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Chapter 50
Man comes alive into the world
And goes dead into the earth.
Three out of ten will live longer.
Three out of ten will live shorter.
And three out of ten will strive for long life
But meet premature death.
And for what reason?
It is because of excessive preservation of life.
Only those who don't value their lives are wiser
Than those who overvalue their lives.

I have heard that those who are good at preserving life
Will not meet rhinoceroses or tigers when traveling the byways,
And will not be wounded or killed when fighting battles.
The rhinoceroses cannot butt their horns against them.
The tigers cannot fasten their claws upon them.
And weapons cannot thrust their blades into them.
And for what reason?
Because they are out of the range of death.

Chapter 51
The Dao begets all beings,
And De fosters them.
Substance gives them physical forms.
And environment completes them.
Therefore all beings venerate the Dao and honor De.
As for the veneration of the Dao and the honoring of De,
It is not out of obedience to any orders;
It comes spontaneously due to their naturalness.
Hence the Dao begets all beings,
And De fosters them,
Rears them and develops them,
Matures them and makes them bear fruit,
Protects them and helps them breed.
To produce them without taking possession of them,
To raise them without vaunting this as its own merit,
And to nourish them without controlling them,
This is called Profound De.

Chapter 52
There was a beginning of the universe,
Which may be called the mother of the universe.
He who has found the mother
Thereby understands her sons;
He who has understood the sons
And still keeps to the mother
Will be free from danger throughout his life.
Block up the holes;
Shut up the doors;
And till the end of life there will be no toil.
Open the holes;
Meddle with affairs;
And till the end of life there will be no salvation.
Seeing what is small is called enlightenment.
Keeping to weakness is called strength.
Use the light.
Revert to enlightenment.
And thereby avoid danger to one's life--
This is called practicing the eternal.

Chapter 53
If I have a little wisdom,
I will walk along a broad way
And fear nothing but going astray.
The broad way is very even,
But the powerful delight in by-paths.
The courts are exceedingly corrupt,
Whereas the fields are exceedingly weedy
And the granaries are exceedingly empty.
They are wearing elegant clothes,
Carrying sharp swords,
Enjoying exquisite food and drink,
And owning abundant wealth and treasures.
They can be called robber chieftains.
This is surely against the Dao.

Chapter 54
He who is good at building cannot be shaken.
He who is good at holding can lose nothing.
Thus his ancestral sacrifice can pass down
From generation to generation.
When cultivated and exercised in the person,
De will become pure and genuine.
When cultivated and exercised in the family,
De will become full and overflowing.
When cultivated and exercised in the community,
De will become constant and everlasting.
When cultivated and exercised nationwide,
De will become powerful and abundant.
When cultivated and exercised worldwide,
De will become universal and widespread.

Therefore, (by taking it as a standard we should)
Use this person to examine other persons,
Use this family to examine other families,
Use this community to examine other communities,
Use this country to examine other countries,
And use this world to examine other worlds.
How do I know the situation of all things under Heaven?
Precisely by the above-mentioned method.

 

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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