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Lao Tzu “Tao Te Ching" Chinese VS English Translation
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Lao Tzu “Tao Te Ching" Chinese VS English Translation 12 年, 11 个月 之前 #116

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The Way that can be told of is not an Unvarying Way; The names that can be named are not unvarying names. It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang; The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind. Truly, 'Only he that rids himself forever of desire can see the Secret Essences' ; He that has never rid himself of desire can see only the Outcomes. These two things issued from the same mould, but nevertheless are different in name. This ' same mould' we can but call the Mystery, Or rather the 'Darker than any Mystery', The Doorway whence issued all Secret Essences.

It is because every one under Heaven recognizes beauty as beauty,that the idea of ugliness exists. And equally if every one recognized virtue as virtue, this would merely create fresh conceptions of wickedness. For truly 'Being and Not-being grow out of one another; Difficult and easy complete one another. Long and short test one another; High and low determine one another. Pitch and mode give harmony to one another. Front and back give sequence to one another'. Therefore[1] the Sage relies on actionless activity, Carries on wordless teaching, But the myriad creatures are worked upon by him; he does not disown them. He rears them, but does not lay claim to them, Controls them, but does not lean upon them, Achieves his aim, but does not call attention[2] to what he does; And for the very reason that he does not call attention to what he does He is not ejected from fruition of what he has done.
[1]Because 'action' can only make one thing high at the expense of making something else low, etc.
[2]Literally, 'does not place (i.e.classify) himself as a victor'. cf. MenciusⅡ, Ⅰ;

If we stop looking for 'persons of superior morality' (hsien) to put in power, there will be no more jealousies among the people. If we cease to set store by products that are hard to get , there will be no more thieves. If the people never see such things as excite desire, their hearts will remain placid and undisturbed. Therefore the Sage rules
  By emptying their hearts
  And filling their bellies,
  Weakening their intelligence[1]
  And toughening their sinews
  Ever striving to make the people knowledgeless and desireless.
Indeed he sees to it that if there be any who have knowledge, they dare not interfere. Yet through his actionless activity all things are duly regulated.
[1]Particularly in the sense of 'having ideas of one's own'.
The Way is like an empty vessel That yet may be drawn from Without ever needing to be filled. It is bottomless; the very progenitor of all things in the world. In it all sharpness is blunted, All tangles untied, All glare tempered, All dust[1] smoothed. It is like a deep pool that never dries. Was it too the child of something else? We cannot tell. But as a substanceless image[2] it existed before the Ancestor.[3]
[1]Dust is the Taoist symbol for the noise and fuss of everyday life.
[2]A hsiang, an image such as the mental images that float before us when we think.
[3]The Ancestor in question is almost certainly the Yellow Ancestor who separated Earth from Heaven and so destroyed the Primal Unity, for which he is frequently censured is Chuang Tzu.
Heaven and Earth are ruthless; To them the Ten Thousand Things are but as straw dogs. The Sage too is ruthless; To him the people are but as straw dogs. Yet[1] Heaven and Earth and all that lies between Is like a bellows In that it is empty, but gives a supply that never fails. Work it, and more comes out . Whereas the force of words[2] is soon spent. Far better is it to keep what is in the heart[3].
[1]Though ruthless nature is perpetually bounteous.
[2]Laws and proclamations.
[3]For chung as 'what is within the heart', see Tso Chuan, Yin Kung 3rd year and Kuan Tzu,37, beginning. The comparison of Heaven and Earth to a bellows is also found in Kuan Tzu (P'ien 11, beginning).
The Valley Spirit never dies. It is named the Mysterious Female. And the Doorway of the Mysterious Female Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang. It is there within us all the while; Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry.[1]
[1]Lieh Tzu quotes these lines as coming from the Book of the Yellow Ancestor; but it does not follow that the Tao Ching is actually quothing them from this source. They may belong to the general stock of early Taoist rhymed teaching. For ch' in compare below, Chapter 52, line 9, and Huai-nan Tzu I, fol.2.
Heaven is eternal, the Earth Everlasting. How come they to be so? Is it because they do not foster their own lives; That is why they live so long. Therefore the Sage Puts himself in the background; but is always to the fore. Remains outside; but is always there. Is it not just because he does not strive for any personal end That all his personal ends are fulfilled?
The highest good is like that of water. The goodness of water is that it benefits the ten thousand creatures; yet itself does not scramble, but is content with the places that all men disdain. It is this that makes water so near to the Way. And if men think the ground the best place for building a house upon, If among thoughts they value those that are profound, If in friendship they value gentleness, In words, truth; in government, good order; In deeds, effectiveness; in actions, timeliness- In each case it is because they prefer what does not lead to strife,[1] And therefore does not go amiss.
[1]Even ordinary people realize the importance of the Taoist principle of 'water-like' behaviour, i.e. not striving to get on top or to the fore.
Stretch a bow[1] to the very full, And you will wish you had stopped in time; Temper a sword-edge to its very sharpest, And you will find it soon grows dull When bronze and jade fill your hall It can no longer be guarded. Wealth and place breed insolence That brings ruin in its train. When your work is done, then withdraw! Such is Heaven's[2] Way.
[1] the expression used can also apply to filling a vessel to the brim; but 'stretching a bow' makes a better parallel to 'sharpening a sword'.
[2] as opposed to the Way of man
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 十 章
    载 营 魄 抱 一 , 能 无 离 乎 。
    专 气 致 柔 , 能 如 婴 儿 乎 。
    涤 除 玄 鉴 , 能 如 疵 乎 。
    爱 国 治 民 , 能 无 为 乎 。
    天 门 开 阖 , 能 为 雌 乎 。
    明 白 四 达 , 能 无 知 乎 。
Chapter 10
When the intelligent and animal souls are held together in one
embrace, they can be kept from separating. When one gives undivided
attention to the (vital) breath, and brings it to the utmost degree of
pliancy, he can become as a (tender) babe. When he has cleansed away
the most mysterious sights (of his imagination), he can become without
a flaw.
In loving the people and ruling the state, cannot he proceed
without any (purpose of) action? In the opening and shutting of his
gates of heaven, cannot he do so as a female bird? While his
intelligence reaches in every direction, cannot he (appear to) be
without knowledge?
(The Tao) produces (all things) and nourishes them; it produces
them and does not claim them as its own; it does all, and yet does not
boast of it; it presides over all, and yet does not control them.
This is what is called 'The mysterious Quality' (of the Tao).
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 十 一 章
    三 十 辐 , 共 一 毂 , 当 其 无 , 有 车 之 用 。
    埏 埴 以 为 器 , 当 其 无 , 有 器 之 用 。
    凿 户 牖 以 为 室 , 当 其 无 , 有 室 之 用 。
    故 有 之 以 为 利 , 无 之 以 为 用 。
Chapter 11
The thirty spokes unite in the one nave; but it is on the empty
space (for the axle), that the use of the wheel depends. Clay is
fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that
their use depends. The door and windows are cut out (from the walls)
to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space (within), that its
use depends. Therefore, what has a (positive) existence serves for
profitable adaptation, and what has not that for (actual) usefulness.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 十 二 章
五 色 令 人 目 盲 ﹔ 五 音 令 人 耳 聋 ﹔ 五 味 令 人 口 爽 ﹔
驰 骋 畋 猎 , 令 人 心 发 狂 ﹔ 难 得 之 货 , 令 人 行 妨 。
   是 以 圣 人 为 腹 不 为 目 , 故 去 彼 取 此
Chapter 12
Colour's five hues from th' eyes their sight will take;
Music's five notes the ears as deaf can make;
The flavours five deprive the mouth of taste;
The chariot course, and the wild hunting waste
Make mad the mind; and objects rare and strange,
Sought for, men's conduct will to evil change.
