the world delight to exalt him and do not weary of him. Because he does not strive, no one finds it possible to strive with him. 是以天下樂推而不厭。以其不爭,故天下莫能與之爭。 是以天下乐推而不厌。以其不争,故天下莫能与之争。 shì yǐ tiānxià lè tuī ér bù yàn yǐ qí bù zhēng gù tiānxià mò néng yǔ zhī zhēng
67{a}
All the world says that, while my Tao is great, it yet appears to be inferior (to other systems of teaching). Now it is just its greatness that makes it seem to be inferior. If it were like any other (system), for long would its smallness have been known!
[第六十七章]
天下皆謂我道大,似不肖。夫唯大,故似不肖﹔若肖,久矣其細也夫!
[第六十七章]
天下皆谓我道大,似不肖。夫唯大,故似不肖;若肖,久矣其细也夫!
tiānxià jiē wèi wǒ dào dà sì bùxiào fū wéi dà gù sì bùxiào ruò xiào jiǔ yǐ qí xì yě fū
{b} But I have three precious things which I prize and hold fast. The first is gentleness; the second is economy; and the third is shrinking from taking precedence of others. 我有三寶,持而保之。一曰慈,二曰儉,三曰不敢為天下先。 我有三宝,持而保之。一曰慈,二曰俭,三曰不敢为天下先。 wǒ yǒu sān bǎo chí ér bǎo zhī yī yuē cí èr yuē jiǎn sān yuē bù gǎn wèi tiānxià xiān
{c} With that gentleness I can be bold; with that economy I can be liberal; shrinking from taking precedence of others, I can become a vessel of the highest honour. Now- a-days they give up gentleness and are all for being bold; economy, and are all for being liberal; the hindmost place, and seek only to be foremost;—(of all which the end is) death. 慈故能勇﹔儉故能廣﹔不敢為天下先,故能成器長。今舍慈且勇﹔舍儉且廣﹔舍后且先﹔死矣! 慈故能勇;俭故能广;不敢为天下先,故能成器长。今舍慈且勇;舍俭且广;舍后且先;死矣! cí gù néng yǒng jiǎn gù néng guǎng bù gǎn wèi tiānxià xiān gù néng chéng qì cháng jīn shè cí qiě yǒng shè jiǎn qiě guǎng shè hòu qiě xiān sǐ yǐ
{d} Gentleness is sure to be victorious even in battle, and firmly to maintain its ground. Heaven will save its possessor, by his (very) gentleness protecting him. 夫慈以戰則勝,以守則固。天將救之,以慈衛之。 夫慈以战则胜,以守则固。天将救之,以慈卫之。 fū cí yǐ zhàn zé shèng yǐ shǒuzé gù tiān jiàng jiù zhī yǐ cí wèi zhī
68{a}
He who in (Tao's) wars has skill
Assumes no martial port;
He who fights with most good will
To rage makes no resort.
He who vanquishes yet still
Keeps from his foes apart;
He whose hests men most fulfil
Yet humbly plies his art.
Thus we say, 'He ne'er contends,
And therein is his might.'
Thus we say,
'Men's wills he bends,
That they with him unite.'
Thus we say,
'Like Heaven's his ends, No sage of old more bright.'
[第六十八章]
善為士者不武﹔善戰者不怒﹔善勝敵者不與﹔善用人者為之下。是謂不爭之德,是謂用人之力,是謂配天古之極。
[第六十八章]
善为士者不武;善战者不怒;善胜敌者不与;善用人者为之下。是谓不争之德,是谓用人之力,是谓配天古之极。
shàn wèi shì zhě bù wǔ shàn zhàn zhě bù nù shàn shèng dí zhě bù yǔ shàn yòngrén zhě wèi zhī xià shì wèi bù zhēng zhī dé shì wèi yòngrén zhī lì shì wèi pèi tiān gǔ zhī jí
69{a}
A master of the art of war has said, 'I do not dare to be the host (to commence the war); I prefer to be the guest (to act on the defensive). I do not dare to advance an inch; I prefer to retire a foot.' This is called marshalling the ranks where there are no ranks; baring the arms (to fight) where there are no arms to bare; grasping the weapon where there is no weapon to grasp; advancing against the enemy where there is no enemy.
