Daodejing

Daodejing Chapter 1
老子道德經第一章

「道可道,非常道,名可名,非常名。無名天地之始,有名萬物之母。故常無欲以觀其妙,常有欲以觀其徼,此兩者同出而異名,同謂之玄,玄之又玄,眾妙之門。」
The Dao that can be spoken of is not the eternal Dao;
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth;
The named is the mother of all things.
Thus, always free yourself of desires,
To observe its mysteries,
But always allow yourself to possess desires,
To observe its manifestations.
Both spring from the same source but have different names;
Together they are called subtle and profound;
The most subtle and the most profound;
The gateway to all mysteries.

Daodejing Chapter 2
老子道德經第二章

「天下皆知美之為美,斯惡已。皆知善之為善,斯不善已。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;是以聖人處無為之事,行不言之教,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。」
When the whole world knows to regard beauty as beauty, there is ugliness.
When the whole world knows to regard good as good, there is evil.
Thus, something and nothing nurture each other;
Difficult and easy complete each other;
Long and short give form to each other;
High and low depend on each other;
Note and sound harmonize each other;
Front and rear follow each other.
That’s why the sage:
Conducts his affairs with effortless action;
Spreads his teaching without words;
Lets all things unfold without initiating them;
Lets them grow without claiming possession of them;
Gets things done without expecting any gratitude;
Achieves his goals without claiming any credit.
It is precisely because he does not claim any credit,
That it stays with him forever.

Daodejing Chapter 3
老子道德經第三章

「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;是以聖人之治,虛其心、實其腹、弱其志、強其骨。常使民無知無欲,使夫智者不敢為也。為無為,則無不治。」
Do not single out the gifted for praise,
To ensure that the people never contend;
Do not prize rare goods,
To ensure that the people never steal;
Do not display objects of desire,
To ensure that the people’s hearts will never be restless.
That’s why the sage rules his people by:
Emptying their minds;
But filling their stomachs;
Weakening their ambitions;
But strengthening their sinews.
Always keeping the people free from knowledge and desires,
To ensure that those with knowledge will never dare act.
By acting with effortless action,
There is nothing that he cannot govern.

Daodejing Chapter 4
老子道德經第四章

「道沖而用之,或不盈。淵兮似萬物之宗;挫其銳、解其紛、和其光、同
其塵,湛兮似或存。吾不知誰之子,象帝之先。」
The Dao is an empty vessel;
It is used and never fills up.
It’s so deep that it is like the origin of all things.
Blunt the sharpness;
Untangle the knot;
Soften the glare;
Merge with the dust;
Invisible and formless, it always seems to be present.
I have no idea who gave birth to it.
It seems to have existed before the Lord did.

Daodejing Chapter 5
老子道德經第五章

「天地不仁,以萬物為芻狗;聖人不仁,以百姓為芻狗。天地之間,其猶橐籥乎!虛而不屈、動而愈出,多言數窮,不如守中。」
Heaven and Earth are not humane,
They treat all things as straw dogs.
The sage is not humane;
He treats all people as straw dogs.
The space between Heaven and Earth is just like a bellows!
It’s empty but inexhaustible;
The more it moves, the more it yields.
Too many words will only lead to failure;
Better to stay centered.

Daodejing Chapter 6
老子道德經第六章

「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。」
The spirit of the valley never dies;
It is called the mysterious female.
The gateway of the mysterious female,
Is called the root of Heaven and Earth.
Like a fine slender thread,
It appears to go on forever;
No matter how much it’s used,
It’s never exhausted.

Daodejing Chapter 7
老子道德經第七章

「天長地久,天地所以長且久者,以其不自生,故能長生。是以聖人後其身而身先,外其身而身存。非以其無私耶!故能成其私。」
Heaven is infinite and Earth is eternal;
The reason why they last so long,
Is because they do not exist for themselves;
Thus, they can continue to endure.
That is why the sage:
Places himself at the back,
But finds himself at the front;
Has no consideration for himself,
But stays safe and secure.
Because he is selfless;
He is perfectly fulfilled.

Daodejing Chapter 8
老子道德經第八章

「上善若水,水善利萬物而不爭,處眾人之所惡,故幾於道。居善地,心善淵、與善仁、言善信、正善治、事善能、動善時。夫唯不爭,故無尤」
The highest good is like water;
Water brings good to all things without competing with them;
It settles in places that people disdain;
Thus it is similar to the way.
In choosing your home, it is the location that counts;
In cultivating your mind, it is depth that counts;
In dealing with others, it is goodness that counts;
In speaking, it is good faith that counts;
In governing, it is order that counts;
In handling affairs, it is ability that counts;
In action, it is timing that counts.
By not competing with others,
You won’t be singled out for reproach.

Daodejing Chapter 9
老子道德經第九章

「持而盈之,不如其已;揣而銳之,不可長保;金玉滿堂,莫之能守;富貴而驕,自遺其咎。功成身退,天之道」
Holding a cup while filling it to the brim,
Is not as good as stopping in time;
Hammering a blade until it is sharp,
Will not preserve its edge for long.
When your hall is stuffed with gold and jade,
Nobody will be able to protect it.
When riches and honors lead to arrogance;
Disaster will inevitably follow;
Retire when you have accomplished your goal;
This is the way of heaven.

Daodejing Chapter 10
老子道德經第十章

「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?愛國治民,能無為乎?天門開闔,能為雌乎?明白四達,能無知乎?生之蓄之,生而不有,為而不恃,長而不宰,是謂玄德。
Can you nurture your spirit and embrace oneness,
Without letting it go?
Can you concentrate your vital energy and reach a state of suppleness,
Like a new-born baby?
Can you polish and clean your mystery mirror,
So that you leave it untainted?
Can you love your country and care for your people,
With effortless action?
Can you play the role of the female,
Opening and closing the gates of Heaven?
Can you understand everything instinctively,
Without employing knowledge?
Bearing and nurturing;
Bearing without possessing;
Acting without taking credit;
Leading without dominating.
This is called mysterious virtue.

Daodejing Chapter 11
老子道德經第十一章

「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。鑿互牖以為室,當其無,有室之用。故有之以為利,無之以為用。」
Thirty spokes share a wheel hub;
But it’s the empty space at the center of it that makes the cart useful.
Clay is shaped into a pot;
But it’s the empty space inside it that makes the pot useful.
Doorways and window bays are cut for a room;
But it’s the empty space in these openings that makes the room useful.
To enjoy the full benefit of something,
Harness the usefulness of nothing.

Daodejing Chapter 12
老子道德經地十二章

「五色令人目盲,五音令人耳聾,五味令人口爽,馳騁田獵,令人心發狂;難得之貨,令人行妨;是以聖人為腹不為目;故去彼取此。」
The five colors blind your eyes;
The five sounds deafen your ears;
The five flavors dull your taste buds.
Chasing and hunting make you lose your mind.
Pursuing rare objects leads you astray.
That is why the sage heeds his stomach and not his eyes,
Thus, he rejects the latter and adopts the former.