Therefore the sage seeks to satisfy (the craving of) the belly, and
not the (insatiable longing of the) eyes. He puts from him the
latter, and prefers to seek the former.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 十 三 章
宠 辱 若 惊 , 贵 大 患 若 身 。
   何 谓 宠 辱 若 惊 。
宠 为 下 , 得 之 若 惊 , 失 之 若 惊 , 是 谓 宠 辱 若 惊 。
   何 谓 贵 大 患 若 身 。
吾 所 以 有 大 患 者 , 为 吾 有 身 ,
及 吾 无 身 , 吾 有 何 患 。
   故 贵 以 身 为 天 下 , 若 可 寄 天 下 ﹔
爱 以 身 为 天 下 , 若 可 托 天 下 。
Chapter 13
Favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared; honour and
great calamity, to be regarded as personal conditions (of the same
What is meant by speaking thus of favour and disgrace? Disgrace is
being in a low position (after the enjoyment of favour). The getting
that (favour) leads to the apprehension (of losing it), and the losing
it leads to the fear of (still greater calamity):--this is what is
meant by saying that favour and disgrace would seem equally to be
And what is meant by saying that honour and great calamity are to be
(similarly) regarded as personal conditions? What makes me liable to
great calamity is my having the body (which I call myself); if I had
not the body, what great calamity could come to me?
Therefore he who would administer the kingdom, honouring it as he
honours his own person, may be employed to govern it, and he who would
administer it with the love which he bears to his own person may be
entrusted with it.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 十 四 章
视 之 不 见 , 名 曰 夷 ﹔
听 之 不 闻 , 名 曰 希 ﹔
搏 之 不 得 , 名 曰 微 。
此 三 者 不 可 致 诘 , 故 混 而 为 一 。
其 上 不 皦 , 其 下 不 昧 。
绳 绳 兮 不 可 名 , 复 归 于 物 。
是 谓 无 状 之 状 , 无 物 之 象 , 是 谓 惚 恍 。
迎 之 不 见 其 首 , 随 之 不 见 其 后 。
   执 古 之 道 , 以 御 今 之 有 。
能 知 古 始 , 是 谓 道 纪 。
Chapter 14
We look at it, and we do not see it, and we name it 'the
Equable.' We listen to it, and we do not hear it, and we name it 'the
Inaudible.' We try to grasp it, and do not get hold of it, and we
name it 'the Subtle.' With these three qualities, it cannot be made
the subject of description; and hence we blend them together and
obtain The One.
Its upper part is not bright, and its lower part is not obscure.
Ceaseless in its action, it yet cannot be named, and then it again
returns and becomes nothing. This is called the Form of the Formless,
and the Semblance of the Invisible; this is called the Fleeting and
We meet it and do not see its Front; we follow it, and do not see
its Back. When we can lay hold of the Tao of old to direct the things
of the present day, and are able to know it as it was of old in the
beginning, this is called (unwinding) the clue of Tao.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 十 五 章
古 之 善 为 道 者 , 微 妙 玄 通 , 深 不 可 识 。
夫 唯 不 可 识 , 故 强 为 之 容 :
   豫 兮 若 冬 涉 川 ﹔
   犹 兮 若 畏 四 邻 ﹔
   俨 兮 其 若 客 ﹔
   涣 兮 其 若 凌 释 ﹔
   敦 兮 其 若 朴 ﹔
   旷 兮 其 若 谷 ﹔
   混 兮 其 若 浊 ﹔
   澹 兮 其 若 海 ﹔
   飂 兮 若 无 止 。
   孰 能 浊 以 静 之 徐 清 。
孰 能 安 以 动 之 徐 生 。
   保 此 道 者 , 不 欲 盈 。
夫 唯 不 盈 , 故 能 蔽 而 新 成 。
Chapter 15
The skilful masters (of the Tao) in old times, with a subtle
and exquisite penetration, comprehended its mysteries, and were deep
(also) so as to elude men's knowledge. As they were thus beyond men's
knowledge, I will make an effort to describe of what sort they
appeared to be.
Shrinking looked they like those who wade through a stream in
winter; irresolute like those who are afraid of all around them; grave
like a guest (in awe of his host); evanescent like ice that is melting
away; unpretentious like wood that has not been fashioned into
anything; vacant like a valley, and dull like muddy water.
Who can (make) the muddy water (clear)? Let it be still, and it
will gradually become clear. Who can secure the condition of rest?
Let movement go on, and the condition of rest will gradually arise.
They who preserve this method of the Tao do not wish to be full (of
themselves). It is through their not being full of themselves that
they can afford to seem worn and not appear new and complete.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 十 六 章
致 虚 极 , 守 静 笃。
   万 物 并 作 , 吾 以 观 复。
   夫 物 芸 芸 , 各 复 归 其 根 。
归 根 曰 静 , 静 曰 复 命 。
复 命 曰 常 , 知 常 曰 明 。
不 知 常 , 妄 作 凶 。
   知 常 容 , 容 乃 公 ,
公 乃 全 , 全 乃 天 ,
天 乃 道 , 道 乃 久 , 没 身 不 殆 。
Chapter 16
The (state of) vacancy should be brought to the utmost degree,
and that of stillness guarded with unwearying vigour. All things
alike go through their processes of activity, and (then) we see them
return (to their original state). When things (in the vegetable
world) have displayed their luxuriant growth, we see each of them
return to its root. This returning to their root is what we call the
state of stillness; and that stillness may be called a reporting that
they have fulfilled their appointed end.
The report of that fulfilment is the regular, unchanging rule. To
know that unchanging rule is to be intelligent; not to know it leads
to wild movements and evil issues. The knowledge of that unchanging
rule produces a (grand) capacity and forbearance, and that capacity
and forbearance lead to a community (of feeling with all things).
From this community of feeling comes a kingliness of character; and he
who is king-like goes on to be heaven-like. In that likeness to
heaven he possesses the Tao. Possessed of the Tao, he endures long;
and to the end of his bodily life, is exempt from all danger of decay.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 十 七 章
太 上 , 不 知 有 之 ﹔
其 次 , 亲 而 誉 之 ﹔
其 次 , 畏 之 ﹔
其 次 , 侮 之 。
信 不 足 焉 , 有 不 信 焉 。
   悠 兮 其 贵 言 。
功 成 事 遂 , 百 姓 皆 谓 : 「 我 自 然 」 。
Chapter 17
In the highest antiquity, (the people) did not know that there
were (their rulers). In the next age they loved them and praised
them. In the next they feared them; in the next they despised them.
