2013年11月3日 星期日


Chinese - English Translations of Tao De Ching
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。
1. The Way
The Way that can be experienced is not true;
The world that can be constructed is not true.
The Way manifests all that happens and may happen;
The world represents all that exists and may exist.

To experience without intention is to sense the world;
To experience with intention is to anticipate the world.
These two experiences are indistinguishable;
Their construction differs but their effect is the same.

Beyond the gate of experience flows the Way,
Which is ever greater and more subtle than the world.
2. Abstraction
When beauty is abstracted
Then ugliness has been implied;
When good is abstracted
Then evil has been implied.

So alive and dead are abstracted from nature,
Difficult and easy abstracted from progress,
Long and short abstracted from contrast,
High and low abstracted from depth,
Song and speech abstracted from melody,
After and before abstracted from sequence.

The sage experiences without abstraction,
And accomplishes without action;
He accepts the ebb and flow of things,
Nurtures them, but does not own them,
And lives, but does not dwell.
3. Without Action
Not praising the worthy prevents contention,
Not esteeming the valuable prevents theft,
Not displaying the beautiful prevents desire.

In this manner the sage governs people:
Emptying their minds,
Filling their bellies,
Weakening their ambitions,
And strengthening their bones.

If people lack knowledge and desire
Then they cannot act;
If no action is taken
Harmony remains.
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。 
4. Limitless
The Way is a limitless vessel;
Used by the self, it is not filled by the world;
It cannot be cut, knotted, dimmed or stilled;
Its depths are hidden, ubiquitous and eternal;
I don't know where it comes from;
It comes before nature.
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 橐龠乎﹖虛而不屈,動而愈出。多言數窮,不如守中。
5. Nature
Nature is not kind;
It treats all things impartially.
The Sage is not kind,
And treats all people impartially.

Nature is like a bellows,
Empty, yet never ceasing its supply.
The more it moves, the more it yields;
So the sage draws upon experience
And cannot be exhausted.
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。
6. Experience
Experience is a riverbed,
Its source hidden, forever flowing:
Its entrance, the root of the world,
The Way moves within it:
Draw upon it; it will not run dry.
7. Complete
Nature is complete because it does not serve itself.

The sage places himself after and finds himself before,
Ignores his desire and finds himself content.

He is complete because he does not serve himself.
8. Water
The best of man is like water,
Which benefits all things, and does not contend with them,
Which flows in places that others disdain,
Where it is in harmony with the Way.

So the sage:
Lives within nature,
Thinks within the deep,
Gives within impartiality,
Speaks within trust,
Governs within order,
Crafts within ability,
Acts within opportunity.

He does not contend, and none contend against him.
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。
9. Retire
Fill a cup to its brim and it is easily spilled;
Temper a sword to its hardest and it is easily broken;
Amass the greatest treasure and it is easily stolen;
Claim credit and honour and you easily fall;
Retire once your purpose is achieved - this is natural.
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﹖生之畜之,生而不有,為而不恃,長而不宰,是謂玄德 )
10. Harmony
Embracing the Way, you become embraced;
Breathing gently, you become newborn;
Clearing your mind, you become clear;
Nurturing your children, you become impartial;
Opening your heart, you become accepted;
Accepting the world, you embrace the Way.

Bearing and nurturing,
Creating but not owning,
Giving without demanding,
This is harmony.
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。
11. Tools
Thirty spokes meet at a nave;
Because of the hole we may use the wheel.
Clay is moulded into a vessel;
Because of the hollow we may use the cup.
Walls are built around a hearth;
Because of the doors we may use the house.
Thus tools come from what exists,
But use from what does not.
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。是以聖人為腹不為目,故去彼取此。
12. Substance
Too much colour blinds the eye,
Too much music deafens the ear,
Too much taste dulls the palate,
Too much play maddens the mind,
Too much desire tears the heart.

In this manner the sage cares for people:
He provides for the belly, not for the senses;
He ignores abstraction and holds fast to substance.
13. Self
Both praise and blame cause concern,
For they bring people hope and fear.
The object of hope and fear is the self -
For, without self, to whom may fortune and disaster occur?

Who distinguishes himself from the world may be given the world,
But who regards himself as the world may accept the world.
   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。
14. Mystery
Looked at but cannot be seen - it is beneath form;
Listened to but cannot be heard - it is beneath sound;
Held but cannot be touched - it is beneath feeling;
These depthless things evade definition,
And blend into a single mystery.

