TAO TE CHING
Hymning the Tao Te Ching / Daodejing / 道德經 / sound icon
Word-by-Word, Chinese-English Study Version
(searchable full text on one page)

Nature is constantly honoring and singing songs
of praise, or "hymning" Tao (TTC Chapter 51)
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This is a work-in-progress translation, basically a study tool. Anyone can work with it to write their own translation of a very magical, inventive, delightful, utterly non-conformist TTC. In her essay, "Daode Jing in Practice," Eva Wong (2008) comments: "In the Daoist tradition, study and practice are inseparable: to study is to practice and to practice is to study. Understanding a text can help us practice its teachings; practicing its teachings can help us understand its meanings."
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Copy any character into GOOGLE TRANSLATE (popup window) for audio pronunciations & other meanings — or search the character throughout the TTC on this page to help deepen the meaning in the wider context of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) itself.

(Chapters 01-09) (Chapters 10-18) (Chapters 19-27)
(Chapters 28-36) (Chapters 37-45) (Chapters 46-54)
(Chapters 55-63) (Chapters 64-72) (Chapters 73-81)

In process, TTC translation: earlywomenmasters.net/tao

Chapter 1 

(a) 道可道 (b) 非常道 (c) 名可名 (d) 非常名 (e) 無名天地之始 (f) 有名萬物之母 (g) 故常無欲 (h) 以觀其妙 (i) 常有欲 (j) 以觀其徼 (k) 此兩者 (l) 同出而異名 (m) 同謂之玄 (n) 玄之又玄 (o) 衆妙之門

(a)道可道
The way • that can be • a way
(b)非常道
is not • the common/constant • way
(c)名可名
the name • that can be • a name
(d)非常名
is not • the common/constant • name
(e)無名天地
之始

without • a name • heaven • and earth
the same's • life-spring
(f)有名萬物
之母

with • a name • the ten thousand • things
the same's • mother
(g)故常無欲
therefore • commonly • without • desire
(h) 以觀其妙
thus • to see • the • mysteries
(i)常有欲
commonly • with • desire
(j)以觀其徼
thus • to observe • the • boundaries
(k)此兩者
these • two • things
(l)同出
而異名

together as one • come to be
though • different • in name / thusness
(m)同謂之玄
as one • called • the same's • darkness
(n)玄之又玄
darkness • the same's • again • darkness
(o)衆妙之門
of all • mystery • the same's • gateway
Chapter 2 

(a) 天下皆知美之為美 (b) 斯惡已 (c) 皆知善之為善 (d) 斯不善已 (e) 故有無相生 (f) 難易相成 (g) 長短相較 (h) 高下相傾 (i) 音聲相和 (j) 前後相隨 (k) 是以聖人處無為之事 (l) 行不言之教 (m) 萬物作焉而不辭 (n) 生而不有 (o) 為而不恃 (p) 功成而弗居 (q) 夫唯弗居 (r) 是以不去

(a)天下皆知美
之為美

In heaven • below • all • know • beauty
the same's • acting as • beauty
(b)斯惡已
only because of • ugliness • then
(c)皆知善
之為善

all • know • goodness
the same's • acting as • goodness
(d)斯不善已
only because of • what is not • good • then
(e)故有無
相生

therefore • having • and not having
each other • produce
(f)難易相成
difficult • and easy • each other • complete
(g)長短相較
long • and short • each other • shape
(h) 高下相傾
above • and below • each other • support
(i) 音聲相和
sound • and voice • each other • harmonize
(j)前後相隨
in front • in back • each other • follow
(k) 是以聖人
處無為
之事

yes this • is why • sagely • people
make their home in • non • action
(and) the same • for an occupation
(l)行不言
之教

practicing • without • words
the same thing • teach
(m)萬物作焉
而不辭

the ten thousand • things • arise • therein
and • never • depart
(n)生而不有
producing • and • not • having
(o)為而不恃
acting • and • not • depending
(p)功成
而弗居

achievements • complete
yet • not • relying
(q)夫唯弗居
surely • only because of • not • relying
(r)是以不去
indeed • accordingly • never • departing
Chapter 3 

(a) 不尚賢 (b) 使民不爭 (c) 不貴難得之貨 (d) 使民不為盜 (e) 不見可欲 (f) 使民心不亂 (g) 是以聖人之治 (h) 虛其心 (i) 實其腹 (j) 弱其志 (k) 強其骨 (l) 常使民無知無欲 (m) 使夫智者不敢為也 (n) 為無為 (o) 則無不治

(a)不尚賢
Not • exalting • the worthy
(b)使民不爭
so that • people • do not • contend
(c)不貴難得
之貨

not • esteeming • the difficult • to obtain
the same's • commodities
(d)使民不為盜
so • people • do not • act • as robbers
(e)不見可欲
not • focusing on • what can be • desired
(f)使民心不亂
so • people's • hearts • are not • confused
(g)是以聖人
之治

yes • accordingly • sagely • people
the same • attend
(h)虛其心
emptying • the • heart
(i)實其腹
filling • the • belly
(j)弱其志
gentling • the • ambition
(k)強其骨
strengthening • the • bones
(l)常使民
無知無欲

commonly • thus are • the people
un • knowing • without • desire
(m)使夫智者
不敢為也

and thus • even • the sagely • ones
never • daring • to act • indeed
(n)為無為
(and instead) doing • non • doing
(o) 則無
不治

consequently • there is nothing left
un • attended to
Chapter 4 

(a) 道沖而用之或不盈 (b) 淵兮似萬物之宗 (c) 挫其銳 (d) 解其紛 (e) 和其光 (f) 同其塵 (g) 湛兮似或存 (h) 吾不知誰之子 (i) 象帝之先

(a) 道沖而用
之或不盈

Tao • is overflowing • and yet • in use
the same • perhaps • never • becomes full
(b) 淵兮似
萬物之宗

a deep abyss • indeed • it would seem
the ten thousand • things • the same's • ancestor
(c)挫其銳
blunting • the • sharp
(d)解其紛
loosening • the • tangled
(e)和其光
harmonizing • the • light
(f)同其塵
uniting with • the • dust
(g)湛兮
似或存

the deepest dark • indeed
barely seeming • at times • to exist
(h)吾不知誰
之子

we • don't • (even) know • whose
the same's • child it is
(i)  象帝
之先

imaging • the (ancestral) gods
the same • it precedes
Chapter 5 

(a) 天地不仁 (b) 以萬物為芻狗 (c) 聖人不仁 (d) 以百姓為芻狗 (e) 天地之間 (f) 其猶橐籥乎 (g) 虛而不屈 (h) 動而愈出 (i) 多言數窮 (j) 不如守中

(a)天地不仁
Heaven • and earth • are un • caring
(b)以萬物
為芻狗

accordingly • the ten thousand • things
act as • straw • dogs
(c)聖人不仁
sagely • people • are un • caring
(d)以百姓
為芻狗

accordingly • a hundred • clans of women born
act as • straw • dogs
(e)天地之間
heaven • and earth • the same's • in between
(f)其猶橐籥乎
it's • like • a bellows sack • and pipe • indeed
(g)虛而不屈
emptying • and yet • never • tiring
(h)動而愈出
hard-worked • and yet • the more • producing
(i)   多言數窮
an excess • of talk • amounts to • a lack
(j)不如守中
never • as good as • to guard • the heart
Chapter 6 

(a) 谷神不死 (b) 是謂玄牝 (c) 玄牝之門 (d) 是謂天地根 (e) 綿綿若存 (f) 用之不勤

(a) 谷神不死
The river valley • spirit • never • dies
(b)是謂玄牝
rightly • she is called • the dark • mare
(c)玄牝之門
the dark • mare • the same • a gateway is
(d)是謂
天地根

rightly • called
heaven • and earth's • root-origin
(e)綿綿
若存

continuing on • and on
barely seeming • to exist
(f)用之
不勤

and yet use • of the same
is never • by force or toil
Chapter 7 

(a) 天長地久 (b) 天地所以能長且久者 (c) 以其不自生 (d) 故能長生 (e) 是以聖人後其身而身先 (f) 外其身而身存 (g) 非以其無私耶 (h) 故能成其私

(a)  天長地久
Heaven • lasts long • and earth • is enduring
(b)天地所以
能長且久者

heaven • and earth • these • accordingly
can be • long lasting • and • enduring • things
(c)以其不自生
because • they • do not • for themselves • exist
(d)故能長生
therefore • they can • long • exist
(e)是以聖人後
其身而身先

yes • thusly • sagely • people • fall behind
them • selves • and so • they • advance
(f)外其身
而身存

go beyond • them • selves
and so • the self • is nurtured
(g)非以其無
私耶

isn't it • because • they are • without
self interest • then
(h)故能成其私
that • they can • fulfill • their • self interests
Chapter 8 

(a)  上善若水 (b) 水善利萬物而不爭 (c) 處衆人之所惡 (d) 故幾於道 (e) 居善地 (f) 心善淵 (g) 與善仁 (h) 言善信 (i) 正善治 (j) 事善能 (k) 動善時 (l) 夫唯不爭 (m) 故無尤

(a)上善若水
The highest • good • is like • water
(b)水善
利萬物
而不爭

water • is good at
benefiting • the ten thousand • things
and • does not • contend
(c)處衆人
之所惡

(also) abiding where • most • people
the same • place • loathe
(d)故幾於道
and thus • very near • to • Tao
(e)居善地
for residing • the good is in • the ground
(f) 心善淵
for the heart • the good is in • the depth
(g)與善仁
for giving • the good is in • the kindness
(h)言善信
for speech • the good is in • one's word
(i)正善治
for righting things • the good is in • control
(j)事善能
for tending things • the good is in • the skill
(k)動善時
for movement • the good is in • the timing
(l)夫唯不爭
surely • only because of • not • contending
(m)故無尤
hence • none • are singled out
Chapter 9 

