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Chapter 5
Heaven and Earth are not humane.
They regard all things as straw dogs.
The sage is not humane.
He regards all people as straw dogs.
The space between Heaven and Earth is like a bellows, isn't it?
While vacuous, it is never exhaustible.
When active, it turns out even more.
(To talk too much will surely lead to a quick demise.
Hence it is better to keep to tranquility.)
Chapter 6
The spirit of the valley is immortal.
It is called the subtle and profound female.
The gate of the subtle and profound female
Is the root of Heaven and Earth.
It is continuous and everlasting,
With a utility never exhausted.

Chapter 7
Heaven is eternal and Earth everlasting.
They can be so just because they do not exist for themselves.
And for this reason they can tong endure.
Therefore the sage places himself in the background,
But finds himself in the foreground.
He puts himself away without self-consideration,
And yet he always remains well-preserved.
It is because he has no personal interests
That his personal interests are fulfilled.

Chapter 8
The supreme good is like water.
Water is good at benefiting all things
And yet it does not compete with them.
It dwells in places that people detest,
And thus it is so close to the Dao.

In dwelling, (the best man) loves where it is low.
In the mind, he loves what is profound.
In dealing with others, he loves sincerity.
In speaking, he loves faithfulness.
In governing, he loves order.
In handling affairs, he loves competence.
In his activities, he loves timeliness.
Since he does not compete,
He is free from any fault.

Chapter 9
To talk too much will lead to a quick demise.
Hence, it is better to keep to tranquility.
To keep what is full from overflowing
Is not as good as to let it be.
If a sword-edge is sharpened to its sharpest,
It will not be able to last long.
When your rooms are filled with gold and jade,
You will not be able to keep them safe.
If you become arrogant because of honor and wealth,
It will bring upon you misfortune.
Retreat as soon as the work is done.
Such is the Dao of Heaven.

Chapter 10
Can you keep the spirit and embrace the One
Without departing from them?
Can you concentrate your vital force and achieve tenderness
Like an infant without any desires?
Can you purify your mind and contemplate in depth
Without any flecks?
Can you love the people and govern the state
Without taking action?
Can you play the role of the feminine
In the opening and closing of the gates of Heaven?
Can you understand all and penetrate all
Without using your intelligence?

Chapter 11
Thirty spokes are united around the hub to make a wheel,
But it is on the central hole for the axle
That the utility of the chariot depends.
Clay is kneaded to mold a utensil,
But it is on the empty space inside it
That the utility of the utensil depends.
Doors and windows are cut out to form a room,
But it is on the interior vacancy
That the utility of the room depends.
Therefore, have-substance brings advantage
While have-no-substance creates utility.

Chapter 12
The five colors make one's eyes blind.
The five tones make one's ears deaf.
The five flavors dull one's palate.
Racing and hunting unhinge one's mind.
Goods that are hard to get tempt people to rob and steal.
Hence, the sage cares for the belly instead of the eyes;
And he rejects the latter but accepts the former.



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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