Skip to main content

Full text of "Laozi Dao De Jing And Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching 2005"

See other formats







Laozi 


DAODE JING 


Lao Tau 


TAO TE CHING 


Introduction 
Chronology 
A Note on Transliteration 


PARALLEL TEXT 





Notes 


The giant statue of Laozi, 


located north of Quanzhou Further Reading and Links 
Fujian province, China 


[In the translation, the term NOTE indicates a further explanation or 
discussion of a particular crux. Click on the term for an immediate 

transfer to that discussion, and then on RETURN to come back to the 
translation]. 


© www.tclt.org.uk 2005 

















INTRODUCTION 


This new translation of the Daode jing develops the experiment in 
translation that was initiated in 2004 in the version of Matsuo Basho’s 
Oku no hosomichi [The Narrow Road to the Far North]. Since both 
translations have a common starting point, it is worth rehearsing briefly 
the source of the experiment. 


One of the most compelling accounts of poetry I heard as an under- 
graduate student was a reading by Christopher Logue from what was then 
his recently published translation of Book 16 of Homer’s Iliad. Logue’s 
version sounded with an enormous, visceral power. It leapt, twisted, 
invented, clashed, modernised, contorted, visualised — in ways that made 
all other translations of the poem seem staid and bland. Since then, it has 
become clear that this dramatic and verbal energy was no isolated tour de 
force by a young poet. Forty four years later, Logue’s radical approach to 
translating the poem (All Day Permanent Red, 2003, a rendering of the 
first battle scenes in Books 5-8) retains all of its earlier power to wrench 
and dislocate the original into a contemporary poetic idiom. There is, 
however, one aspect of the translation that, then as now, is likely at the 
very least to bemuse, if not actually to shock. Logue cannot read ancient 
Greek, not a word of it. He has created his Iliad by consulting already 
existing renderings, developing a sense of what the original is saying, and 
then taking off to create his own version. In the words of one reviewer, on 
the surface at least ‘it’s like learning of a deaf man who prepared himself 
to conduct Stravinsky by watching Fantasia’. 


However quixotic or foolish Logue’s task may seem, though, the 
unquestionable power and richness of the result raises a fundamental 
question: to what extent, if any, is it possible to translate from a language 
of which one has little or no knowledge? Is it simply impossible? Or will 
such a version have to rely upon so many extraneous aids (numerous 
other translations, massive resort to commentaries and dictionaries, 
constant oversight by native speakers of the original language, and so 
forth) as to drown any individual voice in what will be essentially the 
translation of a collective? If these supports are not available, will such a 
text inevitably have to be loose paraphrase or imitation or re-composition 





INTRODUCTION 


because the complex connotations of the original cannot be understood? 
Or may there be some means by which all these barriers can be 
surmounted, and the original text presented in a close, faithful and 
resonant way? 


This avowedly experimental translation of the Daode jing raises all of the 
questions mentioned above; and while it may not answer all of them, it 
attempts at least to scrutinise, test and explore them. The personal journey 
may be worth describing briefly. At the very beginning of drafting the 
translation, I knew not a word of Chinese. I had for years been interested 
in the text of the Daode jing, and had read widely in the more than a 
hundred translations into English that had appeared since the middle of 
the 19th century. And the work’s momentousness had long been known, 
as one of the central statements in world religion and philosophy that had 
survived for well over two millennia. But of the language in which it was 
written, I knew nothing. 


Such ignorance might seem problematic enough in a translation from a 
contemporary European language with a similar script and basic 
structure. But from a language well over two thousand years old, and with 
a demonstrably different script and structure, the ignorance might seem 
insurmountable. Even a cursory reading in ancient Chinese is enough to 
highlight quite radical differences between it and English. As has been 
widely recognised, ancient Chinese is a conceptual rather than a 
perceptual language. Whereas the perceptual languages of the Western 
world identify issues of time (past, present, future), of number (singular, 
plural), of person (subject or object; or first, second and third person), of 
part of speech (noun, verb, adjective), ancient Chinese does none of this. 
The characters of the Daode jing are uninflected. They do not offer any 
differentiation between singular and plural, between definite and 
indefinite articles, or between nouns, verbs and adjectives. There are no 
tenses, and little apart from context to distinguish subject from object. 
These uncertainties are exacerbated by the omission of pronoun subjects 
(he/she/you/it), and of connectives, conjunctions, and copulas 
(and/but/when/whilst/is/are). Visual clues to structure and meaning (such 
as punctuation, capitalisation, paragraphing) are minimal or non-existent. 
And the text can be written either vertically or horizontally, or can be 
romanised according to two different systems (offering either the 
traditional Wade-Giles, or the more modern pinyin, spellings and implied 
pronunciations [see section on transliteration]). In combination, all these 
features might seem to make for a total impenetrability — a language 
rooted in paradox and ambiguity, able to be interpreted in a number of 


ili 














INTRODUCTION 


different ways, and understandable, if at all, only after a lifetime’s 
immersion. 


The Daode jing, however, tightens the screw even more than this. 
Whether interpreted as a book of religious teachings, or a political or 
sociological treatise, or a personal philosophical guide, it has the shape of 
a loosely gathered anthology rather than of a clearly structured text. It 
seems not so much to evolve as to revolve. The 81 sections into which it 
is conventionally organised present, not only a highly terse and 
compressed utterance, but also jump without warning between what seem 
unconnected ideas, themes, or images. To take a single example, section 
27 presents five distinct ideas: 


i) skill, achievement, or excellence, do not rely upon 
conventional attributes; 

ii) ‘therefore’, people who are enlightened care for the whole of 
the animate and inanimate universe; 

iii) this is known as following the Light; 

iv) ‘therefore’, the nature of teaching is paradoxical; 

v) this is a fundamental lesson of the DAO. 


Despite the attempt to create some sort of connectedness by the 
characters yi and gu (meaning ‘therefore/hence/and so’), they 
paradoxically serve only to heighten the separations between the five 
ideas. In passages like this, the effect created often seems at best 
aphoristic, at worst cryptic beyond all penetration. More even than this, 
the Daode jing repeats a number of crucial terms, which stretch the very 
nature of language to breaking-point and beyond. As the celebrated first 
six characters of the text state, if indeed the very nature of the dao is that 
it cannot be expressed in language, what word or sign could ever be its 
signifier? 


Given this overall context, there are two related ways in which the 
challenge of translating the Daode jing has been taken up, and each is 
worth developing in a little detail: 


other translations 


Since the first translation of the Daode jing into English in 1868, well 
over a hundred versions of the entire work have been published, of which 
at least a quarter are currently [2005] available. As the drafting began, ten 


iv 





INTRODUCTION 


of these versions were chosen for particularly detailed scrutiny, and 
placed alongside each other at every step of the way. Such collation 
allowed two contrasting features to emerge: the lowest common 
denominators that some, many, or all the versions shared, but also the 
differences in diction, phrasing, and tone between them. Consider, for 
instance, a collation of the final eight characters of the first section. In 
pinyin romanisation, they read: 


xuan zhi you xuan 
zhong miao zhi men 


Ten versions from the last half-century translate these characters as 
follows: 


Mystery upon mystery — 
The gateway of the manifold secrets 


Deeper and more profound, 
The door of all subtleties 


Profoundly and profoundly it is the entrance 
From which come all wonders 


Darkness within darkness, 
The gate to all mystery 


Mystery of mystery, the door to inwardness 


Darkness within darkness, 
The gateway to all understanding 


the Profundity of the Profound, 
the Gate of the Collective Subtlety 


Mystery upon Mystery 
The womb giving birth to all of being 


It is the path to all wonder, 
the gate to the essence of everything! 


Profound upon profound, it is the portal to all intricacies 














INTRODUCTION 


The shared denominators here can be readily identified: 


door/gate/gateway/entrance/portal 
deep/profound/dark 
darkness/mystery/secret 
intensification (darkness within darkness, profound upon 
profound) 
universalisation (all wonders, all understanding) 


These common features, however, can resonate very differently. It is not 
simply that ostensible synonyms (door/gate/gateway/portal) vary 
considerably in connotation, but that the context in which they are placed 
differs quite radically from one translation to another. In these ten 
versions, the doors/gates/portals lead to 


the manifold secrets 

all subtleties 

all wonders 

all mystery 

inwardness 

all understanding 
Collective Subtlety 

all of being 

the essence of everything 
all intricacies 


Although some of these phrases may seem to evoke a similar general 
entity or condition, they may evoke, much more, substantial differences 
in reading. Are ‘all intricacies’ (and what are they?) really similar to ‘all 
wonders’? Is ‘inwardness’ really similar to ‘all of being’? Is the 
capitalised ‘Collective Subtlety’ (and what does that mean?) really 
similar to ‘all understanding’? 


Such analysis of both the common and the individual features in different 
translations soon brings to light the strengths and weaknesses of each. 
Misleading connotation here; needlessly obscurantist diction there. 
Resonant phrasing here; natural, unforced cadence there. And as word is 
compared with word, phrase with phrase, a growing judgment develops, 
both conscious and intuitive, about what the Chinese original is saying, 
and about how it can best be translated into English. 


vi 





INTRODUCTION 


word-for-word translations 


In addition to the general support provided by the many translations 
above, there is a further resource: word-for-word versions that present 
each Chinese character against an English equivalent at every step of the 
way. Sometimes, only one English equivalent is provided. Sometimes, 
and much more valuably, a listing of synonyms is provided that evokes 
the shades of meaning either present or implied in the original. A single 
example will show how useful such juxtaposition can be: 


Pinyin English equivalents 
romanisation 


shan good / excellent / skilful / one adept at / well- 

xing traveller / walker / runner / to step / to go / travelling / walking / path 
wu no / without / * [leaves] no 

zhe track / rut / wheel ruts 

ji trace / footprints / hoofprints or vestiges / results 

shan good / excellent / skilful / one adept at / well- 

yan speaker / speech / words / talking 

wu no / without / “ [leaves / makes / reveals] no 

xia flaw / blemish / slip-ups / imperfection “ [for / for finding] 

zhe error / attack / reproach 

shan good / excellent / skilful / one adept at / well- 

shu counters / counting / reckoner / accountant / calculation / analysis / plan 
bu no / not / without / does not 

yong use / utilise / make use of 

chou counting / tally / calculate / counter 

ce bamboo slips / counting rods / calculator 


This illustration, the details of which are derived in large part from 
Jonathan Star’s excellent edition of the Daode jing [see Further Reading 


Vii 














INTRODUCTION 


and Links], comprises the opening of section 27. What such a listing of 
synonyms valuably provides is a sense of the connotative range that 
resonates around each Chinese character. Sometimes, the range seems 
relatively narrow, as with the synonyms for yong: ‘use / utilise / make use 
of’. Sometimes, it is much wider, as with ‘counters / counting / reckoner / 
accountant / calculation / analysis / plan’ as possible interpretations of 
shu. But always, each cluster of synonyms marks out the field of 
reference within which the translator must choose the most telling 
English equivalent. 


the present translation 


On these foundations and resources, the present translation has been built; 
and it is worth identifying now its major features: 


conciseness and expansiveness 

The standard edition of the Daode jing comprises approximately 5,280 
characters, all of them monosyllabic in sound, and almost all of them 
evoking a sense of terse, compacted utterance. An immediate question for 
any translator is whether to strive for a similar compression in English, 
even if such compression sometimes leads to ambiguity or obscurity, or 
whether to allow verbal expansions upon the original where meaning 
would be helpfully clarified. The range of response to this question can 
be well illustrated by the number of English words that nine translators 
use to render section 1. The Chinese original comprises 59 characters. 





John Heider (1985) 189 (+ 220%) 
Stan Rosenthal (1984) 165 (+ 180%) 
Tormond Byrm (1997) 161 (+ 173%) 
Jonathan Star (2001) 135 (+ 128%) 

D.C. Lau (rev. 1989) 95 (+ 61%) 

Peter Merel (1995) 86 (+ 46%) 

John C.H. Wu (1961) 82 (+ 39%) 
Stephen Hodge (2002) 81 (+ 37%) 
Stephen Addis and 57 (— 4%) 


Stanley Lombardo (1993) 


The contrasts here between three different approaches are very marked. 
The large number of words for the first group cannot, I think, be 


Vili 





INTRODUCTION 


interpreted as anything other than a desire to elaborate upon the original 
text — whether to clarify or paraphrase its meaning, or to contemporise its 
references, or to explain its implications and obscurities. The number of 
words in the second group might largely be accounted for by the simple 
need to add in English those inflexions, connectives, conjunctions, 
pronouns, and so forth, omitted in the Chinese. The fact that the third 
group actually uses two fewer words than in the original reveals the desire 
to capture the staccato rhythms and terse diction of the original, even if 
the result may sometimes be cryptic in expression. 


In this version, I have aimed for the terseness of the third group (valuing 
for instance Anglo-Saxon monosyllables before Latinate polysyllables), 
but in an intelligible and resonant English that corresponds to the effect of 
the second group. The 5,280 characters of the original are translated here 
into approximately 7,720 words (+ 46%), a proportion similar to that of 
the second group. I have not sought to paraphrase or explain or expand 
upon the original text, but rather to translate it— and in a spare yet 
cadenced language. In other words, the translation aims for a simplicity 
of utterance, recognising nevertheless that there are occasions when 
nothing is more cryptic than simplicity. 


connectedness 

The problems created by the disconnections in a number of sections have 
already been identified. Sometimes, the jumps between different ideas are 
small, but sometimes they present demonstrable illogicalities. Previous 
translations have often tried to blur the disjunctures by keeping to the 
same tense or perspective throughout the verse, by adding connective 
material, and especially by inserting words such as ‘hence’, ‘therefore’, 
‘thus’, ‘and so’, ‘that is why’. In this version, however, I have chosen to 
avoid such false connectedness, and to present separate sayings as 
separate. Real incongruity, in other words, has been preferred to 
contrived cohesiveness. 


gender 

As noted already, ancient Chinese has no personal pronouns to 
distinguish between ‘he’ and ‘she’, ‘him’ and ‘her’, ‘his’ and ‘hers’. 
Previous translations have responded to this issue in four different ways: 
by retaining a male-biased language throughout, by substituting a female- 
biased language throughout, by disconcertingly jumping from male to 
female in each successive section of the text, or by seeking a gender- 
neutral language, whether through pluralisation (‘they’, ‘them’ and 
‘those’ rather than ‘he’ and ‘she’) or generic terms such as ‘people’ and 
‘humanity’ (rather than ‘men’ and ‘mankind’). It is this last option that 


ix 














INTRODUCTION 


the present translation follows. What gender-neutral language creates is a 
universality of reference. These are not words addressed to men at a 
particular time, but to all people and for all times. 


stylistic patterns 

A notable feature of the Daode jing is the frequent use it makes of 
parallelism, antithesis, repetition, and paradox. Section 64 provides a 
good example of all four features in operation: 


gian yi chi 

qi wei zhao yi mou 
gi cui yi pan 

qi wei yi san 


mu sheng yu hao mo 
jiu ceng zhi tai 

gi yu lei tu 

gian li zhi xing 

shi yu zu xia 


(repetition of qi [that, what, things] and yi [easy]; parallel word order; 
contrast between mu [tree] and mo [seed]; paradox of gian li [a thousand 
miles] starting with zu [a single step]. 


This kind of patterning permeates the entire text, and is not difficult to 
render into English. Once the choice of phrase-shape or word-contrast has 
been made, all that is needed is to ensure that it is consistently applied. 
And so the Chinese text above can be rendered as 


It is easy to hold on to things at rest; 

it is easy to plan for things not yet seen; 
it is easy to shatter things that are fragile; 
it is easy to scatter things that are small. 


A tree as big as one’s embrace grows from a tiny shoot; 
a tower nine storeys high rises from a heap of earth; 
a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. 