Daodejing Chapter 13
老子道德經第十三章

「寵辱若驚,貴大患若身。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?故貴以身為天下,若可寄天下;愛以身為天下,若可託天下。」
Favor and disgrace are equally stressful.
High rank is a source of great trouble just like your body.
What does it mean that favor and disgrace are equally stressful?
Favor can lead to your downfall;
Gaining it is as stressful as losing it;
That is why favor and disgrace are equally stressful.
What does it mean that high rank is a source of great trouble like your body?
The reason I have great trouble is that I have a body.
If I didn’t have a body, what trouble would I have?
That’s why:
If you value the world as much as you value your body,
You can be trusted to govern it.
If you love the world as much as you love your body,
You can be trusted to take care of it.

Daodejing Chapter 14
老子道德經第十四章

「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。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。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。」
What you look at but cannot see is called the invisible;
What you listen to but cannot hear is called the inaudible;
What you touch but cannot hold is called the intangible.
These three are undefinable.
Thus, they are joined as one.
From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark;
It is so vague as to defy description;
It reverts to a state of nothingness.
This is called the form that has no form,
The image that has no substance;
This is called the indistinct and indistinguishable.
Facing it, you cannot see its front;
Following it, you cannot see its rear.
Hold fast to the ancient Dao to master the here and now.
The ability to know the beginnings of antiquity,
This is called the essence of the Dao.

Daodejing Chapter 15
老子道德經第十五章

古之善為道者,微妙玄通,深不可識。夫唯不可識,故強為之容。豫兮若冬涉川,猶兮若畏四鄰,儼兮其若客,渙兮若冰之將釋,敦兮其若樸,曠兮其若谷,渾兮其若濁。孰能濁以靜之徐清,孰能安以動之徐生。保此道者不欲盈,夫唯不盈,故能蔽而新成。
The great masters of antiquity who were adept in the Dao,
Were subtle, clever, mysterious, and perceptive;
Their thoughts were too profound to be understood.
Because they could not be understood,
The best I can do is describe their appearance:
Cautious as if crossing a river in winter,
Alert as if aware of danger from all sides;
Dignified like a guest;
Yielding like a melting block of ice;
Simple like an uncarved block of wood;
Open-minded like a valley;
Opaque like muddy water.
Who can remain calm until the mud settles?
Who can remain tranquil until the right time to act arrives?
Those who embrace the Dao never seek fulfillment;
Precisely because they never seek fulfillment,
They can always renew themselves.

Daodejing Chapter 16
老子道德經第十六章

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,是謂復命。復命曰常,不知常,妄作凶。知常容、容乃公,公乃全,全乃天,天乃道,道乃久,沒身不殆。
Reach perfect emptiness;
Maintain perfect stillness.
All things emerge,
I observe them return.
All things grow and flourish,
Each one returns to its root.
Returning to the root is called stillness;
This is what is called regaining to your destiny.
Regaining your destiny is called the constant.
Knowing the constant is called serenity.
Not knowing the constant leads to recklessness and violence.
Knowing the constant leads to tolerance;
Tolerance leads to impartiality;
Impartiality leads to enlightenment;
Enlightenment leads to Heaven;
Heaven leads to the Dao.
The Dao leads to resilience,
And to living out your days free from danger.

Daodejing Chapter 17
老子道德經第十七章

「太上,不知有之;其次,親而譽之;其次,畏之;其次,侮之;信不足焉,有不信焉。悠兮其貴言。功成、事遂,百姓皆謂:我自然。」
The best leader is one whose presence is unknown to his people;
The next best is one who is loved and praised;
The next is one who is feared;
The worst is one who is despised;
When a leader has no trust in his people,
The people have no trust in him.
The best leader reflects and chooses his words carefully.
When his objective is achieved and the work is done,
The people all say, “We did it ourselves.”

Daodejing Chapter 18
老子道德經第十八章

「大道廢,有仁義;智慧出,有大偽;六親不和有孝慈,國家昏亂有忠臣。」
When the Great Dao is abandoned,
There is “humanity” and “rightness”.
When “knowledge” and “wisdom” appear,
There is great hypocrisy.
When family relationships are not harmonious,
There is “filial piety” and “parental love”.
When a country falls into chaos and disorder,
There are “loyal” ministers.

Daodejing Chapter 19
老子道德經第十九章

「絕聖棄智,民利百倍;絕仁棄義,民復孝慈;絕巧棄利,盜賊無有。此三者以為文不足,故令有所屬。見素抱樸,少私寡欲。」
Reject sophistry and discard knowledge;
The people will benefit a hundredfold.
Reject humanity and discard rightness,
And the people will rediscover filial piety and parental love.
Reject trickiness and renounce profit,
And there will be no thieves or bandits.
These three teachings are mere cultural adornments and inadequate.
The people need something that they can depend on.
Cherish simplicity and embrace the uncarved block of wood;
Reduce selfishness and minimize desires.

Daodejing Chapter 20
老子道德經第二十章

「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!眾人熙熙,如享太牢,如春登臺。我獨泊兮其未兆,如嬰兒之未孩。儡儡兮若無所歸!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,飂兮若無止。眾人皆有以,而我獨頑且鄙。我獨異於人,而貴食母。
Reject learning and your troubles end.
How much difference is there between yes and no?
How much difference is there between good and evil?
If you have to fear what other people fear,
Your fears will be endless!
Everyone is out having fun,
As if enjoying a holiday feast,
As if ascending a terrace in spring.
I alone am quiet and show no emotions;
Like a new-born baby who has not yet learned to smile;
Like someone who has no home to go to.
Everyone has plenty;
I alone have nothing.
I have the mind of a fool, understanding nothing.
Everyone sees things clearly;
I alone am confused.
Everyone is sharp;
I alone am dull,
Drifting like the ocean waves,
Aimless like the gusting wind.
Everyone has a purpose.
I alone am ignorant and uncouth.
I alone am different from the everyone else,
I prize being nourished by the mother.

Daodejing Chapter 21
老子道德經第廿一章

「孔德之容,唯道是從。道之為物,唯恍唯惚,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。自古及今,其名不去,
以閱眾甫。吾何以知眾甫之狀哉?以此!」
The greatest virtue is achieved by following the Dao and the Dao alone.
As a thing, the Dao is,
Elusive and intangible;
Intangible and elusive!
Yet within it is an image;
Elusive and intangible!
Yet within it is a substance;
Dim and dark!
Yet within it is an essence;
The essence is real;
And within it is something that can be trusted;
From ancient times until now,
Its name has never disappeared.
Through it, I can see the beginning of all things.
How do I know how all things began?
Because it is here within me.

Daodejing Chapter 22
老子道德經第廿二章

「曲則全,枉則直,窪則盈,敝則新,少則得,多則惑。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。古之所謂曲則全者,豈虛言哉?誠全而歸之。」
To yield is to be whole.
To bend is to be straight.
To be empty is to be full.
To be exhausted is to be renewed.
To have little is to gain.
To have too much is to be troubled.
That is why the sage embraces the one and sets an example to the world.
He does not show off and therefore shines.
He does not promote himself and is therefore revered.
He does not boast and is therefore honored.
He does not seek glory and therefore endures.
Because he does not contend,
Nobody in the world contends with him.
The ancient saying “to yield is to be whole” is indeed true.
When you are whole, all things will come to you.