Thus it was that when faith (in the Tao) was deficient (in the rulers)
a want of faith in them ensued (in the people).
How irresolute did those (earliest rulers) appear, showing (by
their reticence) the importance which they set upon their words!
Their work was done and their undertakings were successful, while the
people all said, 'We are as we are, of ourselves!'
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 十 八 章
   大 道 废 , 有 仁 义 ﹔ 智 慧 出 , 有 大 伪 ﹔
六 亲 不 和 , 有 孝 慈 ﹔ 国 家 昏 乱 , 有 忠 臣 。
Chapter 18
When the Great Tao (Way or Method) ceased to be observed,
benevolence and righteousness came into vogue. (Then) appeared wisdom
and shrewdness, and there ensued great hypocrisy.
When harmony no longer prevailed throughout the six kinships,
filial sons found their manifestation; when the states and clans fell
into disorder, loyal ministers appeared.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 十 九 章
绝 圣 弃 智 , 民 利 百 倍 ﹔
绝 仁 弃 义 , 民 复 孝 慈 ﹔
绝 巧 弃 利 , 盗 贼 无 有 。
此 三 者 以 为 文 , 不 足 。
故 令 有 所 属 : 见 素 抱 朴 , 少 思 寡 欲 , 绝 学 无 忧 。
Chapter 19
If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it
would be better for the people a hundredfold. If we could renounce
our benevolence and discard our righteousness, the people would again
become filial and kindly. If we could renounce our artful
contrivances and discard our (scheming for) gain, there would be no
thieves nor robbers.
Those three methods (of government)
Thought olden ways in elegance did fail
And made these names their want of worth to veil;
But simple views, and courses plain and true
Would selfish ends and many lusts eschew.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 二 十 章
    唯 之 与 阿 , 相 去 几 何 。
之 与 恶 , 相 去 若 何 。
人 之 所 畏 , 不 可 不 畏 。
    荒 兮 , 其 未 央 哉 。
    众 人 熙 熙 , 如 享 太 牢 , 如 春 登 台 。
    我 独 泊 兮 , 其 未 兆 ﹔
    沌 沌 兮 , 如 婴 儿 之 未 孩 ﹔
    儽 儽 兮 , 若 无 所 归 。
    众 人 皆 有 余 , 而 我 独 若 遗 。 我 愚 人 之 心 也 哉 。
    俗 人 昭 昭 , 我 独 昏 昏 。
    俗 人 察 察 , 我 独 闷 闷 。
    众 人 皆 有 以 , 而 我 独 顽 且 鄙 。
    我 独 异 于 人 , 而 贵 食 母 。
Chapter 20
When we renounce learning we have no troubles.
The (ready) 'yes,' and (flattering) 'yea;'--
Small is the difference they display.
But mark their issues, good and ill;--
What space the gulf between shall fill?
What all men fear is indeed to be feared; but how wide and without end
is the range of questions (asking to be discussed)!
The multitude of men look satisfied and pleased; as if enjoying a
full banquet, as if mounted on a tower in spring. I alone seem
listless and still, my desires having as yet given no indication of
their presence. I am like an infant which has not yet smiled. I look
dejected and forlorn, as if I had no home to go to. The multitude of
men all have enough and to spare. I alone seem to have lost
everything. My mind is that of a stupid man; I am in a state of
Ordinary men look bright and intelligent, while I alone seem to be
benighted. They look full of discrimination, while I alone am dull
and confused. I seem to be carried about as on the sea, drifting as
if I had nowhere to rest. All men have their spheres of action, while
I alone seem dull and incapable, like a rude borderer. (Thus) I alone
am different from other men, but I value the nursing-mother (the Tao).
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 二 十 一 章
孔 德 之 容 , 惟 道 是 从 。
   道 之 为 物 , 惟 恍 惟 惚 。
惚 兮 恍 兮 , 其 中 有 象 ﹔ 恍 兮 惚 兮 , 其 中 有 物 。
窈 兮 冥 兮 , 其 中 有 精 ﹔ 其 精 甚 真 , 其 中 有 信 。
   自 今 及 古 , 其 名 不 去 , 以 阅 众 甫 。
吾 何 以 知 众 甫 之 状 哉 。 以 此 。
Chapter 21.
The grandest forms of active force
From Tao come, their only source.
Who can of Tao the nature tell?
Our sight it flies, our touch as well.
Eluding sight, eluding touch,
The forms of things all in it crouch;
Eluding touch, eluding sight,
There are their semblances, all right.
Profound it is, dark and obscure;
Things' essences all there endure.
Those essences the truth enfold
Of what, when seen, shall then be told.
Now it is so; 'twas so of old.
Its name--what passes not away;
So, in their beautiful array,
Things form and never know decay.
How know I that it is so with all the beauties of existing things? By
this (nature of the Tao).
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 二 十 二 章
曲 则 全 , 枉 则 直 , 洼 则 盈 ,
敝 则 新 , 少 则 得 , 多 则 惑 。
   是 以 圣 人 抱 一 为 天 下 式 。
不 自 见 , 故 明 ﹔
不 自 是 , 故 彰 ﹔
不 自 伐 , 故 有 功 ﹔
不 自 矜 , 故 长 。
   夫 唯 不 争 , 故 天 下 莫 能 与 之 争 。
古 之 所 谓 「 曲 则 全 」 者 , 岂 虚 言 哉 。
诚 全 而 归 之 。
Chapter 22
The partial becomes complete; the crooked, straight; the empty,
full; the worn out, new. He whose (desires) are few gets them; he
whose (desires) are many goes astray.
Therefore the sage holds in his embrace the one thing (of
humility), and manifests it to all the world. He is free from self-
display, and therefore he shines; from self-assertion, and therefore
he is distinguished; from self-boasting, and therefore his merit is
acknowledged; from self-complacency, and therefore he acquires
superiority. It is because he is thus free from striving that
therefore no one in the world is able to strive with him.
That saying of the ancients that 'the partial becomes complete' was
not vainly spoken:--all real completion is comprehended under it.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 二 十 三 章
希 言 自 然 。
   故 飘 风 不 终 朝 , 骤 雨 不 终 日 。
孰 为 此 者 。
天 地 。 天 地 尚 不 能 久 , 而 况 于 人 乎 。
故 从 事 于 道 者 , 同 于 道 ﹔
德 者 , 同 于 德 ﹔ 失 者 , 同 于 失 。
同 于 道 者 , 道 亦 乐 得 之 ﹔
同 于 德 者 , 德 亦 乐 得 之 ﹔
同 于 失 者 , 失 亦 乐 得 之 。
   信 不 足 焉 , 有 不 信 焉 。
Chapter 23
Abstaining from speech marks him who is obeying the spontaneity
of his nature. A violent wind does not last for a whole morning; a
sudden rain does not last for the whole day. To whom is it that these
(two) things are owing? To Heaven and Earth. If Heaven and Earth
cannot make such (spasmodic) actings last long, how much less can man!
Therefore when one is making the Tao his business, those who are
also pursuing it, agree with him in it, and those who are making the
manifestation of its course their object agree with him in that; while
even those who are failing in both these things agree with him where
they fail.