There is one other kind of patterning, however, that is almost impossible 
to reproduce — and that is the sound of the ancient Chinese rhymes. 
Indeed, it may come as a surprise to many readers of the Daode jing to 
learn that more than half the text rhymes, although there is no single 
dominant pattern. Often, the rhymed passages are closely integrated with 





INTRODUCTION 


the unrhymed parts. The very fact, though, that only one English 
translation from over a hundred attempts to reproduce the rhymes 
indicates its practical impossibility. The obscurities of meaning discussed 
earlier would almost certainly be made even more impenetrable if further 
constrained by the need to find rhyming words. There is, nonetheless, one 
element of sound that I have tried to maintain: a persuasive rhythm and 
sense of cadence, often based upon an iambic metre. The quality of 
natural, unforced voice that is created valuably highlights the oral 
traditions from which the Daode jing derives, and emphasises that it is a 
text as much to be spoken out aloud as read silently. 


historical reference and image 

The Daode jing is different from much early Chinese philosophical 
writing in that it is entirely free from a narrative that identifies particular 
people or particular places or particular times. It presents, rather, general 
statements that have universal and timeless applicability. In the 
translation, I have tried to reproduce this kind of universalisation 
faithfully; and no attempt has been made to modernise or contemporise 
images and references. To take a single illustration, section 46 draws a 
contrast between a good, peace-loving country, where que zou ma yi fen 
[galloping horses fertilise the fields], and a destructive realm, where rong 
ma sheng yu jiao [horses for war breed in the countryside]. Recognising 
the historical distance created by such imagery, one recent version 
substitutes equivalent modern images. When a country is productive, 
‘factories make trucks and tractors’; when destructive, ‘warheads are 
stockpiled outside the cities’. This kind of modernisation may make 
certain images more accessible to a modern reader, but it is at the cost of 
localising what is universal, of westernising unduly ancient Chinese 
points of reference. And so here I have sought to maintain the difference 
of the Daode jing as well as its universality. Cultural references that place 
the text in ancient China (swords, gold, jade, yin, yang, wild buffalo, 
bows, emperor) have been retained. Where their meaning might be 
difficult to understand, an explanatory NOTE has been added. 


translatability and untranslatability 

By far the most imponderable aspect of translating the Daode jing are 
those crucial terms, repeated throughout the text, that stretch the very 
nature of language to breaking-point. In terms of the increasing problems 
they raise for the translator, five are worth discussing: wan wu, sheng ren, 
wu wei, te, and tao: 


xi 














INTRODUCTION 


wan wu 
these characters, which occur 21 times in the text, literally mean ‘[the] ten 
thousand things’, or ‘the myriad creatures’, and are thus rendered in many 
translations. But ‘ten thousand things’ and ‘myriad creatures’, particularly 
when prefaced with the definite article, seem likely to cause more 
perplexity than clarity for English-speaking readers. What or which ten 
thousand things, what or which myriad creatures? And doesn’t myriad 
have a rather ‘poetic’, rhetorical, even archaic, ring? The basic meaning 
of the words is ‘all living things’, ‘all life’, ‘the whole of creation’; and 
these are the phrases by which wan wu is translated here. 


sheng ren 

the phrase occurs over thirty times in the text, sheng basically meaning 
‘holy’ or ‘saintly’, and ren meaning ‘man’, woman’ or ‘person’. The 
phrase has been rendered in various ways: 


Holy man 

Sacred person 
Sage 

Ideal Sage 
Perfected Sage 
Enlightened Being 
Perfect Being 
Perfect Man 
Realised Being 
Saint 

Master 

Man of Calling 
Evolved Individuals 


None of these translations, however, seems satisfactory. Some signal a 
clear bias of gender (‘Man’, ‘Master’), while others generate an 
incongruous register (‘sage’ in contemporary English, for instance, 
evokes far more a light, ironic connotation than anything substantial or 
serious). Some versions suggest an undue Western focus (for example, 
‘saint’, with its inescapably Christian associations), while others produce 
cumbersome, almost opaque renderings (‘Realised Being’, ‘Evolved 
Individuals’). In the light of these translations, I render sheng ren as 


those who have attained enlightenment 


The rendering may, perhaps, seem slightly ‘wordy’ (five words against 
one or two); but it is also non-sexist, weighty without being ponderous, 


xii 





INTRODUCTION 


and places a proper emphasis upon the progress towards an Eastern 
religious goal: the attaining of enlightenment. 


wu wei 

these two characters can be literally translated as wu = non- / empty / 
without, and wei = action / doing / activity / effort. Together, they express 
a central concept in Daoism: the significance of ‘non-action’. The 
difficulty here is more one of alien connotation than of literal denotation, 
because ‘non-action’ does not imply ‘not doing anything’ or ‘being idle’ 
or ‘avoiding the things one ought to do’. Wu wei is in fact action, but 
action without any sense of ownership or ego or selfhood, action without 
any attachment to its results, action that is so much in accord with the 
universe that all human deeds are the actions of the universe itself. I try to 
convey the affirmative sense of the phrase, rather than any negativity, 
whenever it occurs. 


de 

with this term, one of three in the title of the text, the beginnings of 
untranslatability become evident. The character has been variously 
translated as ‘virtue’, ‘truth’, ‘moral force’, ‘power’, ‘integrity’, 
‘flawlessness’, ‘perfection’, ‘perfect-heartedness’; but abstract nouns like 
these poorly convey the dynamic behind the word. Te is all of these 
things, but it is also the manifestation, realisation and expression of them 
— enacted in one place, one form, one action, one revelation. And so the 
sense of the character is not so much ‘perfect-heartedness’ as ‘perfect- 
hearted action’, not so much ‘flawlessness’ as ‘the flawless expression of 
the heart’. Moreover, de has a further meaning: it is guidditas 
(‘whatness’), the essence that gives each thing its unique characteristics, 
that makes it what it is and not another thing. And so the word has not 
only ethical, human connotations (‘virtue’, ‘integrity’, and so forth) but 
also profound philosophical connotations (the quiddity of things). Given 
all these complexities, de is one of only two words in the text that it has 
seemed best to leave untranslated. 


dao 

the other word is, of course, dao itself. Earlier attempts to render the 
character have included ‘the Absolute’, ‘the Eternal’, ‘the One’, ‘God’, 
‘the Way’, ‘Supreme Reality’, ‘the Mind’, as well as the literal meaning 
of ‘path’, ‘way’, or ‘road’. But every attempt to express dao in words is 
naturally self-defeating. If the very nature of the dao is that it cannot be 
expressed in language, that it is attributeless, what word or sign could 
ever be its signifier? It is not simply that there is no English equivalent 
for dao, but that there is no Chinese equivalent either. In a very real 


xiii 














INTRODUCTION 


sense, dao is untranslatable even into Chinese. The closest equivalent 
might be ‘xxxxxxx’, or ‘0’ (zero-ness), or simply ‘ > (a blank 
space). After considering all these possibilities, however, dao has been 
chosen as the term which best evokes the unnameable essence without 
naming it. 


conclusion 


Whether this translation of Laozi’s Daode jing has proved or disproved 
the possibility of translating from a language of which one has little or no 
knowledge, is for individual readers to determine. The best judges, 
presumably, will be those readers who are totally bi-lingual, as sensitive 
to every register and nuance of classical Chinese as they are of 
contemporary English. For myself, I began drafting the translation even 
more sceptical than at the start of Basho’s Oku no hosomichi. Without 
even a basic narrative line to anchor any direction or meaning, I thought it 
would be impossible to render the Daode jing coherently and resonantly. 
And yet a translation has emerged and is here. At the beginning of this 
introduction, I quoted the words of one reviewer about Christopher 
Logue’s version of the Iliad: ‘it’s like learning of a deaf man who 
prepared himself to conduct Stravinsky by watching Fantasia’. My final 
position, I hope, may be of a partially hearing man who prepared himself 
to conduct Stravinsky by discovering, at least, how to read a musical 
score. 


Tim Chilcott 
October 2005 


xiv 





CHRONOLOGY 


between 7th and text is gradually formed, different parts of it passing 

2nd centuries BCE orally and then in writing through numerous 
anonymous speakers and scribes. As the work 
evolves, parts are added, taken away, mistranscribed, 
lost, re-interpreted, in a constant process of 
development by different contributors. The most 
likely period for the assembly of the text is generally 
considered to be the late fourth or early third century 
BCE. 


circa 500 BCE a legendary account speaks of one Laozi [Lao Tsu], 
who was keeper of the royal archives in the state of 
Chou in the lower Yangtze valley. His counsel is said 
to have been sought by the younger Confucius (551— 
479 BCE). Finally disenchanted by the decline of 
Chou, Laozi sets out westward to leave the place for 
ever when he is asked by the guardian of the Western 
pass, Yin Hsi, to leave some written expression of his 
thinking, which he does at one sitting. He then crosses 
the frontier, never to be heard of again. This account, 
first recorded at the beginning of the first century BCE, 
has remained popular, but is almost certainly 
apocryphal, not least in the ascribed authorship of the 
Daode jing to a single, named writer rather than an 
unnamed collective. 


lst century CE the division of the material into two books (the Dao 
jing and the De jing) and into 81 sections probably 
occurs during this period. 


before 249 CE a precocious young scholar, Wang Bi [Wang Pi] 
(226-49 CE), writes a commentary on the Daode jing, 
which includes a copy of the text, presumably the 
most authoritative version available at the time. This 


XV 














CHRONOLOGY 


text remains the standard version today. Two other 
texts recently found at Mawangdui are of an earlier 
date (206 BCE) and interestingly start with section 38 
rather than section 1. But overall they amplify and 
clarify, rather than supersede, the text in Wang Bi. 


7th century CE text is translated into Sanskrit, and taken to India by a 
Buddhist monk, Xuanzang (596-664 CE). 


1778 one Matthew Raper presents a Latin version of the 
Daode jing, produced by Jesuit missionaries in China, 
to the Royal Asiatic Society. This version is the 
earliest known Western translation of the text. 


1842 the next earliest Western translation, by Stanislas 
Julien, appears in French. 


1868 the first translation into English, by John Chalmers, is 
published, to be followed by those of Frederic Balfour 
(1884) and James Legge (1891). 


1870 the first translation into German, by Victor von 
Strauss. 


late 19th century — over 250 translations into European languages 


present appear, with well over 100 into English [see Further 
Reading and Links section] 


xvi 





TAO TE CHING or DAODE JING: 
a note on transliteration 


From the mid-19th century until relatively late in the 20th, the major 
system for transliterating Chinese characters into romanised letters was 
the Wade-Giles system. Created by Thomas Wade in the mid-19th 
century, and modified by Herbert Giles in his Chinese English 
Dictionary, 1892, rev. 1912, it became the world standard for much of the 
20th century. Increasingly during that period, though, the sense developed 
that Wade-Giles, however useful for Chinese specialists, was less useful 
and intuitive for non-specialists, and that it was of limited help in 
teaching the speaking and pronunciation of Chinese. In 1958, the 
People’s Republic of China approved a new system of romanisation, 
pinyin, based on the pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese; and this is the 
transliteration that is more and more becoming the world standard. The 
difference between the two systems can be quickly discerned in these 
items: 


Wade-Giles pinyin 

Mao Tse-tung Mao Zedong 
Peking Beijing 

Tao Dao 

Tao Te Ching Daodejing 

I Ching Yi Jing 


Although the Wade-Giles system is perhaps still more instantly 
recognisable in the case of the current text (Tao te ching rather than 
Daode jing was an almost universal rendering in the 20th century), I have 
chosen to romanise the Chinese original into modern pinyin; and this is 
the transliteration that follows the Chinese on every left-hand page of the 
text. Pinyin comes closer to rendering the sound of the character, and it 
will soon become the standard system world-wide of the romanised 
transliteration of Chinese characters. 


xvii 














DAODE JING 


oe 
BAS , FFE. 
408 , RG. 
PRE RK ith Ze: 
AfeM28. 
WHR , ARMAw. 
BAR , ARAA. 
maa nmMes , 
alas 2 Ko 
KZZRZ , 
AAR ZPI0 


1 
dao ke dao, fei chang dao; 
ming ke ming, fei chang ming. 
wu ming tian di zhi shi; 
you ming wan wu zhi mu. 
gu chang wu yu, yi guan qi miao; 
chang you yu, yi guan qi jiao. 
ci liang zhe tong chu er yi ming. 
tong wei zhi xuan, 
xuan zhi you xuan, 
zhong miao zhi men. 





TAO TE CHING 


The Way that can be spoken of 
is not the changeless DAO. 


The name that can be named 
is not the changeless Name. 


Namelessness: the blank that was before both heaven and earth. 


Naming: the mother of all living things. 


To understand the mysteries of DAO, empty yourself of all desire; 


to understand its outward forms, fill yourself with all desire. 


DAO and the world flow from the same source, but differ in name. 
Their oneness is a mystery, a mystery upon a mystery, 


the gateway to the essence of everything that is. 














DAODE JING 


— 
RP RARZAR , HC, 
BAS ZA , MRE. 
BRME ,BAWK , REMY, SIMA , SBA , BAe , 
Eth. 
EABARBRALZS  TITSZA , BUM, EMA, AM 
eS , WM Ie. 
AME , BARA, 


2 
tian xia jie zhi mei zhi wei mei, 
sie yi; 
jie zhi shan zhi wei shan, 
si bu shan yi. 
gu 
you wu xiang sheng, 
nan yi xiang cheng, 
chang duan xiang xing, 
gao Xia xiang qing, 
yin sheng xiang he, 
qian hou xiang sui. 
shi yi sheng ren 
chu wu wei zhi shi, 
xing bu yan zhi jiao; 
wan wu zuo er fu shi, 
sheng er fu you, 
wei er bu shi, 
gong cheng er fu ju. 
fu wei fu ju, 
shi yi bu qu. 





TAO TE CHING 


The whole world recognises what is beautiful 
only because of ugliness. 
The whole world recognises what is good 


only because of sin. 


Being and non-being have a common birth. 
Hard and easy complement each other; 
long and short off-set each other; 
high and low are measured by each other; 
text and voice harmonise with each other; NOTE 


before and after follow one another. NOTE 


Those who have attained enlightenment 
act without acting 


teach without speaking. 


Ten thousand things arise; the enlightened make no claim on them; 
they give them life without possessing them; 
they nourish them without expecting gratitude; 


they finish what they have to do without claiming recognition. 


It is because they make no claim to recognition 


that they are recognised for ever. 














DAODE JING 


=z 
AaB, SE RRR, 
FRHSEZE , ERRAB, 
RADAR , SRDAFEL 


EUBA ZA, EHD , BRB, 


BRS , RAS. 
BE RRAR RK. 
CAATMHAMO , RRR. 


3 
bu shang xian, shi min bu zheng; 
bu gui nan de zhi huo, 
shi min bu wei dao; 
bu jian ke yu, 
shi min xin bu luan. 
shi yi sheng ren zhi zhi, 
xu qi xin, 
shi qi fu, 
ruo qi zhi, 
qiang qi gu, 
chang shi min wu zhi wu yu; 
shi fu zhi zhe bu gan wei ye. 
wel wu wel, 
ze wu bu zhi. 





TAO TE CHING 


If status is not praised 
people will not quarrel; 
if treasures are not prized 
people will not steal; 
if objects of desire are not displayed 


people’s hearts will not be troubled. 


So those who are enlightened govern by 
quietening the people’s hearts and filling up their bellies; 


stilling their ambitiousness and strengthening their bones. 


They show people how to live simply, without desires, 


and ensure the cunning do not dare to act. 


Do what needs no action, and order will prevail. 














DAODE JING 


Ty it 
Go, HALRB. 
WS, eMeR. 

teh MEL, EE , RE. 

BS vishe. 
BMH , RBZ 


4 
dao chang, 
er yong zhi huo bu ying. 
yuan Xi, 
si wan wu zhi zong. 
cuo qi rui, 
jie qi fen; 
he qi guang, 
tong qi chen; 
zhan xi, 
si huo cun. 
wu bu zhi shui zhi zi, 
xiang di zhi xian. 





TAO TE CHING 


ry 


DAO is an emptiness 
but to use it will not drain it. 
DAOis fathomless 


but is the origin of everything that is. 


It blunts sharp edges 
untangles knots 
softens glare 


and merges with the dust of all the world. 


Profoundly still, it has always been like this. 
I do not know whose child it is. 


It images the forefather of God. 














DAODE JING 


a 


RwAE , ABWABA: 


BATE , ABHAB. 
Aii2e , RRS TS ? 
EMA , MAH. 
SHAE, FUT H. 


5 
tian di bu ren, 
yi wan wu wei chu gou; 
sheng ren bu ren, 
yi bai xing wei chu gou. 
tian di zhi jian, 
qi you tuo yue hu? 
xu er bu qu, 
dong er yu chu. 
duo yan shu giong, 
bu ru shou zhong. 


10 





TAO TE CHING 


Heaven and earth are never partial; 
they treat all living things dispassionately. NOTE 
Those who are enlightened are never partial; 


they treat all people equally. 


The space between the heavens and the earth is like a bellows, 
empty and yet inexhaustible. 


The more it works, the more it makes come out. 


Too many words will bring about exhaustion. 


Better to hold fast to the centre within. 


11 














DAODE JING 


A 
BERT , BBAH. 
BHCZPY , aw AAR. 
Mina , ZH. 


6 
gu shen bu si, 
shi wei xuan pin. 
xuan pin zhi men, 
shi wei tian di gen. 
mian mian ruo cun, 
yong zhi bu qin. 


12 





TAO TE CHING 


6 


The spirit of the valley never dies. 


It is called the deep and hidden feminine. 


The opening to the deep and hidden feminine 
is called the root of heaven and earth. 


Lingering like gossamer, it always seems to be. 


Using it will never wear it out. 


13 














DAODE JING 


tH 
KRW. 

As RAAS , DRA , MARE. 
SABABRSMar , AR aMase. 
FARA ? 

PURE PK LAL. 


7 
tian chang di jiu. 
tian di suo yi neng chang qie jiu zhe, 
yi qi bu zi sheng, 
gu neng chang sheng. 
shi yi sheng ren 
hou qi shen er shen xian, 
wai qi shen er shen cun. 
fei yi qi wu si ye? 
gu neng cheng qi Si. 


14 





TAO TE CHING 


Heaven is eternal, and earth is everlasting. 
They can endure because they do not generate themselves. 


That is the reason why they last for ever. 


Those who are enlightened put their person last 
and it comes first; 
reject their selfhood 


and it survives. 


Is it not because they are without thought of self 


that they can thus fulfil themselves? 


15 














DAODE JING 


N\& 
teak. 
KBABMWHAS , BRAZAS , HILFE. 
Beit Sh, SEC, SS , REA, SEA, SH. 
REFS , MEL. 


8 
shang shan ruo shui. 
shui shan li wan wu er bu zheng, 
chu zhong ren zhi suo wu, 
gu ji yu dao. 
ju shan di, 
xin shan yuan, 
yu shan ren. 
yan shan xin, 
zheng shan zhi, 
shi shan neng, 
dong shan shi. 
fu wei bu zheng, 
gu wu you. 