(a) 持而盈之 (b) 不如其已 (c) 揣而銳之 (d) 不可長保 (e) 金玉滿堂 (f) 莫之能守 (g) 富貴而驕 (h) 自遺其咎 (i) 功遂身退天之道

(a)  持而盈之
Hold (a vessel) • and • fill to the brim • the same
(b) 不如其已
is not • near to • what was • already enough
(c)揣而銳之
temper (a sword) • and • sharpen • the same
(d)不可長保
it can't • possibly • continue • to be maintained
(e)金玉滿堂
gold • and jade • filling up • the hall
(f)莫之能守
no one • the same • could possibly • guard it
(g)富貴而驕
being rich • esteemed • and • proud
(h)自遺其咎
of itself • sufficient • the • blame
(i)功遂身退
天之道

achievement • complete • oneself • retreats
heaven • the same's • way
Chapter 10

(a) 載營魄抱一 (b) 能無離乎 (c) 專氣致柔 (d) 能嬰兒乎 (e) 滌除玄覽 (f) 能無疵乎 (g) 愛民治國 (h) 能無知乎 (i) 天門開闔 (j) 能為雌乎 (k) 明白四達 (l) 能無為乎 (m) 生之畜之 (n) 生而不有 (o) 為而不恃 (p) 長而不宰 (q) 是謂玄德

(a)載營魄
抱一

Carrying • the spiritual • and bodily souls
and embracing • the one
(b)能無離乎
can you be • without • separation • now
(c)專氣
致柔

concentrating on • your ch'i (vital force)
and achieving • tenderness
(d)能嬰兒乎
can you be • a new born • infant • now
(e)滌除玄覽
cleansing • and clearing • your mystic • vision
(f)能無疵乎
are you able • to be without • flaw • now
(g) 愛民治國
loving • the people • and healing • the realm
(h)能無知乎
can you • keep • un • knowing • now
(i)天門開闔
heaven's • gate • opening • and closing
(j)能為雌乎
can you • keep • the female part • now
(k)明白四達
understanding • clearly • all four • directions
(l)能無為乎
can you be • without • doing • now
(m)生之畜之
birthing • the same • nurturing • the same
(n)生而不有
producing • and yet • not • possessing
(o)為而不恃
acting • and yet • not • relying on
(p)長而不宰
lasting long • but • not • taking charge
(q)是謂玄德
yes this • is called • mystic • virtue
Chapter 11

(a) 三十輻 (b) 共一轂 (c) 當其無 (d) 有車之用 (e) 埏埴以為器 (f) 當其無 (g) 有器之用 (h) 鑿戶牖以為室 (i) 當其無 (j) 有室之用 (k) 故有之以為利 (l) 無之以為用

(a)三十輻
Three • times ten • spokes
(b) 共一轂
share • one • nave
(c)當其無
by way of • its • not having
(d)有車之用
has • the chariot • the same's • use
(e)埏埴以為器
mold • clay • so as • to make • a vessel
(f)當其無
by way of • its • not having
(g)有器之用
has • a vessel • the same's • use
(h)鑿戶牖以
為室

cut out • doors • and windows • so as
to make • a room
(i)當其無
by way of • its • not having
(j)有室之用
has • the room • the same's • use
(k)故有之
以為利

therefore • having • the same
accordingly • acts as • a benefit
(l)無之
以為用

not having • the same
accordingly • acts as • usefulness
Chapter 12

(a) 五色令人目盲 (b) 五音令人耳聾 (c) 五味令人口爽 (d) 馳騁田獵 (e) 令人心發狂 (f) 難得之貨 (g) 令人行妨 (h) 是以聖人 (i) 為腹不為目 (j) 故去彼取此

(a)五色令
人目盲

The five • colors • can make
people's • eyes • go blind
(b)五音令
人耳聾

the five • musical tones • can make
people's • ears • go deaf
(c)五味令
人口爽

the five • tastes • can make
people's • mouths • go numb
(d)馳騁
田獵

chasing around • galloping
the field • for sport
(e)令人心發狂
can make • people's • hearts • go • mad
(f)難得之貨
difficult • to obtain • the same's • commodities
(g)令人行妨
can make • people's • activities • troublesome
(h)是以聖人
yes • thusly • sagely • people
(i)為腹
不為目

act • from the gut / inner strength
instead of • acting • from the eye
(j)故去彼
取此

thus • letting go • of that
so as to choose • this
Chapter 13

(a) 寵辱若驚 (b) 貴大患若身 (c) 何謂寵辱若驚 (d) 寵為下 (e) 得之若驚 (f) 失之若驚 (g) 是謂寵辱若驚 (h) 何謂貴大患若身 (i) 吾所以有大患者 (j) 為吾有身 (k) 及吾無身 (l) 吾有何患 (m) 故貴以身為天下 (n) 若可寄天下 (o) 愛以身為天下 (p) 若可託天下

(a)寵辱若驚
Favored • or disfavored • seems • dreadful
(b)貴大患
若身

esteemed • as great • a string of troubles
seems to be • for ourselves
(c)何謂寵辱若驚
why • is it said • favored • or disfavored
seems • dreadful
(d)寵為下
favor • acts • to depress
(e)得之若驚
to obtain • the same • seems • dreadful
(f)失之若驚
because to lose • the same • seems • dreadful
(g) 是謂寵辱
若驚

rightly • it is said • favor • and disfavor
seem • dreadful
(h) 何謂貴大
患若身

why • is it said • esteemed • as great
a string of troubles • it seems • for ourselves
(i)吾所以有
大患者

because • we thus • accordingly • acquire
a great • string of troubling • things
(j)為吾有身
and activities • we • then take on • for ourselves
(k)及吾無身
but what if • we were • without • a sense of self
(l)吾有何患
we • would have • why then • a string of troubles
(m)故貴以身
為天下

therefore • esteem • thusly • as self
the activities • of heaven • below
(n)若可寄
天下

and so • able then • to be entrusted with
heaven • below
Chapter 14

(a) 視之不見 (b) 名曰夷 (c) 聽之不聞 (d) 名曰希 (e) 搏之不得 (f) 名曰微 (g) 此三者不可致詰 (h) 故混而為一 (i) 其上不皦 (j) 其下不昧 (k) 繩繩不可名 (l) 復歸於無物 (m) 是謂無狀之狀 (n) 無物之象 (o) 是謂惚恍 (p) 迎之不見其首 (q) 隨之不見其後 (r) 執古之道 (s) 以御今之有 (t) 能知古始 (u) 是謂道紀

(a)視之不見
Watched for • the same • cannot • be seen
(b)名曰夷
by name • it is called • foreign
(c)聽之不聞
listened to • the same • cannot • be heard
(d)名曰希
by name • it is called • rare/precious
(e)搏之不得
reached for • the same • cannot be • grasped
(f)名曰微
by name • it is called • tiny / infantesimile
(g)此三者不可
致詰

these • three • aspects • are not • able
to be conveyed • or scrutinized
(h)故混而為一
accordingly • mingled • and • acting • as one
(i)其上不皦
their • rising • is not • bright
(j)其下不昧
their • setting • is not • dark
(k)繩繩不可名
hidden • hidden • not • able • to be named
(l)復歸於無物
recovering • returning • to • (the) im • material
(m)是謂無狀
之狀

rightly • it is said • without • form
the same • is form
(n)無物之象
(the) im • material • the same is • an image
(o)是謂惚恍
rightly • called • absent-minded • sudden insight
(p)迎之不見其首
meeting • the same • not • seeing • its • face
(q)隨之不見其後
following • the same • not • seeing • its • back
(r)執古之道
hold fast to • the ancients • the same's • way
(s)以御今之有
in order to • steer • in the present • thus • it is
(t)能知古始
possible • to know • the ancient • life spring
(u)是謂道紀
rightly • called • the way's • trace
Chapter 15

(a) 古之善為道者 (b) 微妙玄通 (c) 深不可識 (d) 夫唯不可識 (e) 故強為之容 (f) 豫兮若冬涉川 (g) 猶兮若畏四鄰 (h) 儼兮其若容 (i) 渙兮若冰之將釋 (j) 敦兮其若樸 (k) 曠兮其若谷 (l) 混兮其若濁 (m) 孰能濁以靜之徐清 (n) 孰能安以久動之徐生 (o) 保此道者 (p) 不欲盈 (q) 夫唯不盈 (r) 故能蔽不新成

(a)古之善
為道者

The ancients • the same • that were good at
practicing • the way • these were
(b)微妙玄通
delicate • mysterious • dark • open
(c)深不可識
too deep • not • able • to be understood
(d)夫唯不
可識

surely • only because • they were not
able • to be understood
(e)故強為
之容

therefore • it is necessary • to describe
the same's • appearance
(f)豫兮若冬
涉川

hesitant • thus • seeming • in winter
to be fording • a stream
(g)猶兮若畏
四鄰

as if • indeed • seeming • afraid
on all sides • of their neighbors
(h)儼兮
其若容

reserved • indeed
they were • like • guests
(i)渙兮
若冰
之將釋

yielding • indeed
seeming like • ice
the same • about to • melt
(j)敦兮其
若樸

solid • indeed • they were
like • uncarved wood
(k)曠兮
其若谷

open • indeed
they were • like • a river-valley
(l)混兮
其若濁

muddled • indeed
they were • like • muddy water
(m)孰能濁
以靜之
徐清

who • can be like • muddy water
accordingly • tranquil • the same
gradually • becoming clear
(n)孰能安以
久動之
徐生

who • is able • to find rest • accordingly
enduring • and moving • the same
gradually • coming to life
(o)保此道者
holding fast • to this • way • of things
(p)不欲盈
not • desiring • to fill to the brim
(q)夫唯不盈
surely • only because of • not • filling to the brim
(r)故能蔽
不新成

thus • able • to retire
without • renewal • coming to an end
Chapter 16

(a) 致虛極 (b) 守靜篤 (c) 萬物並作 (d) 吾以觀復 (e) 夫物芸芸 (f) 各復歸其根 (g) 歸根曰靜 (h) 是謂復命 (i) 復命曰常 (j) 知常曰明 (k) 不知常 (l) 妄作凶 (m) 知常容 (n) 容乃公 (o) 公乃王 (p) 王乃天 (q) 天乃道 (r) 道乃久 (s) 沒身不殆