Hence, those with whom he agrees as to the Tao have the happiness
of attaining to it; those with whom he agrees as to its manifestation
have the happiness of attaining to it; and those with whom he agrees
in their failure have also the happiness of attaining (to the Tao).
(But) when there is not faith sufficient (on his part), a want of
faith (in him) ensues (on the part of the others).
: 「道 德 經」 : 第 二 十 四 章
企 者 不 立 ﹔ 跨 者 不 行 ﹔
自 见 者 不 明 ﹔ 自 是 者 不 彰 ﹔
自 伐 者 无 功 ﹔ 自 矜 者 不 长 。
   其 在 道 也 , 曰 : 余 食 赘 形 。
物 或 恶 之 , 故 有 道 者 不 处 。
Chapter 24.
He who stands on his tiptoes does not stand firm; he who stretches
his legs does not walk (easily). (So), he who displays himself does
not shine; he who asserts his own views is not distinguished; he who
vaunts himself does not find his merit acknowledged; he who is self-
conceited has no superiority allowed to him. Such conditions, viewed
from the standpoint of the Tao, are like remnants of food, or a tumour
on the body, which all dislike. Hence those who pursue (the course)
of the Tao do not adopt and allow them.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 二 十 五 章
有 物 混 成 , 先 天 地 生 。
寂 兮 寥 兮 , 独 立 而 不 改 ,
周 行 而 不 殆 , 可 以 为 天 地 母 。
吾 不 知 其 名 , 强 字 之 曰 道 , 强 为 之 名 曰 大 。
大 曰 逝 , 逝 曰 远 , 远 曰 反 。
   故 道 大 , 天 大 , 地 大 , 人 亦 大 。
域 中 有 四 大 , 而 人 居 其 一 焉 。
   人 法 地 , 地 法 天 , 天 法 道 , 道 法 自 然 。
Chapter 25
There was something undefined and complete, coming into
existence before Heaven and Earth. How still it was and formless,
standing alone, and undergoing no change, reaching everywhere and in
no danger (of being exhausted)! It may be regarded as the Mother of
all things.
I do not know its name, and I give it the designation of the Tao
(the Way or Course). Making an effort (further) to give it a name I
call it The Great.
Great, it passes on (in constant flow). Passing on, it becomes
remote. Having become remote, it returns. Therefore the Tao is
great; Heaven is great; Earth is great; and the (sage) king is also
great. In the universe there are four that are great, and the (sage)
king is one of them.
Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from
Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its
being what it is.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 二 十 六 章
重 为 轻 根 , 静 为 躁 君 。
   是 以 君 子 终 日 行 不 离 辎 重 。
虽 有 荣 观 , 燕 处 超 然 。
奈 何 万 乘 之 主 , 而 以 身 轻 天 下 。
   轻 则 失 根 , 躁 则 失 君 。
Chapter 26
Gravity is the root of lightness; stillness, the ruler of
Therefore a wise prince, marching the whole day, does not go far
from his baggage wagons. Although he may have brilliant prospects to
look at, he quietly remains (in his proper place), indifferent to
them. How should the lord of a myriad chariots carry himself lightly
before the kingdom? If he do act lightly, he has lost his root (of
gravity); if he proceed to active movement, he will lose his throne.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 二 十 七 章
善 行 无 辙 迹 , 善 言 无 瑕 谪 ﹔
善 数 不 用 筹 策 ﹔ 善 闭 无 关 楗 而 不 可 开 ,
善 结 无 绳 约 而 不 可 解 。
   是 以 圣 人 常 善 救 人 , 故 无 弃 人 ﹔
常 善 救 物 , 故 无 弃 物 。
是 谓 袭 明 。
   故 善 人 者 , 不 善 人 之 师 ﹔
不 善 人 者 , 善 人 之 资 。
不 贵 其 师 , 不 爱 其 资 ,
虽 智 大 迷 , 是 谓 要 妙 。
Chapter 27
The skilful traveller leaves no traces of his wheels or
footsteps; the skilful speaker says nothing that can be found fault
with or blamed; the skilful reckoner uses no tallies; the skilful
closer needs no bolts or bars, while to open what he has shut will be
impossible; the skilful binder uses no strings or knots, while to
unloose what he has bound will be impossible. In the same way the
sage is always skilful at saving men, and so he does not cast away any
man; he is always skilful at saving things, and so he does not cast
away anything. This is called 'Hiding the light of his procedure.'
Therefore the man of skill is a master (to be looked up to) by him
who has not the skill; and he who has not the skill is the helper of
(the reputation of) him who has the skill. If the one did not honour
his master, and the other did not rejoice in his helper, an
(observer), though intelligent, might greatly err about them. This is
called 'The utmost degree of mystery.'
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 二 十 八 章
    知 其 雄 , 守 其 雌 , 为 天 下 溪 。
为 天 下 溪 , 常 德 不 离 , 复 归 于 婴 儿 。
    知 其 白 , 守 其 辱 , 为 天 下 谷 。
为 天 下 谷 , 常 德 乃 足 , 复 归 于 朴 。
    知 其 白 , 守 其 黑 , 为 天 下 式 。
为 天 下 式 , 常 德 不 忒 , 复 归 于 无 极 。
    朴 散 则 为 器 , 圣 人 用 之 ,
则 为 官 长 , 故 大 智 不 割 。
Chapter 28
Who knows his manhood's strength,
Yet still his female feebleness maintains;
As to one channel flow the many drains,
All come to him, yea, all beneath the sky.
Thus he the constant excellence retains;
The simple child again, free from all stains.
Who knows how white attracts,
Yet always keeps himself within black's shade,
The pattern of humility displayed,
Displayed in view of all beneath the sky;
He in the unchanging excellence arrayed,
Endless return to man's first state has made.
Who knows how glory shines,
Yet loves disgrace, nor e'er for it is pale;
Behold his presence in a spacious vale,
To which men come from all beneath the sky.
The unchanging excellence completes its tale;
The simple infant man in him we hail.
The unwrought material, when divided and distributed, forms
vessels. The sage, when employed, becomes the Head of all the
Officers (of government); and in his greatest regulations he employs
no violent measures.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 二 十 九 章
将 欲 取 天 下 而 为 之 , 吾 见 其 不 得 已 。
天 下 神 器 , 不 可 为 也 , 不 可 执 也 。
为 者 败 之 , 执 者 失 之 。
是 以 圣 人 无 为 , 故 无 败 ﹔
无 执 , 故 无 失。
   夫 物 或 行 或 随 ﹔ 或 嘘 或 吹 ﹔
或 强 或 羸 ﹔ 或 载 或 隳 。
   是 以 圣 人 去 甚 , 去 奢 , 去 泰 。
Chapter 29
If any one should wish to get the kingdom for himself, and to
effect this by what he does, I see that he will not succeed. The
kingdom is a spirit-like thing, and cannot be got by active doing. He
who would so win it destroys it; he who would hold it in his grasp
loses it.
The course and nature of things is such that
What was in front is now behind;
What warmed anon we freezing find.
Strength is of weakness oft the spoil;
The store in ruins mocks our toil.