In its rising there is no light,
In its falling there is no darkness,
A continuous thread beyond description,
Lining what cannot occur;
Its form formless,
Its image nothing,
Its name silence;
Follow it, it has no back,
Meet it, it has no face.

Attend the present to deal with the past;
Thus you grasp the continuity of the Way,
Which is its essence.
15. Enlightenment
The enlightened possess understanding
So profound they cannot be understood.
Because they cannot be understood
I can only describe their appearance:

Cautious as one crossing thin ice,
Undecided as one surrounded by danger,
Modest as one who is a guest,
Unbounded as melting ice,
Genuine as unshaped wood,
Broad as a valley,
Seamless as muddy water.

Who stills the water that the mud may settle,
Who seeks to stop that he may travel on,
Who desires less than may transpire,
Decays, but will not renew.
16. Decay and Renewal
Empty the self completely;
Embrace perfect peace.
The world will rise and move;
Watch it return to rest.
All the flourishing things
Will return to their source.

This return is peaceful;
It is the flow of nature,
An eternal decay and renewal.
Accepting this brings enlightenment,
Ignoring this brings misery.

Who accepts nature's flow becomes all-cherishing;
Being all-cherishing he becomes impartial;
Being impartial he becomes magnanimous;
Being magnanimous he becomes natural;
Being natural he becomes one with the Way;
Being one with the Way he becomes immortal:
Though his body will decay, the Way will not.
17. Rulers
The best rulers are scarcely known by their subjects;
The next best are loved and praised;
The next are feared;
The next despised:
They have no faith in their people,
And their people become unfaithful to them.

When the best rulers achieve their purpose
Their subjects claim the achievement as their own.
18. Hypocrisy
When the Way is forgotten
Duty and justice appear;
Then knowledge and wisdom are born
Along with hypocrisy.

When harmonious relationships dissolve
Then respect and devotion arise;
When a nation falls to chaos
Then loyalty and patriotism are born.
19. Simplify
If we could abolish knowledge and wisdom
Then people would profit a hundredfold;
If we could abolish duty and justice
Then harmonious relationships would form;
If we could abolish artifice and profit
Then waste and theft would disappear.

Yet such remedies treat only symptoms
And so they are inadequate.

People need personal remedies:
Reveal your naked self and embrace your original nature;
Bind your self-interest and control your ambition;
Forget your habits and simplify your affairs.
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。 儽儽兮若無所歸。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。
20. Wandering
What is the difference between assent and denial?
What is the difference between beautiful and ugly?
What is the difference between fearsome and afraid?

The people are merry as if at a magnificent party
Or playing in the park at springtime,
But I am tranquil and wandering,
Like a newborn before it learns to smile,
Alone, with no true home.

The people have enough and to spare,
Where I have nothing,
And my heart is foolish,
Muddled and cloudy.

The people are bright and certain,
Where I am dim and confused;
The people are clever and wise,
Where I am dull and ignorant;
Aimless as a wave drifting over the sea,
Attached to nothing.

The people are busy with purpose,
Where I am impractical and rough;
I do not share the peoples' cares
But I am fed at nature's breast.
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。
21. Accept
Harmony is only in following the Way.

The Way is without form or quality,
But expresses all forms and qualities;
The Way is hidden and implicate,
But expresses all of nature;
The Way is unchanging,
But expresses all motion.

Beneath sensation and memory
The Way is the source of all the world.
How can I understand the source of the world?
By accepting.
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。
22. Home
Accept and you become whole,
Bend and you straighten,
Empty and you fill,
Decay and you renew,
Want and you acquire,
Fulfill and you become confused.

The sage accepts the world
As the world accepts the Way;
He does not display himself, so is clearly seen,
Does not justify himself, so is recognized,
Does not boast, so is credited,
Does not pride himself, so endures,
Does not contend, so none contend against him.

The ancients said, "Accept and you become whole",
Once whole, the world is as your home.
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。
23. Words
Nature says only a few words:
High wind does not last long,
Nor does heavy rain.
If nature's words do not last
Why should those of man?

Who accepts harmony, becomes harmonious.
Who accepts loss, becomes lost.
For who accepts harmony, the Way harmonizes with him,
And who accepts loss, the Way cannot find.
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。其於道也,曰﹕餘食 贅行。物或惡之,故有道者不處。
24. Indulgence
Straighten yourself and you will not stand steady;
Display yourself and you will not be clearly seen;
Justify yourself and you will not be respected;
Promote yourself and you will not be believed;
Pride yourself and you will not endure.