(a)致虛極
Devoted to • emptiness • sincerely
(b)守靜篤
safeguarding • silence • steadfastly
(c)萬物並作
the ten thousand • things • together • arise
(d)吾以觀復
we • thusly • observe • the return
(e)夫物芸芸
surely • all things • flourishing • flourishing
(f)各復歸其根
each • returning • home to • its • root
(g)歸根
曰靜

going home to • the source
refers to • tranquility
(h)是謂復命
rightly this • is called • returning • to life
(i)復命曰常
returning • to life • refers to • the constant
(j)知常
曰明

knowing • the constant
refers to • enlightenment
(k)不知常
not • knowing • the constant
(l)妄作凶
is delusion • and regarded as • misfortune
(m)知常容
knowing • the constant • is all-containing
(n)容乃公
all-containing • leads to • openness
(o)公乃王
openness • leads to • nobility
(p)王乃天
nobility • leads to • heaven
(q)天乃道
heaven • leads to • the way
(r)道乃久
the way • leads to • what is enduring
(s)沒身
不殆

transcending • the body
never • wearing out
Chapter 17

(a) 太上下知有之 (b) 其次親而譽之 (c) 其次畏之 (d) 其次侮之 (e) 信不足焉有不信焉 (f) 悠兮其貴言 (g) 功成事遂 (h) 百姓皆謂我自然

(a)太上
下知
有之

The greatest • of the exalted
those below • only know
they exist • the same
(b)其次親
而譽之

the • second • loved
and • honored • the same
(c)其次畏之
the • next • feared • the same
(d)其次侮之
the • next • ridiculed • the same
(e)信不足焉
有不信焉

if trust • is not • enough • therein
there is • no • trusting • therein
(f)悠兮
其貴言

long drawn out • oh
the • expense • of speech
(g)功成
事遂

achievements • complete
one's work • is done
(h)百姓
皆謂
我自然

a hundred • clans of women born
all • say
we • ourselves • made it so
Chapter 18

(a) 大道廢 (b) 有仁義 (c) 智慧出 (d) 有大偽 (e) 六親不和 (f) 有孝慈 (g) 國家昏亂 (h) 有忠臣

(a)大道廢
The great • way • abandons as useless
(b)有仁義
the possession of • compassion • and justice
(c)智慧出
the knowledge • and mindset • they foster
(d)有大偽
as having • great • hypocrisy
(e)六親
不和

and the six • family relations
as being without • harmony
(f)有孝

or possessing • filial piety
(likewise) the love of
(g)國家
昏亂

country • its domestic affairs
muddle-headed • and confused with
(h)有忠臣
acquiring • loyal • ministers
Chapter 19

(a) 絕聖棄智 (b) 民利百倍 (c) 絕仁棄義 (d) 民復孝慈 (e) 絕巧棄利 (f) 盜賊無有 (g) 此三者以為文不足 (h) 故令有所屬 (i) 見素抱樸 (j) 少私寡欲

(a)絕聖棄智
Renounce • sagacity • relinquish • wisdom
(b)民利百倍
the people • will benefit • a hundred • fold
(c)絕仁棄義
renounce • benevolence • relinquish • justice
(d)民復孝慈
people • will return • to filial piety • and charity
(e)絕巧棄利
renounce • opportunity • relinquish • profit
(f)盜賊無有
robbery • and thieves • will not • exist
(g)此三者以
為文不足

these • three • things • accordingly
can serve • to refine • though not • enough
(h)故令有
所屬

therefore • arrange • to have
something • to belong to
(i)見素
抱樸

contemplate • undyed silk
embrace • uncarved wood
(j)少私寡欲
scant • self-interest • makes scarce • desire
Chapter 20

(a) 絕學無憂 (b) 唯之與阿 (c) 相去幾何 (d) 善之與惡 (e) 相去若何 (f) 人之所畏 (g) 不可不畏 (h) 荒兮其未央哉 (i) 衆人熙熙 (j) 如享太牢 (k) 如春登臺 (l) 我獨怕兮其未兆 (m) 如嬰兒之未孩 (n) 儽儽兮若無所歸 (o) 衆人皆有餘 (p) 而我獨若遺 (q) 我愚人之心也哉 (r) 沌沌兮 (s) 俗人昭昭 (t) 我獨若昏 (u) 俗人察察 (v) 我獨悶悶 (w) 澹兮其若海 (x) 飂兮若無止 (y) 衆人皆有以 (z) 而我獨頑似鄙 (+) 我獨異於人 (+) 而貴食母

(a)絕學無憂
Renounce • discourse • and cease • fretting
(b)唯之與阿
a "yea" • the same • or to give • a "nay"
(c)相去幾何
mutually • differ by • how • much
(d) 善之與惡
approval • the same • can bring • disapproval
(e)相去
若何

each other • cancelled out
it would seem • so why
(f)人之
所畏

are the people • the same
those who • are fearful
(g)不可不畏
not • able to be • un • afraid
(h)荒兮其未央哉
wild • indeed • it is • with no • point • at all
(i)衆人熙熙
most • people • are rosy-cheeked • and busy
(j)如享太牢
as if • enjoying • the great • sacrificial feast
(k)如春
登臺

as though • in springtime
ascending • a terrace
(l)我獨怕
兮其未兆

I • alone • am quieted
as • one • without • a clue
(m)如嬰兒
之未孩

like • a newborn • infant
the same • without • a smile
(n)儽儽兮若
無所歸

a ragged • doll • indeed • as if
having no • place • to call home
(o)衆人皆有餘
most • people • all • have • a surplus
(p)而我獨若遺
but • I • alone • seem to be • at a loss
(q)我愚人
之心也哉

I am • a foolish • character
the same • is my heart • indeed • also
(r)沌沌兮
muddled • muddled • oh
(s)俗人
昭昭

the average • person
is so clear • and transparent
(t)我獨若昏
I • alone • am dark • and confused
(u)俗人
察察

everyday • people
so perceptive • so bright
(v)我獨悶悶
I • alone • am depressed • and dull
(w)澹兮其若海
placid • as if • being • like • the sea
(x)飂兮若
無止

or the high wind • indeed • seeming
never • to end
(y)衆人皆有以
most • people • all • have • an accord
(z)而我獨頑
似鄙

but • I • alone • am obstinate
seeming • ignorant
(+)我獨異於人
I • alone • am different • from • others
(+)而貴
食母

and so • still honor
the sustenance • of the mother
Chapter 21

(a) 孔德之容 (b) 唯道是從 (c) 道之為物 (d) 唯恍唯惚 (e) 忽兮恍兮 (f) 其中有象 (g) 恍兮忽兮 (h) 其中有物 (i) 窈兮冥兮 (j) 其中有精 (k) 其精甚真 (l) 其中有信 (m) 自古及今 (n) 其名不去 (o) 以閱衆甫 (p) 吾何以知衆甫之狀哉 (q) 以此

(a)孔德
之容

All-embracing • virtue
the same's • countenance
(b)唯道是從
only • Tao / the way • yes this • follow
(c)道之為物
Tao • the same • acts as • a resource
(d)唯恍
唯惚

uniquely • sudden insight
uniquely • absent-mindedness
(e)忽兮
恍兮

absent-mindedness • indeed
sudden insight • indeed
(f)其中有象
at the • center • there are • forms
(g)恍兮
忽兮

absent-mindedness • indeed
sudden insight • indeed
(h)其中有物
at the • center • there are • things
(i)窈兮
冥兮

deeply profound • indeed
obscure • indeed
(j)其中有精
at the • center • the • finest • essence (of being)
(k)其精甚真
this • essence • exceedingly • genuine
(l)其中有信
at the • center • there is • truth
(m)自古及今
from • ancient times • until • now
(n)其名不去
its • name • has never • changed
(o)以閱
衆甫

therefore • we (ourselves) can examine
all things (ancient wisdom) • in the present
(p)吾何以知
衆甫之狀哉

ourselves • how • thus • do we know
all things • read • the same • like so • at all
(q)以此
thusly • by this

Chapter 22

(a) 曲則全 (b) 枉則直 (c) 窪則盈 (d) 弊則新 (e) 少則得 (f) 多則惑 (g) 是以聖人抱一為天下式 (h) 不自見 (i) 故明 (j) 不自是 (k) 故彰 (l) 不自伐 (m) 故有功 (n) 不自矜 (o) 故長 (p) 夫唯不爭 (q) 故天下莫能與之爭 (r) 古之所謂曲則全者 (s) 豈虛言哉 (t) 誠全而歸之

