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Chapter 41
When the highest type of shi hear of the Dao,
They diligently practice it.
When the average type of shi hear of the Dao,
They half-believe it.
When the lowest type of shi hear of the Dao,
They laugh heartily at it.
If they did not laugh at it, it would not be the Dao.

Therefore, there is the established saying:
The Dao that is bright seems to be dark;
The Dao that advances seems to retreat;
The Dao that is level seems to be uneven.
Thus the great De appears empty like a valley;
The far-reaching De appears insufficient;
The vigorous De appears inert;
The simplistic De appears clumsy;
The whitest appears soiled;
The greatest square has no corners;
The greatest vessel is unfinished;
The greatest music sounds faint;
The greatest form has no shape;
The Dao is hidden and nameless.
Yet it is the Dao that initiates all things
And brings them to completion.

Chapter 42 (see Part I, 4.1)
The Dao produces the One.
The One turns into the Two.
The Two give rise to the Three.
The Three bring forth the myriad of things.
The myriad things contain Yin and Yang as vital forces,
Which achieve harmony through their interactions.

Chapter 43
The softest thing in the world
Runs in and out of the hardest thing.
The invisible force penetrates any creviceless being.
Thereby I come to know the advantage of take-no-action.
Few, in the world can realize the merits of wordless teaching
And the benefits of do-nothing.

Chapter 44
Which is more dear, fame or life?
Which is more valuable, life or wealth?
Which is more detrimental, gain or loss?
Thus an excessive love of fame
Is bound to cause an extravagant expense.
A rich hoard of wealth
Is bound to suffer a heavy loss.
Therefore he who is contented will encounter no disgrace.
He who knows when and where to stop will meet no danger.
And in this way he can endure longer.

Chapter 45
What is most perfect seems to be incomplete,
But its utility cannot be impaired.
What is most full seems to be empty,
But its utility cannot he exhausted.
The most straight seems to be crooked.
The greatest skill seems to be clumsy.
The greatest eloquence seems to stutter.
The tranquil overcomes the hasty.
The cold overcomes the hot.
By remaining quiet and tranquil,
One can become a model for all the people.

Chapter 46
When the world has the Dao.
War horses are used in farming.
When the world lacks the Dao.
Even mares in foal have to serve in battle.
There is no guilt greater than lavish desires.
There is no calamity greater than discontentment.
There is no defect greater than covetousness.
Therefore, he who is contented with knowing contentment
Is always contented indeed.

Chapter 47
Without going out of the door
One may know the all-under-the-sky.
Without looking through the window One may see the Dao of Heaven.
The further one goes.
The less one knows.
Therefore the sage knows without going about.
Understands without seeing,
And accomplishes without taking action.

Chapter 48
The pursuit of learning is to increase day after day.
The pursuit of the Dao is to decrease day after day.
It decreases and decreases again
Till one gets to the point of take-no-action.
He takes no action and yet nothing is left undone.
In order to govern all under Heaven
One should adopt the policy of doing nothing.
A person who likes to do anything arbitrary,
Is not qualified to govern all under Heaven.

Chapter 49
The sage has no fixed mind of his own.
He takes the mind of the people as his mind.
I treat those who are good with goodness
And I also treat those who are not good with goodness.
Then everyone will try to become good.
I trust those who are trustworthy
And I also trust those who are not trustworthy,
Then everyone will try to become trustworthy.
When the sage governs the world,
He seeks to put away his personal will
And to help everyone return to the sphere of simplicity.
While the people all concentrate on their own eyes and cars,
He renders them back to the sphere of infancy without desires.

 

Chapter 1-4 | Chapter 5-12 | Chapter 13-18 | Chapter 19-23 | Chapter 24-28 | Chapter 29-35
Chapter 36-40 | Chapter 41-49 | Chapter 50-54 | Chapter 55-60 | Chapter 61-66
| Chapter 67-73 | Chapter 74-81 |




 

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