These behaviours are wasteful, indulgent,
And so they attract disfavour;
Harmony avoids them.
25. Beneath Abstraction
There is a mystery,
Beneath abstraction,
Silent, depthless,
Alone, unchanging,
Ubiquitous and liquid,
The mother of nature.
It has no name, but I call it "the Way";
It has no limit, but I call it "limitless".

Being limitless, it flows away forever;
Flowing away forever, it returns to myself:

The Way is limitless,
So nature is limitless,
So the world is limitless,
And so I am limitless.

For I am abstracted from the world,
The world from nature,
Nature from the Way,
And the Way from what is beneath abstraction.
重為輕根,靜為躁君。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。
26. Calm
Gravity is the source of lightness,
Calm, the master of haste.

A lone traveller will journey all day, watching over his belongings;
Yet once safe in his bed he will lose them in sleep.

The captain of a great vessel will not act lightly or hastily.
Acting lightly, he loses sight of the world,
Acting hastily, he loses control of himself.

A captain cannot treat his great ship as a small boat;
Rather than glitter like jade
He must stand like stone.
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。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。
27. Perfection
The perfect traveller leaves no trail to be followed;
The perfect speaker leaves no question to be answered;
The perfect accountant leaves no working to be completed;
The perfect container leaves no lock to be closed;
The perfect knot leaves no end to be ravelled.

So the sage nurtures all men
And abandons no one.
He accepts everything
And rejects nothing.
He attends to the smallest details.

So the strong must guide the weak,
For the weak are raw material to the strong.
If the guide is not respected,
Or the material is not cared for,
Confusion will result, no matter how clever one is.

This is the secret of perfection:
When raw wood is carved, it becomes a tool;
When a man is employed, he becomes a tool;
The perfect carpenter leaves no wood to be carved.
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。
28. Becoming
Using the male, being female,
Being the entrance of the world,
You embrace harmony
And become as a newborn.

Using strength, being weak,
Being the root of the world,
You complete harmony
And become as unshaped wood.

Using the light, being dark,
Being the world,
You perfect harmony
And return to the Way.
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,或噓或吹,或強或 羸,或載或 隳。是以聖人去甚,去 奢,去泰。
29. Ambition
Those who wish to change the world
According with their desire
Cannot succeed.

The world is shaped by the Way;
It cannot be shaped by the self.
Trying to change it, you damage it;
Trying to possess it, you lose it.

So some will lead, while others follow.
Some will be warm, others cold
Some will be strong, others weak.
Some will get where they are going
While others fall by the side of the road.

So the sage will be neither wasteful nor violent.
30. Violence
Powerful men are well advised not to use violence,
For violence has a habit of returning;
Thorns and weeds grow wherever an army goes,
And lean years follow a great war.

A general is well advised
To achieve nothing more than his orders:
Not to take advantage of his victory.
Nor to glory, boast or pride himself;
To do what is dictated by necessity,
But not by choice.

For even the strongest force will weaken with time,
And then its violence will return, and kill it.
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,則不可得志於天下矣。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。
31. Armies
Armies are tools of violence;
They cause men to hate and fear.
The sage will not join them.
His purpose is creation;
Their purpose is destruction.

Weapons are tools of violence,
Not of the sage;
He uses them only when there is no choice,
And then calmly, and with tact,
For he finds no beauty in them.

Whoever finds beauty in weapons
Delights in the slaughter of men;
And who delights in slaughter
Cannot content himself with peace.

So slaughters must be mourned
And conquest celebrated with a funeral.
32. Shapes
The Way has no true shape,
And therefore none can control it.
If a ruler could control the Way
All things would follow
In harmony with his desire,
And sweet rain would fall,
Effortlessly slaking every thirst.

The Way is shaped by use,
But then the shape is lost.
Do not hold fast to shapes
But let sensation flow into the world
As a river courses down to the sea.
33. Virtues
Who understands the world is learned;
Who understands the self is enlightened.
Who conquers the world has strength;
Who conquers the self has harmony.
Who is determined has purpose;
Who is contented has wealth.
Who defends his home may long endure;
Who surrenders his home may long survive it.
34. Control
The Way flows and ebbs, creating and destroying,
Implementing all the world, attending to the tiniest details,
Claiming nothing in return.