Hence the sage puts away excessive effort, extravagance, and easy
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 三 十 章
以 道 佐 人 主 者 , 不 以 兵 强 天 下 。
其 事 好 远 。
师 之 所 处 , 荆 棘 生 焉 。
大 军 之 后 , 必 有 凶 年 。
   善 有 果 而 已 , 不 以 取 强 。
果 而 勿 矜 , 果 而 勿 伐 , 果 而 勿 骄 。
果 而 不 得 已 , 果 而 勿 强 。
   物 壮 则 老 , 是 谓 不 道 , 不 道 早 已 。
Chapter 30
He who would assist a lord of men in harmony with the Tao will
not assert his mastery in the kingdom by force of arms. Such a course
is sure to meet with its proper return.
Wherever a host is stationed, briars and thorns spring up. In the
sequence of great armies there are sure to be bad years.
A skilful (commander) strikes a decisive blow, and stops. He does
not dare (by continuing his operations) to assert and complete his
mastery. He will strike the blow, but will be on his guard against
being vain or boastful or arrogant in consequence of it. He strikes
it as a matter of necessity; he strikes it, but not from a wish for
When things have attained their strong maturity they become old.
This may be said to be not in accordance with the Tao: and what is not
in accordance with it soon comes to an end.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 三 十 一 章
夫 兵 者 , 不 祥 之 器 ,
物 或 恶 之 , 故 有 道 者 不 处 。
   君 子 居 则 贵 左 , 用 兵 则 贵 右 。
兵 者 不 祥 之 器 , 非 君 子 之 器 ,
不 得 已 而 用 之 , 恬 淡 为 上 。
胜 而 不 美 , 而 美 之 者 , 是 乐 杀 人 。
夫 乐 杀 人 者 , 则 不 可 得 志 于 天 下 矣 。
   吉 事 尚 左 , 凶 事 尚 右 。
偏 将 军 居 左 , 上 将 军 居 右 , 言 以 丧 礼 处 之 。
杀 人 之 众 , 以 悲 哀 泣 之 , 战 胜 以 丧 礼 处 之 。
Chapter 31
Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen,
hateful, it may be said, to all creatures. Therefore they who have
the Tao do not like to employ them.
The superior man ordinarily considers the left hand the most
honourable place, but in time of war the right hand. Those sharp
weapons are instruments of evil omen, and not the instruments of the
superior man;--he uses them only on the compulsion of necessity. Calm
and repose are what he prizes; victory (by force of arms) is to him
undesirable. To consider this desirable would be to delight in the
slaughter of men; and he who delights in the slaughter of men cannot
get his will in the kingdom.
On occasions of festivity to be on the left hand is the prized
position; on occasions of mourning, the right hand. The second in
command of the army has his place on the left; the general commanding
in chief has his on the right;--his place, that is, is assigned to him
as in the rites of mourning. He who has killed multitudes of men
should weep for them with the bitterest grief; and the victor in
battle has his place (rightly) according to those rites.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 三 十 二 章
道 常 无 名 朴 。
虽 小 , 天 下 莫 能 臣 。
侯 王 若 能 守 之 , 万 物 将 自 宾 。
   天 地 相 合 , 以 降 甘 露 , 民 莫 之 令 而 自 均 。
   始 制 有 名 , 名 亦 既 有 ,
夫 亦 将 知 止 , 知 止 可 以 不 殆 。
   譬 道 之 在 天 下 , 犹 川 谷 之 于 江 海 。
Chapter 32
The Tao, considered as unchanging, has no name.
Though in its primordial simplicity it may be small, the whole
world dares not deal with (one embodying) it as a minister. If a
feudal prince or the king could guard and hold it, all would
spontaneously submit themselves to him.
Heaven and Earth (under its guidance) unite together and send down
the sweet dew, which, without the directions of men, reaches equally
everywhere as of its own accord.
As soon as it proceeds to action, it has a name. When it once has
that name, (men) can know to rest in it. When they know to rest in
it, they can be free from all risk of failure and error.
The relation of the Tao to all the world is like that of the great
rivers and seas to the streams from the valleys.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 三 十 三 章
   知 人 者 智 , 自 知 者 明 。
   胜 人 者 有 力 , 自 胜 者 强 。
   知 足 者 富 。
   强 行 者 有 志 。
   不 失 其 所 者 久 。
   死 而 不 亡 者 寿 。
Chapter 33
He who knows other men is discerning; he who knows himself is
intelligent. He who overcomes others is strong; he who overcomes
himself is mighty. He who is satisfied with his lot is rich; he who
goes on acting with energy has a (firm) will.
He who does not fail in the requirements of his position, continues
long; he who dies and yet does not perish, has longevity.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 三 十 四 章
大 道 泛 兮 , 其 可 左 右 。
万 物 恃 之 以 生 而 不 辞 , 功 成 而 不 有 。
衣 养 万 物 而 不 为 主 , 可 名 于 小 ﹔
万 物 归 焉 而 不 为 主 , 可 名 为 大 。
以 其 终 不 自 为 大 , 故 能 成 其 大 。
Chapter 34
All-pervading is the Great Tao! It may be found on the left
hand and on the right.
All things depend on it for their production, which it gives to
them, not one refusing obedience to it. When its work is
accomplished, it does not claim the name of having done it. It
clothes all things as with a garment, and makes no assumption of being
their lord;--it may be named in the smallest things. All things
return (to their root and disappear), and do not know that it is it
which presides over their doing so;--it may be named in the greatest
Hence the sage is able (in the same way) to accomplish his great
achievements. It is through his not making himself great that he can
accomplish them.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 三 十 五 章
执 大 象 , 天 下 往 。
往 而 不 害 , 安 平 泰 。
   乐 与 饵 , 过 客 止 。
道 之 出 口 , 淡 乎 其 无 味 ,
视 之 不 足 见 , 听 之 不 足 闻 , 用 之 不 足 既 。
Chapter 35
To him who holds in his hands the Great Image (of the invisible
Tao), the whole world repairs. Men resort to him, and receive no
hurt, but (find) rest, peace, and the feeling of ease.
Music and dainties will make the passing guest stop (for a time).
But though the Tao as it comes from the mouth, seems insipid and has
no flavour, though it seems not worth being looked at or listened to,
the use of it is inexhaustible.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 三 十 六 章
将 欲 歙 之 , 必 故 张 之 ﹔ 将 欲 弱 之 , 必 故 强 之 ﹔
将 欲 废 之 , 必 故 兴 之 ﹔ 将 欲 取 之 , 必 故 与 之 。
是 谓 微 明 。
   柔 弱 胜 刚 强 。
鱼 不 可 脱 于 渊 , 国 之 利 器 不 可 以 示 人 。
Chapter 36
When one is about to take an inspiration, he is sure to make a
(previous) expiration; when he is going to weaken another, he will
first strengthen him; when he is going to overthrow another, he will
first have raised him up; when he is going to despoil another, he will
first have made gifts to him:--this is called 'Hiding the light (of
his procedure).'
The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak the strong.
Fishes should not be taken from the deep; instruments for the
profit of a state should not be shown to the people.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 三 十 七 章
道 常 无 为 而 无 不 为 。
侯 王 若 能 守 之 , 万 物 将 自 化 。
化 而 欲 作 , 吾 将 镇 之 以 无 名 之 朴 。
镇 之 以 无 名 之 朴 , 夫 将 不 欲 。
不 欲 以 静 , 天 下 将 自 正 。
Chapter 37
The Tao in its regular course does nothing (for the sake of
doing it), and so there is nothing which it does not do.
