Thursday, March 01, 2012

Dao De Jing, Laozi, Chapter 72

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 72

"If the people do not fear the dreadful, the great dreadful will come, surely.  
Let them not deem their lives narrow.
Let them not deem their lot wearisome.
When it is not deemed wearisome, then it will not be wearisome. 
Therefore the holy man knows himself but does not display himself.
He holds himself dear but does not honor himself.
Thus he discards the latter and chooses the former."
-   Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 72    

"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."
-   Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 72 

"Be not irate should others fail to be awed by your attributes.
Having true importance, circumstances will ultimately bring proper recognition.
Imprison them not -
Harass and oppress them not,
Treating them compassionately,
You, in turn, will be so treated.
Thus the Sage,
Knowing his own power,
Does not overtly display it.
Loving himself,
Does not exalt himself.
Rejecting external sensuousness,
He accepts the powers within his being."
-   Translated by Alan B. Taplow, 1982, Chapter 72  
"When the people do not fear your might
Then your might has truly become great.
Don't interfere with their household affairs.
Don't oppress their livelihood.
If you don't oppress them they won't feel oppressed.
Thus the sage understands herself
But does not show herself.
Loves herself
But does not prize herself.
Therefore she lets go of that
And takes this."
-   Translated by Charles Muller, Chapter 72  

"When the people stop fearing the fearsome something truly fearsome will descend upon them.
Don't hem them in
and choke their lives with oppression.
That's all.
Just let them be,
and they'll never tire of you.
A sage sees through himself without revealing himself,
loves himself without exalting himself,
always ignores that and chooses this."
-   Translated by David Hinton, Chapter 72  

"When people dread not the powers that be,
A greater dread is on the way.
Encroach not on their domain;
Do not burden down their lives.
Only of those who bear bearing
Will the people bear the burden.
This is why wise men who govern
Know themselves, show themselves not,
Conserve themselves, esteem themselves not:
Rejecting these, preferring those."
-   Translated by Moss Roberts, Chapter 72 

"When the people no longer fear your power,
It is a sign that a greater power is coming.
Interfere not lightly with their dwelling,
Nor lay heavy burdens upon their livelihood.
Only when you cease to weary them,
They will cease to be wearied of you.
Therefore, the Sage knows himself,
But makes no show of himself,
Loves himself,
But does not exalt himself.
He prefers what is within to what is without."
-   Translated by John C. H. Wu, Chapter 72 


Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching

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