It nurtures all things,
Though it does not control them;
It has no intention,
So it seems inconsequential.

It is the substance of all things;
Though it does not control them;
It has no exception,
So it seems all-important.

The sage would not control the world;
He is in harmony with the world.
   執大象,天下往。往而不害,安平太。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。
35. Peace
If you offer music and food
Strangers may stop with you;
But if you accord with the Way
All the people of the world will keep you
In safety, health, community, and peace.

The Way lacks art and flavour;
It can neither be seen nor heard,
But its benefit cannot be exhausted.
36. Opposition
To reduce someone's influence, first expand it;
To reduce someone's force, first increase it;
To overthrow someone, first exalt them;
To take from someone, first give to them.

This is the subtlety by which the weak overcome the strong:
Fish should not leave their depths,
And swords should not leave their scabbards.
37. Tranquillity
The Way takes no action, but leaves nothing undone.
When you accept this
The world will flourish,
In harmony with nature.

Nature does not possess desire;
Without desire, the heart becomes quiet;
In this manner the whole world is made tranquil.
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;下德無為而有以為。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,萬愚之始。是以大丈夫處其厚,不居其薄,處其實,不居其華。故去彼取此。
38. Ritual
Well established hierarchies are not easily uprooted;
Closely held beliefs are not easily released;
So ritual enthralls generation after generation.

Harmony does not care for harmony, and so is naturally attained;
But ritual is intent upon harmony, and so cannot attain it.

Harmony neither acts nor reasons;
Love acts, but without reason;
Justice acts to serve reason;
But ritual acts to enforce reason.

When the Way is lost, there remains harmony;
When harmony is lost, there remains love;
When love is lost, there remains justice;
But when justice is lost, there remains ritual.

Ritual is the end of compassion and honesty,
The beginning of confusion;
Belief is a colourful hope or fear,
The beginning of folly.

The sage goes by harmony, not by hope;
He dwells in the fruit, not the flower;
He accepts substance, and ignores abstraction.
昔之得一者,天得一以清,地得一以寧,神得一以靈,谷一以盈,萬物得一以生,侯王得一以為天下貞。其致之。天無以清將恐裂,地無以寧將恐發,神為以靈將恐歇,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?非歟?故至譽無譽。不欲 琭琭如玉, 珞珞如石。 
39. Support
In mythical times all things were whole:
All the sky was clear,
All the earth was stable,
All the mountains were firm,
All the riverbeds were full,
All of nature was fertile,
And all the rulers were supported.

But, losing clarity, the sky tore;
Losing stability, the earth split;
Losing strength, the mountains sank;
Losing water, the riverbeds cracked;
Losing fertility, nature disappeared;
And losing support, the rulers fell.

Rulers depend upon their subjects,
The noble depend upon the humble;
So rulers call themselves orphaned, hungry and alone,
To win the people's support.
40. Motion and Use
The motion of the Way is to return;
The use of the Way is to accept;
All things come from the Way,
And the Way comes from nothing.
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,質德若 渝,大方無 隅,大器晚成,大音希聲,大象無形,道隱無名。夫唯道,善貸且成。 
41. Following
When the great man learns the Way, he follows it with diligence;
When the common man learns the Way, he follows it on occasion;
When the mean man learns the Way, he laughs out loud;
Those who do not laugh, do not learn at all.

Therefore it is said:
Who understands the Way seems foolish;
Who progresses on the Way seems to fail;
Who follows the Way seems to wander.

For the finest harmony appears plain;
The brightest truth appears coloured;
The richest character appears incomplete;
The bravest heart appears meek;
The simplest nature appears inconstant.

The square, perfected, has no corner;
Music, perfected, has no melody;
Love, perfected, has no climax;
Art, perfected, has no meaning.

The Way can be neither sensed nor known:
It transmits sensation and transcends knowledge.
42. Mind
The Way bears sensation,
Sensation bears memory,
Sensation and memory bear abstraction,
And abstraction bears all the world;
Each thing in the world bears feeling and doing,
And, imbued with mind, harmony with the Way.

As others have taught, so do I teach,
"Who loses harmony opposes nature";
This is the root of my teaching.
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。
43. Overcoming
Water overcomes the stone;
Without substance it requires no opening;
This is the benefit of taking no action.