Daodejing Chapter 23
老子道德經第廿三章

「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,而況於人乎?故從事於道者,同於道;德者,同於德;失者,同於失。同於道者,道亦樂得之;同於德者,德亦樂得之;同於失者,失亦樂得之。信不足焉,有不信焉!
Nature rarely talks.
A whirlwind does not last all morning;
A rainstorm does not last all day.
What causes them to be like that?
Heaven and earth.
If Heaven and earth cannot make them last very long,
How can people hope to do so?
When you open yourself to the Dao, you will be at one with the Dao.
When you open yourself up to virtue, you will be at one with virtue.
When you open yourself to loss, you will be lost.
When you are at one with the Dao, the Dao will happily embrace you.
When you are at one with virtue, virtue will happily embrace you.
When you are lost, loss will happily embrace you.
If you do not have sufficient faith in yourself, nobody will have faith in you.

Daodejing Chapter 24
老子道德經第廿四章

「企者不立,跨者不行。自見者不明,自是者不彰;自伐者無功,自誇者不長。其於道也,曰:餘食贅行。物或惡之,故有道者不處。」
People who stand on tiptoe are not steady.
People who take the longest strides cannot keep up the pace.
People who show off do not stand out.
People who promote themselves are not respected.
People who boast achieve nothing
People who brag do not last.
According to the Dao,
They are like leftover food and excess fat.
All creatures detest them.
Therefore, followers of the Dao avoid them.

Daodejing Chapter 25
老子道德經第廿五章

「有物混成,先天地生。寂兮寥兮,獨立而不改,周行而不殆,可以為天下母。吾不知其名,字之曰道,強為之名曰大。大曰逝,逝曰遠,遠曰反。故道大、天大、地大、人亦大。域中有四大,而王居其一焉!人法地,地法天,天法道,道法自然」。
There is something mysterious and all-encompassing,
That came into being before Heaven and earth.
Silent and formless,
Independent and unchanging,
All-pervading and inexhaustible,
It may be considered the mother of all things under Heaven.
I do not know its name;
I call it the Dao.
If forced to give it a specific name,
I would call it “the Great”.
Great means it is boundless.
Boundless means it reaches everywhere.
Reaching everywhere means it returns to itself.
Therefore, the Dao is supreme;
Heaven is great;
Earth is great;
Humanity is great.
There are four great powers in the universe;
Humanity is one of them.
Humanity models itself on earth.
Earth models itself on Heaven.
Heaven models itself on the Dao.
The Dao follows its own nature.

Daodejing Chapter 26
老子道德經第廿六章

「重為輕根,靜為躁君;是以聖人終日行不離輜重,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。」
The heavy is the root of the light;
The tranquil is the master of the agitated.
That’s why the sage travels all day without losing sight of his baggage train.
No matter how magnificent the view is,
He stays calm and dispassionate.
Why would the lord of a great realm,
Take his own life lightly when governing the world?
To take things lightly is to lose the root.
To be agitated is to lose control.

Daodejing Chapter 27
老子道德經第廿七章

「善行無轍跡,善言無瑕謫,善數不用籌策,善閉無關鍵而不可開,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。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。」
An excellent driver leaves no tracks.
An excellent speaker makes no slips.
An excellent accountant uses no tallies.
An excellent gateman needs no bolts to secure a door,
But nobody can open it.
An excellent binder needs no knots,
But nobody can untie the binding.
This is why,
The sage excels at taking care of everyone;
So abandons no one.
The sage excels at taking care of everything;
So wastes nothing.
This is called intuitive wisdom.
Therefore, those who excel are the teachers of those who don’t;
Those who don’t excel provide object lessons for those who do to learn from.
If you don’t value your teachers,
If you don’t care for your object lessons,
No matter how knowledgeable you think you are,
You are greatly deluded.
Such is the essential truth.

Daodejing Chapter 28
老子道德經第廿八章

「知其雄,守其雌,為天下谿;為天下谿,常德不離,復歸於嬰兒。知其白,守其黑,為天下式。為天下式,常德不忒,復歸於無極。知其榮,守其辱,為天下谷。為天下谷,常德乃足,復歸於樸。樸散則為器,聖人用之,則為官長。故大制不割。」
Know the male,
But keep to the female.
Be a ravine to the world.
As a ravine to the world,
Constant virtue will never leave you,
And you will return to being an infant.
Know the bright,
But keep to the dark.
Be a model to the world.
As a model to the world,
Constant virtue will never be wanting,
And you will return to the limitless.
Know honor,
But keep to disgrace.
Be a valley to the world.
As a valley to the world,
Constant virtue will always be sufficient,
And you will return again to the uncarved block of wood.
When the uncarved block shatters, it is transformed into utensils.
The sage makes use of them,
And becomes the lord of all the officials.
Therefore, the deepest cut doesn’t sever.

Daodejing Chapter 29
老子道德經第廿九章

「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。故物或行或隨,或歔或吹,或強或羸,或載或隳。是以聖人去甚、去奢、去泰。」
Those who seek to take over the world and control it,
I do not think they can succeed.
The world is a sacred vessel;
It cannot be controlled or held on to.
Those who try to control it will spoil it.
Those who try to hold on to it will lose it.
Therefore, among all things,
Some lead and some follow;
Some breathe gently and some blow hard;
Some are strong and some are weak;
Some succeed and some fail.
That’s why the sage avoids excess, extravagance, and pride.

Daodejing Chapter 30
老子道德經第三十章

「以道佐人主者,不以兵強天下;其事好還。師之所處,荊棘生焉!大軍之後,必有凶年。善者果而已,不敢以取強。果而勿矜,果而勿伐,果而勿驕。果而不得已,果而勿強。物壯則老,是謂不道,不道早已。」
Those who assist a ruler with the Dao,
Never counsels him to conquer the world by force of arms.
It something that is sure to rebound.
Wherever armies have been camped,
Brambles and thorns grow wild.
After great wars are over,
Years of scarcity and famine follow.
Good generals focus only on achieving results.
Not winning by force.
They achieve results without glorying in them.
They achieve results without celebrating them.
They achieve results without taking pride in them.
They achieve results only because they have no other choice.
They achieve results without using force.
Things that resort to force age quickly;
This is called going against the Dao.
Going against the Dao leads to an early end.

Daodejing Chapter 31
老子道德經第三十一章

「夫佳兵者,不祥之器。物或惡之,故有道者不處。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,不可得志於天下。吉事尚左,凶事尚右。偏將軍居左,上將軍居右。言以喪禮處之,殺人眾多,以悲哀泣之。戰勝以喪禮處之。」
Weapons are instruments of doom.
Everyone hates them.
Therefore, followers of the Dao avoid them.
When residing at home, a gentleman favors the left side.
When waging a war, a gentleman favors the right side.
Weapons are instruments of doom,
Not the instruments of a gentleman.
When compelled to use them;
He should do so without relish.
Even in victory there is no glory.
Those who celebrate victory are gloating over killing others.
Those who gloat over killing others must never be allowed achieve their worldly ambitions.
In times of joy, the left side is given precedence;
In times of grief, the right side is given precedence.
In times of war, the second-in-command stands on the left;
The general stands on the right;
This the same way as the mourning rites are conducted.
When great numbers of people are slaughtered,
We should mourn them all with heartfelt grief.
When victorious in war,
We should observe the occasion with the mourning rites.

