第七十一章


知不知上,不知知病。夫唯病病,是以不病。聖人不病,以其病病,是以不病。

第七十二章


民不畏威,則大威至。無狎其所居,無厭其所生。夫唯不厭,是以不厭。是以聖人自知不自見;自愛不自貴。故去彼取此。

第七十三章


勇於敢則殺,勇於不敢則活。此兩者,或利或害。天之所惡,孰知其故?是以聖人猶難之。天之道,不爭而善勝,不言而善應,不召而自來,繟然而善謀。天網恢恢,疏而不失。

第七十四章


民不畏死,奈何以死懼之?若使民常畏死,而為奇者,吾得執而殺之,孰敢?常有司殺者殺。夫代司殺者殺,是謂代大匠斲,夫代大匠斲者,希有不傷其手矣。

第七十五章


民之饑,以其上食稅之多,是以饑。民之難治,以其上之有為,是以難治。民之輕死,以其求生之厚,是以輕死。夫唯無以生為者,是賢於貴生。

第七十六章


人之生也柔弱,其死也堅強。萬物草木之生也柔脆,其死也枯槁。故堅強者死之徒,柔弱者生之徒。是以兵強則不勝,木強則兵。強大處下,柔弱處上。

第七十七章


天之道,其猶張弓與﹖高者抑之,下者舉之;有餘者損之,不足者補之。天之道,損有餘而補不足。人之道則不然,損不足以奉有餘。孰能有餘以奉天下,唯有道者。是以聖人為而不恃,功成而不處,其不欲見賢。

第七十八章


天下莫柔弱於水,而攻堅強者莫之能勝,以其無以易之。弱之勝強,柔之勝剛,天下莫不知莫能行。是以聖人云﹕「受國之垢,是謂社稷主;受國不祥,是為天下王。」正言若反。

第七十九章


和大怨,必有餘怨,安可以為善﹖是以聖人執左契,而不責於人。有德司契,無德司徹。天道無親,常與善人。

第八十章


小國寡民。使有什伯之器而不用,使民重死而不遠徙。雖有舟輿,無所乘之,雖有甲兵,無所陳之。使人復結繩而用之,甘其食,美其服,安其居,樂其俗。鄰國相望,雞犬之聲相聞,民至老死,不相往來。

第八十一章


信言不美,美言不信。善者不辯,辯者不善。知者不博,博者不知。聖人不積,既以為人己愈有,既以與人己愈多。天之道,利而不害;聖人之道,為而不爭。

信言不美。美言不信。
The honest speech is not beautiful. The fine talk does not believe
善者不辯,辯者不善。
The friendliness does not debate, debate is bad.
知者不博,博者不知
Knowing is not abundant, the abundance did not know

聖人不積,  The sage does not accumulate

既以為人己愈有,The more that people have both,

既以與人己愈多。 The more that people get both,

天之道,利而不害;聖人之道,為而不爭。Heaven, and not harm;
Sages, to not fight.

71


Limitation

Who recognizes his limitations is healthy;
Who ignores his limitations is sick.
The sage recognizes this sickness as a limitation.
And so becomes immune.





72


Revolution

When people have nothing more to lose,
Then revolution will result.

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

The sage maintains himself but exacts no tribute,
Values himself but requires no honours;
He ignores abstraction and accepts substance.





73


Fate

Who is brave and bold will perish;
Who is brave and subtle will benefit.
The subtle profit where the bold perish
For fate does not honour daring.
And even the sage dares not tempt fate.

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

Fate’s net is vast and its mesh is coarse,
Yet none escape it.





74


Execution

If people were not afraid of death,
Then what would be the use of an executioner?

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

People fear death because death is an instrument of fate.
When people are killed by execution rather than by fate,
This is like carving wood in the place of a carpenter.
Those who carve wood in place of a carpenter
Often injure their hands.





75


Rebellion

When rulers take grain so that they may feast,
Their people become hungry;
When rulers take action to serve their own interests,
Their people become rebellious;
When rulers take lives so that their own lives are maintained,
Their people no longer fear death.

When people act without regard for their own lives
They overcome those who value only their own lives.





76


Flexibility

A newborn is soft and tender,
A crone, hard and stiff.
Plants and animals, in life, are supple and succulent;
In death, withered and dry.
So softness and tenderness are attributes of life,
And hardness and stiffness, attributes of death.

Just as a sapless tree will split and decay
So an inflexible force will meet defeat;
The hard and mighty lie beneath the ground
While the tender and weak dance on the breeze above.





77


Need

Is the action of nature not unlike drawing a bow?
What is higher is pulled down, and what is lower is raised up;
What is taller is shortened, and what is thinner is broadened;
Nature’s motion decreases those who have more than they need
And increases those who need more than they have.

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

To give away what you do not need is to follow the Way.
So the sage gives without expectation,
Accomplishes without claiming credit,
And has no desire for ostentation.





78


Yielding

Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water,
Yet nothing can better overcome the hard and strong,
For they can neither control nor do away with it.

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

Who attends to the people would control the land and grain;
Who attends to the state would control the whole world;
Truth is easily hidden by rhetoric.





79


Reconciliation

When conflict is reconciled, some hard feelings remain;
This is dangerous.

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

The ancients said: “nature is impartial;
Therefore it serves those who serve all.”





80


Utopia

Let your community be small, with only a few people;
Keep tools in abundance, but do not depend upon them;
Appreciate your life and be content with your home;
Sail boats and ride horses, but don’t go too far;
Keep weapons and armour, but do not employ them;
Let everyone read and write,
Eat well and make beautiful things.

Live peacefully and delight in your own society;
Dwell within cock-crow of your neighbours,
But maintain your independence from them.





81


The Sage

Honest people use no rhetoric;
Rhetoric is not honesty.
Enlightened people are not cultured;
Culture is not enlightenment.
Content people are not rich;
Riches are not contentment.

So the sage does not serve himself;
The more he does for others, the more he is satisfied;
The more he gives, the more he receives.
Nature flourishes at the expense of no one;
So the sage benefits all men and contends with none

Lao-Tzu

also Laozi (Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ; Wade–Giles: Laosi; Lao Tse, Lao Tu,  Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Lao Zi, Laocius)

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