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Tao Te Ching Chapter 36 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





When one is about to take an inspiration, he is sure to make a (previous) expiration; when he is going to weaken another, he will first strengthen him; when he is going to overthrow another, he will first have raised him up; when he is going to despoil another, he will

first have made gifts to him:--this is called 'Hiding the light (of his procedure).'


The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak the strong.


Fishes should not be taken from the deep; instruments for the profit of a state should not be shown to the people.

If you want to shrink something,

you must first allow it to expand.

If you want to get rid of something,

you must first allow it to flourish.

If you want to take something,

you must first allow it to be given.

This is called the subtle perception

of the way things are.


The soft overcomes the hard.

The slow overcomes the fast.

Let your workings remain a mystery.

Just show people the results.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell















 

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