(a)曲則全
Bent • consequently • made whole
(b)枉則直
twisted • consequently • ironed out
(c)窪則盈
sunken • consequently • becoming full
(d)弊則新
grown old • consequently • renewed
(e)少則得
lessening • consequently • gaining
(f)多則惑
excessive • consequently • confused / scattered
(g)是以聖人抱
一為天下式

yes this • is why • sagely • people • embrace
the one • serving as • heaven • below's • model
(h)不自見
without • self • centeredness
(i)故明
thusly • enlightened
(j)不自是
not for • self • yes exactly
(k)故彰
therefore • realization
(l)不自伐
neither for • self • denial
(m)故有功
therefore • having • merit
(n)不自矜
neither for • self • promotion
(o)故長
therefore • immortality
(p)夫唯不爭
surely • only • not • contending
(q)故天下莫
能與之爭

thus • in heaven • below • no one
is able • to hand • the same • a fight
(r)古之所謂
曲則全

the ancients • the same • who • said
bent • consequently • made whole
these
(s)豈虛言哉
are they • empty • words • or not
(t)誠全
而歸之

in truth • made whole
and so • return to • the same

Chapter 23

(a) 希言自然 (b) 故飄風不終朝 (c) 驟雨不終日 (d) 孰為此者 (e) 天地 (f) 天地尚不能久 (g) 而況於人乎 (h) 故從事於道者 (i) 道者 (j) 同於道 (k) 德者 (l) 同於德 (m) 失者 (n) 同於失 (o) 同於道者 (p) 道亦樂得之 (q) 同於德者 (r) 德亦樂得之 (s) 同於失者 (t) 失亦樂得之 (u) 信不足 (v) 焉有不信焉

(a)希言自然
a scarcity of • words • of itself • is natural
(b)故飄風
不終朝

therefore • a whirling • wind
does not • last out • the morning
(c)驟雨不終日
a sudden • rain • does not • last out • the day
(d)孰為此者
who • does • these • things
(e)天地
heaven • and earth
(f)天地尚
不能久

(if) heaven • and earth • even
are not • able to • go on and on
(g) 而況於人乎
so then • how much less • for • us • indeed
(h)故從事
於道者

therefore • following / attending to • matters
in (this way) • are the Way's • people
(i)道者
the Way's • people
(j)同於道
act together as one • with • the Way
(k)德者
(just as) virtuous (Te) • people
(l)同於道
act together as one • with • virtue
(m)德者
lost • people
(n)同於失
act together as one • with • loss
(o)同於
道者

acting together as one • with
Tao • these
(p)道亦
樂得之

Tao • likewise
joyfully • accepts • the same
(q)同於
德者

acting together as one • with
virtue (Te) • these
(r)德亦
樂得之

virtue (Te) • likewise
joyfully • accepts • the same
(s)同於失者
acting together as one • with • loss • these
(t)失亦樂得之
loss • likewise • joyfully • accepts • the same
(u)信不足
(and so) trusting • not • enough
(v)焉有
不信焉

therein • having
no • trust • put therein

Chapter 24

(a) 企者不立 (b) 跨者不行 (c) 自見者不明 (d) 自是者不彰 (e) 自伐者無功 (f) 自矜者不長 (g) 其在道也 (h) 曰餘食贅行 (i) 物或惡之 (j) 故有道者不處

(a)企者不立
Standing on tiptoes • one • cannot • stand firm
(b)跨者不行
with feet astride • one • cannot • walk ahead
(c)自見者不明
self • focused • one • cannot • enlighten others
(d)自是者不彰
self • righteous • one • has no • realization
(e)自伐者無功
self • demeaning • one • has nothing • to contribute
(f)自矜者不長
self • promoting • one • cannot • last long
(g)其在道也
these things • amidst • the Way • are
(h)曰餘食
贅行

said • to be over • indulgent
superfluous • activities
(i)物或惡之
such things • even • are loathed • the same
(j)故有道
者不處

therefore • holding fast to • the Way
one • never • abides therein

Chapter 25

(a) 有物混成 (b) 先天地生 (c) 寂兮寥兮 (d) 獨立不改 (e) 周行而不殆 (f) 可以為天下母 (g) 吾不知其名 (h) 字之曰道 (i) 強為之名曰大 (j) 大曰逝 (k) 逝曰遠 (l) 遠曰反 (m) 故道大 (n) 天大 (o) 地大 (p) 王亦大 (q) 域中有四大 (r) 而王居其一焉 (s) 人法地 (t) 地法天 (u) 天法道 (v) 道法自然

(a)有物混成
There are • things • obscurely • formed
(b)先天地生
before • heaven • and earth • were born
(c)寂兮寥兮
silent • indeed • formless • indeed
(d)獨立不改
all alone • standing • un • changing
(e)周行
而不殆

everywhere • active
and yet • not • wearing out
(f)可以為
天下母

able • accordingly • to serve as
heaven • below's • mother
(g)吾不知其名
we • do not • know • her • name
(h)字之
曰道

the character for • the same
is said • Tao
(i)強為之
名曰大

forced • to stand in • for the same
as a name • it is said • to be great
(j)大曰逝
as great • it is said • moving away
(k)逝曰遠
as moving away • it is said • distant
(l)遠曰反
as distant • it is said • returning
(m)故道大
for this reason • the way • is great
(n)天大
heaven • is great
(o)地大
earth • is great
(p)王亦大
the king (sage) • also • is great
(q)域中有
四大

the realm • within (oneself) • having
all four • is great
(r)而王居
其一焉

and so • the king (sage) • abides
in these • as one • here and now
(s)人法地
we (all) • follow • the earth
(t)地法天
the earth • follows • heaven
(u)天法道
heaven • follows • Tao
(v)道法自然
Tao • follows • its own • nature

Chapter 26

(a) 重為輕根 (b) 靜為躁君 (c) 是以聖人終日行 (d) 不離輜重 (e) 雖有榮觀 (f) 燕處超然 (g) 奈何萬乘之主 (h) 而以身輕天下 (i) 輕則失本 (j) 躁則失君

(a)重為
輕根

The heavy • acts
for the light • as its root
(b)靜為
躁君

stillness • acts
for the impetuous • as its leader
(c)是以聖人
終日行

yes • accordingly • sagely • people
last • the whole day • traveling
(d)不離
輜重

without • departing
the baggage wagon • so weighty
(e)雖有
榮觀

and however • they may be
lush • the views
(f)燕處
超然

like flying birds • they reside
transcending all • thus so
(g)奈何
萬乘
之主

with what • or how can
ten thousand • chariots
the same • be ruled
(h)而以身
輕天下

and yet • accordingly • oneself
be frivolous • in heaven • below
(i)輕則
失本

if too light • consequently
one forfeits • the root
(j)躁則
失君

if too restless • consequently
one forfeits • the mastery

Chapter 27

(a) 善行無轍迹 (b) 善言無瑕讁 (c) 善數不用籌策 (d) 善閉無關楗而不可開 (e) 善結無繩約而不可解 (f) 是以聖人常善救人 (g) 故無棄人 (h) 常善救物 (i) 故無棄物 (j) 是謂襲明 (k) 故善人者 (l) 不善人之師 (m) 不善人者 (n) 善人之資 (o) 不貴其師 (p) 不愛其資 (q) 雖智大迷 (r) 是謂要妙

(a)善行
無轍迹

Right • progress
leaves no • ruts • or footprints
(b)善言
無瑕讁

right • words
are without • fault • or blame
(c)善數
不用籌策

right • counting
does not • use • tallies • or tablets
(d)善閉
無關楗
而不可開

right • closing
is without • a gate • or lock
and yet • neither • can it be • opened
(e)善結
無繩約
而不可解

right • binding
(requires) no • string • or knot
and yet • neither • can it be • loosened
(f)是以聖人
常善救人

yes • accordingly • sagely • people
commonly • are good at • rescuing • others
(g)故無棄人
therefore • they never • discard • others
(h)常善救物
commonly • good at • saving • things
(i)故無棄物
therefore • they do not • discard • things
(j)是謂
襲明

yes, this • is called
comprehensive • realization
(k)故善人者
therefore • the good • people • such are
(l)不善人之師
the not • good • people • the same's • teachers
(m)不善人者
and the not • good • people • such are they
(n)善人之資
the good • people • the same's • capital
(o)不貴其師
not • honoring • one's • teacher
(p)不愛其資
or not • loving • one's • capital
(q)雖智
大迷

however • knowledgable
(this is) great • confusion
(r)是謂
要妙

yes this • is called
the essential • mystery

Chapter 28

(a) 知其雄 (b) 守其雌 (c) 為天下谿 (d) 為天下谿 (e) 常德不離 (f) 復歸於嬰兒 (g) 知其白 (h) 守其黑 (i) 為天下式 (j) 為天下式 (k) 常德不忒 (l) 復歸於無極 (m) 知其榮 (n) 守其辱 (o) 為天下谷 (p) 為天下谷 (q) 常德乃足 (r) 復歸於樸 (s) 樸散則為器 (t) 聖人用之 (u) 則為官長 (v) 故大制不割

(a)知其雄
know • it • the masculine
(b)守其雌
keep • it • the feminine
(c)為天下谿
act • in heaven • below • as a river's valley
(d)為天下谿
acting • in heaven • below • as a river's valley
(e)常德不離
commonly • Te / Virtue • never • departs
(f)復歸
於嬰兒