Daodejing Chapter 32
老子道德經第三十二章

「道常無名,樸,雖小,天下莫能臣也。侯王若能守之,萬物將自賓。天地相合,以降甘露,民莫之令而自均。始制有名,名亦既有,夫亦將知止;知止,可以不殆。譬道之在天下,猶川谷之與江海。」
The Dao forever has no name;
Although the uncarved block of wood is small,
No one in the world can subordinate it.
If princes and kings are able to harness it,
All things will submit of their own accord.
Heaven and earth will come together,
And cause sweet dewdrops to fall.
The people will share them fairly without being ordered to.
Only when the whole is divided are names required for each part.
When there are names,
You need to know when to stop.
Knowing when to stop averts trouble.
For the Dao is to the world,
What streams and rivulets are to the rivers and seas.

Daodejing Chapter 33
老子道德經第三十三章

「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;不失其所者久,死而不亡者壽。」
Those who know others are wise;
Those who know themselves are enlightened.
Those who conquer others have force;
Those who conquer themselves are strong.
Those who know they have enough are wealthy.
Those who persevere have willpower.
Those who do not lose their roots endure.
Those who die but are not forgotten live forever.

Daodejing Chapter 34
老子道德經第三十四章

「大道氾兮,其可左右。萬物恃之而生而不辭,功成不名有,衣養萬物而不為主。常無欲,可名於小;萬物歸焉而不為主,可名為大。以其不自為大,故能成其大!」
The great Dao flows everywhere,
Both to the left and to the right.
All things depend on it for life;
It never turns away from them.
It accomplishes its work,
But it claims no credit for it.
It provides for and nourishes all things,
But it does not claim to be the master them.
Since it is without desires, it can be called small.
All things return to it;
But it doesn’t act as their master.
It may be called great.
Because it never claims to be great,
It achieves greatness.

Daodejing Chapter 35
老子道德經第三十五章

「執大象,下下往;往而不害,安平泰。樂與餌,過客止。道之出言,淡兮其無味。視之不足見,聽之不足聞,用之不足既。」
Grasp the great image,
The whole world will flock to you;
Flocking together but causing no harm to each other,
Living in comfort, peace, and tranquility.
Music and good food may make a passerby pause.
But when you speak of the Dao,
It leaves a bland and flavorless taste.
When you look at it, you cannot see it.
When you listen to it, you cannot hear it.
But when you use it, you cannot exhaust it.

Daodejing Chapter 36
老子道德經第三十六章

「將欲歙之,必固張之;將欲弱之,必固強之;將欲廢之,必固舉之;將欲奪之,必固與之;是謂微明。柔勝剛,弱勝強。魚不可脫於淵,國之利器,不可以示人!」
If you want to shrink something, you must first stretch it.
If you want to weaken something, you must first strengthen it.
If you want to destroy something, you must first raise it up.
If you want to take something, you must first give it.
This is called subtle enlightenment.
The soft and weak overcome the hard and strong.
Fish cannot leave deep water;
A state must not make a show of strength.

Daodejing Chapter 37
老子道德經第三十七章

「道常無為而無不為,侯王若能守之,萬物將自化;化而欲作,吾將鎮之以無名之樸。夫亦將無欲,無欲以靜,天下將自定。」
The Dao takes no action,
But leaves nothing undone.
If princes and kings are able to stay true to it,
All things will be transformed of their own accord.
If, during their transformation, desire should arise within them,
I will calm them down using the nameless uncarved block of wood.
This will free them of desire.
Being free of desire, they will be tranquil;
And the world will find peace of its own accord.

Daodejing Chapter 38
老子道德經第三十八章

「上德不德,是以有德。下德不失德,是以無德。上德,無為而無以為;下德,為之而有以為;上仁為之而無以為。上義為之而有以為。上禮為之而莫之應,則攘臂而扔之。故失道而後德,失德而後仁,失仁而後義,失義而後禮;夫禮者,忠信之薄,而亂之首。前識者,道之華,而愚之始。是以大丈夫處其厚,不居其薄,處其實,不居其華,故去彼取此。
Superior virtue isn’t conscious of its virtue;
That’s why it truly possesses virtue.
Inferior virtue never loses sight of its virtue;
That’s why it possesses no virtue.
Superior virtue acts effortlessly without an ulterior motive;
Inferior virtue acts arbitrarily with an ulterior motive.
Superior goodness acts arbitrarily without an ulterior motive.
Superior righteousness acts arbitrarily with an ulterior motive.
Superior propriety acts arbitrarily, but when there is no response,
It stretches out its arms and forces people to comply.
Therefore, when the Way is lost virtue appears;
When virtue is lost, goodness appears;
When goodness is lost, righteousness appears;
When righteousness is lost, propriety appears.
Propriety is a superficial expression of loyalty and faithfulness;
And the beginning of disorder.
People who only grasp these last three principles can see only the flower of the Way;
And will lapse into stupidity.
Therefore, the wise concerns themselves with:
The thick instead of the thin;
The fruit instead of the flower.
Therefore, they reject the one and accept the other.

Daodejing Chapter 39
老子道德經第三十九章

「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。其致之也,謂天無以將恐裂,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,侯王無以貴高將恐蹶。故貴以賤為本,高以下為基,是以侯王自謂孤寡不穀,此非以賤為本邪?非乎!故致數譽無譽,不欲琭琭如玉,珞珞如石。」
Of those in the past that attained the One:
Heaven attained the One and became pure.
Earth attained the One and became tranquil.
The spirits attained the One and became divine.
The valleys attained the One and became fertile.
All things attained the One and came alive.
Kings and lords attained the One and the world became peaceful.
From this we may conclude:
Without purity, Heaven would soon have cracked.
Without tranquility, Earth would soon have broken apart.
Without divinity, the spirits would soon have perished.
Without fertility, the valleys would soon have become barren.
Without life and growth, all things would soon have become extinct.
Without moral leadership, kings and lords would soon have fallen.
Therefore, the noble takes the humble as its root;
And the high takes the low as its foundation.
Thus, kings and lords call themselves orphaned, lonely, and unworthy.
This is a case of taking the humble as the root, isn’t it?
For this reason, high renown is the same as no renown.
Do not strive to shine like jade;
Or to be as dull as a stone.

Daodejing Chapter 40
老子道德經》第四十章

「反者,道之動,弱者,道之用,天下萬物生於有,有生於無。」
Reversion is the movement of the Way.
Weakness is the function of the Way.
All things in the world come from being;
Being comes from non-being.

