81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations

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Chapter 19 – Abolish sagehood and abandon cunning

Posted by in Victor H. Mair | 0 comments

Chapter 19 – Abolish sagehood and abandon cunning

Abolish sagehood and abandon cunning, the people will benefit a hundredfold; Abolish humaneness and abandon righteousness, the people will once again be filial and kind; Abolish cleverness and abandon profit, bandits and thieves will be no more. These three statements are inadequate as a...

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Chapter 19 – Four fundamentals of true spirituality

Posted by in Torode & Dwight Goddard | 1 comment

Chapter 19 – Four fundamentals of true spirituality

Abandon the pretense of saintlieness and ascenticism, and the people will pursue virtue. Abandon cleverness and greed; then theives and robbers will disappear. Here are four fundamentals of true spirituality: recognize simplicity, cherish purity reduce your possessions, diminish your desires ...

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Chapter 20 – Be done with rote learning

Posted by in R.B. Blakney | 0 comments

Chapter 20 – Be done with rote learning

Be done with rote learning And its attendant vexations; For is there distinction Of a “yes” from a “yea” Comparable now to the gulf Between evil and good? What all men fear, I too must fear”- How barren and pointless a thought! The reveling of multitudes At the feast...

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Chapter 20 – Stop thinking, and end your problems.

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 1 comment

Chapter 20 – Stop thinking, and end your problems.

Stop thinking, and end your problems. What difference between yes and no? What difference between success and failure? Must you value what others value, avoid what others avoid? How ridiculous! Other people are excited, as though they were at a parade. I alone don’t care, I alone am...

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Chapter 21 – The great virtue as manifested is but following Tao.

Posted by in Chu Ta-Kao | 0 comments

Chapter 21 – The great virtue as manifested is but following Tao.

The great virtue as manifested is but following Tao. Tao is a thing that is both invisible and intangible. Intangible and invisible, yet there are forms in it; Invisible and intangible, yet there is substance in it; Subtle and obscure, there is essence in it; This essence being invariably true,...

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Chapter 22 – Allow yourself to yield, and you can stay centered

Posted by in Brian Browne Walker | 3 comments

Chapter 22 – Allow yourself to yield, and you can stay centered

Allow yourself to yield, and you can stay centered. Allow yourself to bend, and you will stay straight. Allow yourself to be empty, and you’ll get filled up. Allow yourself to be exhausted, and you’ll be renewed. Having little, you can receive much. Having much, you’ll just become...

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Chapter 23 – To talk little is natural

Posted by in Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English | 0 comments

Chapter 23 – To talk little is natural

To talk little is natural. High winds do not last all morning. Heavy rain does not last all day. Why is this? Heaven and Earth! If heaven and Earth cannot make things eternal, How is it possible for man? He who follows the Tao Is at one with the Tao. He who is virtuous Experiences Virtue. He who...

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Chapter 24 – A man on tiptoe can’t walk easily

Posted by in Man-Ho Kwok & Martin Palmer | 0 comments

Chapter 24 – A man on tiptoe can’t walk easily

A man on tiptoe can’t walk easily. The man who strides on ahead is bound to tire. The kind of person who always insists on his way of seeing things can never learn anything from anyone. Those who always want to be seen will never help others to be. The showman is never secretly respected by...

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Chapter 25 – formless and perfect before the universe was born

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 0 comments

Chapter 25 – formless and perfect before the universe was born

There was something formless and perfect before the universe was born. It is serene. Empty. Solitary. Unchanging. Infinite. Eternally present. It is the mother of the universe. For lack of a better name, I call it the Tao. It flows through all things, inside and outside, and returns to the origin...

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Chapter 26 – Heavy is the root of light

Posted by in Victor H. Mair | 0 comments

Chapter 26 – Heavy is the root of light

Heavy is the root of light; Calm is the ruler of haste. For these reasons, The superior man may travel the whole day without leaving his heavy baggage cart. Though inside the courtyard walls of a noisy inn, he placidly rises above it all. How then should a king with ten thousand chariots conduct...

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Chapter 26 – heavy is the root of the light.

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 0 comments

The heavy is the root of the light. The unmoved is the source of all movement. Thus the Master travels all day without leaving home. However splendid the views, she stays serenely in herself. Why should the lord of the country flit about like a fool? If you let yourself be blown to and fro, you...

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Chapter 27 – Good walkers leave no tracks.

Posted by in Ursula K. Le Guin | 0 comments

Chapter 27 – Good walkers leave no tracks.

Good walkers leave no tracks. Good talkers don’t stammer. Good counters don’t use their fingers. The best door is unlocked and unopened. The best knot is not in a rope and can’t be untied. So wise souls are good at caring for people, never turning their back on...

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Chapter 27 – Good works are trackless, good words are flawless, good planning isn’t calculating.

Posted by in Thomas Cleary | 0 comments

Chapter 27 – Good works are trackless, good words are flawless, good planning isn’t calculating.

Good works are trackless, good words are flawless, good planning isn’t calculating. What is well closed has no bolt locking it, but cannot be opened. What is well bound has no rope confining it, but cannot be untied. Therefore sages always consider it good to save people, so that there are no...

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Chapter 28 – Know masculinity, Maintain femininity

Posted by in Victor H. Mair | 0 comments

Chapter 28 – Know masculinity, Maintain femininity

Know masculinity, Maintain femininity, and be a ravine for all under heaven. By being a ravine for all under heaven, Eternal integrity will never desert you. If eternal integrity never deserts you, You will return to the state of infancy. Know you are innocent, Remain steadfast when insulted, and...

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Chapter 29 – Do you want to improve the world?

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 2 comments

Chapter 29 – Do you want to improve the world?

Do you want to improve the world? I don’t think it can be done. The world is sacred. It can’t be improved. If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it. There is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind; a time for being in...

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Chapter 30 – Just do what needs to be done, and then stop.

Posted by in Brian Browne Walker | 0 comments

Chapter 30 – Just do what needs to be done, and then stop.

Those who wish to use Tao to influence others don’t rely on force or weapons or military strategies. Force rebounds. Weapons turn on their wielders. Battles are inevitably followed by famines. Just do what needs to be done, and then stop. Attain your purpose, but don’t press your...

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Chapter 31 – Weapons are the tools of violence

Posted by in Stephen Mitchell | 0 comments

Chapter 31 – Weapons are the tools of violence

Weapons are the tools of violence; all decent men detest them. Weapons are the tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the utmost restraint. Peace is his highest value. If the peace has been shattered, how can he be...

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Chapter 32 – The Way is eternally nameless.

Posted by in Victor H. Mair | 1 comment

Chapter 32 – The Way is eternally nameless.

The Way is eternally nameless. Though the unhewn log is small, No one in the world dares subjugate it. If feudal lords and kings could maintain it, The myriad creatures would submit of themselves. Heaven and earth unite to suffuse sweet dew. Without commanding the people, equality will naturally...

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Chapter 33 – Understanding oneself is enlightenment

Posted by in Victor H. Mair | 0 comments

Understanding others is knowledge, Understanding oneself is enlightenment; Conquering others is power, Conquering oneself is strength; Contentment is wealth, Forceful conduct is willfulness; Not losing one’s rightful place is to endure, To die but not be forgotten is longevity. Support...

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Chapter 34 – The great Tao flows everywhere

Posted by in Jonathan Star | 0 comments

Chapter 34 – The great Tao flows everywhere

The great Tao flows everywhere It fills everything to the left and to the right All things owe their existence to it and it cannot deny any one of them Tao is eternal It does not favour one over the other It brings all things to completion without their even knowing it Tao nourishes and protects...

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