Yet benefit without action,
And experience without abstraction,
Are practiced by very few.
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。  
44. Contentment
Health or reputation: which is held dearer?
Health or possessions: which has more worth?
Profit or loss: which is more troublesome?

Great love incurs great expense,
And great riches incur great fear,
But contentment comes at no cost;
Who knows when to stop
Does not continue into danger,
And so may long endure.
45. Quiet
Great perfection seems incomplete,
But does not decay;
Great abundance seems empty,
But does not fail.

Great truth seems contradictory;
Great cleverness seems stupid;
Great eloquence seems awkward.

As spring overcomes the cold,
And autumn overcomes the heat,
So calm and quiet overcome the world.
46. Horses
When a nation follows the Way,
Horses bear manure through its fields;
When a nation ignores the Way,
Horses bear soldiers through its streets.

There is no greater mistake than following desire;
There is no greater disaster than forgetting contentment;
There is no greater sickness than seeking attainment;
But one who is content to satisfy his needs
Finds that contentment endures.
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,無為而成。
47. Knowing
Without taking a step outdoors
You know the whole world;
Without taking a peep out the window
You know the colour of the sky.

The more you experience,
The less you know.
The sage wanders without knowing,
Sees without looking,
Accomplishes without acting.
48. Inaction
The follower of knowledge learns as much as he can every day;
The follower of the Way forgets as much as he can every day.

By attrition he reaches a state of inaction
Wherein he does nothing, but nothing remains undone.

To conquer the world, accomplish nothing;
If you must accomplish something,
The world remains beyond conquest.
   聖人無常心,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, 歙歙焉;為天下,渾其心。百姓皆注其耳目,聖人皆孩之。 
49. People
The sage does not distinguish between himself and the world;
The needs of other people are as his own.

He is good to those who are good;
He is also good to those who are not good,
Thereby he is good.
He trusts those who are trustworthy;
He also trusts those who are not trustworthy,
Thereby he is trustworthy.

The sage lives in harmony with the world,
And his mind is the world's mind.
So he nurtures the worlds of others
As a mother does her children.
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,入軍不被兵甲。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。
50. Death
Men flow into life, and ebb into death.

Some are filled with life;
Some are empty with death;
Some hold fast to life, and thereby perish,
For life is an abstraction.

Those who are filled with life
Need not fear tigers and rhinos in the wilds,
Nor wear armour and shields in battle;
The rhinoceros finds no place in them for its horn,
The tiger no place for its claw,
The soldier no place for a weapon,
For death finds no place in them.
51. Nurture
The Way bears all things;
Harmony nurtures them;
Nature shapes them;
Use completes them.

Each follows the Way and honours harmony,
Not by law,
But by being.

The Way bears, nurtures, shapes, completes,
Shelters, comforts, and makes a home for them.

Bearing without possessing,
Nurturing without taming,
Shaping without forcing,
This is harmony.
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。是為習常。
52. Clarity
The origin of the world is its mother;
Understand the mother, and you understand the child;
Embrace the child, and you embrace the mother,
Who will not perish when you die.

Reserve your judgments and words
And you maintain your influence;
Speak your mind and take positions
And nothing can save you.

As observing detail is clarity,
So maintaining flexibility is strength;
Use the light but shed no light,
So that you do yourself no harm,
But embrace clarity.
使我介然有知,行於大道,惟施是畏。大道甚夷,而民好徑。朝甚除,田甚 蕪,倉甚虛;服文綵,帶利劍,厭飲食,財貨有餘,是謂盜 夸。非道也哉! 
53. Difficult Paths
With but a small understanding
One may follow the Way like a main road,
Fearing only to leave it;
Following a main road is easy,
Yet people delight in difficult paths.

When palaces are kept up
Fields are left to weeds
And granaries empty;
Wearing fine clothes,
Bearing sharp swords,
Glutting with food and drink,
Hoarding wealth and possessions -
These are the ways of theft,
And far from the Way.
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,以鄉觀鄉,以邦觀邦,以天下觀天下。吾何以知天下然哉?以此。
54. Cultivate Harmony
Cultivate harmony within yourself, and harmony becomes real;
Cultivate harmony within your family, and harmony becomes fertile;
Cultivate harmony within your community, and harmony becomes abundant;
Cultivate harmony within your culture, and harmony becomes enduring;
Cultivate harmony within the world, and harmony becomes ubiquitous.