Daodejing Chapter 41
老子道德經第四十一章

「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。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,質真若窬,大方無隅,大器晚(免)成,大音希聲,大象無形道隱無名,夫唯道善貸且成。」
When wise people hear of the Way, they practice it diligently.
When ordinary people hear of the Way, they half-believe in it.
When ignorant people hear of the Way, they laugh at it out loud.
If they did not laugh at it, it would not be the Way.
Therefore, it is said:
The Way that is bright seems to be dim;
The Way that advances seems to retreat;
The Way that is smooth appears to be uneven.
The highest virtue seems as empty as a valley.
The purest white seems tarnished.
The grandest virtue seems insufficient.
The sturdiest virtue seems fragile.
The deepest integrity seems capricious.
The most perfect square has no corners.
The greatest vessel is unfinished.
The greatest music is faint.
The greatest image has no shape.
The Way is hidden and nameless.
But the Way alone is adept at initiating all things,
And bringing them to completion.

Daodejing Chapter 42
老子道德經第四十二章

「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。人之所惡,唯孤寡不穀,而王公以為稱;故物或損之而益,或益之而損;人之所教,我亦教之。強梁者不得其死,吾將以為教父。」
The Way produces One;
One produces Two;
Two produces Three;
Three produces to all things.
All things carry yin and embrace yang;
Blending these two vital forces to achieve harmony.
What people hate most is being orphaned, lonely, and unworthy;
But this is what kings and lords call themselves.
Often a gain can come from a loss,
And a loss can come from gain.
What others teach, I also teach:
The violent don’t die a natural death.
I shall make this the central plank of my teaching.

Daodejing Chapter 43
《老子道德經》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。不言之教,無為之益,天下希及之。」
The softest things in the world run in and out of the hardest.
The immaterial force enters the impenetrable object.
Through this I know the value of effortless action.
Few in the world understand the value of teaching without words,
And the benefits of effortless action.

Daodejing Chapter 44
《老子道德經》第四十四章

「名與身孰親?身與貨孰多?得與亡孰病?是故甚愛必大費,多藏必厚亡。知足不辱,知止不殆,可以長久!」
Fame or life: which matters more?
Life or material wealth: which is more valuable?
Loss or gain: which is worse?
Thus excessive greed is bound to cost you dear in the end.
A vast hoard of wealth is bound to result in a heavy loss.
People who are contented will suffer no disgrace.
People who know when to stop will meet no harm.
As a result, they live a very long time.

Daodejing Chapter 45
《老子道德經》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 ;躁勝寒,靜勝熱,清靜為天下正。」
The greatest perfection seems to be incomplete;
But it never outlives its usefulness.
The greatest fullness seems to be empty;
But it can never be exhausted.
The straightest line seems to be crooked.
The greatest skill seems to be awkward.
The greatest eloquence sounds like stammering.
Movement overcomes cold.
Tranquility overcomes heat.
Quiet and tranquility put the world in order.

《老子道德經》第四十六章
Daodejing Chapter 46

「天下有道,卻走馬以糞;天下無道,戎馬生於郊;禍莫大於不知足,咎莫大於欲得;故知足之足,常足矣!」
When the world follows the Way,
Warhorses work on the farms.
When the world doesn’t follow the Way,
Even mares in foal are conscripted into battle.
There is no greater crime than wanting too much;
There is no greater misfortune than being discontented with what you have;
There is no greater evil than greed.
Knowing when enough is enough and being satisfied with it is true contentment.

《老子道德經》第四十七章
Daodejing Chapter 47

「不出戶,知天下;不窺牖,見天道;其出彌遠,其知彌少;是以聖人不行而知,不見而名,不為而成。」
You don’t have to step outside your door,
To know the ways of the world.
You don’t have to look out your window,
To see the way of heaven.
The further you go,
The less you know.
So, the wise:
Know without traveling,
Understand without seeing,
And accomplish everything without doing anything.

《老子道德經》第四十八章
Daodejing Chapter 48

「為學日益,為道日損,損之又損,以至於無為;無為而無不為。取天下常以無事,及其有事,不足以取天下。」
The pursuit of learning requires accumulating knowledge every day.
The pursuit of the Way requires letting go of your desires every day.
Let go and let go again,
Until you reach a state of effortless action;
With effortless action nothing is left undone.
To rule the world, you must not act arbitrarily.
If you act arbitrarily, you are not fit to rule the world.

《老子道德經》第四十九章
Daodejing Chapter 49

「聖人常無心,以百姓心為心。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。聖人在天下,歙歙為天下渾其心。百姓皆注其耳目,聖人皆孩之。」
The wise have no ego;
They take the mind of the people as their own.
They are kind to the kind;
They are also kind to the unkind;
Virtue is kindness.
They are faithful to the faithful.
They are also faithful to the unfaithful.
Virtue is faithful.
When the wise govern the world,
They put aside their personal desires,
To help everyone return to their natural state of simplicity.
When the people turn their ears and eyes towards the wise,
They care for them like their own children.

《老子道德經》第五十章
Daodejing Chapter 50

「出生入死,生之徒,十有三;死之徒,十有三;人之生,動之死地,亦十有三。夫何故?以其生生之厚。蓋聞善攝生者,陸行不遇兕虎,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!」
We come alive into the world and leave it dead;
Three out of ten people love life;
Three out of ten people prefer death;
Three out of ten people rush from birth to death.
Why is this so?
Because they live to excess.
It is said that people who know how to live properly,
Walk the earth without encountering rhinoceroses and tigers,
And are not killed or wounded in battle.
The rhinoceroses cannot gore them with their horns;
The tigers cannot fasten their claws upon them;
And the weapons cannot pierce them with their blades.
Why is this so?
Because they are out of the range of death.

《老子道德經》第五十一章
Daodejing Chapter 51

「道生之,德蓄之,物形之,勢成之。是以萬物莫不遵道而貴德。道之生,德之貴,夫莫之命而常自然。故道生之,德蓄之,長之育之,亭之毒之,養之覆之。生而弗有,為而弗恃,長而弗宰,是謂玄德。」
The Way produces all things.
Virtue nourishes them.
Substance gives them physical form.
The environment completes them.
Therefore all things venerate the Way and honor Virtue.
The Way is venerated and Virtue is honored;
Not because it is decreed but because it is natural to do so.
Thus the Way produces all things;
And Virtue nourishes them;
Rears them and develops them;
Shelters them and comforts them;
Raises them and protects them;
It gives them life without possessing them;
It raises them without taking any credit for them;
It guides them without controlling them;
This is called subtle and profound Virtue.

《老子道德經》第五十二章
Daodejing Chapter 52

「天下有始,以為天下母。既得其母,以知其子,既知其子,復守其母;沒身不殆。塞其兌,閉其門,終身不勤。開其兌,濟其事,終身不救。見小曰明,守柔曰強,用其光,復歸其明;無遺身殃,是謂習常。」
The universe had a beginning;
It’s called the mother of the universe.
If you find the mother,
You understand her children.
If you understand the children and still cling to their mother;
You will always live free from danger.
Block the holes;
Shut the doors;
And for all your life your strength will not fail you.
Open the holes;
Meddle with affairs;
And for all your life you will be beyond salvation.
Seeing what is small is called enlightenment;
Holding on to weakness is called strength.
Use the light;
Return to enlightenment;
And thus stay clear from danger.
This is called practicing the eternal.