[第六十九章]
用兵有言:「吾不敢為主而為客﹔不敢進寸而退尺。」是謂行無行﹔攘無臂﹔扔無敵﹔執無兵。
[第六十九章]
用兵有言:「吾不敢为主而为客;不敢进寸而退尺。」是谓行无行;攘无臂;扔无敌;执无兵。
yòng bīng yǒu yán wú bù gǎn wéizhǔ ér wèi kè bù gǎn jìn cùn ér tuì chǐ shì wèi xíng wú xíng rǎng wú bì rēng wúdí zhí wú bīng
{b} There is no calamity greater than lightly engaging in war. To do that is near losing (the gentleness) which is so precious. Thus it is that when opposing weapons are (actually) crossed, he who deplores (the situation) conquers. 禍莫大于輕敵,輕敵几喪吾寶。故抗兵相若,哀者勝矣。 祸莫大于轻敌,轻敌几丧吾宝。故抗兵相若,哀者胜矣。 huò mò dà yú qīng dí qīng dí jǐ sàng wú bǎo gù kàng bīng xiāng ruò āi zhě shèng yǐ
70{a}
My words are very easy to know, and very easy to practise; but there is no one in the world who is able to know and able to practise them.
[第七十章]
吾言甚易知,甚易行。天下莫能知,莫能行。
[第七十章]
吾言甚易知,甚易行。天下莫能知,莫能行。
wú yán shèn yì zhī shèn yì xíng tiānxià mò néng zhī mò néng xíng
{b} There is an originating and all-comprehending (principle) in my words, and an authoritative law for the things (which I enforce). It is because they do not know these, that men do not know me. 言有宗,事有君。夫唯無知,是以不我知。 言有宗,事有君。夫唯无知,是以不我知。 yán yǒu zōng shì yǒu jūn fū wéi wúzhī shì yǐ bù wǒ zhī
{c} They who know me are few, and I am on that account (the more) to be prized. It is thus that the sage wears (a poor garb of) hair cloth, while he carries his (signet of) jade in his bosom. 知我者希,則我者貴。是以聖人被褐而懷玉。 知我者希,则我者贵。是以圣人被褐而怀玉。 zhī wǒ zhě xī zé wǒ zhě guì shì yǐ shèngrén bèi hè ér huái yù
71{a}
To know and yet (think) we do not know is the highest (attainment); not to know (and yet think) we do know is a disease.
[第七十一章]
知,不知,上矣﹔不知,知,病也。
[第七十一章]
知,不知,上矣;不知,知,病也。
zhī bùzhī shàng yǐ bùzhī zhī bìng yě
{b} It is simply by being pained at (the thought of) having this disease that we are preserved from it. The sage has not the disease. He knows the pain that would be inseparable from it, and therefore he does not have it. 聖人不病,以其病病。夫唯病病,是以不病。 圣人不病,以其病病。夫唯病病,是以不病。 shèngrén bù bìng yǐ qí bìng bìng fū wéi bìng bìng shì yǐ bù bìng
72{a}
When the people do not fear what they ought to fear, that which is their great dread will come on them.
[第七十二章]
民不畏威,則大威至。
[第七十二章]
民不畏威,则大威至。
mín bù wèi wēi zé dà wēi zhì
{b} Let them not thoughtlessly indulge themselves in their ordinary life; let them not act as if weary of what that life depends on. 無狎其所居,無厭其所生。 无狎其所居,无厌其所生。 wú xiá qí suǒ jū wú yàn qí suǒ shēng
{c} It is by avoiding such indulgence that such weariness does not arise. 夫唯不厭,是以不厭。 夫唯不厌,是以不厌。 fū wéi bù yàn shì yǐ bù yàn
{d} Therefore the sage knows (these things) of himself, but does not parade (his knowledge); loves, but does not (appear to set a) value on, himself. And thus he puts the latter alternative away and makes choice of the former. 是以聖人自知不自見﹔自愛不自貴。故去彼取此。 是以圣人自知不自见;自爱不自贵。故去彼取此。 shì yǐ shèngrén zì zhī bù zì jiàn zì'ài bù zì guì gù qù bǐ qǔ cǐ
73{a}
He whose boldness appears in his daring (to do wrong, in defiance of the laws) is put to death; he whose boldness appears in his not daring (to do so) lives on. Of these two cases the one appears to be advantageous, and the other to be injurious. But, When Heaven's anger smites a man, Who the cause shall truly scan? On this account the sage feels a difficulty (as to what to do in the former case).