16 





TAO TE CHING 


The greatest good is like water. 
Water is of benefit to every living thing 
and does not contend with them. 
It flows in lowly places disdained by all mankind, 


and so comes close to DAO. 


In where you live, choose solid ground; 

in how you think, go deep within your mind; 
in your relationships, show loving-kindness; 
in what you say, hold to the truth; 

in governing, be just; 

in how you work, do what is best; 


in what you do, be timely. 


What gives a house its value is where it is; 
what gives a mind its value is its depth; 

what gives relationship its value is its love; 
what gives words their value is their truth; 
what gives a government its value is its justice; 
what gives work its value is its skill; 


what gives action its value is its timeliness. 


Do not fight, and there will be no blame. 


17 














DAODE JING 


ne 
emB2, FMR. 
jmM eZ , KARR. 
SEME , RRS. 
Bama , FBR. 
WBRiB , KEE. 


9 
chi er ying zhi, 
bu ru qi yi; 
chuai er rui zhi, 
bu ke chang bao. 
jin yu man tang, 
mo zhi neng shou. 
fu gui er jiao, 
Zi yi qi jiu. 
gong cheng shen tui, 
tian zhi dao ye. 


18 





TAO TE CHING 


9 


To hold and fill a cup to over-flowing 
is not as good as stopping in good time. 
To whet a sword-blade to the sharpest edge 
cannot prevent that sharpness being lost. 
To fill a house with gold and jade 
will mean no-one can guard it safe. 
To have both wealth and status yet still be proud 


will bring about catastrophe. 


Complete your work and then stand back. 


That is the way of DAO. 


19 














4 iZ, 


DAODE JING 


+k 
Heikia— , SesBEF 2 
BAB , RMR ? 
SRA , ARIF ? 
SBROAB , RRA YT ? 
API , BEA 2 
ARAM , AeA ? 


B2,£MTA , RMBE. 
BALE. 
10 
zai ying po bao yi, 


neng wu li hu? 
tuan qi zhi rou, 
neng ru ying er hu? 
di chu xuan lan, 
neng wu ci hu? 
ai min zhi guo, 
neng wu wei hu? 
tian men kai he, 
neng wei ci hu? 
ming bai si da, 
neng wu zhi hu? 
sheng zhi xu zhi, 
sheng er bu you, 
wei er bu shi, 
zhang er bu zai, 
shi wei xuan de. 


20 





TAO TE CHING 


10 


Can you enfold your body and your soul in the One 
and then let go? 
Can you control the breath of life in you 
until you are as supple as a new-born child? 
Can you cleanse your inner vision 
so it is purified of stain? 
Can you love the people and rule the state 


in openness and humility? 


As heaven’s gates open wide then close, 
can you be like the mother bird? 
As your bright discerning comprehends all things, 


can you remain in innocence? 


Giving birth and nurturing, 

shaping things without possessing them, 
acting without expectation of reward, 
leading without domination — 


this is the primal power of DE. 


21 














DAODE JING 


+-# 
=+8-H, BHR, BELA. 
SUBS, BRR, BELA. 
EFMUAZ EHR, ELA. 
HAZ A) RL. 


11 
san shi fu gong yi gu, 
dang qi wu, 
you che zhi yong. 
shan zhi yi wei qi, 
dang qi wu, 
you qi zhi yong. 
zao hu you yi wei shi, 
dang qi wu, 
you shi zhi yong. 
gu you zhi yi wei li, 
wu zhi yi wei yong. 


22 





TAO TE CHING 


Thirty spokes come together in one hub; 

it is that empty space that makes the wheel turn round. 
Clay is shaped to make a bow]; 

it is the empty space that makes the bow] of use. 
Doors and windows are cut out to make a room; 


it is the empty space that makes the room of use. 


So benefit from what is here; 


make use of what is not. 


23 














DAODE JING 


+= 
AESABE: 
LSRARE 
BRBADR: 
BEM , a ADE, 
HEZSe , PATH. 
ZXBAABFAB , HARA. 


12 

wu se ling ren mu mang; 

wu yin ling ren er long; 
wu we ling ren kou shuang; 

chi cheng tian lie ling ren xin fa kuang; 
nan de zhi huo ling ren xing fang. 
shi yi 
sheng ren wei fu bu wei mu. 
gu qu bi qu ci. 


24 





TAO TE CHING 


12 


Too many colours will confuse the eye; NOTE 
too many notes will dull the ear; 
too many tastes will numb the palate; 


too much of the hunt and chase will make the heart go mad; 


Precious things can hold back progress. 
That is why those who are enlightened 
care for what is inside themselves 
not what they see outside. 


They renounce the latter, and choose what is within. 


25 














DAODE JING 


T== 
HEAR, AARAZ. 
{iste SA ? 
HAT , 824M, AZAR , SSA. 
mAKB AS ? 
BSMUBKSS , ABAD, REBRS , SAAB? 
BRARARKE , ATBAE: 
BUBARAKE , SUTRA. 


13 
chong ru ruo jing, 
gui da huan ruo shen. 
he wei chong ru ruo jing? 
chong wei xia, 
de zhi ruo jing, 
shi zhi ruo jing, 
shi wei chong ru ruo jing. 
he wei gui da huan ruo shen? 
wu suo yi you da huan zhe, 
wei wu you shen; 
ji wu wu shen, 
wu you he huan? 
gu 
gui yi shen wei tian xia, 
tuo ke ji tian xia; 
ai yi shen wei tian xia, 
tuo ke tuo tian xia. 


26 





TAO TE CHING 


13 


Favour and disgrace both cause anxiety. 


High rank, just like the body, causes great trouble. NOTE 


But what is meant by ‘favour and disgrace both cause anxiety’? 
When favour is bestowed upon the lowly, it causes apprehension, 
just as when it is withdrawn. 


This is what is meant by “favour and disgrace both cause anxiety.’ 


What is meant by ‘high rank, just like the body, causes great trouble’? 
The reason why we have great trouble is because we have a body. 


Without a body, what great trouble could there be? 


Whoever values the world as much as their body 
can be trusted to care for the world. 
Whoever loves the world as much as their body 


can be trusted with its guardianship. 


27 














DAODE JING 


+ne 
BLTR, BAM 
ROTM, ZAR 
W278 , ZAR. 
Ee, ATR , RRMA. 
HLAK, ATR, MASTS , GTM. 
LMRRLK , RMZR, VHC. 
O2TRRES , M2TRR 
WaLE ISLA. se, ZA. 


14 
shi zhi bu jian ming yue yi, 
ting zhi bu wen ming yue xi, 
bo zhi bu de ming yue wei. 
ci san zhe bu ke zhi jie, 
gu hun er wei yi. 
qi shang bu jiao, 
qi xia bu mei, 
sheng sheng bu ke ming, 
fu gui yu wu wu. 
shi wei wu zhuang zhi zhuang, 
wu wu zhi xiang, 
shi wei hu huang. 
ying zhi bu jian qi shou; 
sui zhi bu jian qi hou. 
zhi gu zhi dao yi yu jin zhi you, 
neng zhi gu shi, 
shi wei dao ji. 


28 





TAO TE CHING 


14 


You look at it but cannot see; 
its name is formlessness. 

You listen to it but cannot hear; 
its name is soundlessness. 

You reach out for it but cannot touch; 
its name is intangibility. 

These three things are indefinable, 


and so they intermingle in a single unity. 


The aspect that it shows is not dazzling; 
the aspect that it hides is not obscure. 
Stretching into boundlessness, it is unnameable, 
returning once again to nothingness. 
It is the formless form, 
the image that is imageless. 
It is the indefinable, 
the unimaginable. 
Go up to it; you will not see its face. 


Follow it behind; you will not see its back. 


Hold fast to the timelessness of DAO 
so you may master the realities of here and now. 
Understand the very first beginning, 


which is the thread that runs through all of DAO. 


29 














DAODE JING 


+EE 
AZEAESE , AWA, RFT. 
AMAA , MRAZ : 
BS , FSI, 
eS , ROM. 
ais , RAE 
RS , RARE. 
Re , HAs. 
Bs , RAS 
BS , RAB. 
FARE DAt ? 
RB. 
PURERIAZ ? 
By Ze. 
RULES , FRA. 
AMERA , MAMMA RK. 


15 
gu zhi shan wei shi zhe, 
wei miao xuan tong, 
shen bu ke shi. 
fu wei bu ke shi, 
gu qiang wei zhi rong: 
yu xi ruo dong she chuan, 
you xi ruo wei si lin, 
yan xi qi ruo rong, 
huan xi ruo bing zhi jiang shi, 
dun xi qi ruo pu, 
kuang xi qi ruo gu, 
hun xi qi ruo zhuo, 
dan xi qi ruo hai, 
liao xi ruo wu zhi. 
shu neng zhuo yi zhi? 
jing zhi xu qing. 
shu neng an yi jiu? 
dong zhi xu sheng. 
bao ci dao zhe bu yu ying. 


30 





TAO TE CHING 


I5 


The ancient ones who were well-versed in DAO 
were subtle and mysterious, deep beyond all knowing, 


so profound their minds could not be plumbed. 


Because they were unfathomable, 


all we can do is describe how they appeared: 


watchful like someone crossing icy streams; 
cautious like someone aware of danger; 
considerate like a welcome guest; 

yielding like a melting piece of ice; 

simple like an uncarved block of wood; 
spacious like an open valley; 


murky like a muddied pool. 


Who can take murky water and, 
by stillness, 
make it gradually come clear? 
Who can take what is in stillness and, 
by constant motion, 


make it slowly come to life? 


Those who embrace the DAO do not seek to be full. 


It is because they are not full that they can grow old 


and then be newly made. 


31 














DAODE JING 


fu wei bu ying, 
gu neng bi er xin cheng. 


32 





TAO TE CHING 


33 














DAODE JING 


tA 
UREA , SHER 0 
BMF , BARE. 
AWMEE , SRRAR. 
ERA , At. 
amas , DRA. 
FAR , RHE, A 
TR , BIE, EDK, KIB GA , RSF. 


pa 
itt 
ty 
1h 


16 
zhi xu ji shou jing du. 
wan wu bing zuo, 
wu yi guan fu. 
fu wu yun yun, 
ge fu gui qi gen. 
gui gen yue jing, 
shi yue fu ming. 
fu ming yue chang, 
zhi chang yue ming. 
bu zhi chang wang zuo xiong. 
zhi chang rong, 
rong nai gong, 
gong nai quan, 
quan nai tian, 
tian nai dao, 
dao nai jiu, 
mo shen bu dai. 


34 





TAO TE CHING 


l6 


So touch the utmost emptiness that there is, 
hold steadfastly to stillness, 

and you will see all things arise in unison 
as they merge back to perfect emptiness. 
All things will teem forth in their growth 


each one returning to its root. 


Returning to the root is to find tranquillity; 
this is known as returning to one’s destiny. 


Returning to one’s destiny is known as unchangingness. 


To understand unchangingness is known as enlightenment. 
Not to understand unchangingness leads to error and disaster. 
Understanding the unchangingness that embraces everything 


leads to dispassionateness. 


Dispassionateness leads to nobility, 
nobility to heaven, 
heaven to the DAO, 


the DAO to everlastingness. 


You will be free from danger to the end of your life. 


35 














DAODE JING 


+t 
ALE , FAA Z: 
Ak , MMB2HARK, RZ: 
HK , {820 
fate , AMR. 
KS , RRS. 
URSA, Ave: "RAR. 


17 
tai shang bu zhi you zhi, 
qi ci qin er yu zhi; 
qi ci wei zhi; 
qi ci wu zhi; 
xin bu zu yan, 
you bu xin yan! 
you Xi qi gui yan, 
gong cheng shi sui, 
bai xing jie wei wo zi ran. 


36 





TAO TE CHING 


7 


The best leaders are those whom people hardly know. 
Next best are those who are both loved and praised. 
Then worse are those who instil fear, 


and worst of all are those who are despised. 


When leaders do not trust enough, 
they are themselves not trusted. 

When they are quiet and choose their words with care, 
they accomplish all their tasks, achieve their goals, 


and everybody says, ‘Look at what we’ve done ourselves.’ 


37 














DAODE JING 


TAZ 
AUEE , ACE. 
Bw, AKA: 


AMPA , BER, 


BRSaL, ABE. 


18 
da dao fei, 
you ren yi. 
hui zhi chu, 
you da wei. 
liu qin bu he, 
you xiao Ci. 
guo jia hun luan, 
you zhong chen. 


38 





TAO TE CHING 


When the great DAO is lost to sight, 
codes of goodness and morality appear. 
When cleverness and shrewdness are produced, 
massive hypocrisy appears. 
When family relationships lose natural harmony, 
‘filial piety’ and ‘devoted parenthood’ arise. 
When there is strife and anarchy within the state, 


‘loyal patriots’ abound. 


39 














DAODE JING 


tA 
ERE , RAAT: 
M(H, RRS, 
AIDS A) , BMRA. 
WERUAM , FR. 
UD AB : 
RRilath , DERM, BSRE. 


19 
jue sheng qi zhi, 
min li bai bei; 
jue ren qi yi, 
min fu xiao ci; 
jue qiao qi li, 
dao zei wu you. 
ci san zhe yi wei wen bu zu, 
gu ling you suo zhu; 
jian su bao pu, 
shao si gua yu. 
jue xue wu you. 


40 





TAO TE CHING 


19 


Abandon sageliness, discard mere cleverness, 

and people will benefit a hundredfold. 
Discard morality and rectitude 

and people will return to natural love. 
Renounce all learnedness and ceremony 

and people will not be anxious any more. 
Root out craftiness and profiteering 


and thieves and robbers will disappear. 


Yet these four lessons are merely surface things. So let these other 
teachings follow: 

recognise simplicity; 

embrace a natural purity; 

have little thought of self; 


temper your desire. 


41 














DAODE JING 


=T# 
ME 2 SAP], AAAI L AA ? 
RZ, MARA? 
AZM , FARR 
RS , RARE | 
MARR , WEAF , MHEG. 
RAS , RARE, 
WS , MER ARE, 
fe tan, RR PITER 0 
DASBER , MRBAB. 
REAZD HR , Hs | 
BAH , RASS. 
ARE , BBR. 
RS , Aw, 25, Ait. 
BABB , HRB. 
RBATA ,mMARA. 


20 
wei zhi yue, xiang qu ji he? 
shan zhi yue, xiang qu ruo he? 
ren zhi suo wei bu ke bu wei, 
huang xi qi wei yang zai! 
zhong ren xi Xi, 
ru xiang tai lao, 
ru chun deng tai. 
wo du bo xi qi wei zhao, 
dun dun xi ru ying er zhi wei hai, 
lei lei xi ruo wu suo gui! 
zhong ren jie you yu, 
er wo du ruo yi. 
wo yu ren zhi xin ye zai! 
su ren zhao zhao, 
wo du hun hun. 
su ren cha cha, 
wo du men men. 
zhong ren jie you yi, 
er wo du wan si bi. 


42 





TAO TE CHING 


20 


How far apart are ‘yes’ and ‘no’? 
How much alike are ‘good’ and ‘bad’? 
Must I fear what others fear? 


My fear then would not have an end. 


The people all are full of joy 

as if partaking in a sacrificial feast, 

or going on an outing in the spring. 

I alone remain here calm. I show no sign, 

like a baby who has yet to smile, 

forlorn, with nowhere to go back to. 

The people now have all they want, and more; 


but I alone seem to be in need. 


Iam a fool. Iam so muddled and confused. NOTE 
Ordinary people are so very bright; 
I alone seem dull and dark. 
Ordinary people are so very sharp; 
I alone seem muddled and withdrawn. 
The people all have things to do; 
I alone seem stubborn and uncouth. 
I alone am different from others, 


suckling the Great Mother for my nourishment. 


43 














DAODE JING 


wo du yi yu ren, 
er gui si mu. 


44 





TAO TE CHING 


45 














DAODE JING 


=+-® 
GZS , WEL. 
LAM , Hott. 
COKS , HAR, 
Koes , MAM 
BSR kat 
HAE RPA. 

ASRa, HERA, BRA 

FMAM LIE 7 Dit 


21 

kong de zhi rong, 
wei dao shi cong. 

dao zhi wei wu, 
wei huang wei hu. 

hu xi huang xi, 

qi zhong you xiang; 

huang xi hu xi, 
qi zhong you wu; 

yao xi ming xi, 
qi zhong you jing, 
qi jing shen zhen, 
qi zhong you xin. 

zi gu ji jin, 
qi ming bu qu, 
yi yue zhong fu. 
wu he yi zhi zhong fu zhi zhuang zai? 
yi ci. 


46 





TAO TE CHING 


2l 


The greatest virtue is to follow DAO, and DAO alone. 
As a thing, the DAO is vague and indistinct. 
Within it is a form, vague and indistinct. 
Within it is a substance, vague and indistinct. 
Within it is an essence, hidden and profound. 


This essence is completely true; within it lies its proof. 


From ancient times until today, 

its name has never been forgotten. 
By means of it, we see the origin of everything. 
How do I know the origin of everything? 


By means of it. NOTE 


47 














DAODE JING 


=4+=—8 
THAIS ERIE , SRB , mala, DRIG , SRR. 
PABAW-ARAEX. 
FAR , BAR: 
FBR , Be, 
FAR , RAD: 
FA , MR. 
RAUFS , RATRERZS. 
Aras HRS, &, SSR ! 