《老子道德經》第五十三章
Daodejing Chapter 53

「使我介然有知,行於大道,唯施是畏。大道甚夷,而民好徑。朝甚除,田甚蕪,倉甚虛,服文采,帶利劍,厭飲食,貨財有餘,是謂盜夸,非道也哉!」
If had only a grain of wisdom;
I would walk along the Great Way;
And only fear straying from it.
The Great Way is smooth and straight;
But there are people who like to be diverted from it.
The courts are corrupt;
The fields are full of weeds;
And the granaries are empty;
Yet some wear extravagant clothes;
Carry sharp swords;
Gorge themselves on food and drink;
And have more wealth and possessions than they can ever use.
They can be called robber barons.
This is surely against the Way.

《老子道德經》第五十四章
Daodejing Chapter 54

「善建者不拔,善抱者不脫,子孫以祭祀不輟。修之於身,其德乃真;修之於家,其德乃餘;修之於鄉,其德乃長;修之於邦,其德乃豐;修之於天下,其德乃普。故以身觀身,以家觀家,以國觀國,以天下觀天下,吾何以知天下之然哉,以此!」
What is firmly established cannot be uprooted.
What is firmly held cannot slip loose.
In this way, the ancestral sacrifice is carried on,
From generation to generation.
When cultivated and practiced in the person,
Virtue becomes real.
When cultivated and practiced in the family,
Virtue becomes abundant.
When cultivated and practiced in the community,
Virtue is everlasting.
When cultivated and practiced nationwide,
Virtue flourishes.
When cultivated and practiced worldwide,
Virtue becomes universal.
Therefore see the person as a person,
The family as a family,
The community as a community,
The nation as a nation,
And the world as universal.
How do I know that the world is like this?
By means of this.

《老子道德經》第五十五章
Daodejing Chapter 55

「含德之厚,比於赤子;毒虫不螫,猛獸不據,攫鳥不搏;骨弱筋柔而握固,未知牝牡之合而晙作,精之至也。終日號而不嗄,和之至也;知和曰常,知常曰明,益生曰祥,心使气曰强物,壯則老,謂之不道,不道早已!」
People who possess Virtue in abundance are like a newborn baby.
Poisonous insects will not sting him;
Ferocious beasts will not pounce upon him;
Predatory birds will not swoop down on him.
His bones are supple;
His muscles are tender;
But his grip is firm.
He has never known the union of male and female;
But his organ is aroused;
For his vital essence is at its height.
He can cry all day without going hoarse;
For his innate harmony is at its peak.
To know harmony is to be in accord with the eternal.
To know the eternal is to be enlightened.
To take too much pleasure from life is ill-omened.
To control the breath excessively with the mind causes strain.
When things have reached their prime you start to grow old.
This is called going against the Way.
Whatever goes against the Way will perish soon.

《老子道德經》第五十六章
Daodejing Chapter 56

「知者不言,言者不知,塞其兌,閉其門,挫其銳,解其紛,和其光,同其塵。是謂玄同。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!」
People who know do not speak.
People who speak do not know.
Block the vent;
Shut the door.
Smooth the sharpness;
Untie the tangle.
Soften the glare;
Smooth the dust.
This is called the subtle and profound union.
Therefore, people who have attained it:
Can neither be approached nor abandoned;
Can neither be favoured nor disgraced;
Can neither be honored nor debased.
For this reason, they are the most esteemed people in the world.

《老子道德經》第五十七章
Daodejing Chapter 57

「以正治國,以奇用兵,以無事取天下;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;法令溢彰,盜賊多有;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,我無欲而民自樸!」
Govern a state using natural justice.
Wage war using surprise.
Govern the world using effortless action.
How do I know this?
By the following:
The more restrictions there are, the poorer the people will become;
The more sharp weapons people have, the more troubled the state will be;
The more clever and cunning people are, the more strange things will happen;
The more rules and regulations there are, the more thieves and robbers there will be.
Therefore the wise say:
If I don’t interfere, the people will automatically transform themselves.
If I love tranquility, the people will automatically do what is right.
If I don’t meddle, the people will automatically prosper.
If I have no desires, the people will automatically live in a good and simple way.

《老子道德經》第五十八章
Daodejing Chapter 58

「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,其無正。正復為奇,善復為妖。人之迷,其日固久,是以聖人方而不割,廉而不劌,直而不肆,光而不耀。」
When a government is open and fair,
The people are honest and sincere.
When a government is repressive and intrusive,
The people are crafty and cunning.
Fortune is rooted in misfortune;
Misfortune lurks beneath fortune.
Who knows what the ultimate result will be?
There is no fixed definition of what is normal.
Normal can suddenly turn into abnormal;
Good can suddenly turn into evil.
The people have been confused for a long time.
Therefore the wise are:
Pointed but do not pierce;
Sharp but do not cut;
Straightforward without being offensive;
Bright without dazzling.

《老子道德經》第五十九章
Daodejing Chapter 59

「治人事天莫若嗇,夫唯嗇是謂早服;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;有國之母可以長久,是謂深根固柢,長生久視之道。」
In leading the people and serving Heaven,
Nothing beats moderation.
Only by moderation can you be ready early.
To get ready early means to build up Virtue in abundance.
By accumulating Virtue, you can overcome any difficulty.
If you can overcome any difficulty, you will know no limits.
Without any limits, you are capable of leading a country.
If you lead like the mother, you will long endure.
This is called having deep roots and a firm foundation;
The Way of long life and eternal clarity.

《老子道德經》第六十章
Daodejing Chapter 60

「治大國,若烹小鮮;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;夫兩不相傷,故德交歸焉!」
Governing a large country is like cooking a small fish.
When the world is run in accordance with the Way;
The spirits lose their powers.
It is not that they lose their powers;
But that their powers no longer harm people.
Not only do the spirits not harm people;
But the wise also do not harm people.
Since these two do not harm each other;
They all live together in peace.

《老子道德經》第六十一章
Daodejing Chapter 61

「大國者下流,天下之交,天下之牝。牝常以靜勝牡,以靜為下。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。大國不過欲兼畜人小國不過欲入事人。夫兩者各得其所欲,大者宜為下。」
A large state is like a low plain where all the rivers meet;
A place where everything comes together;
It is the female of the world.
The female always overcomes the male with tranquility;
In her tranquility, she lies in a lower place.
A large state wins the allegiance of a small state,
By lying in a lower place than the small state.
A small state wins the support of a large state,
By lying in a low place than the large state.
A large state can win the allegiance of a small state by lying in a lower place than it;
And a small state can win the support of a large state by lying in a lower place than it.
Large states want to bring small states into their orbit,
Small states want to enjoy the embrace of large states.
Thus both sides get what they want.
A large state should learn to lie in a lower place.