If princes and kings were able to maintain it, all things would of
themselves be transformed by them.
If this transformation became to me an object of desire, I would
express the desire by the nameless simplicity.
Simplicity without a name
Is free from all external aim.
With no desire, at rest and still,
All things go right as of their will.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 三 十 八 章
上 德 不 德 , 是 以 有 德 ﹔
下 德 不 失 德 , 是 以 无 德 。
   上 德 无 为 而 无 以 为 ﹔
下 德 无 为 而 有 以 为 。
   上 仁 为 之 而 无 以 为 ﹔
上 义 为 之 而 有 以 为 。
   上 礼 为 之 而 莫 之 应 ,
则 攘 臂 而 扔 之 。
   故 失 道 而 后 德 , 失 德 而 后 仁 ,
失 仁 而 后 义 , 失 义 而 后 礼 。
   夫 礼 者 , 忠 信 之 薄 , 而 乱 之 首 。
   前 识 者 , 道 之 华 , 而 愚 之 始 。
是 以 大 丈 夫 处 其 厚 , 不 居 其 薄 ﹔
处 其 实 , 不 居 其 华 。 故 去 彼 取 此 。
Chapter 38
(Those who) possessed in highest degree the attributes (of the
Tao) did not (seek) to show them, and therefore they possessed them
(in fullest measure). (Those who) possessed in a lower degree those
attributes (sought how) not to lose them, and therefore they did not
possess them (in fullest measure).
(Those who) possessed in the highest degree those attributes did
nothing (with a purpose), and had no need to do anything. (Those who)
possessed them in a lower degree were (always) doing, and had need to
be so doing.
(Those who) possessed the highest benevolence were (always seeking)
to carry it out, and had no need to be doing so. (Those who)
possessed the highest righteousness were (always seeking) to carry it
out, and had need to be so doing.
(Those who) possessed the highest (sense of) propriety were (always
seeking) to show it, and when men did not respond to it, they bared
the arm and marched up to them.
Thus it was that when the Tao was lost, its attributes appeared;
when its attributes were lost, benevolence appeared; when benevolence
was lost, righteousness appeared; and when righteousness was lost, the
proprieties appeared.
Now propriety is the attenuated form of leal-heartedness and good
faith, and is also the commencement of disorder; swift apprehension is
(only) a flower of the Tao, and is the beginning of stupidity.
Thus it is that the Great man abides by what is solid, and eschews
what is flimsy; dwells with the fruit and not with the flower. It is
thus that he puts away the one and makes choice of the other
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 三 十 九 章
昔 之 得 一 者 :
天 得 一 以 清 ﹔
地 得 一 以 宁 ﹔
神 得 一 以 灵 ﹔
谷 得 一 以 生 ﹔
侯 得 一 以 为 天 下 正 。
   其 致 之 也 , 谓 天 无 以 清 , 将 恐 裂 ﹔
地 无 以 宁 , 将 恐 废 ﹔
神 无 以 灵 , 将 恐 歇 ﹔
谷 无 以 盈 , 将 恐 竭 ﹔
万 物 无 以 生 , 将 恐 灭 ﹔
侯 王 无 以 正 , 将 恐 蹶 。
   故 贵 以 贱 为 本 , 高 以 下 为 基 。
是 以 侯 王 自 称 孤 、 寡 、 不 谷 。
此 非 以 贱 为 本 邪 。 非 乎 。 故 致 誉 无 誉 。
是 故 不 欲 琭 琭 如 玉 , 珞 珞 如 石 。
Chapter 39
The things which from of old have got the One (the Tao) are--
Heaven which by it is bright and pure;
Earth rendered thereby firm and sure;
Spirits with powers by it supplied;
Valleys kept full throughout their void
All creatures which through it do live
Princes and kings who from it get
The model which to all they give.
All these are the results of the One (Tao).
If heaven were not thus pure, it soon would rend;
If earth were not thus sure, 'twould break and bend;
Without these powers, the spirits soon would fail;
If not so filled, the drought would parch each vale;
Without that life, creatures would pass away;
Princes and kings, without that moral sway,
However grand and high, would all decay.
Thus it is that dignity finds its (firm) root in its (previous)
meanness, and what is lofty finds its stability in the lowness (from
which it rises). Hence princes and kings call themselves 'Orphans,'
'Men of small virtue,' and as 'Carriages without a nave.' Is not this
an acknowledgment that in their considering themselves mean they see
the foundation of their dignity? So it is that in the enumeration of
the different parts of a carriage we do not come on what makes it
answer the ends of a carriage. They do not wish to show themselves
elegant-looking as jade, but (prefer) to be coarse-looking as an
(ordinary) stone.
: 「道 德 經」 : 第 四 十 章
   反 者 道 之 动 ﹔ 弱 者 道 之 用 。
   天 下 万 物 生 于 有 , 有 生 于 无 。
Chapter 40
The movement of the Tao
By contraries proceeds;
And weakness marks the course
Of Tao's mighty deeds.
All things under heaven sprang from It as existing (and named);
that existence sprang from It as non-existent (and not named).
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 四 十 一 章
上 士 闻 道 , 勤 而 行 之 ﹔ 中 士 闻 道 , 若 存 若 亡 ﹔
下 士 闻 道 , 大 笑 之 。 不 笑 不 足 以 为 道 。
故 建 言 有 之 :
   明 道 若 昧 ﹔
   进 道 若 退 ﹔
   夷 道 若 颣 ﹔
   上 德 若 谷 ﹔
   广 德 若 不 足 ﹔
   建 德 若 偷 ﹔
   质 真 若 渝 ﹔
   大 白 若 辱 ﹔
   大 方 无 隅 ﹔
   大 器 晚 成 ﹔
   大 音 希 声 ﹔
   大 象 无 形 ﹔
   道 隐 无 名 。
   夫 唯 道 , 善 贷 且 成 。
Chapter 41
Scholars of the highest class, when they hear about the Tao,
earnestly carry it into practice. Scholars of the middle class, when
they have heard about it, seem now to keep it and now to lose it.
Scholars of the lowest class, when they have heard about it, laugh
greatly at it. If it were not (thus) laughed at, it would not be fit
to be the Tao.
Therefore the sentence-makers have thus expressed themselves:--
'The Tao, when brightest seen, seems light to lack;
Who progress in it makes, seems drawing back;
Its even way is like a rugged track.
Its highest virtue from the vale doth rise;
Its greatest beauty seems to offend the eyes;
And he has most whose lot the least supplies.
Its firmest virtue seems but poor and low;
Its solid truth seems change to undergo;
Its largest square doth yet no corner show
A vessel great, it is the slowest made;
Loud is its sound, but never word it said;
A semblance great, the shadow of a shade.'