PAS TM EZ 0 


22 
qu ze quan, 
wang ze zhi, 
wa ze ying, 
bi ze xin, 
shao ze de, 
duo ze huo. 
shi yi sheng ren bao yi wei tian xia shi. 
bu zi jian gu ming; 
bu zi shi gu zhang; 
bu zi fa gu you gong; 
bu zi jin gu zhang. 
fu wei bu zheng, 
gu tian xia mo neng yu zhi zheng. 
gu zhi suo wei qu ze quan zhe 
qi xu yan zai? 
cheng quan er gui zhi. 


48 





TAO TE CHING 


22 


Yield, and you will be preserved; 
bend, and you will become straight; 
be empty, and you will be filled; 
grow old, and you will be renewed; 
have little, and you will gather much; 


have much, and you will lose your way. 


Because of this, those who are enlightened embrace the primal unity 


and offer up a model to the world. 


They do not display themselves, and so shine bright; 
they do not promote themselves, and so become illustrious; 
they do not boast, and so gain recognition; 


they are not arrogant, and so endure. 


It is because they do not compete 
that no-one in the world competes with them. 
The ancient saying, ‘Yield, and you will be preserved’, 
is not just empty words. 


Through them, that perfect wholeness can be restored to you. 


49 














DAODE JING 


x=+=z 
aA. 
METRE , RETR A. 
AAs ? 
ith. 

Awe RREA , MRFAF ? 
MRESTES , ATE 
@4 , ate 
KF , AFR. 
ATies , EMRE. 
ATTRA , BMREZ. 
AFA , AMHEZ. 
‘ET ER , ATER. 


23 
x1 yan Zi ran. 
gu piao feng bu zhong zhao, 
zhou yu bu zhong ri. 
shu wei ci zhe? 
tian di. 
tian di shang bu neng jiu, 
er kuang yu ren hu? 
gu cong shi yu dao zhe tong yu dao, 
de zhe tong yu de, 
shi zhe tong yu shi. 
tong yu dao zhe, 
dao yi le de zhi; 
tong yu de zhe, 
de yi le de zhi; 
tong yu shi zhe, 
shi yi le de zhi. 
xin bu zu yan, 
you bu xin yan! 


50 





TAO TE CHING 


23 


Speaking sparingly is quite natural. 

A whirlwind cannot last all morning; 

a rainstorm cannot last all day. 

What causes these? The heavens and the earth. 

If heaven and earth can’t make them last for long, 


then how much less mere humankind. 


Follow the DAO in everything you do, and you will be one with DAO. 
A person who is of the DAO identifies with DAO. 
A person who is of the DE identifies with DE. 


A person who is lost identifies with loss. 


Whoever identifies with DAO will be welcomed by the DAo. 
Whoever identifies with DE will be welcomed by the DE. 
Whoever identifies with loss will be welcomed by loss. 


If you do not trust, you won’t be trusted. 


51 














DAODE JING 


=+A 
BF YU, 
BBB FR, 
Be Ta: 
AEe te, 
BRA RU: 
ARATE. 
Heth ARREY ,Wke2 , RABAT. 


24 
qi zhe bu li; 
kua zhe bu xing; 
zi xian zhe bu ming; 
zi shi zhe bu zhang; 
zi fa zhe wu gong; 
zi jin zhe bu zhang. 
qi zai dao ye, 
yue yu shi zhui xing, 
wu huo wu zhi, 
gu you dao zhe bu chu. 


52 





TAO TE CHING 


24 


If you are on tiptoes, you cannot stand steady. 


If you straddle something, you cannot walk. 


Those who make a show will never shine. 
Those who are assertive will never be illustrious. 
Those who boast will never find achievement. 


Those who wallow in conceit will never last. 


To a person of the DAO, these things are like 
too much food or useless action. 
Everything disdains them, so those who seek the DAO 


reject them. 


53 














DAODE JING 


=+hE 
AMER , TAWA. 

ASE ,BUMtK, ATMS , TARAS. 
BARE ,. F2ZAE , BAZAAR. 
ABift , HAR, RAR. 

BURA , AA , wR, AMK.~ 
MmHeOA ,HABH-K. 

Ackit wk , Rihie , BHAA. 


25 
you wu hun cheng, 
xian tian di sheng. 
ji xi liao xi, 
du li bu gai, 
zhou xing er bu dai, 
ke yi wei tian di mu. 
wu bu zhi qi ming, 
zi zhi yue dao, 
qiang wei zhi ming yue da. 
da yue shi, 
shi yue yuan, 
yuan yue fan. 
gu dao da, 
tian da, 
di da, 
ren yi da. 
yu zhong you si da, 
er ren ju qi yi yan. 
ren fa di, 
di fa tian, 
tian fa dao, 
dao fa zi ran. 


54 





TAO TE CHING 


25 


There was a thing unformed and yet complete 
before the heavens and the earth were born. 
Silent, depthless, it stood alone, unchangingly, 


pervading everything that was, and inexhaustible. 


It can be thought of as the mother of the world. 
I do not know its name, 
and so I call it DAO. 
If forced to describe it, I can only call it ‘what is Great.’ 
‘Great’ means ‘ever-flowing’ ; 
‘ever-flowing’ means ‘reaching far away’; 


‘reaching far away’ means ‘returning to the source’. 


So DAO is great, 
heaven is great, 
the earth is great, 


and humankind is also great. 


There are four greatnesses in the universe, 


and humankind is one of them. NOTE 


Human beings emulate the earth; 
the earth emulates the heavens; 
the heavens emulate the DAO; 


the DAO emulates its self-becoming. 


55 














DAODE JING 


=TAE 
BARR , FARA. 
BUA FRAT TRS 
HARE , Hei. 
ARABRZE , MAREE? 
BAAR , RMAB. 


26 
zhong wei qing gen, 
jing wei zao jun. 
shi yi 
sheng ren zhong ri xing 
bu li zi zhong, 
sui you rong guan, 
yan chu chao ran. 
nai he wan sheng zhi zhu 
er yi shen qing tian xia? 
qing ze shi gen, 
zao ze shi jun. 


56 





TAO TE CHING 


26 


Gravity is the root of lightness; 


serenity the master of unrest. 


That is why those who are enlightened travel all day long 
and never leave the laden baggage-cart. NOTE 
Though there may be glorious sights to see, 
they stay calm and unconcerned. 
How could the ruler of ten thousand chariots 


behave light-heartedly towards the world? 


Act light-heartedly, and the root is lost. 


Act rashly, and the mastery is lost. 


57 














DAODE JING 
=—ttk 
=tT , Ra 
2s , RBG. 


BA, TARR, 

Srl, REM TA A. 

Sia , RMN TTA HH. 
BABAR ERA , RURRA 

ERY , RRR. 

we a 8A, 

RBA, BAZ. 

FEAF , BAZH. 
FRRM , FERS, HEA, 


Ean Se, 


27 
shan xing, wu zhe ji; 
shan yan, wu xia zhe; 
shan shu, bu yong chou ce; 
shan bi, wu guan jian er bu ke kai; 


shan jie, wu sheng yue er bu ke jie. 


shi yi 
sheng ren chang shan jiu ren, 
gu wu qi ren; 
chang shan jiu wu, 
gu wu qi wu. 
shi wei xi ming. 
gu 
shan ren zhe bu shan ren zhi shi, 
bu shan ren zhe shan ren zhi zi. 
bu gui qi shi, 
bu ai xi qi zi, 
sui zhi da mi. 
shi wei yao miao. 


58 





TAO TE CHING 


21 


Good travellers leave no track behind; 
good speakers make no slips; 


good counters need no abacus. 


Good locks do not need bolts or bars, 
yet no one can open them. 
Good knots do not use rope or cord, 


yet no one can loosen them. 


Those who are enlightened are always good at tending humankind, 
leaving nobody behind; 

Those who are enlightened are always good at tending things, 
leaving not a thing behind. 


This is known as ‘following the Light.’ 


The good are teachers of the bad; 

the bad provide the lesson for the good. 
Not to value one’s teacher, 

nor to care for one’s lessons, 


may seem very clever but reveals great delusion. 


This is an essential teaching of the DAO. 


59 














DAODE JING 


=tN\ 
SUSE, FH, ARP R. 
ARR, BATH. 
HetH , RATER. 
FBR, TRE, AKA. 
ARTA , BBG. 
Hehe , RATA. 
FRA, tHE, ARE. 
ARP , BRA. 
HEA , GHTRE. 
BAA, BAAZ , ABR. 
BA sl 


28 
zhi qi xiong, 
shou qi ci, 
wei tian xia xi. 
wei tian xia Xi, 
chang de bu li, 
fu gui yu ying er. 
zhi qi bai, 
shou qi hei, 
wei tian xia shi. 
chang de bu te, 
fu gui yu wu ji. 
zhi qi rong, 
shou qi ru, 
wei tian Xia gu. 
wei tian xia gu, 
chang de nai zu, 
fu gui yu pu. 
pu san ze wei qi, 
sheng ren yong zhi, 
ze wei guan zhang. 
gu 
da zhi bu ge. 


60 





TAO TE CHING 


28 


To know the male yet hold fast to the female 
is to be a channel for the world. 

If you are a channel for the world, 

you are never separated from the path of DE 


and so become just like a child again. 


To know the white yet hold fast to the black 
is to be a model for the world. 

If you are a model for the world, 

you never deviate from the path of DE 


and so return again to what is infinite. 


To know honour yet hold fast to humility 
is to be a valley to the world. 

If you are a valley to the world, 
the DE will be enough; 


you will return to the primal simplicity of uncarved wood. 


When the uncarved block is broken up, 
it is shaped into useful tools. 
In the hands of those who are enlightened, 


these tools become judges who endure. 


The finest rulers do not mutilate. 


61 














DAODE JING 


=thE 


RRMA M AZ, FRAFREC. 
AP tee , PAA. 
ABM, HARZ. 
) , RT SHE , LOK , SRG BLA , PSR. 
EABAKE , AF, AR. 


29 
jiang yu qu tian xia er wei zhi, 
wu jian qi bu de yi. 
tian xia shen qi, 
bu ke wei ye. 
wei zhe bai zhi, 
zhi zhe shi zhi. 
fu wu 
huo xing huo sui, 
huo xu huo chui, 
huo qiang huo lei, 
huo zai huo hui. 
shi yi 
sheng ren qu shen qu she qu tai. 


62 





TAO TE CHING 


29 


If you try to seize the world 
and shape it as you want, 
I tell you that you won’t succeed. 
The world is a sacred vessel, 
and nothing can be done to it. 
Tamper with it, and you will ruin it, 


lay hold of it, and you will lose it. 


In everything, you sometimes lead and sometimes follow. 
You sometimes breathe gently and sometimes breathe hard. 
You are sometimes strong and sometimes weak. 


You sometimes overcome and sometimes are destroyed. 


Those who are enlightened avoid extremes, 
avoid extravagance, 


avoid excess. 


63 














DAODE JING 


=+z 
DiIBEAES , FARMAT , RBHiR: 
AD ZPT , WRER. 
KEZm , DAWES, 
2RRMC , FAM. 
AMA , RHAK, RMA, RHE , RADA. 
MR , 2B, Hee. 


30 
yi dao zuo ren zhu zhe, 
bu yi bing qiang tian xia, 
qi shi hao huan: 
shi zhi suo chu, jing ji sheng yan, 
da jun zhi hou, bi you xiong nian. 
shan you guo er yi, 
bu gan yi qu qiang. 
guo er wu jin, 
guo er wu fa, 
guo er wu jiao, 
guo er bu de yi, 
guo er wu qiang. 
wu zhuang ze lao, 
shi wei bu dao, 
bu dao zao yi. 


64 





TAO TE CHING 


50 


Whoever rules a people according to the DAO 
will not use force against the world. 


Such things soon turn on themselves. 


Where armies once encamped, 
thorns and brambles grow. 
In the wake of mighty battles, 


famines always follow. 


Good commanders realise their aims, then stop. 
They do not try then to intimidate. 
They are resolved, but are not arrogant; 
they are resolved, but do not boast; 
they are resolved, but are not proud; 
they are resolved, but in a natural way; 


they are resolved, but do not overpower. 


Whatever uses force will then decay, 
for this is not an action of the DAO. 
Whatever goes against the DAO 


will soon come to an end. 


65 














DAODE JING 


=+—-& 
KAS , FHZH. 
REZ , MAIS E. 
ATBABA , ARRIBA, MRAHET ZH, 
HZ, SSCMAZ , RAL. 
BMS , MELA , SRA. 
KBBAS , MPASETRER. 
BSME ,wSMA. 
MYBEA, HEBEA , SAREBRZ. 
RAZR , AAR WZ , RRORERZ. 


31 
fu bing zhe bu xiang zhi qi, 
wu huo wu zhi, 
gu you dao zhe bu chu. 
jun zi ju ze gui zuo, 
yong bing ze gui you. 
bing zhe bu xiang zhi qi, 
fei jun zi zhi qi, 
bu de yi er yong zhi, 
tian dan wei shang. 
sheng er bu mei. 
er mei zhi zhe, 
shi le sha ren. 
fu le sha ren zhe, 
bu ke yi de zhi yu tian xia yi. 
ji shi shang zuo, 
xiong shi shang you. 
pian jiang jun ju zuo, 
shang jiang jun ju you, 
yan yi sang li chu zhi. 
sha ren zhi zhong, 
yi ai bei qi zhi, 
zhan sheng yi sang li chu zhi. 


66 





TAO TE CHING 


Ky) 


Even fine weapons are instruments of evil, 
loathed by everything. 


Whoever follows the DAO spurns them. 


When wise rulers are at home, they value the left and restful side; 


but when they are at war, they value the right and active side. 


Yet weapons are instruments of evil 
and not the instruments that wise rulers use. 


Only when essential will they resort to them. 


Peace and quiet are best of all 
and victory is no delight. 

To delight in victory is to delight in people’s slaughter; 
and whoever so delights will never gain 


what they desire in the world. 


In joyful times, the left side is preferred, 
in mournful times, the right. 

A second-in-command stands on the left, 
a general upon the right; 


this means a funeral is taking place. 


When multitudes of people are killed, they should be mourned, 


so that the victory itself becomes a funeral. 


67 














DAODE JING 


=+-—E 
ERRE. 

#haES | KR RE. 
KEARTZ , BMRA. 
Aww , LRH, RRZDMHAY. 
wHAB , BMRA , AMAL. 
RM LE A LAR GB. 
BEZEAE , MIIAZFLEB. 


32 
dao chang wu ming. 
pu sui xiao, 
tian xia mo neng chen ye. 
hou wang ruo neng shou zhi, 
wan wu jiang zi bin. 
tian di xiang he, 
yi jiang gan lu, 
min mo zhi ling er zi jun. 
shi zhi you ming. 
ming yi ji you, 
fu yi jiang zhi zhi. 
zhi zhi ke yi bu dai. 
pi dao zhi zai tian xia, 
you chuan gu zhi yu jiang hai. 


68 





TAO TE CHING 


32 


The DAO is forever nameless. 

The simple, uncarved block of wood is small, 
yet nothing in the world can master it. 

If kings and lords would follow it, 
all things would honour them. 

Heaven and earth would join in harmony; 
sweet rain would fall, 


and people would find harmony, unenforced. 


As soon as there are rules 

the naming of things begins. 
But when naming things begins, 

we ought to know where it should stop. 
When we know where it should stop, 


we Shall be free of danger. 


The DAO is to the world 
what great rivers and oceans 


are to rivulets and streams. 


69 














DAODE JING 


=+=8 
DASE , AMS, 
BASED , BBR. 

2H Bo 

BT sAS. 

FARMBA. 

MCAS. 


33 
zhi ren zhe zhi, 
zi zhi zhe ming. 
sheng ren zhe you li, 
zi sheng zhe qiang. 
zhi zu zhe fu, 
qiang xing zhe you zhi, 
bu shi qi suo zhe jiu, 
si er bu wang zhe shou. 


70 





TAO TE CHING 


53 


Those who understand others are intelligent; 
but those who understand themselves have true enlightenment. 
Those who master others are strong; 


but those who master what they are themselves have true power. 


Those who know when they have had enough are rich; 
those who persevere have inner strength; 
those who stay where they belong endure; 


those who die but are remembered gain immortality. 


gal 














DAODE JING 


=+azE 
AZsS ,RAAA. 

BMS ZmMEnte , DKMZA. 
KESBYMMNTA= , TEFA; 
BMREmMTA= , THA. 
DRRABAX , MREREX. 


34 
da dao fan xi, 
qi ke zuo you. 
wan wu shi zhi yi sheng er bu ci, 
gong cheng bu ming you. 
yi yang wan wu er bu wei zhu, 
ke ming yu xiao; 
wan wu gui yan er bu wei zhu, 
ke ming wei da. 
yi qi zhong bu zi wei da, 
gu neng cheng qi da. 


Ce? 





TAO TE CHING 


A 


The great DAO flows everywhere 
and reaches all things whether left or right. 
Everything that lives depends on it, 
and it does not refuse them life. 
It accomplishes its purposes 
but makes no claim to credit. 
It clothes and feeds all living things 


but does not want to master them. 


Forever free from all desire, it might be called ‘the Little’; 
and yet all living things return to it as home. 
It does not want to master them, 


and so it should be called ‘the Great’. 


Because it never strives for greatness, 


it achieves the great. 


73 











DAODE JING 





TAO TE CHING 
=+nz 55 
MAR, AE. EMS , ER, 
seeaeH Bt, 


Grasp the image of the Great and the world will come to you, 
2H , RERRK W2FER, B2FLA , ACKER. 


will come unharmed 


35 


in overwhelming happiness. 
zhi da xiang, 


tian xia wang. 