(thus) returning • home again
to (being like) • a newborn • infant
(g)知其白
know • what • shines forth
(h)守其黑
guard • what is • left out
(i)為天下式
act • in heaven • below • as a pattern
(j)為天下式
acting • in heaven • below • as a pattern
(k)常德不忒
commonly • Te / virtue • is never • wanting
(l)復歸
於無極

returning • home again
to • im • mortality
(m)知其榮
know • what • glory is
(n)守其辱
but guard • what is • humble
(o)為天下谷
act • in heaven • below • as a river's valley
(p)為天下谷
acting • in heaven • below • as a river's valley
(q)常德
乃足

the constant • Virtue / Te
is consequently • sufficient
(r)復歸
於樸

returning • home again
to • uncarved wood (true self)
(s)樸散
則為器

uncarved wood • carved
consequently • creates • vessels
(t)聖人用之
sagely • people • use • the same
(u)則為官長
so • to create • officials • of senior rank
(v)故大制
不割

just so • greatness • is fashioned
by not • carving

Chapter 29

(a) 將欲取天下而為之 (b) 吾見其不得已 (c) 天下神器 (d) 不可為也 (e) 為者敗之 ( (f) ) 執者失之 (g) 故物或行或隨 (h) 或歔或吹 (i) 或強或羸 (j) 或挫或隳 (k) 是以聖人去甚 (l) 去奢 (m) 去泰

(a)將欲取天下
而為之

if • desiring • to take over • heaven • below
and • acting on • the same
(b)吾見其不得已
we • see • it is • not • obtained • so
(c)天下神器
heaven • below • a spirit • vessel is
(d)不可為也
and not • able to be • acted upon • either
(e)為者
敗之

to act on • things is
to be defeated by • the same
(f)執者
失之

to hold on • to things is
to lose • the same
(g)故物
或行
或隨

and so • things (as they are)
sometimes • step ahead
sometimes • follow
(h)或歔或吹
sometimes • blow hard • sometimes • soft
(i)或強或羸
sometimes • strong • sometimes • delicate
(j)或挫
或隳

sometimes • turn down
sometimes • turn up
(k)是以
聖人去甚

yes this • being so
sagely • people • let go • much
(l)去奢
let go • extravagance
(m)去泰
let go • (goals of) affluence

Chapter 30

(a) 以道佐人主者 (b) 不以兵強天下 (c) 其事好還 (d) 師之所處 (e) 荊棘生焉 (f) 大軍之後必有凶年 (g) 善者果而已 (h) 不敢以取強 (i) 果而勿矜 (j) 果而勿伐 (k) 果而勿驕 (l) 果而不得已 (m) 果而勿強 (n) 物壯則老 (o) 是謂不道 (p) 不道早已

(a)以道佐人
主者

By means of • Tao • assisting • others
(true) masters • are the ones
(b)不以兵
強天下

not • (promoting) the use of • arms
or force • in heaven • below
(c)其事好還
whose • activities • are more apt • to retreat
(d)師之所處
for where armies • the same's • place • reside
(e)荊棘生焉
thorns • and brambles • grow • there
(f)大軍
之後
必有凶年

surely as with • war chariots
the same (place) • afterwards
will • experience • unproductive • years
(g)善者果
而已

better that • one • be fruitful
and then • stop
(h)不敢以取強
not • daring • thusly • to obtain • by force
(i)果而勿矜
be fruitful • but • never • boast
(j)果而勿伐
be fruitful • but • don't • cut down (others)
(k)果而勿驕
be fruitful • but • not • arrogant
(l)果而不得已
be fruitful • but • not • to obtain • an end
(m)果而勿強
be fruitful • but • not • by force
(n)物壯則老
things • overgrown • will soon • decay
(o)是謂不道
this • is called • not being • the way
(p)不道早已
not being • the way • quickly • ends

Chapter 31

(a) 夫佳兵者不祥之器 (b) 物或惡之 (c) 故有道者不處 (d) 君子居則貴左 (e) 用兵則貴右 (f) 兵者不祥之器 (g) 非君子之器 (h) 不得已而用之 (i) 恬淡為上 (j) 勝而不美 (k) 而美之者 (l) 是樂殺人 (m) 夫樂殺人者 (n) 則不可以得志於天下矣 (o) 吉事尚左 (p) 凶事尚右 (q) 偏將軍居左 (r) 上將軍居右 (s) 言以喪禮處之 (t) 殺人之衆 (u) 以哀悲泣之 (v) 戰勝以喪禮處之

(a)夫佳兵者
不祥之器

Even • the best • weapons • these things
are never • auspicious • the same • utensils
(b)物或惡之
as objects • at times • loathed • the same
(c)故有道
者不處

therefore • possessing • the way of Tao
the ones • not • residing in
(d)君子居
則貴左

true • followers (of the way) • in dwelling
consequently • honor • the left (peace)
(e)用兵則
貴右

in use • warriors • consequently
honor • the right
(f)兵者不祥
之器

weapons • these are • never • auspicious
the same • as utensils
(g)非君子
之器

not (fit) for • true • followers (of the way)
the same • (these) utensils
(h)不得已
而用之

neither • to obtain • as an end (in itself)
nor • to put into use • the same
(i)恬淡
為上

peace • and restraint
act (better) • to right things
(j)勝而不美
(military) victories • even • are not • good
(k)而美
之者

and • what is good
the same • thing (not victory)
(l)是樂
殺人

this • would be rejoicing
in killing • others
(m)夫樂殺人者
surely • rejoicing • in killing • others • the ones
(n)則不可
以得志
於天下矣

consequently • will never • be able
accordingly • to obtain • their will
in • heaven • below • indeed
(o)吉事尚左
auspicious • deeds • uphold • the left
(p)凶事尚右
inauspicious • deeds • uphold • the right
(q)偏將軍
居左

the second • army • lieutenant
stands • on the left
(r)上將軍
居右

the upper • army • leader
stands • on the right
(s)言以喪禮
處之

it is said • like • a funeral • rite
residing • the same
(t)殺人之衆
killing • others • the same • many
(o)以哀悲
泣之

accordingly • mourn • with sorrow
and lamentation • the same
(v)戰勝以喪
禮處之

war • victories • accordingly • as funeral
rites • should be treated • likewise

Chapter 32

(a) 道常無名 (b) 樸雖小天下莫能臣也 (c) 侯王若能守之 (d) 萬物將自賓 (e) 天地相合 (f) 以降甘露 (g) 民莫之令而自均 (h) 始制有名 (i) 名亦既有 (j) 夫亦將知止 (k) 知止所以不殆 (l) 譬道之在天下 (m) 猶川谷之於江海

(a)道常無名
Tao • commonly • has no • name
(b)樸雖小
天下莫能
臣也

uncarved wood • though • insignificant
in heaven • below • no one • is able
to subject it • even so
(c)侯王若能
守之

nobles • and kings • if • they were able
to abide by • the same
(d)萬物將
自賓

ten thousand • things • would arrive
of themselves • as guests
(e)天地相合
heaven • and earth • each other • join
(f)以降甘露
thus so • surrender • sweet • dew
(g)民莫之令
而自均

the people • none • the same • command it
but • of itself • falls evenly
(h)始制有名
in the beginning • managing • has • names
(i)名亦既有
the names • likewise • are enough • to have
(j)夫亦將知止
surely • likewise • then • to know • when to stop
(k)知止所
以不殆

knowing • when to stop • can be
thusly • not • wearing out
(l)譬道之在
天下

'tis similar • Tao • the same's • existence
(in) heaven • below
(m)猶川谷之
於江海

to • a river's • valley • the same
compared to • the rivers • and seas

Chapter 33

(a) 知人者智 (b) 自知者明 (c) 勝人者有力 (d) 自勝者強 (e) 知足者富 (f) 強行者有志 (g) 不失其所者久 (h) 死而不亡者壽

(a)知人
者智

Knowing • others
the ones who • have wisdom
(b)自知
者明

self • knowledge
the ones who • are enlightened
(c)勝人
者有力

mastering • others
the ones who • have • muscle
(d)自勝
者強

self • mastery
the ones who • have strength
(e)知足
者富

to know • what is enough
the ones who • are content
(f)強行
者有志

striding • boldly
the ones • who have • ambition
(g)不失其所
者久

not • losing • their • place (here and now)
the ones who • endure
(h)死而不亡
者壽

to die • but • not • to perish
the ones who • live long

Chapter 34

(a) 大道汎兮 (b) 其可左右 (c) 萬物恃之而生而不辭 (d) 功成不名有 (e) 衣養萬物而不為主 (f) 常無欲可名於小 (g) 萬物歸焉 (h) 而不為主 (i) 可名為大 (j) 以其終不自為大 (k) 故能成其大

(a)大道汎兮
The great • way • overflows • indeed
(b)其可左右
being • able • to go left • or right
(c)萬物
恃之
而生
而不辭

the ten thousand • things
rely on • the same
and • have their being
and • none • are denied
(d)功成
不名有

work • is accomplished
without • a name • or claim
(e)衣養
萬物
而不為主

(it) clothes • and nurtures
the ten thousand • things
and • never • acts as • ruler
(f)常無欲
可名
於小

commonly • without • desire
it can • be named
as • the insignificant
(g)萬物
歸焉
而不為主

the ten thousand • things
return • therein
and • it never • acts as • ruler
(h)可名為大
it can • be named • as • great
(i)以其終
不自為大

accordingly • it • endures
never • itself • acting as • great
(j)故能成
其大

therefore • able • to achieve
its • greatness

Chapter 35

(a) 執大象 (b) 天下往 (c) 往而不害 (d) 安平大 (e) 樂與餌 (f) 過客止 (g) 道之出口淡 (h) 乎其無味 (i) 視之不足見 (j) 聽之不足聞 (k) 用之不足既

(a)執大象
Realize • the great • image
(b)天下往
in heaven • below • (the same) arrives
(c)往而不害
arriving • also • non- • harming
(d)安平大
rest • peace • and contentment
(e)樂與餌
for music • and providing • cakes
(f)過客止
a passing • guest • will stop
(g)道之出
口淡

