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Tao Te Ching Chapter 72 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





When the people do not fear what they ought to fear, that which is their great dread will come on them.


Let them not thoughtlessly indulge themselves in their ordinary life; let them not act as if weary of what that life depends on.


It is by avoiding such indulgence that such weariness does not arise.


Therefore the sage knows (these things) of himself, but does not parade (his knowledge); loves, but does not (appear to set a) value on, himself. And thus he puts the latter alternative away and makes choice of the former.

When they lose their sense of awe,

people turn to religion.

When they no longer trust themselves,

they begin to depend upon authority.


Therefore the Master steps back

so that people won't be confused.

He teaches without a teaching,

so that people will have nothing to learn.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell

















 

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