Lao Zi
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Chapter 74
If the people are not afraid of death,
What is the point of trying to frighten them with death?
In order to make people always afraid of death,
We can catch and kill the trouble-makers.
Then, who will dare to make trouble?
There is always a master in charge of executions.
To carry out executions in place of the master
Is like hewing wood in place of a skillful carpenter.
Of those who hew wood in place of the carpenter,
Very few escape cutting their own hands.

Chapter 75
The people suffer from famine
Because the ruler levies too much tax-grain.
Thus they suffer from famine.
The people are difficult to rule
Because the ruler too often takes action.
Thus they are difficult to rule.
The people take life lightly
Because the ruler longs for life so avidly.
Thus they take life lightly.

Chapter 76
When alive, man is soft and tender.
After death, he is hard and stiff.
All things like grass and trees are soft and tender when alive,
Whereas they become withered and dried when dead.
Therefore, the hard and stiff are companions of death
Whereas the soft and tender are companions of life.
Hence an army will be shattered when it becomes strong.
A tree will be broken when it grows huge.
The hard and strong fall in the inferior position;
The soft and tender stay in the superior position.

"The violent and strong do not die natural deaths."
I shall take this principle as the father of my teaching.

Chapter 77
Does not the Dao of Heaven resembles the drawing of a bow?
When the string is taut, press it down.
When it is low, raise it up.
When it is excessive, reduce it.
When it is insufficient, supplement it.
The Dao of Heaven reduces whatever is excessive
And supplements whatever is insufficient.
The Dao of man does the opposite.
It reduces the insufficient
And adds more to the excessive.
Who is able to have a surplus to offer to the world?
Only the one who has the Dao.
The sage does not accumulate for himself.
The more he shares with others, the more he possesses.
The more he gives to others, the richer he becomes.
The Dao of Heaven benefits all things and causes no harm.
The Dao of the sage acts for others but never competes with them.

Chapter 78
Nothing in the world is softer and weaker than water,
But no force can compare with it in attacking the hard and strong.
For this reason there is no substitute for it.
Everyone in the world knows that
The soft can overcome the hard,
And the weak can overcome the strong,
But none can put it into practice.
Therefore the sage says:
"He who shoulders the disgrace for his nation
Can be the sovereign of the country;
He who bears the misfortune of his nation
Can be the king of the world."
Positive words seem to be their opposite.

Chapter 79
To reconcile two sides in deep hatred
Is surely to leave some hatred behind.
If one returns good for evil,
How can this be taken as a proper solution?
Therefore the sage keeps the counterfoil of the tally,
Yet he does not demand repayment of the debt.
The virtuous man is as kind and generous as the tally keeper
While the non-virtuous is as harsh and calculating as a tax collector.
The Dao of Heaven has no preference. It is constantly with the good man.

Chapter 80
Let there be a small state with few people.
It has various kinds of instruments,
But let none of them be used.
Let the people not risk their lives, and not migrate far away.
Although they have boats and carriages,
Let there be no occasion to ride in them.
Although they have armor and weapons,
Let there be no occasion to display them.
Let the people return to knotting cords and using them.
Let them relish their food,
Beautify their clothing,
Feel comfortable in their homes
And delight in their customs.
Although the neighboring states are within the sight of one another,
And the crowing of cocks and barking of dogs
On both sides can be heard,
Their peoples may die of old age without ever meeting each other.

Chapter 81
True words are not beautiful;
Beautiful words are not true.
A good man is not an eloquent arguer;
An eloquent arguer is not a good man.
He who knows does not show off his extensive learning;
He who shows off his extensive learning does not know.


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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