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Tao Te Ching Chapter 56 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





He who knows (the Tao) does not (care to) speak (about it); he who is (ever ready to) speak about it does not know it.


He (who knows it) will keep his mouth shut and close the portals (of his nostrils). He will blunt his sharp points and unravel the complications of things; he will attemper his brightness, and bring himself into agreement with the obscurity (of others). This is called

'the Mysterious Agreement.'


(Such an one) cannot be treated familiarly or distantly; he is beyond all consideration of profit or injury; of nobility or meanness:--he is the noblest man under heaven.

Those who know don't talk.

Those who talk don't know.


Close your mouth,

block off your senses,

blunt your sharpness,

untie your knots,

soften your glare,

settle your dust.

This is the primal identity.


Be like the Tao.

It can't be approached or withdrawn from,

benefited or harmed,

honored or brought into disgrace.

It gives itself up continually.

That is why it endures.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell


















 

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