《老子道德經》第六十二章
Daodejing Chapter 62

「道者,萬物之奧。善人之寶,不善人之所保。美言可以市尊,美行可以加人。人之不善,何棄之有。故立天子,置三公,雖有拱璧,以先駟馬,不如坐進此道。
古之所以貴此道者,何也。不曰:求以得,有罪以免耶,故為天下貴。」
The Way is the source of all things.
It provides treasure for the good and refuge for the bad.
Fine words can gain respect from others.
Noble deeds can impact others.
If a person is bad, why should they be rejected?
So when an emperor is crowned,
Or when the three ministers are appointed;
Instead of sending gifts of jade carried by a team of four horses,
Remain still and give the Way.
Why did the ancients prize the Way so much?
Did they not say:
Seek and you will find;
Sin and you will be forgiven.
For this reason, the Way is prized by the whole world.

《老子道德經》第六十三章
Daodejing Chapter 63

「為無為,事無事,味無味。大小多少,報怨以德。圖難於其易,圖大於其細。天下難事,必作於易。天下大事,必作於細。是以聖人終不為大,故能成其大。夫輕諾必寡信,多易必多難;是以聖人猶難之,故終無難矣!」
Act with effortless action.
Manage without interfering.
Taste without tasting.
Make large tasks small;
Make many tasks few.
Meet objections with Virtue.
Achieve difficult tasks through simple steps.
Achieve major tasks through small steps.
The most difficult tasks in the world,
Must be made easy from the start.
The biggest tasks in the world,
Must be made small from the start.
For this reason, the wise never strive to be great;
As a result, they accomplish greatness.
People who make promises lightly deserve little trust.
People who take tasks lightly will encounter huge difficulties.
For this reason, the wise always regard things as difficult;
As a result, they never encounter any difficulties.

《老子道德經》第六十四章
Daodejing Chapter 64

「其安易持,其未兆易謀。其脆易泮,其微易散。為之於未有,治之於未亂。合抱之木,生於毫末。九層之臺,起於累土。千里之行,始於足下。為者敗之,執者失之。是以聖人無為故無敗,無執故無失。民之從事,常於幾成而敗之。慎終如始,則無敗事。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。」
It’s easy to manage a stable situation.
It’s easy to nip a problem in the bud.
It’s easy to shatter something that’s brittle;
It’s easy to scatter something that’s minute.
Deal with matters before they happen.
Put them in order before chaos emerges.
A tree that is large enough to wrap your arms around,
Grows from a tiny shoot.
A nine-story tower,
Rises from a pile of earth.
A journey of a thousand miles,
Starts with a single step.
If you interfere in something, you will always fail.
If you cling too tightly to something, you will lose it.
For this reason, the wise don’t:
Interfere in things and thus do not fail;
Hold on to things too tightly and thus do not lose them.
People often fail at the threshold of success.
If they remain as careful at the end as at the beginning;
They will not fail.
For this reason, the wise:
Seek freedom from desire;
Do not value rare treasures;
Learn without learning;
Rectify the mistakes that the people have made;
Make sure all things follow their own nature;
Without daring to interfere.

《老子道德經》第六十五章
Daodejing Chapter 65

「古之善為道者,非以明民,將以愚之。民之難治,以其智多,故以智治國,國之賊!不以智治國,國之福。知此兩者,亦稽式;常知稽式,是謂玄德。玄德深矣遠矣!與物反矣,然後乃至大順。」
In ancient times, people who excelled in following the Way,
Did not use it to enlighten the people,
But to keep them on the path of simplicity.
Now, the people are difficult to lead,
Because they have become too cunning and crafty.
Therefore, governing a country with craftiness is a disaster for it;
Governing a country without craftiness is a blessing for it.
If you understand the difference between these two models,
You have grasped the fundamental principle.
Staying true to the fundamental principle is called subtle and profound Virtue.
Subtle and profound Virtue is deep and far-reaching.
It leads all things back to universal harmony.

《老子道德經》第六十六章
Daodejing Chapter 66

「江海所以能為百谷王者,以其善下之,故能為百谷王。是以欲上民必以言下之,欲先民必以身後之。是以聖人處上而民不重,處前而民不害。是以天下樂推而不厭,以其不爭,故天下莫能與之爭。」
The river and the sea can be the kings of the mountain streams,
Because they are good at lying below them.
That is why they can be the kings of the mountain streams.
For this reason, if the wise want to stand above the people,
They must speak to them from below.
If they want to lead the people,
They must follow them from behind.
In this way, when the wise stand above the people,
They are not oppressed.
When the wise lead the people,
They are not obstructed.
That is why the whole world will delight in praising them;
And never grow tired of them.
Because the wise do not compete with others,
Nobody in the world competes with them.

《老子道德經》第六十七章
Daodejing Chapter 67

「天下皆謂我道大似不肖。夫唯大故不肖,若肖久矣,其細也夫。我有三寶,持而保之,一曰慈、二曰儉、三曰不敢為天下先。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,舍後且先,死矣!夫慈以戰則勝,以守則固,天將救之,以慈衛之。」
The whole world says that my Way is great because it is like nothing else.
It is great because it is like nothing else.
If it were like everything else,
It would long ago have become insignificant.
I have three treasures that I cherish.
The first is kindness.
The second is moderation.
The third is not daring to place yourself ahead of everyone else.
Kindness allows you to be courageous.
Moderation allows you to be generous.
Not daring to place yourself ahead of everyone else allows you to lead the world.
Courageousness without kindness;
Generosity without moderation;
And leadership without refraining from placing yourself ahead of everyone else;
Are fatal mistakes.
For this reason, people who show kindness will be victorious in battle.
And remain safe when defending themselves.
Heaven will rescue and protect them with kindness.

《老子道德經》第六十八章
Daodejing Chapter 68

「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,古之極也。」
Great military commanders are not warlike.
Great soldiers do not get angry.
Great conquerors do not engage with the enemy.
Great leaders place themselves below their people.
This is called the virtue of non-competition.
This is called harnessing people’s strength.
This is called the union with Heaven;
The supreme principle of the ancients.

《老子道德經》第六十九章
Daodejing Chapter 69

「用兵有言曰:吾不敢為主,而為客;吾不敢進寸而退尺,是謂行無行,攘無臂,執無兵,扔無敵。禍莫大於輕敵,輕敵幾喪吾寶;故抗兵相加,哀者勝矣!」
A military commander once said:
“I dare not take the offensive, but would rather stay on the defensive.
I dare not move forward an inch, but would rather retreat a foot.”
This is called advancing without advancing;
Raising your arm without striking;
Holding your weapon without using it;
Attacking your enemy without engaging them.
There is no greater disaster than underestimating the enemy.
Underestimating the enemy is tantamount to losing everything you hold dear.
For this reason, when two evenly-matched armies battle,
The side that retreats first will win.

《老子道德經》第七十章
Daodejing Chapter 70

「吾言甚易知,甚易行。天下莫能知,莫能行。言有宗,事有君。夫唯無知,是以不我知。知我者希,則我者貴;是以聖人被褐懷玉」。
My words are very easy to understand and to practice.
But no one in the world can understand and practice them.
My words have their own source.
My deeds have their own master.
It is only because people do not understand this,
That they fail to understand me.
That so few people understand me is why I am treasured.
For this reason, the wise wear coarse clothes but conceal jade underneath them.