[第七十三章]
勇于敢則殺,勇于不敢則活。此兩者,或利或害。天之所惡,孰知其故?是以聖人猶難之。
[第七十三章]
勇于敢则杀,勇于不敢则活。此两者,或利或害。天之所恶,孰知其故?是以圣人犹难之。
yǒngyú gǎn zé shā yǒngyú bù gǎn zé huó cǐ liǎng zhě huò lì huò hài tiān zhī suǒ è shú zhī qí gù shì yǐ shèngrén yóu nán zhī
{b} It is the way of Heaven not to strive, and yet it skilfully overcomes; not to speak, and yet it is skilful in obtaining a reply; does not call, and yet men come to it of themselves. Its demonstrations are quiet, and yet its plans are skilful and effective. The meshes of the net of Heaven are large; far apart, but letting nothing escape. 天之道,不爭而善勝,不言而善應,不召而自來,繕然而善謀。天網恢恢,疏而不失。 天之道,不争而善胜,不言而善应,不召而自来,缮然而善谋。天网恢恢,疏而不失。 tiān zhī dào bù zhēng ér shàn shèng bù yán ér shàn yīng bù zhào ér zì lái shàn rán'ér shàn móu tiān wǎng huīhuī shū ér bù shī
74{a}
The people do not fear death; to what purpose is it to (try to) frighten them with death? If the people were always in awe of death, and I could always seize those who do wrong, and put them to death, who would dare to do wrong?
[第七十四章]
民不畏死,奈何以死懼之?若使民常畏死,而為奇者,吾得執而殺之,孰敢?
[第七十四章]
民不畏死,奈何以死惧之?若使民常畏死,而为奇者,吾得执而杀之,孰敢?
mín bù wèi sǐ nàihé yǐ sǐ jù zhī ruò shǐ mín cháng wèi sǐ ér wèi jī zhě wú de zhí ér shā zhī shú gǎn
{b} There is always One who presides over the infliction death. He who would inflict death in the room of him who so presides over it may be described as hewing wood instead of a great carpenter. Seldom is it that he who undertakes the hewing, instead of the great carpenter, does not cut his own hands! 常有司殺者殺。夫代司殺者殺,是謂代大匠斲,夫代大匠斲者,希有不傷其手矣。 常有司杀者杀。夫代司杀者杀,是谓代大匠斲者,希有不伤其手矣。 cháng yǒu sī shā zhě shā fū dài sī shā zhě shā shì wèi dài dà jiàng zhě xī yǒu bù shāng qí shǒu yǐ
75{a}
The people suffer from famine because of the multitude of taxes consumed by their superiors. It is through this that they suffer famine.
[第七十五章]
民之飢,以其上食稅之多,是以飢。
[第七十五章]
民之饥,以其上食税之多,是以饥。
mín zhī jī yǐ qí shàng shí shuì zhī duō shì yǐ jī
{b} The people are difficult to govern because of the (excessive) agency of their superiors (in governing them). It is through this that they are difficult to govern. 民之難治,以其上之有為,是以難治。 民之难治,以其上之有为,是以难治。 mín zhī nán zhì yǐ qí shàng zhī yǒuwéi shì yǐ nán zhì
{c} The people make light of dying because of the greatness of their labours in seeking for the means of living. It is this which makes them think light of dying. Thus it is that to leave the subject of living altogether out of view is better than to set a high value on it. 民之輕死,以其上求生之厚,是以輕死。夫唯無以生為者,是賢于貴生。 民之轻死,以其上求生之厚,是以轻死。夫唯无以生为者,是贤于贵生。 mín zhī qīng sǐ yǐ qí shàng qiú shēng zhī hòu shì yǐ qīng sǐ fū wéi wú yǐ shēng wèi zhě shì xián yú guì shēng
76{a}
Man at his birth is supple and weak; at his death, firm and strong. (So it is with) all things. Trees and plants, in their early growth, are soft and brittle; at their death, dry and withered.
[第七十六章]
人之生也柔弱,其死也堅強。草木之生也柔脆,其死也枯槁。
[第七十六章]
人之生也柔弱,其死也坚强。草木之生也柔脆,其死也枯槁。
rén zhī shēng yě róuruò qí sǐ yě jiānqiáng cǎo mù zhī shēng yě róu cuì qí sǐ yě kūgǎo
{b} Thus it is that firmness and strength are the concomitants of death; softness and weakness, the concomitants of life. 故堅強者死之徒,柔弱者生之徒。 故坚强者死之徒,柔弱者生之徒。 gù jiānqiáng zhě sǐ zhī tú róuruò zhě shēng zhī tú
{c} Hence he who (relies on) the strength of his forces does not conquer; and a tree which is strong will fill the out-stretched arms, (and thereby invites the feller.) 是以兵強則滅,木強則折。 是以兵强则灭,木强则折。 shì yǐ bīng qiáng zé miè mù qiáng zé zhé
{d} Therefore the place of what is firm and strong is below, and that of what is soft and weak is above. 強大處下,柔弱處上。 强大处下,柔弱处上。 qiángdà chǔ xià róuruò chǔ shàng
77{a}
May not the Way (or Tao) of Heaven be compared to the (method of) bending a bow? The (part of the bow) which was high is brought low, and what was low is raised up. (So Heaven) diminishes where there is superabundance, and supplements where there is deficiency.