The Tao is hidden, and has no name; but it is the Tao which is
skilful at imparting (to all things what they need) and making them
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 四 十 二 章
道 生 一 , 一 生 二 , 二 生 三 , 三 生 万 物 。
万 物 负 阴 而 抱 阳 , 冲 气 以 为 和 。
   人 之 所 恶 , 唯 孤 、 寡 、 不 谷 , 而 王 公 以 为 称 。
   故 物 或 损 之 而 益 , 或 益 之 而 损 。
   人 之 所 教 , 我 亦 教 之 。
强 梁 者 不 得 其 死 , 吾 将 以 为 教 父 。
Chapter 42
The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three;
Three produced All things. All things leave behind them the Obscurity
(out of which they have come), and go forward to embrace the
Brightness (into which they have emerged), while they are harmonised
by the Breath of Vacancy.
What men dislike is to be orphans, to have little virtue, to be as
carriages without naves; and yet these are the designations which
kings and princes use for themselves. So it is that some things are
increased by being diminished, and others are diminished by being
What other men (thus) teach, I also teach. The violent and strong
do not die their natural death. I will make this the basis of my
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 四 十 三 章
天 下 之 至 柔 , 驰 骋 天 下 之 至 坚 。
无 有 入 无 间 , 吾 是 以 知 无 为 之 有 益 。
   不 言 之 教 , 无 为 之 益 , 天 下 希 及 之 。
Chapter 43
The softest thing in the world dashes against and overcomes the
hardest; that which has no (substantial) existence enters where there
is no crevice. I know hereby what advantage belongs to doing nothing
(with a purpose).
There are few in the world who attain to the teaching without
words, and the advantage arising from non-action.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 四 十 四 章
   名 与 身 孰 亲 。 身 与 货 孰 多 。 得 与 亡 孰 病 。
   甚 爱 必 大 费 ﹔ 多 藏 必 厚 亡 。
   故 知 足 不 辱 , 知 止 不 殆 , 可 以 长 久 。
Chapter 44
Or fame or life,
Which do you hold more dear?
Or life or wealth,
To which would you adhere?
Keep life and lose those other things;
Keep them and lose your life:--which brings
Sorrow and pain more near?
Thus we may see,
Who cleaves to fame
Rejects what is more great;
Who loves large stores
Gives up the richer state.
Who is content
Needs fear no shame.
Who knows to stop
Incurs no blame.
From danger free
Long live shall he.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 四 十 五 章
   大 成 若 缺 , 其 用 不 弊 。
   大 盈 若 冲 , 其 用 不 穷 。
   大 直 若 屈 , 大 巧 若 拙 , 大 辩 若 讷 。
   静 胜 躁 , 寒 胜 热 。 清 静 为 天 下 正 。
Chapter 45
Who thinks his great achievements poor
Shall find his vigour long endure.
Of greatest fulness, deemed a void,
Exhaustion ne'er shall stem the tide.
Do thou what's straight still crooked deem;
Thy greatest art still stupid seem,
And eloquence a stammering scream.
Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity
and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 四 十 六 章
天 下 有 道 , 却 走 马 以 粪 。
天 下 无 道 , 戎 马 生 于 郊 。
   祸 莫 大 于 不 知 足 ﹔ 咎 莫 大 于 欲 得 。
故 知 足 之 足 , 常 足 矣 。
Chapter 46
When the Tao prevails in the world, they send back their swift
horses to (draw) the dung-carts. When the Tao is disregarded in the
world, the war-horses breed in the border lands.
There is no guilt greater than to sanction ambition; no calamity
greater than to be discontented with one's lot; no fault greater than
the wish to be getting. Therefore the sufficiency of contentment is
an enduring and unchanging sufficiency.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 四 十 七 章
不 出 户 , 知 天 下 ﹔ 不 窥 牖 , 见 天 道 。
其 出 弥 远 , 其 知 弥 少 。
   是 以 圣 人 不 行 而 知 , 不 见 而 明 , 不 为 而 成 。
Chapter 47
Without going outside his door, one understands (all that takes
place) under the sky; without looking out from his window, one sees
the Tao of Heaven. The farther that one goes out (from himself), the
less he knows.
Therefore the sages got their knowledge without travelling; gave
their (right) names to things without seeing them; and accomplished
their ends without any purpose of doing so.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 四 十 八 章
为 学 日 益 , 为 道 日 损 。
损 之 又 损 , 以 至 于 无 为 。
   无 为 而 无 不 为 。
取 天 下 常 以 无 事 , 及 其 有 事 , 不 足 以 取 天 下 。
Chapter 48
He who devotes himself to learning (seeks) from day to day to
increase (his knowledge); he who devotes himself to the Tao (seeks)
from day to day to diminish (his doing).
He diminishes it and again diminishes it, till he arrives at doing
nothing (on purpose). Having arrived at this point of non-action,
there is nothing which he does not do.
He who gets as his own all under heaven does so by giving himself
no trouble (with that end). If one take trouble (with that end), he
is not equal to getting as his own all under heaven.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 四 十 九 章
    圣 人 常 无 心 , 以 百 姓 心 为 心 。
    善 者 , 吾 善 之 ﹔ 不 善 者 , 吾 亦 善 之 ﹔ 德 善 。
    信 者 , 吾 信 之 ﹔ 不 信 者 , 吾 亦 信 之 ﹔ 德 信 。
    圣 人 在 天 下 , 歙 歙 焉 , 为 天 下 浑 其 心 ,
百 姓 皆 注 其 耳 目 , 圣 人 皆 孩 之 。
Chapter 49
The sage has no invariable mind of his own; he makes the mind
of the people his mind.
To those who are good (to me), I am good; and to those who are not
good (to me), I am also good;--and thus (all) get to be good. To
those who are sincere (with me), I am sincere; and to those who are
not sincere (with me), I am also sincere;--and thus (all) get to be
The sage has in the world an appearance of indecision, and keeps
his mind in a state of indifference to all. The people all keep their
eyes and ears directed to him, and he deals with them all as his
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 五 十 章
出 生 入 死 。
生 之 徒 , 十 有 三 ﹔
死 之 徒 , 十 有 三 ﹔
人 之 生 , 动 之 于 死 地 , 亦 十 有 三 。
   夫 何 故 。
以 其 生 之 厚 。
盖 闻 善 摄 生 者 , 路 行 不 遇 兕 虎 , 入 军 不 被 甲 兵 ﹔
兕 无 所 投 其 角 , 虎 无 所 用 其 爪 , 兵 无 所 容 其 刃 。
夫 何 故 。 以 其 无 死 地 。
Chapter 50
Men come forth and live; they enter (again) and die.
Of every ten three are ministers of life (to themselves); and three
are ministers of death.
There are also three in every ten whose aim is to live, but whose
movements tend to the land (or place) of death. And for what reason?
Because of their excessive endeavours to perpetuate life.
But I have heard that he who is skilful in managing the life
entrusted to him for a time travels on the land without having to shun
rhinoceros or tiger, and enters a host without having to avoid buff
coat or sharp weapon. The rhinoceros finds no place in him into which
to thrust its horn, nor the tiger a place in which to fix its claws,
nor the weapon a place to admit its point. And for what reason?