《老子道德經》第七十一章
Daodejing Chapter 71

「知不知,上;不知知,病。夫唯病病,是以不病;聖人不病,以其病病,是以不病。」
Knowing what you don’t know is best.
Pretending to know what you don’t know is a flaw.
Only people who recognize it as a flaw,
Can avoid the flaw.
The wise are free from this flaw,
Because they recognize it as a flaw.
For this reason, they aren’t flawed.

《老子道德經》第七十二章
Daodejing Chapter 72

「民不畏威,則大威至。無狹其所居,無厭其所生。夫唯不厭,是以不厭,是以聖人自知不自見,自愛不自貴,故去彼取此。」
When the people lose their fear of a despot’s power,
A terrible calamity will take place.
Do not force people out of their homes.
Do not oppress them until they have no reason to live.
If you don’t oppress them,
They won’t rise up against you.
That’s why the wise:
Know themselves, but do not show off.
Cherish themselves, but don’t put themselves on a pedestal.
They discard the one,
And choose the other.

《老子道德經》第七十三章
Daodejing Chapter 73

「勇於敢則殺,勇於不敢則活。此兩者或利或害。天之所惡,孰知其故?是以聖人猶難之。天之道不爭而善勝,不言而善應,不召而自來,繟然而善謀,天網恢恢,疏而不失。」
People who are brave out of daring will be killed.
People who are brave out of not daring will survive.
Of these two kinds of bravery, one is advantageous and one is harmful.
Heaven hates what it hates;
Who can know the reason why?
For this reason, even the wise find it difficult to understand.
The Way of Heaven does not compete;
But it excels at winning.
It does not speak,
But it excels at answering.
It isn’t summoned,
But it arrives by itself.
It is spontaneous,
But it excels at planning.
Heaven’s net is large and vast.
It is widely meshed,
But it lets nothing escape.

《老子道德經》第七十四章
Daodejing Chapter 74

「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!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!」
If the people are not afraid of dying,
What’s the point of trying to frighten them with execution?
To make sure that the people live in constant fear of death,
We would have to round up all the troublemakers and execute them.
But who would really dare to do that?
There is generally an official executioner appointed for this task.
Trying to carry out executions in the place of the official executioner,
Is like trying to cut wood in the place of a master carpenter.
Of those who try to cut wood like a master carpenter,
Very few avoid injuring their hands.

《老子道德經》第七十五章
Daodejing Chapter 75

「民之飢,以其上食稅之多,是以飢。民之難治,以其上之有為,是以難治。民之輕死,以其求生之厚,是以輕死。夫唯無以生為者,是賢於貴生。」
The people starve,
Because their rulers levy too much grain tax.
That is why they starve.
The people are difficult to govern,
Because their rulers interfere too much.
That is why they are difficult to govern.
The people make light of death.
Because their rulers lead lives of excess.
That is why they make light of death.
Only those who do not lead lives of excess,
Are best at understanding the true value of life.

《老子道德經》第七十六章
Daodejing Chapter 76

「人之生也柔弱,其死也堅強。萬物草木之生也柔脆,其死也枯槁。故堅強者死之徒,柔弱者生之徒。是以兵強則不勝,木強則兵,強大處下,柔弱處上。」
When alive, people are soft and supple.
When dead, people are hard and stiff.
All things like plants and trees are soft and tender while alive.
When they are dead, they are dried and withered.
For this reason, the hard and stiff are companions of death.
The soft and supple are companions of life.
That’s why a powerful army will never win.
An unbending tree will easily break.
The hard and strong will fall.
The soft and supple will rise.

《老子道德經》第七十七章
Daodejing Chapter 77

「天之道,其猶張弓與!高者抑之,下者舉之,有餘者損之,不足者補之。天之道,損有餘而補不足。人之道則不然,損不足以奉有餘。孰能有餘以奉天下?唯有道者。是以聖人為而不恃,功成而不處,其不欲見賢。」
The Way of Heaven is like drawing a bow.
If the tension on the string is too high, decrease it;
If the tension is too low, increase it.
If the string is too long, shorten it.
If the string is too short, lengthen it.
The Way of Heaven takes from those who have too much;
It gives to those who do not have enough.
The Way of Humanity does the opposite.
It takes from those who do not have enough;
It gives to those who have too much.
Who has more than enough to give to the world?
Only people who follow the Way.
That’s why the wise act without taking credit.
They accomplish their task without dwelling on it.
They have no desire to make themselves look superior.

《老子道德經》第七十八章
Daodejing Chapter 78

「天下莫柔弱於水,而攻堅強者莫之能勝,其無以易之。弱之勝強,柔之勝剛,天下莫不知、莫能行。是以聖人云:受國之垢,是謂社稷主;受國不祥,是為天下王。正言若反。」
Nothing in the world is softer and weaker than water.
But no force is better at attacking the hard and strong.
For this reason, there is no substitute for it.
The soft overcomes the strong;
The weak overcomes the hard.
Everyone in the world knows this;
But no one puts it into practice.
That’s why the wise say:
“Those who shoulder the disgrace of their country,
Are fit to rule it.
Those who take responsibility for the misfortunes of their country,
Are fit to rule the world.”
The truth sounds like its opposite.

《老子道德經》第七十九章
Daodejing Chapter 79

「和大怨,必有餘怨,安可以為善;是以聖人執左契而不責於人。有德司契,無德司徹,天道無親,常與善人。」
After two bitter enemies have made peace,
There is sure to be some bitterness left behind.
How can this be considered good?
That’s why the wise honor their part of an agreement
But do not demand payment from the other party.
People with Virtue fulfill their obligations;
People without Virtue require others to fulfill their obligations with the zeal of a tax collector.
The Way of Heaven has no favorites.
It always stays with the good people.

《老子道德經》第八○章
Daodejing Chapter 80

「小國寡民,使有什伯之器而不用,使民重死而不遠徙,雖有舟輿,無所乘之;雖有甲兵,無所陳之;使人復結繩而用之,甘其食、美其服、安其居、樂其俗,鄰國相望,雞犬之聲相聞,民至老死不相往來。」
Keep the state small with few people,
Make sure it has powerful tools but that they never need to be used.
Make sure the people do not feel moved to risk their lives by migrating far away.
Although they have boats and carriages, give them no reason to ride in them.
Although they have armor and weapons, give them no reason to display them.
Let the people return to knotting cords and using them;
Enjoying tasty food;
Wearing beautiful clothes;
Feeling comfortable in their homes;
Delighting in their customs.
Although neighboring states are in sight of one other;
And hear each other’s cocks crowing and dogs barking;
Their peoples may grow old and die without even meeting each other.

《老子道德經》第八十一章
Daodejing Chapter 81

「信言不美,美言不信;善者不辯,辯者不善;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。天之道,利而不害;聖人之道,為而不爭。」
Truthful words are not beautiful.
Beautiful words are not truthful.
Good people are not argumentative.
Argumentative people are not good.
People who have true wisdom do not show off their learning.
People who do not show off their learning have true wisdom.
The wise never hoard.
The more they do for others, the more they have.
The more they give to others, the greater their abundance.
The Way of Heaven is to benefit and not to harm.
The way of the wise is to act without striving.

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