[第七十七章]
天之道,其猶張弓歟?高者抑之,下者舉之﹔有餘者損之,不足者補之。
[第七十七章]
天之道,其犹张弓欤?高者抑之,下者举之;有馀者损之,不足者补之。
tiān zhī dào qí yóu zhāng gōng yú gāo zhě yì zhī xià zhě jǔ zhī yǒu yú zhě sǔn zhī bùzú zhě bǔ zhī
{b} It is the Way of Heaven to diminish superabundance, and to supplement deficiency. It is not so with the way of man. He takes away from those who have not enough to add to his own superabundance. 天之道,損有餘而補不足。人之道,則不然,損不足以奉有餘。 天之道,损有馀而补不足。人之道,则不然,损不足以奉有馀。 tiān zhī dào sǔn yǒu yú ér bǔ bùzú rén zhī dào zé bùrán sǔn bùzú yǐ fèng yǒu yú
{c} Who can take his own superabundance and therewith serve all under heaven? Only he who is in possession of the Tao! 孰能有餘以奉天下,唯有道者。 孰能有馀以奉天下,唯有道者。 shú néng yǒu yú yǐ fèng tiānxià wéi yǒu dào zhě
{d} Therefore the (ruling) sage acts without claiming the results as his; he achieves his merit and does not rest (arrogantly) in it:—he does not wish to display his superiority. 是以聖人為而不恃,功成而不處,其不欲見賢。 是以圣人为而不恃,功成而不处,其不欲见贤。 shì yǐ shèngrén wèi ér bù shì gōng chéng ér bù chǔ qí bù yù jiàn xián
78{a}
There is nothing in the world more soft and weak than water, and yet for attacking things that are firm and strong there is nothing that can take precedence of it;—for there is nothing (so effectual) for which it can be changed.
[第七十八章]
天下莫柔弱于水,而攻堅強者,莫之能勝,以其無以易之。
[第七十八章]
天下莫柔弱于水,而攻坚强者,莫之能胜,以其无以易之。
tiānxià mò róuruò yú shuǐ ér gōngjiān qiáng zhě mò zhī néng shèng yǐ qí wú yǐ yì zhī
{b} Every one in the world knows that the soft overcomes the hard, and the weak the strong, but no one is able to carry it out in practice. 弱之勝強,柔之勝剛,天下莫不知,莫能行。 弱之胜强,柔之胜刚,天下莫不知,莫能行。 ruò zhī shèng qiáng róu zhī shèng gāng tiānxià mò bùzhī mò néng xíng
{c} Therefore a sage has said, 'He who accepts his state's reproach, Is hailed therefore its altars' lord; To him who bears men's direful woes They all the name of King accord.' 是以聖人云:「受國之垢,是謂社稷主﹔受國不祥,是為天下王。」 是以圣人云:「受国之垢,是谓社稷主;受国不祥,是为天下王。」 shì yǐ shèngrén yún shòu guó zhī gòu shì wèi shèjì zhǔ shòu guó bù xiáng shì wèi tiānxià wáng
{d} Words that are strictly true seem to be paradoxical. 正言若反。 正言若反。 zhèng yán ruò fǎn
79{a}
When a reconciliation is effected (between two parties) after a great animosity, there is sure to be a grudge remaining (in the mind of the one who was wrong). And how can this be beneficial (to the other)?
[第七十九章]
和大怨,必有餘怨﹔報怨以德,安可以為善?
