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Chapter 55
He who possesses De in abundance
Can be compared to a newborn infant.
Poisonous insects will not sting him.
Fierce brutes will not injure him.
Birds of prey will not attack him.
His bones are weak and his sinews tender,
But his grasp is firm.
He does not yet know about the intercourse of male and female,
But his organ is aroused,
For his physical essence is at its height.
He may cry all day without becoming hoarse,
For his innate harmony is simply perfect.
The essence and harmony as such are natural and constant.
To know this is called being wise.
The desire to multiply life's enjoyments means ill omen.
The mind to employ qi excessively means fatal stiffness.
Things that have grown strong commence to become old.
This is called "being contrary to the Dao."
Whatever is contrary to the Dao will soon perish.

Chapter 56
He who knows does not speak,
He who speaks does not know.
He blocks the vent,
Closes the door,
Blunts the sharpness,
Unties the tangles,
Softens the glare,
And mixes with the dust.
This is called Profound Identification.

Therefore people cannot get intimate with him,
Nor can they estrange themselves from him.
People cannot benefit him,
Nor can they harm him.
People cannot ennoble him,
Nor can they debase him.
For this reason he is esteemed by all-under-the-sky.

Chapter 57
A state should be governed in a normal way.
An army should be operated in an unusual way.
The world should be administered by doing nothing.
How do I know that it should be so? Through the following:
The more prohibitive enactments there are in the world,
The poorer the people will become;
The more sharp weapons men have,
The more troubled the state will be;
The more crafts and techniques men possess,
The more vicious things will appear;
The more laws and orders are made prominent,
The more robbers and thieves will spring up.
Therefore the sage says:
"I take no action and the people of themselves become transformed.
I love tranquility and the people of themselves become righteous.
I disturb nobody and the people of themselves become prosperous.
I have no desires and the people of themselves become simple."

Chapter 58
When the government is generous and non-discriminatory,
The people will remain honest and sincere;
When the government is severe and discriminatory,
The people will become crafty and cunning.
Misfortune is that beside which fortune lies,
Fortune is that beneath which misfortune lurks.
Who knows what may be their ultimate cause?
There is no fixed and normal frame of reference.
The normal can suddenly turn into the abnormal,
The good can suddenly turn into the evil.
The people have been deluded for a long time.

Therefore, the sage is as pointed as a square, but never stays stiff;
He is as sharp as a knife, but never cuts anybody;
He is frank and straightforward, but never aggressive;
He is bright and shining, but never dazzling.

Chapter 59
To rule people and to serve Heaven
Nothing is better than the principle of frugality.
Only by frugality can one get ready early.
To get ready early means to accumulate De continuously.
With the continuous accumulation of De,
One can overcome every difficulty.
If one can overcome every difficulty,
He will then acquire immeasurable capacity.
With immeasurable capacity,
He can achieve the Dao to govern the country.
He who has the Dao of the country can maintain sovereignty.
This is called the way in which the roots are planted deep
And the stalks are made firm;
Longevity is achieved and sovereignty is made everlasting.

Chapter 60
Governing a large country is like cooking a small fish.
If the Dao is applied to the world,
Ghosts will lose their supernatural influence.
It is not that they will actually lose it,
But that their influence will no longer be able to harm men.
It is not that their influence will no longer be able to harm men,
But that the sage also will not harm men.
Since these two do not harm men, and vice versa,
They all enjoy peaceful co-existence.

 

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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