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Tao Te Ching Chapter 9 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





It is better to leave a vessel unfilled, than to attempt to

carry it when it is full. If you keep feeling a point that has been sharpened, the point cannot long preserve its sharpness.


When gold and jade fill the hall, their possessor cannot keep them safe. When wealth and honours lead to arrogancy, this brings its evil on itself. When the work is done, and one's name is becoming distinguished, to withdraw into obscurity is the way of Heaven.

Fill your bowl to the brim

and it will spill.

Keep sharpening your knife

and it will blunt.

Chase after money and security

and your heart will never unclench.

Care about people's approval

and you will be their prisoner.


Do your work, then step back.

The only path to serenity.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell














 

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