Because there is in him no place of death.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 五 十 一 章
道 生 之 , 德 畜 之 , 物 形 之 , 势 成 之 。
   是 以 万 物 莫 不 尊 道 而 贵 德 。
   道 之 尊 , 德 之 贵 , 夫 莫 之 命 而 常 自 然 。
   故 道 生 之 , 德 畜 之 ﹔
长 之 育 之 ﹔ 成 之 熟 之 ﹔ 养 之 覆 之 。
生 而 不 有 , 为 而 不 恃 ,
长 而 不 宰 。 是 谓 玄 德 。
Chapter 51
All things are produced by the Tao, and nourished by its
outflowing operation. They receive their forms according to the
nature of each, and are completed according to the circumstances of
their condition. Therefore all things without exception honour the
Tao, and exalt its outflowing operation.
This honouring of the Tao and exalting of its operation is not the
result of any ordination, but always a spontaneous tribute.
Thus it is that the Tao produces (all things), nourishes them,
brings them to their full growth, nurses them, completes them, matures
them, maintains them, and overspreads them.
It produces them and makes no claim to the possession of them; it
carries them through their processes and does not vaunt its ability in
doing so; it brings them to maturity and exercises no control over
them;--this is called its mysterious operation.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 五 十 二 章
天 下 有 始 , 以 为 天 下 母 。
既 得 其 母 , 以 知 其 子 ,
复 守 其 母 , 没 身 不 殆 。
   塞 其 兑 , 闭 其 门 , 终 身 不 勤 。
开 其 兑 , 济 其 事 , 终 身 不 救 。
   见 小 曰 明 , 守 柔 曰 强 。
用 其 光 , 复 归 其 明 , 无 遗 身 殃 ﹔ 是 为 袭 常 。
Chapter 52
(The Tao) which originated all under the sky is to be
considered as the mother of them all.
When the mother is found, we know what her children should be.
When one knows that he is his mother's child, and proceeds to guard
(the qualities of) the mother that belong to him, to the end of his
life he will be free from all peril.
Let him keep his mouth closed, and shut up the portals (of his
nostrils), and all his life he will be exempt from laborious exertion.
Let him keep his mouth open, and (spend his breath) in the promotion
of his affairs, and all his life there will be no safety for him.
The perception of what is small is (the secret of clear-
sightedness; the guarding of what is soft and tender is (the secret
of) strength.
Who uses well his light,
Reverting to its (source so) bright,
Will from his body ward all blight,
And hides the unchanging from men's sight.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 五 十 三 章
使 我 介 然 有 知 , 行 于 大 道 , 唯 施 是 畏 。
   大 道 甚 夷 , 而 人 好 径 。
朝 甚 除 , 田 甚 芜 , 仓 甚 虚 ﹔
服 文 采 , 带 利 剑 , 厌 饮 食 ,
财 货 有 余 ﹔ 是 为 盗 夸 。
非 道 也 哉 。
Chapter 53
If I were suddenly to become known, and (put into a position
to) conduct (a government) according to the Great Tao, what I should
be most afraid of would be a boastful display.
The great Tao (or way) is very level and easy; but people love the
Their court(-yards and buildings) shall be well kept, but their
fields shall be ill-cultivated, and their granaries very empty. They
shall wear elegant and ornamented robes, carry a sharp sword at their
girdle, pamper themselves in eating and drinking, and have a
superabundance of property and wealth;--such (princes) may be called
robbers and boasters. This is contrary to the Tao surely!
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 五 十 四 章
善 建 者 不 拔 ,
善 抱 者 不 脱 , 子 孙 以 祭 祀 不 辍 。
   修 之 于 身 , 其 德 乃 真 ﹔
修 之 于 家 , 其 德 乃 余 ﹔
修 之 于 乡 , 其 德 乃 长 ﹔
修 之 于 邦 , 其 德 乃 丰 ﹔
修 之 于 天 下 , 其 德 乃 普 。
    故 以 身 观 身 ,
以 家 观 家 , 以 乡 观 乡 ,
以 邦 观 邦 , 以 天 下 观 天 下 。
吾 何 以 知 天 下 然 哉 。 以 此 。
Chapter 54
What (Tao's) skilful planter plants
Can never be uptorn;
What his skilful arms enfold,
From him can ne'er be borne.
Sons shall bring in lengthening line,
Sacrifices to his shrine.
Tao when nursed within one's self,
His vigour will make true;
And where the family it rules
What riches will accrue!
The neighbourhood where it prevails
In thriving will abound;
And when 'tis seen throughout the state,
Good fortune will be found.
Employ it the kingdom o'er,
And men thrive all around.
In this way the effect will be seen in the person, by the
observation of different cases; in the family; in the neighbourhood;
in the state; and in the kingdom.
How do I know that this effect is sure to hold thus all under the
sky? By this (method of observation).
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 五 十 五 章
含 「 德 」 之 厚 , 比 于 赤 子 。
毒 虫 不 螫 , 猛 兽 不 据 , 攫 鸟 不 搏 。
骨 弱 筋 柔 而 握 固 。
未 知 牝 牡 之 合 而 峻 作 , 精 之 至 也 。
终 日 号 而 不 嗄 , 和 之 至 也 。
   知 和 曰 「 常 」 ,
知 常 曰 「 明 」 。
益 生 曰 祥 。 心 使 气 曰 强 。
物 壮 则 老 , 谓 之 不 道 , 不 道 早 已 。
Chapter 55
He who has in himself abundantly the attributes (of the Tao) is
like an infant. Poisonous insects will not sting him; fierce beasts
will not seize him; birds of prey will not strike him.
(The infant's) bones are weak and its sinews soft, but yet its
grasp is firm. It knows not yet the union of male and female, and yet
its virile member may be excited;--showing the perfection of its
physical essence. All day long it will cry without its throat
becoming hoarse;--showing the harmony (in its constitution).
To him by whom this harmony is known,
(The secret of) the unchanging (Tao) is shown,
And in the knowledge wisdom finds its throne.
All life-increasing arts to evil turn;
Where the mind makes the vital breath to burn,
(False) is the strength, (and o'er it we should mourn.)
When things have become strong, they (then) become old, which may
be said to be contrary to the Tao. Whatever is contrary to the Tao
soon ends.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 五 十 六 章
知 者 不 言 , 言 者 不 知 。
   挫 其 锐 , 解 其 纷 , 和 其 光 ,
同 其 尘 , 是 谓 「 玄 同 」 。
故 不 可 得 而 亲 , 不 可 得 而 疏 ﹔
不 可 得 而 利 , 不 可 得 而 害 ﹔
不 可 得 而 贵 , 不 可 得 而 贱 。 故 为 天 下 贵 。
Chapter 56
He who knows (the Tao) does not (care to) speak (about it); he
who is (ever ready to) speak about it does not know it.
He (who knows it) will keep his mouth shut and close the portals
(of his nostrils). He will blunt his sharp points and unravel the
complications of things; he will attemper his brightness, and bring
himself into agreement with the obscurity (of others). This is called
'the Mysterious Agreement.'
(Such an one) cannot be treated familiarly or distantly; he is
beyond all consideration of profit or injury; of nobility or
meanness:--he is the noblest man under heaven.
老 子: 「道 德 经」 : 第 五 十 七 章
以 正 治 国 , 以 奇 用 兵 , 以 无 事 取 天 下 。
吾 何
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