Live with a person to understand that person;
Live with a family to understand that family;
Live with a community to understand that community;
Live with a culture to understand that culture;
Live with the world to understand the world.

How can I live with the world?
By accepting.
含德之厚,比於赤子。毒蟲不螫,猛獸不據,攫鳥不 搏。骨弱筋柔而握固,未知 牝牡之合而 脧作,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。心使氣曰強。物壯則老,是謂不道,不道早已。
55. Soft Bones
Who is filled with harmony is like a newborn.
Wasps and snakes will not bite him;
Hawks and tigers will not claw him.

His bones are soft yet his grasp is sure,
For his flesh is supple;
His mind is innocent yet his body is virile,
For his vigour is plentiful;
His song is long-lasting yet his voice is sweet,
For his grace is perfect.

But knowing harmony creates abstraction,
And following abstraction creates ritual.
Exceeding nature creates calamity,
And controlling nature creates violence.
   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。 
56. Impartiality
Who understands does not preach;
Who preaches does not understand.

Reserve your judgments and words;
Smooth differences and forgive disagreements;
Dull your wit and simplify your purpose;
Accept the world.

Friendship and enmity,
Profit and loss,
Honour and disgrace,
Will not affect you;
The world will accept you.
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;朝多利器,國家滋昏;人多伎巧,奇物滋起;法令滋彰,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。 
57. Conquer with Inaction
Do not control the people with laws,
Nor violence nor espionage,
But conquer them with inaction.

The more morals and taboos there are,
The more cruelty afflicts people;
The more guns and knives there are,
The more factions divide people;
The more arts and skills there are,
The more change obsoletes people;
The more laws and taxes there are,
The more theft corrupts people.

Yet take no action, and the people nurture each other;
Make no laws, and the people deal fairly with each other;
Own no interest, and the people cooperate with each other;
Express no desire, and the people harmonize with each other.
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,真而不 肆,光而不耀。
58. No End
When government is lazy and informal
The people are kind and honest;
When government is efficient and severe
The people are discontented and deceitful.

Good fortune follows upon disaster;
Disaster lurks within good fortune;
Who can say how things will end?
Perhaps there is no end.

Honesty is ever deceived;
Kindness is ever seduced;
Men have been like this for a long time.

So the sage is firm but not cutting,
Pointed but not piercing,
Straight but not rigid,
Bright but not blinding.
治人,事天,莫若 嗇。夫唯嗇,是以早服;早服謂之重積德;重積德則為不克;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。 
59. Restraint
Manage a great nation as you would cook a delicate fish.

To govern men in accord with nature
It is best to be restrained;
Restraint makes agreement easy to attain,
And easy agreement builds harmonious relationships;
With sufficient harmony no resistance will arise;
When no resistance arises, then you possess the heart of the nation,
And when you possess the nation's heart, your influence will long endure:
Deeply rooted and firmly established.
This is the method of far sight and long life.
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。 
60. Demons
When you use the Way to conquer the world,
Your demons will lose their power to harm.
It is not that they lose their power as such,
But that they will not harm others;
Because they will not harm others,
You will not harm others:
When neither you nor your demons can do harm,
You will be at peace with them.
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。夫兩者各得所欲,大者宜為下。
61. Submission
A nation is like a hierarchy, a marketplace, and a maiden.
A maiden wins her husband by submitting to his advances;
Submission is a means of union.

So when a large country submits to a small country
It will adopt the small country;
When a small country submits to a large country
It will be adopted by the large country;
The one submits and adopts;
The other submits and is adopted.

It is in the interest of a large country to unite and gain service,
And in the interest of a small country to unite and gain patronage;
If both would serve their interests,
Both must submit.
62. Sin
The Way is the fate of men,
The treasure of the saint,
And the refuge of the sinner.

Fine words are often borrowed,
And great deeds are often appropriated;
Therefore, when a man falls, do not abandon him,
And when a man gains power, do not honour him;
Only remain impartial and show him the Way.

Why should someone appreciate the Way?
The ancients said, "By it, those who seek may easily find,
And those who regret may easily absolve"
So it is the most precious gift.
63. Difficulty
Practice no-action;
Attend to do-nothing;
Taste the flavorless,
Magnify the small,
Multiply the few,
Return love for hate.

Deal with the difficult while it is yet easy;
Deal with the great while it is yet small;

The difficult develops naturally from the easy,
And the great from the small;
So the sage, by dealing with the small,
Achieves the great.