Music and fine food may make a traveller pause; 
yet words about the DAO 
wang er bu hai may seem bland and flavourless. 
an ping tai. 
le yu er, 
guo ke zhi. 
dao zhi chu kou, 


dan hu qi wu wei, 


If you look for it, it is imperceptible. 
If you listen for it, it is inaudible. 
shiahibagaqian, If you use it, it is inexhaustible. 
ting zhi bu zu wen, 
yong zhi bu zu ji. 
74 75 

















DAODE JING 


+A 
HERR , UB: 
HEARSE Z , ARR, 
HERE Z , UBB, 
HEARELIZ , WELZ o 

FE Ba RA 0 

FR 5S BS Bll Ge 

AMRDRT hl , Ai2Alet TARA. 


36 
jian yu xi zhi, 
bi gu zhang zhi; 
jiang yu ruo zhi, 
bi gu qiang zhi; 
jiang yu fei zhi, 
bi gu xing zhi; 
jiang yu duo zhi, 
bi gu yu zhi. 
shi wei wei ming, 
rou ruo sheng gang qiang. 
yu bu ke tuo yu yuan, 
guo zhi li qi 
bu ke yi shi ren. 


76 





TAO TE CHING 


56 


If you want to shrink something, 
you first must stretch it out. 

If you want to weaken something, 
you first must strengthen it. 

If you want to abandon something, 
you first must establish it. 

If you want to take something, 


you first must give it. 


This is called the mystery of enlightenment. 


The soft and weak will overcome the hard and strong. 


Just as fish should not be taken from the deep, 
a country’s weapons 


should not be shown to anyone. 


77 














DAODE JING 


=+tEz 


BERS  REAETZ , BMRA. 


{EME , Bi ZARA 2th. 
SEZ ZA, RMB RM. 
FRA , AihAg A IE. 


37 
dao chang wu wei, 
er wu bu wei. 
hou wang ruo neng shou zhi, 
wan wu jiang zi hua. 
hua er yu zuo, 
wu jiang zhen zhi yi wu ming zhi pu. 
zhen zhi yi wu ming zhi pu, 
fu jiang bu yu. 
bu yu yi jing, 
tian xia jiang zi ding. 


78 





TAO TE CHING 


37 


The DAO never acts, yet nothing is not done. 
If rulers could hold fast to it, 
all things upon the earth 


would be transformed spontaneously. 


If transformation should waken old desires, 

they would be calmed by the nameless, uncarved block. 
The nameless, uncarved block 

is but freedom from desire. 
Freedom from desire brings stillness, harmony, 


and all the world is naturally at peace. 


79 














DAODE JING 


whe 
Lets , ZUR 
TRRAB , ZURE. 
PRAT RUA: 
THRAMAUR. 
EEA ZR; 
LRAZMHAUA. 
lBAZMHAZE , REM. 
HAMAS, ASMA, ACHES, ABM. 
Kies , RMEZES, MAZE. 
Has , a2e , TAZ. 
ZUAXABHEE , FERS 
BAR, *tERS, 
KARA. 


38 
shang de bu de, 
shi yi you de. 
xia de bu shi de, 
shi yi wu de. 
shang de wu wei er wu yi wei. 
xia de wu wei er you yi wei. 
shang ren wei zhi er wu yi wei. 
shang yi wei zhi er you yi wei. 
shang li wei zhi er mo zhi ying, 
ze rang bi er reng zhi. 
gu 
shi dao er hou de, 
shi de er hou ren, 
shi ren er hou yi, 
shi yi er hou li. 
fu li zhe, 
zhong xin zhi bo er luan zhi shou. 
qian zhi zhe, 
dao zhi hua er yu zhi shi. 
shi yi da zhang fu 
chu qi hou bu ju qi bo, 


80 





TAO TE CHING 


58 


The greatest DE is not conscious of the DE, 
and so is truly DE. 
The lowest DE is always conscious of the DE, 


and so is truly without DE. 


The highest DE never acts, 
yet nothing is not done. 
The lowest DE is for ever acting, 


yet everything remains undone. 


Those of greatest kindliness act without ulterior intent. 
Those of greatest rectitude act with ulterior intent. 
Those of greatest propriety act, but when no one responds, 


they bear their arms and use brute force. 


When the DAO is lost, DE remains. 
When DE is lost, kindheartedness remains. 
When kindheartedness is lost, morality remains. 


When morality is lost, only etiquette is left. 


Etiquette is the veneer of loyalty and good faith 
and the beginning of disaster. 
Foresight is a flowery trapping of the DAo 


and the beginning of folly. 


Great people set their minds upon the substance, not the surface, 


on the fruit and not the flower. 


They reject the one and accept the other. 


81 














DAODE JING 


chu qi shi bu ju qi hua. 
gu qu bi qu ci. 


82 





TAO TE CHING 


83 














DAODE JING 


=tnrz 
B2ZE-4: 
Ris — Da: 
ih — DLR. 
HG-AAS. 
BE—-YUR: 
fRiS —LAAK FP IE. 
HR. 
RAE , RR, 
HH SRA BE , AEE. 
PPRRIARE , RK, 
BIRR , HEEB, 
RERARES , PER. 
MARA , LAT Ae. 
ERE RB M1. Hs. TFB. 
BL IELA RE 3 AN EB ? 
FEF ? 
RRRBRE. 
EAA ARR AO E 
IGM A. 
39 
x1 zhi de yi zhe 
tian de yi yi qing, 
di de yi yi ning, 
shen de yi yi ling, 
gu de yi yi ying, 
wan wu de yi yi sheng, 
hou wang de yi yi wei tian xia zhen. 
qi zhi zhi ye, 
tian wu yi qing jiang kong lie; 
di wu yi ning jiang kong fa; 
shen wu yi ling jiang kong xie; 
gu wu yi ying jiang kong jie; 


84 





TAO TE CHING 


39 


From ancient times, these things have attained a oneness with the DAO: 
heaven attains oneness and becomes clear; 
earth attains oneness and becomes serene; 
spirits attain oneness and become strong; 
valleys attain oneness and become full; 
all things attain oneness and become alive; 
tulers attain oneness and become just. 


It is oneness that makes them what they are. 


Without clarity, heaven would split; 

without serenity, earth would sink; 

without strength, spirits would dissolve; 

without fullness, valleys would run dry; 

without livingness, all things would be destroyed; 


without justice, rulers would be toppled. 


So greatness must have humility as its root, 
the high must have the low as its foundation. 
When rulers call themselves ‘alone’ or ‘desolate’ or ‘worthless’, 


do they not make humility their root? 


And so the ultimate renown is to be without renown; 


do not seek to shine like jade, but to drop down like a stone. 


85 














DAODE JING 


wan wu wu yi sheng jiang kong mie; 


hou wang wu yi gui gao jiang kong jue. 


gu 
gui yi jian wei ben, 
gao yi xia wei ji. 
shi yi hou wang zi wei gu gua bu gu. 
ci fei yi jian wei ben ye? 
fei hu? 
gu 
zhi shu yu wu yu. 
bu yu lu lu ru yu, 
luo luo ru shi. 


86 





TAO TE CHING 


87 














DAODE JING 


+e 
RA 2H, 
3418 2A. 
REFBWETA ,AETR. 


40 
fan zhe dao zhi dong, 
ruo zhe dao zhi yong. 
tian xia wan wu sheng yu you, 
you sheng yu wu. 


88 





TAO TE CHING 


AO 


The movement of the DAO is to return; 
the way of the DAO is to yield. 
Everything on earth is born of Being, 


but Being is born of the nothingness of DAO. 


89 














DAODE JING 


ra -+— 

LLM, BMTZ, 

hia, Bee, 

FEM , ARZ. 

FRE BB. 
HEB Z 

RS , EAE, REE, LEA AGES ET 
2, Ree 
BAER ATR ARMA ABAEASURE. | 
MERE AME, BAMA. 


41 
shang shi wen dao, 
qin er xing zhi. 
zhong shi wen dao, 
ruo cun ruo wang. 
xia shi wen dao, 
da xiao zhi. 
bu xiao bu zu yi wei dao! 
gu jian yan you zhi: 
ming dao ruo mei, 
jin dao ruo tui, 
yi dao ruo lei, 
shang de ruo gu, 
da bai ruo ru, 
guang de ruo bu zu, 
jian de ruo tou, 
zhi zhen ruo yu. 
da fang wu yu, 
da qi wan cheng, 
da yin xi sheng, 
da xiang wu xing. 
dao yin wu ming, 
fu wei dao shan dai qie cheng. 


90 





TAO TE CHING 


A 


When wise students hear about the DAO, 
they follow it with care. 
When ordinary students hear about the DAo, 
they sometimes believe in it, and sometimes doubt. 
When foolish students hear about the DAO, 
they laugh at it out loud. 
If they did not laugh at it, it would not be the DAo. 


There are these age-old sayings: 
the brightest way seems dark; 
the way forward seems like retreat; 
the way that is smooth seems to be rough; 
the highest goodness seems quite empty; 
the purest whiteness seems to be soiled; 
the vastest goodness seems insufficient; 
the staunchest goodness seems to be frail; 


the most solid reality seems to change. 


The greatest square has no corners; 
the greatest talents ripen late; 
the greatest music has no sound; 


the greatest images have no form. 


The DAO is hidden, beyond all name; 


and yet it is the DAO that nourishes and fulfils all things. 


91 














DAODE JING 


A+— 

+-— ,-4-— ,-—4=, =484. 

BYSERWS , FRUAA, 

AZzms Me 'M,. "Bi, "FB1. 
MEARE. 
Km , MRB2heR , Km ZMHe. 
AZMA , RMIRZ : 

BRER GRE , BRAAAR. 


42 
dao sheng yi, 
yi sheng er, 
er sheng san, 
san sheng wan wu. 
wan wu fu yin er bao yang, 
chong qi yi wei he. 
ren zhi suo wu, 
wei gu gua bu gu. 
er wang gong yi wei cheng. 
gu wu 
huo sun zhi er yi; 
huo yi zhi er sun. 
ren zhi suo jiao, 
wo yi jiao zhi: 
"qiang liang zhe bu de qi si", 
wu jiang yi wei jiao fu. 


92 





TAO TE CHING 


ry) 


The DAO gave birth to One. 
One gave birth to Two. 
Two gave birth to Three. 


Three gave birth to everything there is. 


Everything there is carries on its back the shade of yin NOTE 
and in its arms the sun of yang; 
and blends the vital breath of each 


to achieve a harmony. 


Nothing is more loathed by people than to be 
alone, or desolate, or worthless. 
Yet these are the very titles that 


kings and princes give themselves. 


By losing, one may gain. 


By gaining, one may lose. 


What others teach, I also teach: 
“The violent and strong will never die a natural death.’ 


That is the basis of my teaching. 


93 














DAODE JING 


A+=8 
REZBR , HEAR ZEB 
RA ARE. 
BEYARA ZA ix. 
FS ZA , RAZ, KRRBRZ. 


43 
tian xia zhi zhi rou 
chi cheng tian xia zhi zhi jian. 
wu you ru wu jian. 
wu shi yi zhi wu wei zhi you yi. 
bu yan zhi jiao, 
wu wei zhi yi, 
tian xia xi ji zhi. 


94 





TAO TE CHING 


NS 


The softest things in all the world 


can overcome the hardest things in all the world. 


Only Nothingness can penetrate spacelessness. 


That is why I understand the benefit of not acting. 
The teaching that is wordless, the benefit of not acting — 


seldom in the world are these things understood. 


95 














DAODE JING 


+ os 
2 a SAR ? 
5 Ba SAS ? 
SHLAA ? 
2M, ERUAE , SRBEC. 
AER , Miche, TARA. 


44 

ming yu shen shu qin? 
shen yu huo shu duo? 
de yu wang shu bing? 

shen ai bi da fei, 
duo cang bi hou wang. 

gu zhi zu bu ru, 

zhi zhi bu dai, 
ke yi chang jiu. 


96 





TAO TE CHING 


AA 


Which is more precious, fame or self? 
which is worth more, self or wealth? 


which is more harmful, winning or losing? 


The stronger your love, the greater the price; 


the larger your hoard, the heavier the loss. 


Knowing what is enough frees you from shame; 
knowing when you should stop frees you from danger. 


Only so can you live a long life. 


97 














DAODE JING 


+a 
KRAR , RAH. 
RRA , HAAR. 
KEAR , ADA, 
A Fat i ao 
REZ , GEA , BAA PIE. 


45 
da cheng ruo que, 
qi yong bu bi. 
da ying ruo chong, 
qi yong bu qiong. 
da zhi ruo qu, 
da qiao ruo zhuo, 
da bian ruo ne. 
zao sheng han, 
jing sheng re, 
qing jing wei tian xia zheng. 


98 





TAO TE CHING 


AS 


The greatest perfection seems imperfect, 
yet use will never wear it out. 
The greatest fullness seems quite empty, 


yet use will never drain it dry. 


The greatest straightness looks like crookedness, 
the greatest skill like clumsiness, 


the greatest eloquence like stammering. 


Restlessness defeats the cold, 


but stillness overcomes the heat. 


Serenity and calmness set the standard for the world. 


99 














DAODE JING 


ATAR 
APA , MEBUR. 
APRS , REET. 

WMRAT FAR: 
BRKT RF. 
WM, ARZE, BER. 


46 
tian xia you dao, 
que zou ma yi fen. 
tian xia wu dao, 
rong ma sheng yu jiao. 
huo mo da yu bu zhi zu, 
jiu mo da yu yu de. 
gu 
zhi zu zhi zu, 
chang zu yi. 


100 





TAO TE CHING 


NM 


When the world lives in accord with DAO, 
galloping horses fertilise the fields. 
When the world ignores the DAO, 


horses for war breed in the countryside. 


There is no greater curse than discontent, 
no crueller curse than gaining your desires. 
Know when enough is enough, 


and you’ll always have enough. 


101 














DAODE JING 


A+te 
FF , AXE: 
Fille , AIG. 
Hite , RA. 
EABAMIMA , FRM, KAMA. 


47 
bu chu hu, 
zhi tian xia. 
bu kui you, 
jian tian dao. 
qi chu mi yuan, 
qi zhi mi shao. 
shi yi sheng ren 
bu xing er zhi, 
bu jian er ming, 
bu wei er cheng. 


102 





TAO TE CHING 


4] 


Without stepping outside your door, 
you can know the world. 
Without looking out of your window, 


you can see heaven. 


The further you go, the less you will know. 
So those who are enlightened know without going, 


understand without seeing, 


accomplish without acting. 


103 














DAODE JING 


BTN 
ASA , AEA. 
ZB, ULBTRA, 
FLAT ARS. 
REAS , FEAMAE. 


48 
wei Xue ri yi, 
wei dao ri sun, 
sun zhi you sun, 
yi zhi yu wu wei. 
wu wei er wu bu wei. 


qu tian xia chang yi wu shi. 


ji qi you shi, 
bu zu yi qu tian xia. 


104 





TAO TE CHING 


AS 


Students of knowledge learn more each day; 
students of the DAO do less each day. 

Less and less is done until non-action is achieved. 

When nothing is done, 


there is nothing that is left undone. 


To win the world, you must not interfere; 


if you interfere, you will never win the world. 


105 














DAODE JING 


A+ 
BARRY) , DAR dbAD. 
BRAS 2, FRAME , FE. 
SeB EZ , MaaBIMaZ , Sia. 
BAER , RRS , AAP HRD , BARKZ. 


49 
sheng ren wu chang xin, 
yi bai xing xin wei xin. 
shan zhe wu shan zhi, 
bu shan zhe wu yi shan zhi, 
de shan. 
xin zhe wu xin zhi, 
bu xin zhe wu yi xin zhi, 
de xin. 
sheng ren zai tian xia, 
x1 Xi yan wei tian xia hun qi xin, 
bai xing jie zhu qi er mu. 
sheng ren jie hai zhi. 


106 





TAO TE CHING 


ag 


Those who are enlightened have no fixed heart or mind. 
The hearts and minds of ordinary people 


become their heart and mind. 


Those who are good they treat as good; 

those who are not good they also treat as good. 
This is the true DE. 

Those who are sincere they treat as sincere; 

those who are not sincere they also treat as sincere. 


This is the true DE. 


Those who are enlightened live in the world harmoniously, 
blending heart and mind into the world. 
The people fix their eyes and ears on them. 


To those who are enlightened, all are children. 


107 














DAODE JING 


at 
HE A FE. 
42 , TAS MZE, TASAZE , OZ, PTB=. 
RTM ? 
QAREZE. 
Bemis , RTTMAWR , ARTRAR, 
RRMREA , RRMA , RRMARD. 
RTM ? 
FREI. 


50 
chu sheng ru Si. 
sheng zhi tu shi you san, 
si zhi tu shi you san, 
ren zhi sheng dong zhi yu si di 
yi shi you san. 
fu he gu? 
yi qi sheng sheng zhi hou. 
gai wen shan she shen zhe, 
lu xing bu yu si hu, 
ru jun bu pi jia bing, 
si Wu suo tou qi jiao, 
hu wu suo cuo qi zhao, 
bing wu suo rong qi ren, 
fu he gu? 
yi qi wu si di. 


108 





TAO TE CHING 


50 


Between their birth and death, 
a third of people will be followers of life, 
a third will be followers of death, 
and a third will be just passing from life to death. 


