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Tao Te Ching Chapter 65 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





The ancients who showed their skill in practising the Tao did so, not to enlighten the people, but rather to make them simple and ignorant.


The difficulty in governing the people arises from their having much knowledge. He who (tries to) govern a state by his wisdom is a scourge to it; while he who does not (try to) do so is a blessing.


He who knows these two things finds in them also his model and rule. Ability to know this model and rule constitutes what we call the mysterious excellence (of a governor). Deep and far-reaching is such mysterious excellence, showing indeed its possessor as opposite

to others, but leading them to a great conformity to him.

The ancient Masters

didn't try to educate the people,

but kindly taught them to not-know.


When they think that they know the answers,

people are difficult to guide.

When they know that they don't know,

people can find their own way.


If you want to learn how to govern,

avoid being clever or rich.

The simplest pattern is the clearest.

Content with an ordinary life,

you can show all people the way

back to their own true nature.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell















 

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