Who finds it easy to promise finds it hard to be trusted;
Who takes things lightly finds things difficult;
The sage recognizes difficulty, and so has none.
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。 
64a. Care at the Beginning
What lies still is easy to grasp;
What lies far off is easy to anticipate;
What is brittle is easy to shatter;
What is small is easy to disperse.

Yet a tree broader than a man can embrace is born of a tiny shoot;
A dam greater than a river can overflow starts with a clod of earth;
A journey of a thousand miles begins at the spot under one's feet.

Therefore deal with things before they happen;
Create order before there is confusion.
64b. Care at the End
He who acts, spoils;
He who grasps, loses.
People often fail on the verge of success;
Take care at the end as at the beginning,
So that you may avoid failure.

The sage desires no-desire,
Values no-value,
Learns no-learning,
And returns to the places that people have forgotten;
He would help all people to become natural,
But then he would not be natural.
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。
65. Subtlety
The ancients did not seek to rule people with knowledge,
But to help them become natural.

It is difficult for knowledgeable people to become natural;
So to use law to control a nation weakens the nation,
But to use nature to control a nation strengthens the nation.

Understanding these two paths is understanding subtlety;
Subtlety runs deep, ranges wide,
Resolves confusion and preserves peace.
66. Lead by Following
The river carves out the valley by flowing beneath it.
Thereby the river is the master of the valley.

In order to master people
One must speak as their servant;
In order to lead people
One must follow them.

So when the sage rises above the people,
They do not feel oppressed;
And when the sage stands before the people,
They do not feel hindered.

So the popularity of the sage does not fail,
He does not contend, and no one contends against him.
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。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。 
67. Unimportance
All the world says,
"I am important;
I am separate from all the world.
I am important because I am separate,
Were I the same, I could never be important."

Yet here are three treasures
That I cherish and commend to you:
The first is compassion,
By which one finds courage.
The second is restraint,
By which one finds strength.
And the third is unimportance,
By which one finds influence.

Those who are fearless, but without compassion,
Powerful, but without restraint,
Or influential, yet important,
Cannot endure.
68. Compassion
Compassion is the finest weapon and best defence.
If you would establish harmony,
Compassion must surround you like a fortress.

A good soldier does not inspire fear;
A good fighter does not display aggression;
A good conqueror does not engage in battle;
A good leader does not exercise authority.

This is the value of unimportance;
This is how to win the cooperation of others;
This to how to build the same harmony that is in nature.
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,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。 
69. Ambush
There is a saying among soldiers:
It is easier to lose a yard than take an inch.

In this manner one may deploy troops without marshalling them,
Bring weapons to bear without exposing them,
Engage the foe without invading them,
And exhaust their strength without fighting them.

There is no worse disaster than misunderstanding your enemy;
To do so endangers all of my treasures;
So when two well matched forces oppose each other,
The general who maintains compassion will win.
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。 
70. Individuality
My words are easy to understand
And my actions are easy to perform
Yet no other can understand or perform them.

My words have meaning; my actions have reason;
Yet these cannot be known and I cannot be known.

We are each unique, and therefore valuable;
Though the sage wears coarse clothes, his heart is jade.
71. Limitation
Who recognizes his limitations is healthy;
Who ignores his limitations is sick.
The sage recognizes this sickness as a limitation.
And so becomes immune.
民不畏威,則大威至。無 狎其所居,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。
72. Revolution
When people have nothing more to lose,
Then revolution will result.

Do not take away their lands,
And do not destroy their livelihoods;
If your burden is not heavy then they will not shirk it.

The sage maintains himself but exacts no tribute,
Values himself but requires no honours;
He ignores abstraction and accepts substance.
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。
73. Fate
Who is brave and bold will perish;
Who is brave and subtle will benefit.
The subtle profit where the bold perish
For fate does not honour daring.
And even the sage dares not tempt fate.

Fate does not attack, yet all things are conquered by it;
It does not ask, yet all things answer to it;
It does not call, yet all things meet it;
It does not plan, yet all things are determined by it.

Fate's net is vast and its mesh is coarse,
Yet none escape it.
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。
74. Execution
If people were not afraid of death,
Then what would be the use of an executioner?

If people were only afraid of death,
And you executed everyone who did not obey,
No one would dare to disobey you.
Then what would be the use of an executioner?