Why? Because they cling to life too much. 


It is said that whoever excels in preserving their life 
can wander through the land 
and not meet tiger or wild buffalo, 
can cross a battlefield 
and not wear armour. 
In them, a buffalo will find no place to thrust its horn, 
a tiger no place to sink its claws, 


a weapon no place to lodge its blade. 


Why is this so? Because for them, there is no realm of death. 


109 














DAODE JING 


At—- 
B42, BBS WH , RZ. 
HUBWRTSEMAB. 
2S 425 , ARZHMFAM. 
RUB+ 2 , BB. 
R2ZA2,F2S2 , B2E2 EMNFA, ANTS, RMAF, 


ER Peo 


51 
dao sheng zhi, 
de xu zhi, 
wu xing zhi, 
she cheng zhi. 
shi yi wan wu mo bu zun dao er gui de. 
dao zhi zun, 
de zhi gui, 
fu mo zhi ming er chang zi ran. 
gu 
dao sheng zhi 
de xu zhi, 
zhang zhi yu zhi, 
ting zhi du zhi, 
yang zhi fu zhi. 
sheng er bu you, 
wei er bu shi, 
zhang er bu zai, 
shi wei xuan de. 


110 





TAO TE CHING 


Sl 


The DAO gives life to everything; 
DE nurtures it; 
the world of matter gives it shape; 


circumstances make it complete. 


So everything that is reveres the DAO 
and honours DE. 
But the DAO is revered and DE honoured, 


not because of a command, but naturally. 


So the DAO gives life to everything, 
and DE nurtures it, 
raises it, and brings it up, 
matures and completes it, 


feeds and shelters it. 


To give life without possessing, 
to act without expecting gratitude, 
to foster growth without controlling it — 


this is called the secret DE. 


111 














DAODE JING 


Atle 
RATA, URATS. 
BBS , DART. 
RART  @THS , RaF5. 
ZA? ARP, RSF 
RAR, BRS RaFtR 
B)AR , TRA. AR , SRA Mesh ZAR. 


52 
tian xia you shi, 
yi wei tian xia mu. 
ji de qi mu, 
yi zhi qi zi. 
ji zhi qi zi, 
fu shou qi mu, 
mo shen bu dai. 
se qi dui, 
bi qi men, 
zhong shen bu qin. 
kai qi dui, 
ji qi shi, 
zhong shen bu jiu. 
jian xiao yue ming, 
shou rou yue qiang. 
yong qi guang 
fu gui qi ming, 
wu yi shen yang, 
shi wei xi chang. 


112 





TAO TE CHING 


32 


The world has a beginning, 

which can be called the mother of the world. 
Know the mother, 

and you will know the child. 
Know the child, 

then go back and hold fast to the mother; 


and until the end of life, you will not meet with harm. 


Block up all the openings, NOTE 
bolt firm all the doors, 
and throughout your life, you will never be exhausted. 
Unblock the openings, 
be busy with your affairs, 


and throughout your life, you will never be redeemed. 


To see the small is called enlightenment. 
To hold to gentleness is called strength. 
Use the light to go home to enlightenment, 


and you will be saved from harm. 


This is known as following the changeless. 


113 














DAODE JING 


t= 
PRATAAA , TT FAIS , mE. 
ABER , THRE. 
FER, ARR, BEE RU, SAR RRA, MRA, = 
ABs. 
JAR ! 


53 
shi wo jie ran you zhi, 
xing yu da dao, 
wei shi shi wei. 
da dao shen yi, 
er min hao jing. 
zhao shen chu, 
tian shen wu, 
cang shen xu, 
fu wen cai, 
dai li jian, 
yan yin shi, 
cai huo you yu, 
shi wei dao yu. 
fei dao ye zai! 


114 





TAO TE CHING 


43 


Had I the smallest grain of understanding, 
I would follow the great DAO; 


my only fear would be to stray from it. 


The great DAO is very smooth and straight, 


and yet some people prefer the by-roads. 


The royal court is kept immaculate, 

and yet the fields are overgrown with weeds 
and the granaries are empty. 

They’ re dressed in finery, 

with fine swords at their side; 

they gorge themselves on food and drink, 


and have more wealth by far than they can use. 


This is the arrogance of thieves. NOTE 


What could be further from the DAO? 


115 














DAODE JING 


a+Ae 
SBATK , SWATK , FRARCFR, 
fE2TH , RRDE, 
1EZTR , AIR. 
1E2TH , RRO, 
1E2TH , RID, 
fEZTRE , KRIS. 
BARRED , ARR , AMRB , ABB, AKRTRATE. 
BAMA RRR ? 
Atte 


54 
shan jian zhe bu ba, 
shan bao zhe bu tuo, 
zi sun yi ji si bu chuo. 
xiu zhi yu shen, 
qi de nai zhen; 
xiu zhi yu jia, 
qi de nai yu; 
xiu zhi yu xiang, 
qi de nai chang; 
xiu zhi yu guo, 
qi de nai feng; 
xiu zhi yu tian xia, 
qi de nai pu. 
gu 
yi shen guan shen, 
yi jia guan jia, 
yl xiang guan xiang 
yi guo guan guo, 
yi tian xia guan tian xia, 
wu he yi zhi tian xia ran zai? 
yi ci. 


116 





TAO TE CHING 


54 


What is firmly planted cannot be uprooted; 
what is firmly held cannot slip loose. 
Your children and your grand-children 


will worship it for generations without end. 


Cultivate the DE within yourself 

and the DE will be genuine. 
Cultivate it in your family 

and the DE will overflow. 
Cultivate it in your village 

and the DE will long endure. 
Cultivate it in your country 

and the DE will then spread wide. 
Cultivate it in the world 


and the DE will be everywhere. 


Look at yourself as a self, 
your family as a family, 
your village as a village, 
your country as a country, 


your world as a world. 


How do I know the world is like this? 


By means of it. NOTE 


117 














DAODE JING 


Ata 
@ 81 2B , kTARt. 
SRLS DAE , ERE. 
B55 Mize. 

AACH ZAMEE , ZEB th. 
RARMPE , MZ2Eth. 
AMAR, ARAB, BeAr , DRA. 
MRS CTE, PeFC. 


55 
han de zhi hou, 
bi yu chi zi. 
du chong bu shi, 
meng shou bu ju, 
jue niao bu bo. 
gu ruo jin rou er wo gu. 
wei zhi pin mu zhi he er zui zuo, 
jing zhi zhi ye. 
zhong ri hao er bu sha, 
he zhi zhi ye. 
zhi he yue chang, 
zhi chang yue ming. 
yi sheng yue xiang, 
xin shi qi yue qiang. 
wu zhuang ze lao, 
wei zhi bu dao, 
bu dao zao yi. 


118 





TAO TE CHING 


55 


Whoever is filled with DE 


is like a new-born child. 


Wasps and scorpions will not sting it; 
snakes and serpents will not bite it; 
wild animals will not attack it; 


birds of prey will not swoop down on it. 


Its bones are soft, its muscles weak, 
and yet its grip is firm. 
It does not know of male and female union 
and yet its organ stirs; 
its vital energy is at its height. 
It cries throughout the day 
and yet is never hoarse; 


its harmony is at its height. 


To know harmony is to know the eternal. 


To know the eternal is to know enlightenment. 


To speed the growth of life is an omen of disaster; NOTE 
to control the breath by will-power is to overstrain it; 


to grow too much is to decay. 


All this is against the DAO 


and whatever is against the DAO soon dies. 


119 














DAODE JING 


ATA 
ABS , SAFALW 
ZAR? FARA, MRR, eRe, NRK, PRE, SAA. 
BRAS R , RAS MB, 
FSM A , FISH S: 
FaUSME , FASMHR. 
BAKE Bo 


56 
zhi zhe bu yan, 
yan zhe bu zhi, 
se qi dui, 
bi qi men, 
cuo qi rui, 
jie qi fen, 
he qi guang, 
tong qi chen, 
shi wei xuan tong. 
gu 
bu ke de er qin, 
bu ke de er shu. 
bu ke de er li, 
bu ke de er hai. 
bu ke de er gui, 
bu ke de er jian. 
gu wei tian xia gui. 


120 





TAO TE CHING 


56 


Those who know do not speak of it; 


those who speak do not know of it. 


Those who know 
keep their mouths closed, 
shut all the doors, NOTE 
blunt every sharpness, 
untangle the knots, 
soften the glare, 
become one with the dust, 


and enter the mystery of oneness. 


They can be neither courted nor shunned; 
they can be neither helped nor harmed; 


they can be neither honoured nor disgraced. 


They are the most treasured people upon the earth. 


121 














DAODE JING 


Atte 
DISAB, AAR , ARSMKE. 
BAMA AR ? 
AME : 


ATZRB , HRS, 
ABSA , HREB: 
ABR , FM Bie, 

KPBE , BZA. 

MEAZ: 
"RA , MRA: 
Rie , MARAE, 
RAS ,MRAB: 

RK, MRA. 4 


57 
yi zheng zhi guo, 
yi qi yong bing, 
yi wu shi qu tian xia. 
wu he yi zhi qi ran zai? 
yi ci: 
tian xia duo ji hui er min mi pin; 
ren duo li qi guo jia zi hun; 
ren duo ji qiao qi wu Zi qi; 
fa ling zi zhang dao zei duo you. 
gu sheng ren yun: 

"wo wu wei er min zi hua 
wo hao jing er min zi zheng, 
wo wu shi er min zi fu, 
wo wu yu er min zi pu." 


122 





TAO TE CHING 


7 


Be straightforward in governing the nation; 
be cunning in waging a war. 


Conquer the world by not interfering. 


How do I know that this should be so? 
Because 
the more taboos and restrictions, 
the poorer the people become; 
the sharper the weapons, 
the more fear in the land; 
the more cunningness, 
the more abnormal the events; 
the more laws, 


the greater the number of thieves. 


Those who are enlightened say: 
I do not act, 


and people are transformed naturally; 


I welcome stillness, 


and people do what is right naturally; 


I do not interfere, 


and people prosper naturally; 


I am without desire, 


and people return to what is simple naturally. 


123 














DAODE JING 


ATA 
ARMM, RRSP ABRE , ARR. 
WS , Bf, BS, ATR 
FAA EB ? 
HME. 
E@AA , SEAR. 
AZzik , HABA! 
SABAAM AE, RM Aa , EMRE , Km. 


58 
qi zheng men men, 
qi min chun chun. 
qi zheng cha cha, 
qi min que que. 
huo xi, fu zhi suo yi, 
fu xi, huo zhi suo fu. 
shu zhi qi ji? 
qi wu zheng ye. 
zheng fu wei qi, 
shan fu wei yao, 
ren zhi mi, qi ri gu jiu! 
shi yi sheng ren 
fang er bu ge, 
lian er bu gui, 
zhi er bu si, 
guang er bu yao. 


124 





TAO TE CHING 


58 


When government is subdued and light, 
people are simple and pure. 
When government is sharp and prying, 


people are cunning and mean. 


It is on misfortune that good fortune rests; 
it is in good fortune that misfortune hides. 


Who knows the turning point, or where the standard lies? 


The normal changes into abnormality; 
the good changes into monstrosity. 


Long indeed have people been confused. 


Those who are enlightened 
have sharp edges but do not cut, 
have corners but do not jab, 
are straight and true but do not over-reach, 


shine radiantly but do not blind. 


125. 














DAODE JING 


Ati 
WA, BK , RAB. 
AA , Sa PAR, PAR CEM. 
EBMBAIRTR. 

RF HARARE. 
RARE , TAAR. 
AZ , TARA. 

Em RREE , REARZIE. 


59 
zhi ren shi tian, 
mo ruo se. 
fu wei se, 
shi wei zao fu. 
zao fu wei zhi zhong ji de; 
zhong ji de ze wu bu ke; 
wu bu ke ze mo zhi qi ji. 
mo zhi qi ji ke yi you guo. 
you guo zhi mu ke yi chang jiu. 
shi wei 
shen gen gu di, 
chang sheng jiu shi zhi dao. 


126 





TAO TE CHING 


59 


In governing the people and in serving heaven, 


nothing surpasses moderation. 


To be moderate 

is to follow the DAO from early on; 
to follow the DAO from early on 

is to be filled to the brim with DE; 
to be filled to the brim with DE 

is to overcome all things; 
to overcome all things 


is to know all things are possible. 


Whoever knows all things are possible 
is fit to rule a country; 
whoever guards a country as a mother would 


will long endure. 


This is called the DAO of deep roots and firm foundations, 


a vision that is everlasting. 


127 














DAODE JING 


ATE 
AA A/S 
IEMA , RRA. 
FFARR , REREA, 
FFRMEBA , BAMDFEA. 
AMTHE , HEREE. 


60 
zhi da guo ruo peng xiao xian. 
yi dao li tian xia, 
qi gui bu shen. 
fei qi gui bu shen, 
qi shen bu shang ren. 
fei qi shen bu shang ren, 
sheng ren yi bu shang ren, 

fu liang bu xiang shang, 

gu de jiao gui yan. 


128 





TAO TE CHING 


60 


Governing a nation is like frying a small fish. 


If the nation is governed according to the DAO, 
dark spirits lose their power. 
Not that the spirits lose their power 
but that they do not harm the people. 
Not only that they do not harm the people 


but that those who are enlightened do not harm them either. NOTE 


If neither of them harms the other, 


the DE in them will be united and restored. 


129 














DAODE JING 


AtT—-z 
AHA HR, ARH, REZ. 

TO aR Tt | ARRAS TE 

PRA BLA MBM, RUB) Ba: 
DRARAB , REA B. 
aR ELAR , Se Rm BY. 

KRAPBRRBA , DRRIBRABA. 
AMBSEMR , RAHA. 


61 
da guo zhe xia liu, 
tian xia zhi jiao ye, 
tian xia zhi pin. 
pin chang yi jing sheng mu, 
yi jing wei xia. 
gu da guo yi xia xiao guo, 
ze qu xiao guo. 
xia guo yi xia da guo, 
ze qu da guo. 
gu 
huo xia yi qu, 
huo xia er qu. 
da guo bu guo yu jian xu ren, 
xiao guo bu guo yu ru shi ren. 
fu liang zhe ge de qi suo yu, 
da zhe yi wei xia. 


130 





TAO TE CHING 


4l 


A great country is like low-lying land 
into which all rivers flow. 
It is the meeting place of everything upon the earth, 


the female of the world. 


The female can always overcome the male by stillness, 
by taking up a lower place. 
And so by taking up a lower place, 


a great country can win over a smaller one. 


By taking up a lower place, 
a small country can win over a greater one. 
The one wins by becoming low, 


the other wins by remaining low. 


A great country wants nothing more 
than to unite and feed its people. 
A small country wants nothing more 


than to come and serve its people. 


Both get what they desire, 


but it is fitting that the greater should abase itself. 


131 














DAODE JING 


AT =z 
64, BYZA. 
BACH, FBAZMR 
RSTAHS , RTIAMA, 
AZ#EE , MRA ? 


WMWUAF ,B=2 , HAHAH , RAAB IIE. 


D2MAS Ibe ? 
FA: 
RAG , SRARB?MAKE SE. 


62 
dao zhe wan wu zhi ao, 
shan ren zhi bao, 
bu shan ren zhi suo bao. 
mei yan ke yi shi zun, 
mei xing ke yi jia ren. 
ren zhi bu shan, 
he qi zhi you? 
gu 
li tian zi, 
zhi san gong, 
sui you gong bi 
yi xian si ma, 
bu ru zuo jin ci dao. 
gu zhi suo yi gui ci dao zhe he? 
bu jue: 
yi qiu de, 
you zui yi mian ye? 
gu wei tian xia gui. 


132 





TAO TE CHING 


62 


The DAO is the hidden source of everything, 
a treasure for the good, 


a refuge for the bad. 


Beautiful words can be marketed, 
and honourable deeds can gain respect. 
Even if people wander from goodness, 


that is no reason to abandon them. 


When an emperor is enthroned 
or the three ministers installed, NOTE 
let others offer precious jade 
and teams of horses. 
This cannot equal sitting still 


and offering the DAO. 


Why was the DAO so valued from on old? 
Was it not because, in the DAO, 

those who seek will find, 

and those who sin will be forgiven? 


That is why it is the treasure of the world. 


133 














DAODE JING 


AT=z 
ARA , BRE , RR. 
K)BD , HBA. 
mex RS, 

AKF HM. 
KRERS , WEFSZ. 
RKEAS , WEF HM. 

EABARFAK , MAEKEX. 
ARAGEE , SAUVSH, 
EAE ABHZ , MRRHA. 


63 
wel wu wel, 
shi wu shi, 
wei wu wel. 
da xiao duo shao, 
tu nan yu qi yl; 
wei da yu qi Xi. 
tian xia nan shi, 
bi zuo yu yi; 
tian xia da shi, 
bi zuo yu xi. 
shi yi sheng ren zhong bu wei da, 
gu neng cheng qi da. 
fu qing nuo bi gua xin, 
duo yi bi duo nan. 
shi yi sheng ren you nan zhi, 
gu zhong wu nan yi. 


134 





TAO TE CHING 


63 


Act without acting; 
do without doing; 


taste without tasting. 


Make the small big; 
make the few many; 


repay hatred with goodness. 


Prepare for the difficult while it is still easy; 
take care of the great while it is still small. 
The difficult things in the world arise from the easy; 


the great things in the world arise from the small. 