[第七十九章]
和大怨,必有馀怨;报怨以德,安可以为善?
hé dà yuàn bì yǒu yú yuàn bào yuàn yǐ dé ān kěyǐ wèi shàn
{b} Therefore (to guard against this), the sage keeps the left-hand portion of the record of the engagement, and does not insist on the (speedy) fulfilment of it by the other party. (So), he who has the attributes (of the Tao) regards (only) the conditions of the engagement, while he who has not those attributes regards only the conditions favourable to himself. 是以聖人執左契,而不責于人。有德司契,無德司徹。 是以圣人执左契,而不责于人。有德司契,无德司彻。 shì yǐ shèngrén zhí zuǒ qì ér bù zé yú rén yǒu dé sī qì wú dé sī chè
{c} In the Way of Heaven, there is no partiality of love; it is always on the side of the good man. 天道無親,常與善人。 天道无亲,常与善人。 tiān dào wú qīn cháng yǔ shàn rén
80{a}
In a little state with a small population, I would so order it, that, though there were individuals with the abilities of ten or a hundred men, there should be no employment of them; I would make the people, while looking on death as a grievous thing, yet not remove elsewhere (to avoid it).
[第八十章]
小國寡民。使有什伯之器而不用﹔使民重死而不遠徙。
[第八十章]
小国寡民。使有什伯之器而不用;使民重死而不远徙。
xiǎo guó guǎ mín shǐ yǒu shí bó zhī qì ér búyòng shǐ mín zhòng sǐ ér bù yuǎn xǐ
{b} Though they had boats and carriages, they should have no occasion to ride in them; though they had buff coats and sharp weapons, they should have no occasion to don or use them. 雖有舟輿,無所乘之,雖有甲兵,無所陳之。 虽有舟舆,无所乘之,虽有甲兵,无所陈之。 suī yǒu zhōu yú wú suǒ chéng zhī suī yǒu jiǎ bīng wú suǒ chén zhī
{c} I would make the people return to the use of knotted cords (instead of the written characters). 使民復結繩而用之。 使民复结绳而用之。 shǐ mín fù jié shéng ér yòng zhī
{d} They should think their (coarse) food sweet; their (plain) clothes beautiful; their (poor) dwellings places of rest; and their common (simple) ways sources of enjoyment. 甘其食,美其服,安其居,樂其俗。 甘其食,美其服,安其居,乐其俗。 gān qí shí měi qí fù ān qí jū lè qí sú
{e} There should be a neighbouring state within sight, and the voices of the fowls and dogs should be heard all the way from it to us, but I would make the people to old age, even to death, not have any intercourse with it. 鄰國相望,雞犬之聲相聞,民至老死,不相往來。 邻国相望,鸡犬之声相闻,民至老死,不相往来。 lín guó xiāng wàng jī quǎn zhī shēng xiāng wén mín zhì lǎo sǐ bù xiāng wǎnglái
81{a}
Sincere words are not fine; fine words are not sincere.
Those who are skilled (in the Tao) do not dispute (about it);
the disputatious are not skilled in it.
Those who know (the Tao) are not extensively learned;
the extensively learned do not know it.
[第八十一章]
信言不美,
美言不信。
善者不辯,
辯者不善。
[第八十一章]
信言不美,
美言不信。
善者不辩,
辩者不善。
xìn yán bù měi
měi yán bù xìn
shàn zhě bù biàn
biàn zhě bùshàn
{b} The sage does not accumulate (for himself).
The more that he expends for others,
the more does he possess of his own;
the more that he gives to others,
the more does he have himself.
知者不博,
博者不知。
聖人不積,
既以為人己愈有,
既以與人己愈多。
知者不博,
博者不知。
圣人不积,
既以为人己愈有,
既以与人己愈多。
zhī zhě bù bó
bó zhě bùzhī
shèngrén bù jī
jì yǐ wéi rén jǐ yù yǒu
jì yǐ yǔ rén jǐ yù duō
{c} With all the sharpness of the Way of Heaven, it injures not;
with all the doing in the way of the sage he does not strive.
天之道,利而不害﹔
聖人之道,為而不爭。
天之道,利而不害;
圣人之道,为而不争。
tiān zhī dào
lì ér bù hài
shèngrén zhī dào
wèi ér bù zhēng


Notes[edit]

In section 5{a}, ([第五章] 天地不仁,以萬物為芻狗﹔聖人不仁,以百姓為芻狗。) the term 芻狗 means "straw dog". These are bundles of hay tied together into the shape of a dog, used for purposes of prayer. Once the prayer ceremonies are over, these straw dogs become useless, and are to be discarded. In other words, Heaven and Earth, as well as sages, are indifferent to benevolence, as much as we are indifferent to the welfare of straw dogs or straw men.

Reference[edit]

Ref (English translation by James Legge): http://www.gutenberg.org/files/216/216-h/216-h.htm

Ref (Dao De Jing in Traditional Chinese): http://www.gutenberg.org/files/7337/7337-0.txt