[but] the Tao • the same • arising
tastes like • weak [tea]
(h)乎其無味
indeed • it is • without • flavor
(i)視之
不足見

look for • the same
there's never • enough • to be seen
(j)聽之
不足聞

listen for • the same
there's never • enough • to be heard
(k)用之
不足既

yet put to use • the same
there's never • enough • to be used up

Chapter 36

(a) 將欲歙之 (b) 必固張之 (c) 將欲弱之 (d) 必固強之 (e) 將欲廢之 (f) 必固興之 (g) 將欲取之 (h) 必固與之 (i) 是謂微明 (j) 柔弱勝剛強 (k) 魚不可脫於淵 (l) 國之利器不可以示人

(a)將欲歙之
What • needs • to shrink • the same
(b)必固張之
must • assuredly • have expanded • the same
(c)將欲弱之
what • needs • to weaken • the same
(d)必固強之
must • assuredly • have strengthened • the same
(e)將欲廢之
what • needs • to be abandoned • the same
(f)必固興之
must • assuredly • have prospered • the same
(g)將欲取之
what • needs • to be chosen • the same
(h)必固與之
must • assuredly • have been assigned • the same
(i)是謂微明
this is • called • delicate • enlightenment
(j)柔弱
勝剛強

gentleness • and yielding
overcome • hardness • and strength
(k)魚不可脫
於淵

fishes • are not • able (to survive)
outside • the deep
(l)國之利
器不可
以示人

the whole nation • the same • benefits from
this device/wisdom • though not • able
therefore • to reveal (it) • to the people

Chapter 37

(a) 道常無為而無不為 (b) 侯王若能守之 (c) 萬物將自化 (d) 而欲作 (e) 吾將鎮之以無名之樸 (f) 無名之樸 (g) 夫亦將無欲 (h) 不欲以靜 (i) 天下將自定

(a)道常無為
而無不為

Tao • commonly • never • acts
and yet • nothing is left • un • done
(b)侯王
若能守之

leaders • and rulers
if • able • to guard • the same
(c)萬物
將自化

the ten thousand • things
would • on their own • transform
(d)而欲作
but if • desire • should arise
(e)吾將鎮之
以無名
之樸

we • would • guard • the same
accordingly • without • a name
the same • an uncarved block
(f)無名
之樸

without • a name
the same • an uncarved block
(g)夫亦
將無欲

surely • then likewise
there would be • no • desire
(h)不欲以靜
non • desire • is thusly • quietude
(i)天下將
自定

in heaven • below • there would be
of itself • order

Chapter 38

(a) 上德不德 (b) 是以有德 (c) 下德不失德 (d) 是以無德 (e) 上德無為而無以為 (f) 下德為之而有以為 (g) 上仁為之而無以為 (h) 上義為之而有以為 (i) 上禮為之而莫之應 (j) 則攘臂而扔之 (k) 故失道而後德 (l) 失德而後仁 (m) 失仁而後義 (n) 失義而後禮 (o) 夫禮者忠信之薄 (p) 而亂之首 (q) 前識者禮 (r) 而愚之始 (s) 是以大丈夫 (t) 處其厚 (u) 不居其薄 (v) 處其實 (w) 不居其華 (x) 故去彼取此

(a)上德不德
Superior • virtue • is not • virtue (Te)
(b)是以有德
this (premise) • is why • it is • virtue (Te)
(c)下德不失德
inferior • virtue • is not • a loss of • virtue
(d)是以
無德

this (if it were a loss) • is why
it is not • virtue
(e)上德無為
而無以為

superior • virtue • is not • doing
but (superiority) • is not • why • it is done
(f)下德為之
而有以為

inferior • virtue • acts • the same
but • it has • a why (reason) • to act
(g)上仁為之
而無以為

superior • benevolence • acts • the same
but • that 's not • why • it acts
(h)上義為之
而有以為

right • conduct • acts • the same
but • that's not • why • it acts
(i)上禮為之
而莫之應

right • protocol • acts • the same
but if • no one • the same • replies
(j)則攘臂
而扔之

then • laid bare • the forearms
so • to force compliance • of others
(k)故失道
而後德

when • forgotten • the way
then • follows • virtue (Te)
(l)失德而
後仁

if forgotten • is Te • then
follows • benevolence
(m)失仁而
後義

if forgotten • is benevolence • then
follows • righteousness
(n)失義而
後禮

if forgotten • is righteousness • then
follows • propriety
(o)夫禮者忠信
之薄

surely • propriety • is • loyalty • and faith
the same • diminished
(p)而亂之首
and • disorder • the same's • beginning
(q)前識者道
之華

fore • knowledge • is • the way
the same's • flowering
(r)而愚之始
and • unknowing • the same's • beginning
(s)是以大丈夫
this is • why • the most • mature • ones
(t)處其厚
hold fast • to the • substantial
(u)不居其薄
and do not • dwell • in the • superficial
(v)處其實
they hold on • to the • fruit
(w)不居其華
and do not • dwell • with the • flower
(x)故去彼
取此

therefore • they let go • of that
and retain • this.

Chapter 39

(a) 昔之得一者 (b) 天得一以清 (c) 地得一以寧 (d) 神得一以靈 (e) 谷得一以盈 (f) 萬物得一以生 (g) 侯王得一以為天下貞 (h) 其致之 (i) 天無以清將恐裂 (j) 地無以寧將恐發 (k) 神無以靈將恐歇 (l) 谷無以盈將恐竭 (m) 萬物無以生將恐滅 (n) 侯王無以貴高將恐蹶 (o) 故貴以賤為本 (p) 高以下為基 (q) 是以侯王自稱孤寡不穀 (r) 此非以賤為本耶 (s) 非乎 (t) 故致數譽無譽 (u) 不欲琭琭如玉 (v) 珞珞如石

(a)昔之
得一者

From of old • the same
having obtained • the one • are these
(b)天得一
以清

heaven • got • the one
and is thusly • clear
(c)地得一
以寧

earth • got • the one
and is thusly • tranquil
(d)神得一
以靈

the (nature) spirits • got • the one
and are thusly • sacred
(e)谷得一
以盈

the river valley • got • the one
and is thusly • abundant
(f)萬物得一
以生

the ten thousand • things • got • the one
and are thusly • productive
(g)侯王得一
以為
天下貞

leaders • and rulers • got • the one
and thusly • act
in heaven • below • uprightly
(h)其致之
these things • demonstrate • the same
(i)天無以清
將恐裂

heaven • without • the means of • clarity
might • fearfully • split asunder
(j)地無以
寧將恐發

the earth • without • the means of
tranquility • might • fearfully • erupt
(k)神無以
靈將恐歇

(nature) spirits • without • the means of
sanctity • might • fearfully • be lost
(l)谷無以
盈將恐竭

the river valley • without • the means of
abundance • might • fearfully • run dry
(m)萬物無以
生將恐滅


the ten thousand • things • without • means
of procreation • would • fearfully • die out
(n)侯王無
以貴高
將恐蹶

leaders • and rulers • without
the means of • respect • and rank
might • fearfully • tumble
(o)故貴以
賤為本

therefore • the esteemed • by means of
the humble • serve as • the root
(p)高以下
為基

those of rank • by means of • the lowly
serve as • the base
(q)是以侯王
自稱孤
寡不穀

this is • why • the leaders • and rulers
themselves • refer to as • orphaned
and friendless • having no • worth
(r)此非以賤
為本耶

this is • or not • to employ • the humble
to act as • the essential • ?
(s)非乎
not so • or yes
(t)故致數
譽無譽

therefore • the highest • esteem
of success • is without • esteem
(u)不欲琭琭
如玉

do not • seek • the jingle • jangle
like (so many) • jade (chimes)
(v)珞珞
如石

but the clack • clack
like (so many) • (small) stones

Chapter 40

(a) 反者道之動 (b) 弱者道之用 (c) 天下萬物生於有 (d) 有生於無

(a)反者道
之動

Reversing • things • (the way of) Tao
the same's • movement
(b)弱者道
之用

weakness • of things • (the way of) Tao
the same's • usefulness
(c)天下萬物
生於有

in heaven • below • ten thousand • things
arise • from • being
(d)有生於無
being • arises • from • nothing

Chapter 41

(a) 上士聞道 (b) 勤而行之 (c) 中士聞道 (d) 若存若亡 (e) 下士聞道 (f) 大笑之 (g) 不笑不足以為道 (h) 故建言有之 (i) 明道若昧 (j) 進道若退 (k) 夷道若纇 (l) 上德若谷 (m) 太白若辱 (n) 廣德若不足 (o) 建德若偷 (p) 質真若渝 (q) 大方無隅 (r) 大器晚成 (s) 大音希聲 (t) 大象無形 (u) 道隱無名 (v) 夫唯道 (w) 善貸且成

(a)上士
聞道

The best • students
hearing of • (the way of) Tao
(b)
而行之

(put it to) work
and • follow • the same
(c)中士
聞道

average • students
hearing of • (the way of ) Tao
(d)若存若亡
sometimes • keep it • sometimes • quit
(e)下士
聞道

the worst • of students
hearing of • (the way of) Tao
(f)大笑之
loudly • laugh • the same
(g)不笑不
足以為道

without • laughter • (there would be) no
reason • thusly • to practice • the way
(h)故建言
有之

therefore • (some) traditional • sayings
are • these
i)明道
若退

the light • of the way
seems like • darkness
(j)進道
若退

getting ahead • on the way
seems like • a retreat
(k)夷道若纇
the level • path • seems • bumpy
(l)上德
若谷

the height of • virtue
seems like • a (muddy) valley
(m)太白
若辱

the greatest • purity
seems like • defilement
(n)廣德
若不足

ample • virtue (Te)
seems • not • sufficient
(o)建德
若偷

the firmest character (Te)
seems as if • furtive
(p)質真
若渝

evident • reality
seems to be • in flux
(q)大方
無隅

the great • square
has no • corners
(r)大器
晚成

the greatest • vessel
is late • in completion
(s)大音
希聲

the greatest • musical tones
are rarely • voiced
(t)大象
無形

the greatest • image
is without • appearance
(u)道隱無名
Tao • is a mystery • without • a name
(v)夫唯
道善貸
且成

but • just so
Tao • is good at • forgiving
and • completing things.