And so, by never attempting great things, 
those who are enlightened accomplish them. 
Those who make rash promises rarely keep their word; 


those who think things easy always find them hard. 


That is why those who are enlightened treat everything as difficult, 


so never meet with problems in the end. 


135 














DAODE JING 


ATAz 


HRA AALARARAT AMAR. 
AZTARA AZT AREAL 
BIH , ETE, 
AB2Aa , RTA: 
FEZ MTR. 
ABM RZ. 

EY, BARA , BRM 
a5 , WHER. 
R2ZtS , STAM. 
kote , ARS. 
SABARTR , FRRELE , StS , BRA CAIA. 
QRS BAMTBA. 


64 
qi an yi chi; 
qi wei zhao yi mou; 
qi cui yi pan; 
qi wei yi san. 
wei zhi yu wei you, 
zhi zhi yu wei luan. 
he bao zhi mu, 
sheng yu hao mo; 
jiu ceng zhi tai, 
qi yu lei tu; 
qian li zhi xing, 
shi yu zu xia. 
wei zhe bai zhi; 
zhi zhe shi zhi. 
shi yi, sheng ren 
wu wei, gu wu bai; 
wu zhi, gu wu shi. 
min zhi cong shi, 
chang yu ji cheng er bai zhi. 
shen zhong ru shi, 
ze wu bai shi. 
shi yi sheng ren yu bu yu, 
136 





TAO TE CHING 


64 


It is easy to hold on to things at rest; 
it is easy to plan for things not yet seen; 
it is easy to shatter things that are fragile; 


it is easy to scatter things that are small. 


Deal with things before they arise; 


set things in order before they are troubled. 


A tree as big as one’s embrace grows from a tiny shoot; 
a tower nine storeys high rises from a heap of earth; 


a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. 


Act, and you will ruin it; 


seize hold of it, and you will lose it. 


Those who are enlightened never act and therefore ruin nothing; 


they never try to seize and therefore lose nothing. 


In handling their affairs, people often fail just before success; 


be as careful at the end as at the start, and there will be no failure. 


Those who are enlightened 
desire to be without desire, 


do not value precious things, 
learn to unlearn their learning, 


redeem their fellow beings’ faults. 


137 














DAODE JING TAO TE CHING 


bu gui nan de zhi huo; And so they help all living things find their true selves, 
xue bu xue, 
fu zhong ren zhi suo guo. 
yi fu wan wu zhi zi ran er bu gan wei. 


without presuming to interfere. 


138 139 














BERR RR, RRR, RAIBAIB. 





DAODE JING TAO TE CHING 


ATiz 65 
H2ZEAESE , FOAM , BAB Z. 

R288 , WHE. In days gone by, those who knew how to follow the DAo 

LESH , Bl : did not seem enlightened but ignorant. 
BAS AH , Be. g g 
FAS AB , Bizta. 

atta Set The reason why people are hard to govern 
Sanest Sine is because they know too much. NOTE 


And so to use knowledge to govern a country 
is to be its curse. 


65 Not to use knowledge to govern a country 
qu zhi shan wei dao zhe, 


yu ed ‘ is to be its blessing. 
fei yi ming min, 


jiang yi yu zhi. 
cat es is zhi, There are two primal principles, 
yi qi zhi duo. 
gu yi zhi zhi guo, and to understand them always brings the deepest DE. 
gue zhi el, How hidden, deep and far-reaching Deis. 
bu yi zhi zhi guo 
guo zhi fu. It makes all things return to their source 
ed Se cev ds aac and so attain oneness. 
chang zhi ji shi, 


shi wei xuan de. 
xuan de shen yi yuan yi, 
yu wu fan yi. 
ran hou nai zhi da shun. 


140 141 

















DAODE JING 


ATA 
TBM ARARBRSES , URE Z , MEARE. 
EABARER , BASE 2: 

RER , BABRZ. 
ZABABLWRAE , BAMRAS. 
BARK PREM FR 
QRS , RATRER ZS. 


66 
jiang hai suo yi neng wei bai gu wang zhe, 
yi qi shan xia zhi, 
gu neng wei bai gu wang. 
shi yi 
yu shang min, 
bi yi yan xia zhi; 
yu xian min, 
bi yi shen hou zhi. 
shi yi sheng ren 
chu shang er min bu zhong; 
chu qian er min bu hai. 
shi yi tian xia le tui er bu yan. 
yi qi bu zheng, 
gu tian xia mo neng yu zhi zheng. 


142 





TAO TE CHING 


66 


The reason why the sea 
is king of all the valleys and the streams 
is because it lies beneath them, 


and so can act as king. 


So anyone who wants to rule the people 
must speak humbly to them; 
Anyone who wants to lead the people 


must follow them as if behind. 


Those who are enlightened stand above the people, 
and yet the people do not feel weighed down. 
Those who are enlightened stand in front of the people, 


and yet the people do not feel obstructed. 


The whole world joyfully supports those who are enlightened 
and never tires of doing so. 
Because those who are enlightened contend with no one, 


no one contends with them. 


143 














DAODE JING 


AtTtH 
AP SwBRIEXA , UFH. 
AMEX , BURA 
aA, ARBAMHR | 
RAEN MR: 
—A ,-—A® , =ARRAKTE. 


x , MAE 
8 , BLE 


FRART 5 , MAEM aio 
SSHAS SRAM, SRBK , TR. 
AR , ARAB , ATR. 
RAitRZ , ABZ. 


67 
tian xia jie wei wo dao da, 
si bu xiao. 
fu wei da, gu si bu xiao. 
ruo xiao, 
jiu yi qi xi ye fu! 
wo you san bao, chi er bao zhi: 
yl yue Ci, 
er yue jian, 
san yue bu gan wei tian xia xian. 
ci, gu neng yong, 
jian, gu neng guang, 


bu gan wei tian xia xian, gu neng cheng qi zhang. 


jin she ci gie yong, 
she jian gie guang, 
she hou gie xian, 
Si yi. 
fu ci, 
yi zhan ze sheng, 
yi shou ze gu. 
tian jiang jiu zhi, yi ci wei zhi. 


144 





TAO TE CHING 


6] 


The whole world says my DAO 

is vast and seems like nothing else. 
It is its very vastness 

that makes it seem like nothing else. 
If it had seemed like something, 


it long ago would have disappeared. 


Ihave three treasures to hold and guard: 
the first is love; 
the second moderation; 
the third humility. 
With love, you can be courageous; 
with moderation, you can open wide your arms; 


with humility, you can be leader of the world. 


Yet to be courageous without love, 
to open wide one’s arms without moderation, 
to lead without humility — 


is sure to end in death. 


So fight in love, and you will win the battle; 
defend in love, and you will keep your strength. 
Heaven will protect all those 


who show such love. 


145 











7) 
44 
N 
ae 





DAODE JING 


ATAZ 
BALA , Fk. BRA, FR. 
SBRA , FE. 


BAAS, AZ. 


68 
shan wei shi zhe bu wu; 
shan zhan zhe bu nu; 
shan sheng di zhe bu yu; 
shan yong ren zhe wei zhi xia. 
shi wei bu zheng zhi de, 
shi wei yong ren zhi li, 
shi wei pei tian, 
gu zhi ji. 


146 


SmAA ZH , SAR , 2H. 





TAO TE CHING 


68 


A skilled soldier never is aggressive; 
a skilled fighter never is enraged. 
A skilled conqueror is never vengeful; 


a skilled manager is never proud. 


This is called the DE of non-contention; 
this is called employing others’ strengths; 


this is called a harmony with the highest point of heaven. 


147 














DAODE JING 


ATAE 

ABA : 
"SARA , MAF. 
ABGET , MIRR. 4 


SRT , RRS, BRE , RRR. 


MRATEAR , SHJLRER. 
BRAWA , RABR. 


69 
yong bing you yan: 
"wu bu gan wei zhu er wei ke, 
bu gan jin cun er tui chi." 
shi wei 
hang wu hang, 
rang wu bi, 
reng wu di, 
zhi wu bing. 
huo mo da yu qing di, 
qing di ji sang wu bao. 
gu kang bing xiang jia, 
ai zhe sheng yi. 


148 





TAO TE CHING 


6? 


Among soldiers, there is a saying: 
do not be the one to first attack, NOTE 
but rather take up the defence. 

Do not advance an inch, 


but rather withdraw a foot. 


This is known as stepping forward without moving, 
seizing without bearing arms, 
confronting without direct attack, 


carrying arms without a weapon. 


There is no disaster greater than to underestimate your enemy; 


underestimate your enemy and you may lose your treasure. 


Yet when opposing armies meet in battle, 


it is the one which yields that wins. 


149 














DAODE JING 


tt 
BSBA , BRT. 
APRARA , RAT. 
BER , SAA. 
AMA , BARRA 
AR , VRAA. 
EAE ARS TRE 


70 
wu yan shen yi zhi, 
shen yi xing. 
tian xia mo neng zhi, 
mo neng xing. 
yan you zong, 
shi you jun. 
fu wei wu zhi, 
shi yi bu wo zhi. 
zhi wo zhe xi, 
ze wo zhe gui. 
shi yi sheng ren 
pi he er huai yu. 


150 





TAO TE CHING 


10 


My words are very easy to understand, 
and very easy to practise. 
Yet no one in the world can understand them 


or put them into practice. 


My words have an ancient source; 
my actions have a master. 
It is because they do not know these things 


that people do not understand me. 


Those who do understand are rare; 
but those who follow me I treasure. 
Those who are enlightened dress in rough clothes, 


but hide precious jade beneath. 


151 














DAODE JING 


tt— 
AIBA, £ , FRIAR A , Ho 
BAF, ABs , BARB. 


71 
zhi bu zhi, 
shang yi; 
bu zhi zhi, 
bing ye. 
fu wei bing bing, 
shi yi bu bing. 
sheng ren bu bing, 
yi qi bing bing, 
shi yi bu bing. 


152 





TAO TE CHING 


Nl 


Far better to know, yet think one does not know; 


to think one knows, and not to know, is a disease. 


You must become sick of your sickness 


before you cease to be sick. 


Those who are enlightened are not sick. 
It is because they are sick of their sickness 


that they are not sick. 


153 














DAODE JING 


tt=& 

RAR , WARE. 
RRB, RRB. 
AMER RR , SIAR ER. 
HABABAT AR , ABTAR. 
BMA RAL. 


72 
min bu wei wei, 
ze da wei zhi. 
wu Xia qi suo ju, 
wu yan qi suo sheng. 
fu wei bu yan, 
shi yi bu yan. 
shi yi sheng ren 
zi zhi bu zi xian, 
zi ai bu zi gui. 
gu qu bi qu ci. 


154 





TAO TE CHING 


n 


When people cease to fear mere worldly power, 


a greater power will come. 


Do not confine the homes where people live NOTE 
or place burdens on their livelihood. 
Only when you do not burden them 


will they not be wearied by your burden. 


Those who are enlightened 
know, but do not flaunt, themselves; 
love, but do not exalt, themselves. 


They choose what is within, not without. 


155 














DAODE JING 


tri 
Bm , aA, BRR, AE. 
kms , RARE. 
A2ZMB, AHA? 
A2ié , FSMESB , FSMHSR , FAMAR , MAMBH. 
RMR , HMR R. 


73 
yong yu gan, ze sha, 
yong yu bu gan, ze huo. 
ci liang zhe huo li huo hai. 
tian zhi suo wu, 
shu zhi qi gu? 
shi yi sheng ren you nan zhi. 
tian zhi dao 
bu zheng er shan sheng, 
bu yan er shan ying, 
bu zhao er zi lai, 
chan ran er shan mou. 
tian wang hui hui, 
shu er bu shi. 


156 





TAO TE CHING 


3 


Reckless bravery leads to death; 
careful bravery leads to life. 


One leads to good, the other harm. 


Heaven hates what it hates: 
who knows the reason? 


Not even those who are enlightened know why. 


The DAo of heaven 
does not contend yet overcomes with ease, 
does not speak yet communicates with ease, 
does not summon yet attracts things naturally, 


seems unhurried yet plans with ease. 


The net of Heaven is vast. 
Its meshes may be wide, 


but not a thing slips through. 


157 














DAODE JING 


t+az 
RAR , RAAB Z ? 
ARRERT , MAA , SSMMR , AR? 
A IRA Mo 
AKA , SAL. 
AKAEUE , BAT ERER, 


74 
min bu wei si, 
nai he yi si ju zhi? 
ruo shi min chang wei si, 
er wei qi zhe, 
wu de zhi er sha zhi. 
shu gan? 
chang you si sha zhe sha. 
fu dai si sha zhe sha, 
shi wei dai da jiang zhuo. 
fu dai da jiang zhuo, 
xi you bu shang qi shou zhe yi. 


158 





TAO TE CHING 


74 


If people are not afraid of death, 
how can they be threatened by it? 
But if they always live in fear of death, 
and still continue in their lawlessness, 
we can arrest and kill them. 


Who then would dare? 


And yet there is a Lord of Death whose charge it is to kill. 
To take his place and kill would be 
like carving wood in place of the master carpenter. 


Few would escape without injuring their hands. 


159 














DAODE JING 


t+ 
R2el, ARLRRZS , BAM. 
R28, DRELZAAR, BUA. 
R26 , DRLREZE , SAR. 
AMROUEAR , BETH. 


75 
min zhi ji, 
yi qi shang shi shui zhi duo, 
shi yi ji. 
min zhi nan zhi, 
yi qi shang zhi you wei, 
shi yi nan zhi. 
min zhi qing si, 
yi qi shang qiu sheng zhi hou, 
shi yi qing si. 
fu wei wu yi sheng wei zhe, 
shi xian yu gui sheng. 


160 





TAO TE CHING 


1S 


Why are the people starving? 
Because their rulers devour too much in taxes. 


That’s why they starve. 


Why are the people rebellious? 
Because their rulers can’t stop interfering. 


That’s why they rebel. 


Why do the people make light of death? 
Because they are intent on life. 


That’s why they make light of death. 


Yet those who do not strive to live 


are wiser than those who value life. 


161 














DAODE JING 


ttaA 
AZEWRES , RI aR. 
BAR Ze wR , HI te Tite 
MRA 2 , RGAt te 
LRA , ANSRRUTT , RAE , 55Eb. 


76 
ren zhi sheng ye rou ruo, 
qi Si ye jian qiang. 
cao mu zhi sheng ye rou cui, 
qi si ye ku gao. 
gu 
jian qiang zhe si zhi tu, 
rou ruo zhe shang zhi tu. 
shi yi 
bing qiang ze mie, 
mu qiang ze zhe. 
jian qiang chu xia, 
rou ruo chu shang. 


162 





TAO TE CHING 


16 


We are born soft and weak; 

we die stiff and hard. 
All things — the grass, the trees — 

are soft and delicate in life, 

but dried and withered when they die. 
And so the stiff and hard are friends of Death; 


the soft and weak are friends of Life. 


An army that cannot yield will be destroyed. 
A tree that cannot bend will crack and fall. 
And so the mighty and unyielding will be laid low; 


the soft and weak will overcome. 


163 














DAODE JING 


ttt 
AZ , APRS RM ? 

Sal2 , S482, ARAB, FRA. 
R28 , RARMAFT Z. 
Azle , BIRR: 

ER EUBARE. 

FARE ERA PB ? 

I A184. 
HABAAMMS , UKMTE , AFR. 


77 
tian zhi dao, 
qi you zhang gong yu? 
gao zhe yi zhi, 
xia zhe ju zhi, 
you yu zhe sun zhi, 
bu zu zhe bu zhi. 
tian zhi dao 
sun you yu er bu bu zu, 
ren zhi dao ze bu ran, 
sun bu zu yi feng you yu. 
shu neng you yu yi feng tian xia? 
wei you dao zhe. 
shi yi sheng ren 
wei er bu shi, 
gong cheng er bu chu, 
qi bu yu xian xian. 


164 





TAO TE CHING 


1 


The DAO of heaven is like the stretching of a bow. 
If it is too high, it is pulled down; 

if too low, it is raised up. 
If it overshoots, it is cut back; 


if it undershoots, it is made longer. 


The DAO of heaven takes away from what is overmuch 
and gives to what is not enough. 

The way of humankind is different: 

they take away from those who do not have enough 


and offer it to those who have too much. 


Who could offer to the world all that they have, and more? 


Only a follower of DAO. 


Those who are enlightened 
act but do not expect reward, 
complete the task but do not stop there, 


have no wish to flaunt their worthiness. 


165 














DAODE JING 


t+ 
KBR HK , MARBRSR CB , ALRRURZ. 
552 moR , ZSHARER , RAT. 
EYABAZ: 
TSRlZia , Battie =. 
ZEAE , ZAAEFE. 4 
Esa. 


78 
tian xia mo rou ruo yu shui, 
er gong jian qiang zhe mo zhi neng sheng, 
qi wu yi yi zhi. 
tuo zhi sheng qiang, 
rou zhi sheng gang, 
tian xia mo bu zhi, 
mo neng xing. 
shi yi sheng ren yun: 
shou guo zhi gou, 
shi wei she ji zhu; 
shou guo bu xiang, 
shi wei tian xia wang. 
zheng yan ruo fan. 


166 





TAO TE CHING 


18 


There is nothing in the world 
as soft and weak as water. 
But to erode the hard and strong, 
nothing can surpass it; 


nothing can be a substitute. 


The weak can overcome the strong; 
the soft can overcome the hard. 
There is no-one in the world who does not know this, 


but there is no-one who can put it into practice. 