People fear death because death is an instrument of fate.
When people are killed by execution rather than by fate,
This is like carving wood in the place of a carpenter.
Those who carve wood in place of a carpenter
Often injure their hands.
75. Rebellion
When rulers take grain so that they may feast,
Their people become hungry;
When rulers take action to serve their own interests,
Their people become rebellious;
When rulers take lives so that their own lives are maintained,
Their people no longer fear death.

When people act without regard for their own lives
They overcome those who value only their own lives.
76. Flexibility
A newborn is soft and tender,
A crone, hard and stiff.
Plants and animals, in life, are supple and succulent;
In death, withered and dry.
So softness and tenderness are attributes of life,
And hardness and stiffness, attributes of death.

Just as a sapless tree will split and decay
So an inflexible force will meet defeat;
The hard and mighty lie beneath the ground
While the tender and weak dance on the breeze above.
77. Need
Is the action of nature not unlike drawing a bow?
What is higher is pulled down, and what is lower is raised up;
What is taller is shortened, and what is thinner is broadened;
Nature's motion decreases those who have more than they need
And increases those who need more than they have.

It is not so with Man.
Man decreases those who need more than they have
And increases those who have more than they need.

To give away what you do not need is to follow the Way.
So the sage gives without expectation,
Accomplishes without claiming credit,
And has no desire for ostentation.
78. Yielding
Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water,
Yet nothing can better overcome the hard and strong,
For they can neither control nor do away with it.

The soft overcomes the hard,
The yielding overcomes the strong;
Every person knows this,
But no one can practice it.

Who attends to the people would control the land and grain;
Who attends to the state would control the whole world;
Truth is easily hidden by rhetoric.
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。
79. Reconciliation
When conflict is reconciled, some hard feelings remain;
This is dangerous.

The sage accepts less than is due
And does not blame or punish;
For harmony seeks agreement
Where justice seeks payment.

The ancients said: "nature is impartial;
Therefore it serves those who serve all."
小國寡民,使有 什伯之器而不用,使民重死而不遠徒。雖有舟輿,無所乘之;雖有甲兵,無所陳之。使民復結繩而用之。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。
80. Utopia
Let your community be small, with only a few people;
Keep tools in abundance, but do not depend upon them;
Appreciate your life and be content with your home;
Sail boats and ride horses, but don't go too far;
Keep weapons and armour, but do not employ them;
Let everyone read and write,
Eat well and make beautiful things.

Live peacefully and delight in your own society;
Dwell within cock-crow of your neighbours,
But maintain your independence from them.
81. The Sage
Honest people use no rhetoric;
Rhetoric is not honesty.
Enlightened people are not cultured;
Culture is not enlightenment.
Content people are not rich;
Riches are not contentment.

So the sage does not serve himself;
The more he does for others, the more he is satisfied;
The more he gives, the more he receives.
Nature flourishes at the expense of no one;
So the sage benefits all men and contends with none.
The GNL Tao De Ching.
Copyright (C) 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 Peter A. Merel.
This document attempts to draw the texts of several popular English translations of Lao Tse into a consistent and accessible context. It is based on the translations of Robert G. Henricks, Lin Yutang, D.C. Lau, Ch'u Ta-Kao, Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English, Richard Wilhelm and Aleister Crowley.
This work is not a translation, but an interpolation. It does not represent the original text; the original, if there was an original, has been jumbled, mistranscribed and reinterpreted many times over many thousands of years, and is here cast into a language that is incapable of presenting its poetic structure and philological connections.
Even an original text, translated as faithfully as possible, might remain inaccessible to the modern reader unable to place it within its original context. The intention of this work is to construct a document that closely corresponds with the best modern translations of Lao Tse, but which is blunt, easy and useful to read within a modern context.
Structural Changes
·         The last three lines of chapter 28 have been moved to the end of Chapter 27.
·         The last three lines of chapter 39 have been moved to the end of Chapter 26.
·         The last three lines of chapter 47 oppose most translations.
·         The first three lines of chapter 54 have been moved to the start of Chapter 38.
·         The last two lines of chapter 55, a repetition of the last two lines of chapter 30, have been removed.
·         The first line of chapter 60 has been moved to the start of chapter 59.
·         Chapter 64 is split into two chapters, 64a and 64b.
·         In chapter 64a the order of the second and third paragraphs is reversed.
·         The last four lines of Chapter 67 have been moved to the start of Chapter 68.