Chapter 42

(a) 道生一 (b) 一生二 (c) 二生三 (d) 三生萬物 (e) 萬物負陰而抱陽 (f) 沖氣以為和 (g) 人之所惡唯 (h) 孤寡不穀 (i) 而王公以為稱 (j) 故物或損之而益 (k) 或益之而損 (l) 人之所教 (m) 我亦教之 (n) 強梁者不得其死 (o) 吾將以為教父

(a)道生一
Tao • produces • the one
(b)一生二
the one • produces • the two
(c)二生三
the two • produce • the three
(d)三生
萬物

the three • produce
the ten thousand • things
(e)萬物
負陰
而抱陽

the ten thousand • things
carry on the back • the yin
and • embrace • the yang
(f)沖氣以
為和

blending • life energy/ch'i • thereby
producing • harmony
(g)人之
所惡唯

(most) people • the same
these • loathe • to be alone
(h)孤寡
不穀

or orphaned • or friendless
or having no • worth
(i)而王公以
為稱

and yet • rulers • and leaders • thusly
deem (themselves) • so by name
(j)故物或
損之
而益

therefore • things • sometimes
are diminished • the same
and yet • benefit
(k)或益之而損
sometimes • increase • the same
and yet • are diminished
(l)人之所教
others • the same • that • they teach
(m)我亦教之
I • also • teach • likewise
(n)強梁者
不得其死

the over-bearing • and forceful • these
will never • gain naturally • their (own) • demise
(o)吾將以為
教父

I • will • thusly • deem (this)
(my) teaching's • father (basic premise)

Chapter 43

(a) 天下之至柔 (b) 馳騁天下之至堅 (c) 無有入無間 (d) 吾是以知無為之有益 (e) 不言之教 (f) 無為之益 (g) 天下希及之

(a)天下之
至柔

Heaven • below • the same's
utmost • softness
(b)馳騁天下
之至堅

rushes • and overrides • in heaven • below
the same's • utmost • hardness
(c)無有入無間
non • being • enters • the im • material
(d)吾是以
知無為
之有益

for us • this is • how
it is known • without • doing
the same's • having • (the most) benefit
(e)不言之教
without • words • the same's • instruction
(f)無為之益
without • doing • the same's • benefit
(g)天下希
及之

in heaven • below • scarce/precious
(all) who attain • to this

Chapter 44

(a) 名與身
孰親 (b) 身與貨孰多 (c) 得與亡孰病 (d) 是故甚愛 (e) 必大費 (f) 多藏必厚亡 (g) 知足不辱 (h) 知止不殆 (i) 可以長久

(a)名與身
孰親

Fame • compared to • the body
which one • is dearer
(b)身與貨
孰多

the body • compared to • wealth
which one • counts more
(c)得與亡
孰病

the gain • compared to • the loss
which • the more dire
(d)是故
甚愛

surely • thus so
an excess of • love /courtship
(e)必大費
truly • a great • risk
(f)多藏
必厚亡

too much • hoarding
is always • great • loss
(g)知足
不辱

to know • what is sufficient
is never • a disgrace
(h)知止
不殆

to know • when to stop
is never • endangering
(i)可以
長久

(but) making possible • the means
to endure • long

Chapter 45

(a) 大成若缺 (b) 其用不弊 (c) 大盈若沖 (d) 其用不窮 (e) 大直若屈 (f) 大巧若拙 (g) 大辯若訥 (h) 躁勝寒 (i) 靜勝熱 (j) 清靜為天下正

(a)大成
若缺

Great • completion
(may) seem to be • deficient
(b)其用不弊
it is • in practice • not • corruptible
(c)大盈
若沖

great • fullness
(may) appear to be • overflowing
(d)其用不窮
it is • in practice • without • limit
(e)大直若屈
great • stature • appears • humbled
(f)其用不弊
great • timing • appears • clumsy
(g)大巧若拙
great • debate • appears • inarticulate
(h)躁勝寒
agitation • overcomes • the cold
(i)靜勝熱
stillness • overcomes • heat
(j)清靜為
天下正

clarity • in tranquility • the activity
in heaven • below • to right things

Chapter 46

(a) 天下有道 (b) 卻走馬以糞 (c) 天下無道 (d) 戎馬生於郊 (e) 罪莫大於可欲 (f) 禍莫大於不知足 (g) 咎莫大於欲得 (h) 故知足之足 (i) 常足矣

(a)天下有道
Heaven • below • having • the way
(b)卻走馬
以糞

back go • the race • horses
to serve • in dung (covered fields)
(c)天下無道
heaven • below • not having • the way
(d)戎馬生
於郊

war • horses • are bred
in • the countryside
(e)罪莫
大於可欲

(among) transgressions • there is none
greater • than • submitting • to (every) desire
(f)禍莫大
於不知足

(among) disasters • there is none • greater
than • mis • understanding • contentment
(g)咎莫大
於欲得

(as regards) blame • there is none • greater
than • desire • for gain
(h)故知足之足
therefore • understanding • (true) contentment
the same • is contentment
(i)常足矣
enduring • contentment • indeed

Chapter 47

(a) 不出戶知天下 (b) 不闚牖見天道 (c) 其出彌遠 (d) 其知彌少 (e) 是以聖人不行而知 (f) 不見而名 (g) 不為而成

(a)不出戶
知天下

without • going out • the door
(we) can know • heaven • below
(b)不闚牖
見天道

without • peeking through • the lattice
we can see • the heavenly • tao
(c)其出
彌遠

things as • they are
the farther away • the more distant
(d)其知彌少
(so) it is • (with) knowledge
the farther away • it comes up short
(e)是以聖人
不行
而知

yes • thus it is • with sagely • people
not • traveling
and yet • knowing (through intuition)
(f)不見而名
not • seeing • and yet • clarifying
(g)不為而成
not • acting • yet • accomplishment

Chapter 48

(a) 為學日益 (b) 為道日損 (c) 損之又損 (d) 以至於無為 (e) 無為而無不為 (f) 取天下常以無事 (g) 及其有事 (h) 不足以取天下

(a)為學
日益

Practice • (traditional) learning
each day • a gain
(b)為道
日損

(but) to study • Tao
(requires) each day • a loss
(c)損之
又損

loss • the same's
again • loss
(d)以至於無為
thus • arriving • at • not • doing
(e)無為
而無不為

not • doing
and so • nothing left • un • done
(f)取天下常
以無事

mastering • heaven • below • commonly
by means of • un • worldliness
(g)及其有事
to attempt • it • with • worldliness
(h)不足
以取
天下

is in- • sufficient
therefore • to be a master
in heaven • below

Chapter 49

(a) 聖人無常心 (b) 以百姓心為心 (c) 善者吾善之 (d) 不善者吾亦善之 (e) 德善 (f) 信者吾信之 (g) 不信者吾亦信之 (h) 德信 (i) 聖人在天下 (j) 歙歙為天下 (k) 渾其心 (l) 百姓皆注其耳目 (m) 聖人皆孩之

(a)聖人無常心
sagely • people • have no • set • mind
(b)以百

心為心

thusly • a hundred
clans [lit. of women born]
(their) minds • act as • mind
(c)善者
吾善之

to good • ones
I am • good • to the same
(d)不善者吾
亦善之

to not • good • ones • I am
likewise • good • to the same
(e)德善
virtue (Te) • is goodness
(f)信者
吾信之

turstworthy • ones
I • trust • the same
(g)不信者
吾亦信之

not • trustworthy • ones
I • likewise • trust • the same
(h)德信
virtue (Te) • is trust
(i)聖人
在天下

(thus) sagely • people
abide in • heaven • below
(j)歙歙為
天下

humbly • humbly • practice
in heaven • below
(k)渾其心
muddied • in it • the mind
(l)百姓
皆注
其耳目

a hundred • clans [lit. of women born]
all • pay attention
with their • ears • and eyes
(m)聖人皆
孩之

sagely • people • all of them
like children • the same

Chapter 50

(a) 出生入死 (b) 生之徒十有三 (c) 死之徒十有三 (d) 人之生動之死地亦 (e) 十有三 (f) 夫何故 (g) 以其生生之厚 (h) 蓋聞善攝生者 (i) 陸行不遇兕虎 (j) 入軍不被甲兵 (k) 兕無所投其角 (l) 虎無所措其爪 (m) 兵無所容其刃 (n) 夫何故 (o) 以其無死地

(a)出生
入死

Entering into (mastering) • life
(so as) to proceed • to death
(b)生之徒
十有三

(followers of ) life • the same's • disciples
are ten • (divided) by • three
(c)死之徒
十有三

(followers of) death • the same's
disciples • are ten • (divided) by • three
(d)人之生
動之
死地