Those who are enlightened say: 
those who bear a nation’s disgrace 
will become lords of its shrines to earth and grain; NOTE 
those who bear a nation’s misfortune 


will become kings under heaven. 


True words often seem a paradox. NOTE 


167 














DAODE JING 


ttn 
MAR , DARE, RAUARS ? 
EABAMARMAAT A. 


ABA , RRA 
RBRR , ARB A. 


79 
he da yuan, bi you yu yuan, 
bao yuan yi de, 
an ke yi wei shan? 
shi yi sheng ren zhi zuo qi 
er bu ze yu ren. 
you de si qi, 
wu de si che. 
tian dao wu qin, 
chang yu shan ren. 


168 





TAO TE CHING 


1? 


When peace is made between great enemies, 
some residue of enmity is sure to remain. 


What can be done for the good? 


Those who are enlightened 
mind what they owe others, 


not what others owe them. NOTE 


People of DE keep their promises; 


those lacking DE insist on payment. 


The DAO of heaven is impartial, 


but it is always in accord with what is good. 


169 














DAODE JING 


At 
)RSR. 
878 T1182 88 AA 
ER TCM PiR te 
HAAR , HPT: 
HA , RPT Zo 
(2 RS fe ME FA LZ 0 
HER ARR, RHE, REA. 
MAME , AACE, REST , FAER. 


80 
xiao guo gua min. 
shi you shi bo zhi qi er bu yong; 
shi min zhong si er bu yuan x1; 
sui you zhou yu, 
wu suo chang zhi; 
sui you jia bing, 
wu suo chen zhi. 
shi ren fu jie sheng er yong zhi. 
zhi zhi zhi ji, 
gan qi shi, 
mei qi fu, 
an qi ju, 
le qi su, 
lin guo xiang wang, 
ji quan zhi sheng xiang wen, 
min zhi lao si, bu xiang wang lai. 


170 





TAO TE CHING 


80 


Countries should be small, 
their people few. 
If they have devices by the hundred, NOTE 
they should not use them. 
They should be mindful of death, 
and not migrate to far-off places. 
Even if they have boats and carriages, 
they should have no reason to ride in them. 
Even if they have armour and weapons, 


they should have no reason to display them. 


Let the people return to tying knots in ropes 
and using them for counting. 

Let them delight in their food, 
find their clothes beautiful, 
be content with their homes, 


rejoice in their everyday lives. 


Even if neighbouring countries 
are in sight of each other, 

and barking dogs and crowing cocks 
in earshot, 

let the people grow old and die 


without needing to go and visit. 


171 














DAODE JING 


BAR MARS. 
ABE , SAA. 
BARE, RXUAACHA , RURACES. 
A2ie , AMBRE, 
BAZE , AMF. 


81 
xin yan bu mei, 
mei yan bu xin. 
shan zhe bu bian, 
bian zhe bu shan. 
zhi zhe bu bo, 
bo zhe bu zhi. 
sheng ren bu ji, 
ji yi wei ren ji yu you, 
ji yi yu ren ji yu duo. 
tian zhi dao, 
li er bu hai. 
sheng ren zhi dao, 
wei er bu zheng. 


172 





TAO TE CHING 


Truthful words are not fine-sounding; 
fine-sounding words are never true. 

Good people are not quarrelsome; 
quarrelsome people are not good. 

Those who understand are not learnéd; 


learnéd people do not understand. 


Those who are enlightened do not hoard. 
The more they do for others, 

the fuller they are themselves. 
The more they give to others, 


the richer they become. 


The DAO of Heaven never harms, but helps. 
The DAO of those who are enlightened 


is to act and be in harmony. 


173 














NOTES 


In addition to the general and specific issues of translation explored in the 
Introduction, the following notes address special cruxes, identified by 
‘section’ number, the pinyin Romanised text, and the translation presented 
here. Click on RETURN to be taken back to the original text. 


2 yin sheng: text and voice 


Although both yin and sheng have clear musical connotations, the exact 
contrast here is harder to establish. Yin has been variously translated as 
‘tone/note/sound/pitch/treble’, and sheng as ‘voice/melody/mood/silence’. 
Since the two terms must be in some kind of opposition to each other, given 
the immediately preceding contrasts, the difference between the written word 
(‘text’) and the sung or spoken word (‘voice’) may offer a reasonable 
interpretation. RETURN 


2 qian hou xiang sui: before and after follow one another 


qian and hou can also be translated as ‘front’ and ‘back’, or ‘future’ and ‘past’. 
Whichever rendering is preferred, the underlying image is of the unbroken cycle of a 
circle, where any moment of time, or any point in space, are simultaneously both before 
and after all other moments and points in the circle. RETURN 


5 chu gou: dispassionately...equally 


the literal meaning of chu gou is ‘straw dogs’, a reference to the ritual 
whereby a straw dog is treated with the greatest care and deference before 
being offered up in sacrifice, only to be discarded and trampled upon once it 
has served its purpose. The image conveys the sublime impartiality of 
heaven and earth, as well as of those who are enlightened, towards all living 
things. RETURN 


174 





NOTES 


12 wu se...wu yin...wu we: too many colours...notes...tastes 


literally, wu means ‘five’. Wu se [the five colours] are red, yellow, green, 
white, and black. Wu yin [the five notes] are the five notes of the Chinese 
musical scale (C, D, E, G, A, in Western notation). Wu we [the five tastes] 
are salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and pungent. By extension, wu also takes on a 
wider meaning of ‘numerous/many/too many/all’, which is the sense 
adopted here. The overall implication of the lines is that too much 
involvement with sensory experience will cause inner truth to atrophy. 
RETURN 


13 chong ru ruo jing, gui da huan ruo shen: favour and disgrace both 
cause anxiety / High rank, just like the body, causes great troubles 


These are some of the most difficult characters to translate in the entire text, 
which may itself be corrupt at this point. The absence of word-inflections, 
conjunctions, and auxiliary verbs in the original mean that chong ru, for 
example, can be construed as “favour and disgrace’, “favour is a disgrace’, 
‘one should favour [i.e. welcome] disgrace’. Similarly, gui da huan can be 
interpreted as ‘high rank and great trouble’, ‘high rank is a great trouble’, 
‘one should rank great trouble highly [i.e. not minimise it]’. The translation 
here attempts to present a reasonably coherent meaning, though the 
implications of the words still remain elusive. RETURN 


20 ye zai!...zhao zhao...hun hun...cha cha...men men: indeed 
indeed...bright bright...dark dark...sharp sharp...dull dull 


Chinese often conveys intensives by repeating words, as above. Since such 
repetition is not a natural English idiom, the intensives in these lines are 
translated either by ‘so very’ (‘Ordinary people are so very bright’) or by 
adding a closely related adjective (‘I alone seem dull and dark’), RETURN 


21 yi ci: by means of it 


the Chinese here (which is repeated in the final line of section 54) may 
appear particularly bald and gnomic, literally meaning ‘by this’. Several 
translators have attempted to clarify the uncertainty by various elaborations: 
‘by what is within me’, ‘by inward knowledge’, ‘by intuition’, ‘exactly by 
this phenomenon’, ‘by the nature of the DAO’, and so forth. It may seem 
best, though, to retain the ambiguity. If the ‘it’ is indeed the DAO, it is after 
all unnameable. RETURN 


175 














NOTES 


25 ren: humankind 


literally, ren means ‘man’. But an alternative character presented in some 
texts is wang, specifically meaning ‘the king/royalty’ but also, more broadly 
and figuratively, ‘the best of...the highest of...the most representative’. The 
denotation and connotations of the word ‘humankind’ may evoke the 
implications of both Chinese characters. RETURN 


26 zi zhong: the laden baggage-cart 


almost certainly, the image here has a metaphorical resonance, suggestive of 
some unspecified inner resource or treasure. However heavy or burdensome 
it may be, it is to be preferred before the glories of the material world, and 
both protected and nourished. RETURN 


42 fu yin er bao yang: carries on its back the shade of yin / and in its arms 
the sun of yang 


the reference here is, of course, to the fundamental contrast and duality 
between yin, the negative, female principle, and yang, the active, male 
principle. A simple translation of the five Chinese characters would be 
‘carries yin but enfolds yang’. However, such a baldly stated contrast can be 
effectively developed by drawing in two closely implied antitheses: ‘shade’ 
and ‘sun’, and ‘on its back’ and ‘in its arms’. And so the version here reads, 
‘carries on its back the shade of yin / and in its arms the sun of yang’. 
RETURN 


52. se qui dui: block up all the openings 


dui has the meaning of ‘mouth/opening/passage/aperture/hole’, and in this 
context refers to the physical and metaphorical openings through which the 
senses operate. Dui is paralleled in the next line by men (gate/door), a 
similar image of the passage-way of the senses. RETURN 


53. shi wei dao yu: this is the arrogance of thieves 


there is a pun here on the word dao (or tao), which can mean ‘robber’ or 
‘thief’, as well as the unnameable ‘Way’. The play on words occurs on three 
other occasions in the text (sections 3, 19 and 57), though arguably with a 
lesser emphasis than here. RETURN 


176 





NOTES 


54 yi ci: by means of it 


see section 21 above. RETURN 


55 xiang: an omen of disaster 


xiang is particularly ambiguous character, since it can also mean the exact 
opposite of ‘disaster’: ‘blessing/good omen/propitious/beneficial’. All 
depends upon how the three characters immediately preceding (yi sheng yue) 
are translated. If positively (for example, ‘to increase life’, ‘that which is 
beneficial to life’, ‘improvement in health’), the obvious choice of 
apposition is ‘is a blessing’. But if the characters are rendered negatively (‘to 
force the growth of things’, ‘to hasten life’s growth unnaturally’, “to benefit 
one’s own life’), then ‘disaster’ is the equally obvious conclusion. I view 
xiang in this latter light, since the immediately following lines focus upon 
different kinds of excess, which are viewed negatively, and which are 
explicitly said to be ‘against the DAO’. RETURN 


56 men: doors 


as in section 51 above, men has metaphorical rather than literal force, 
indicating the doors or gates through which the senses operate. RETURN 


60 sheng ren yi bu shang ren: those who are enlightened do not harm them 
either 


a problematic rendering, since it raises the question, ‘why should those who 
are enlightened ever be considered to harm people in the first place?’ The 
difficulty of answering this point has led some translators to follow ‘those 
who are enlightened’ with a passive rather than an active voice: ‘those who 
are enlightened are not harmed either or are protected also’. Why such a 
statement should be made at this point, though, is equally unclear. RETURN 


62 zhi san gong: the three ministers installed 
the three ministers, according to Star [see Further Reading and Links 


section], were the grand tutor, the grand preceptor, and the grand protector. 
RETURN 


177 














NOTES 


65 qi zhi duo: because they know too much 


zhi here has the sense of formal, mental, academic knowledge, rather than 
knowledge derived from the emotions or from life itself. RETURN 


69 wu bu gan wei zhu er wei ke: do not be the one to first attack, / but 
rather take up the defence 


the basic meaning of zhu and ke in these lines is ‘host’ and ‘guest’. The 
sense of a ‘host’ as active and energising, and of a ‘guest’ as passive and 
receiving, leads by extension of meaning to the contrast between attacker 
and defender. RETURN 


72 wu xia qi suo ju: do not confine the homes where people live 


often interpreted as political advice to a ruler, these lines have also been 
construed figuratively, either as a metaphor for the body (i.e. “do not limit 
your identity to your mere physicality’) or for the heart (i.e. ‘do not limit 
your heart’, “do not withhold your humanity from others’). RETURN 


78 she ji zhu: lords of its shrines to earth and grain 


the phrase she ji zhu has been variously phrased by translators (‘lord of the 
community’, ‘gods of millet and earth’, ‘Master of the Altar of Soil and 
Grain’, ‘lord of its soil shrines’, ‘lord of the earth’s sacrifices’, ‘lord of every 
offering’). The version here seeks to evoke both the religious (‘shrine’) and 
the physical (‘earth’ and ‘grain’) aspects of the position. RETURN 


78 zheng yan ruo fan: true words often seem a paradox 

not for the first time in the text, this line seems unconnected with the rest of 
the section, although its actual meaning is acknowledged throughout the 
Daode jing. Some interpreters have either moved the line to section 41 or 45, 
or eliminated it altogether. RETURN 


79 zhi zuo qi: mind what they owe others 


literally, zhi zuo gi means ‘holds the left-hand side of the contract’, a 
reference to the ancient Chinese practice of recording a loan of money. The 


178 





NOTES 


sum involved was drawn on a bamboo stick, which was then broken in half 
lengthwise, so creating two pieces that interlocked with each other. The left- 
hand side marked the side of the debtor, the right-hand the side of the 
creditor. RETURN 


80 shi you shi bo zhi: even if they have devices by the hundred 


the character zhi here is ambiguous, and has been variously interpreted as 
evoking a domestic level (‘implements’, ‘utensils’, ‘vessels’), more military 
connotations (‘tools’, ‘machines’, “weapons’), to high human ability 
(‘people of enormous talent’). The choice of ‘devices’ here may be thought 
to occupy a middle ground between the extremes and, in its generalised 
meaning, to retain the ambiguity of the original. RETURN 


179 














FURTHER READING AND LINKS 


The literature on the Daode jing is vast (entering simply the old title Tao 
Te Ching on Google currently [2005] yields over 300,000 references, for 
example). Of necessity, the following bibliography is severely restricted 
to those items I have found especially valuable. 


Translations with original Chinese text 


Carus, Paul, The Canon of Reason and Virtue: Lao Tzu’s Tao Teh 
and D.T. Suzuki King. La Salle, [ll.: Open Court Publications, 1913. 


Lau, D.C. Tao Te Ching, Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 
1982 (rev. of earlier edition without Chinese text, 


Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1963). 


Star, Jonathan Tao Te Ching; the Definitive Edition. New York: 
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2001. 


Wu, John C.H. Tao The Ching. New York: St. John’s University 
Press, 1961. 


Wu, Yi The Book of Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching). San Francisco: 
Great Learning Publishing Company, 1989. 


Translations without Chinese text 


Addiss, Stephen, Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching. Indianapolis: Hacket Publishing 


and Stanley Company, 1993. 
Lombardo 


Chan, Wing-Tsit The Way of Lao Tzu. New York: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 
1963. 


Chen, Ellen Marie The Tao Te Ching: A New Translation with 
Commentary. New York: Paragon House, 1989. 


180 





FURTHER READING AND LINKS 


Duyvendak, Jan Tao Te Ching: The Book of the Way and its Virtue. 
Julius Lodewijk London: John Murray, 1954. 


Feng, Giu-Fu Lao Tsu Tao Te Ching. New York: Vintage Books, 
and Jane English 1972. 


Henricks, Robert Lao-Tzu Te-Tao Ching: A New Translation Based on 
the Recently Discovered Ma-Wang-tui Texts. New 
York: Ballantine, 1989. 


LaFargue, Michael The Tao of the Tao Te Ching: A Translation and 
Commentary. Albany: State University of New York 
Press, 1992. 


Le Guin, Ursula K.Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching. Boston: Shambhala 
Publications, 1997. 


Lin, Paul J. A Translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and Wang 
Pi’s Commentary. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan 
Press, 1977. 


Mair, VictorH. Tao Te Ching : The Classic Books of Integrity and the 
Way. New York: Bantam, 1990. 


Mitchell, Stephen Tao Te Ching: A New English Version. New York: 
Harper & Row, 1988. 


Pine, Red (Bill Lao-tzu’s Taoteching. San Francisco: Mercury House, 
Porter) 1996. 


Waley, Arthur The Way and its Power: A Study of the Tao Te Ching 
and Its Place in Chinese Thought. London: Allen and 
Unwin, 1934. 


Wilhelm, Richard Tao Te Ching, trans. H.G. Ostwald. London: 
Arkana/Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985. 


181 














FURTHER READING AND LINKS 


Commentaries on translating 


The introductions or prefaces to many of the editions above often explore 
the problems of translating the Daode jing, though at varying length and 
with varying rigour. For two recent valuable discussions, see 


Julian Pas, ‘Recent Translations of the Tao-te ching’, Journal of Chinese 
Religions, 18 (1990), 127-41. 


Michael LaFargue and Julian Pas, ‘On Translating the Tao-te-ching’, in 
Lao-tzu and the Tao-te-ching, eds. Livia Kohn and Michael La Fargue. 
Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998. 


Internet links 


I have found five sites particularly notable for the breadth and excellence 
of their coverage: 


http://home.pages.at/onkellotus 

a remarkable resource, which contains original and pinyin versions of the 
text in 13 different formats. 125 different translations in 21 languages can 
also be accessed, and it is possible to compare sections from up to four 
different translations side by side. 





http://www.bopsecrets.org/gateway/passages/tao-te-ching.htm 

a fascinating collection of over a hundred translations of the first section 
of the Daode jing, in both prose and verse. The translations currently date 
from 1868 to 2004. 





http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/gthursby/taoism/index.htm 

the Taoism Information Page presents, amongst much other material, 
some 20 varied translations of the entire text, together with a helpful 
comparison of versions of a single section (no. 8). 





http://www.geocities.com/dao_house/laozi.htm 

a rich site, which provides numerous links to the religious, political and 
cultural contexts of the Daode jing, together with many links to other 
translations. 





182 





FURTHER READING AND LINKS 


http://www.eng.taoism.org.hk 
based in Hong Kong, this website contains helpful information about the 
Daoist tradition and its history, as well as indicating further useful links. 





183