81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations

Chapter 66 – The reason why rivers and seas can be lords of the hundred valleys is that they lower themselves to them all

The reason why rivers and seas can be lords of the hundred valleys is that they lower themselves to them all; therefore they can be lords of the hundred valleys.

So when sages wish to rise above people, they lower themselves to them in their speech. When they want to preceed people, they go after them in status.

So when sages rule, people don’t take it gravely. And when sages are in the forefront, people don’t attack them. Therefore the world happily backs them and does not tire of them.

Because they do not contend, no one in the world can contend with them.

Support Author: Thomas Cleary
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The Essential Tao: An Initiation into the Heart of Taoism Through the Authentic Tao Te Ching and the Inner Teachings of Chuang-Tzu

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