(therefore) followers • those
of life • who make use • the same
of death (immortality) • as (their) realm
(e)亦十有三
are also • ten • (divided) by • three
(f)夫何故
surely • but what • is the reason
(g)以其生生
之厚

because • their • lives • are lived
the same • generously
(h)蓋聞善
攝生者

indeed • it is said • who are benevolent
in living • (their) lives • these
(i)陸行
不遇
兕虎

in the countryside • travel
without • encountering
a wild buffalo / rhinoceros • or tiger
(j)入軍不被
甲兵

enter • battle • without • wearing
armor • or arms
(k)兕無所
投其角

the rhinoceros • has no • place
to plunge • its • horn
(l)虎無所
措其爪

the tiger • has no • place
to administer • its • claws
(m)兵無所
容其刃

the sword • finds no • place
to admit • its • point
(n)夫何故
surely • this is what • the reason is
(o)以其
無死地

because of • their
im • mortal • realm

Chapter 51

(a) 道生之 (b) 德畜之 (c) 物形之 (d) 勢成之 (e) 是以萬物莫不 (f) 尊道而貴德 (g) 道之尊 (h) 德之貴 (i) 夫莫之命常自然 (j) 故道生之 (k) 德畜之 (l) 長之育之 (m) 亭之毒之 (n) 養之覆之 (o) 生而不有 (p) 為而不恃 (q) 長而不宰 (r) 是謂玄德

(a)道生之
Tao • produces • the same
(b)德畜之
virtue (Te) • rears • the same
(c)物形之
things • form • the same
(d)勢成之
strengthen • and accomplish • the same
(e)是以
萬物
莫不

yes • accordingly
the ten thousand • things (of nature)
none • do not
(f)尊道而貴德
honor • Tao • and • esteem • virtue (Te)
(g)道之尊
Tao • the same's • honor
(h)德之貴
virtue (Te) • the same's • esteem
(i)夫莫之命
常自然

surely • no one • the same • commands it
but commonly • of itself • naturally so
(j)故道生之
therefore • Tao • produces • the same
(k)德畜之
virtue (Te) • rears • the same
(l)長之
育之

strengthening • the same
cultivating • the same
(m)亭之
毒之

sheltering • the same
healing • the same
(n)養之
覆之

fostering • the same
answering • the same
(o)生而不有
(all) producing • yet • never • possessing
(p)為而不恃
acting • yet • not • depending on
(q)長而不宰
long enduring • yet • never • ruling over
(r)是謂玄德
yes this • is called • mystic (dark) • virtue (Te)

Chapter 52

(a) 天下有始 (b) 以為天下母 (c) 既知其母 (d) 復知其子 (e) 既知其子 (f) 復守其母 (g) 沒其不殆 (h) 塞其兌 (i) 閉其門 (j) 終身不勤 (k) 開其兌 (l) 濟其事 (m) 終身不救 (n) 見小曰明 (o) 守柔曰強 (p) 用其光 (q) 復歸其明 (r) 無遺身殃 (s) 是為習常

(a)天下有始
Heaven • below • has • an origin
(b)以為
天下母

thus • serving as
in heaven • below • the mother
(c)既知其母
once • you find • the • mother
(d)復知其子
thus • you know • the • child
(e)既知其子
once • you know • the • child
(f)
守其母

you return
to keep • the • mother (true self)
(g)沒其不殆
dissolving • the other • without • perishing
(h)塞其兌
close • the • exchanges
(i)閉其門
shut • the • gates
(j)終身不勤
fulfill • oneself • without • force of toil
(k)開其兌
(however) employ • the • exchanges
(l)濟其事
ford • the • affairs of business
(m)終身
不救

(and) fulfilling • oneself
is never • salvaged
(n)見小曰明
to see • the • insignificant • is called • clarity
(o)守柔曰強
to guard • softness • is called • strength
(p)用其光
make use of • what is • bright
(q)復歸其明
to double • back • to what is • clarity
(r)無遺身殃
without • losing • oneself • in calamity
(s)是為
習常

this • is called
practicing • the constant / eternity

Chapter 53

(a) 使我介然有知 (b) 行於大道 (c) 唯施是畏 (d) 大道甚夷 (e) 而民好徑 (f) 朝甚除 (g) 田甚蕪 (h) 倉甚虛 (i) 服文綵 (j) 帶利劍 (k) 厭飲食 (l) 財貨有餘 (m) 是謂盜夸 (n) 非道也哉

(a)使我介然
有知

If • I • in the least • manner
had • the knowledge
(b)行於大道
to journey • along • the great • way
(c)唯施
是畏

(from) there • to stray
(only) this • would I fear
(d)大道
甚夷

the great • way
is very • level (easy to travel)
(e)而民
好徑

and yet • the people
are fond of • the bypaths
(f)朝甚除
(thus) the palaces • are quite well • tended
(g)田甚蕪
(but) the fields • are badly • neglected
(h)倉甚虛
the granaries • exceedingly • empty
(i)服文綵
(but) the clothing • finely • embroidered
(j)帶利劍
and carrying • sharpened • arms
(k)
飲食

being surfeited
with wine • and feasting
(l)財貨
有餘

riches • and commodities
having • stockpiled
(m)是謂
盜夸

yes, this • is called
robbery • and ostentation
(n)非道
也哉

and not • the way
at all • most certainly

Chapter 54

(a) 善建不拔 (b) 善抱者不脫 (c) 子孫以祭祀不輟 (d) 修之於身 (e) 其德乃真 (f) 修之於家 (g) 其德乃餘 (h) 修之於鄉 (i) 其德乃長 (j) 修之於國 (k) 其德乃豐 (l) 修之於天下 (m) 其德乃普 (n) 故以身觀身 (o) 以家觀家 (p) 以鄉觀鄉 (q) 以國觀國 (r) 以天下觀天下 (s) 吾何以知天下然哉 (t) 以此

(a)善建
不拔

The good • of what is established
is not being • uprooted
(b)善抱
者不脫

so the good of • to hold and cherish
is • never • to cease
(c)子孫
以祭祀
不輟

generation • after generation
in this manner • has offered • sacrifice
without • cease
(d)修之於身
cultivate • the same • in • your person
(e)其德
乃真

your • virtue (Te)
thereupon (becomes) • genuine
(f)修之於家
cultivate • the same • in • domestic life
(g)其德
乃餘

your • virtue (Te)
thereupon (becomes) • a surplus
(h)修之於鄉
cultivate • the same • in • the village
(i)其德
乃長

your • virtue (Te)
thereupon (becomes) • long-lasting
(j)修之於國
cultivate • the same • in • the country
(k)其德
乃豐

your • virtue (Te)
thereupon (becomes) • abundant
(l)修之於天下
cultivate • the same • in • heaven • below
(m)其德乃普
your • virtue (Te)
thereupon (becomes) • universal
(n)故以身
觀身

therefore • thusly • the person
is observed by • the person
(o)以家
觀家

thusly • domestic life
is observed by • domestic life
(p)以鄉
觀鄉

thusly • the village
is observed by • the village
(q)以國
觀國

thusly • the country
is observed by • the country
(r)以天下
觀天下

thusly • heaven • below
is observed by • heaven • below
(s)吾何以
知天下
然哉

how • am I able • thusly
to know • heaven • below
like this • indeed
(t)以此
thusly by • this

Chapter 55

(a) 含德之厚 (b) 比於赤子 (c) 蜂蠆虺蛇不螫 (d) 猛獸不據 (e) 攫鳥不搏 (f) 骨弱筋柔而握固 (g) 未知牝牡之合而全作 (h) 精之至也 (i) 終日號而不嗄 (j) 和之至也 (k) 知和曰常 (l) 知常曰明 (m) 益生曰祥 (n) 心使氣曰強 (o) 物壯則老 (p) 謂之不道 (q) 不道早已

(a)含德
之厚

To possess • virtue (Te)
the same • in abundance
(b)比於赤子
is comparable • to • a naked • baby
(c)蜂蠆虺蛇
不螫

bees • scorpions • vipers • or serpents
do not • bite
(d)猛獸不據
or savage • beasts • do not • carry off
(e)攫鳥不搏
or as prey • raptors • will not • strike
(f)骨弱
筋柔
而握固

(whose) bones • are delicate
(their) muscles • supple
and yet • their grasp • is secure
(g)未知牝牡
之合
而全作

without • knowing • female • and male
the same's • union
and yet • the genitals • can be aroused
(h)精之至也
their essence • the same • most (perfect) • is
(i)終日號
而不嗄

throughout • the day • it may wail
but • never • becoming hoarse
(j)和之
至也

its (natural) harmony • the same
most perfect • is
(k)知和
曰常

knowing • harmony
is called • the constant
(l)知常
曰明

knowing • the constant (the eternal)
is called • enlightenment
(m)益生曰祥
(thus) long • life • is called • good fortune
(n)心使氣
曰強

the mind • concentrating • vital energy (qi)
is called • the mighty
(o)物壯
則老

but things • too strong
as a rule • decay
(p)謂之不道
therefore called • the same • not • the way
(q)不道早已
what is not • the way • soon • fades

Chapter 56

(a) 知者不言 (b) 言者不知 (c) 塞其兑 (d) 閉其門 (e) 挫其銳 (f) 解其分 (g) 和其光 (h) 同其塵 (i) 是謂玄同 (j) 故不可得而親 (k) 不可得而踈 (l) 不可得而利 (m) 不可得而害 (n) 不可得而貴 (o) 不可得而賤 (p) 故為天下貴

(a)
者不言

Knowing (enlightenment)
(yet) one • cannot • speak (it)
(b)言者
不知

by speaking it • (another) person
cannot • know / learn (it)
(c)塞其兑
block • the • exchanges
(d)閉其門
shut • the • gates
(e)挫其銳
blunt • the • sharpness
(f)解其分
loosen • the • tangled
(g)和其光
soften • the • glare
(h)同其塵
companion • the • dust
(i)是謂玄同
yes this • is called • dark / mystic • unity
(j)故不
可得
而親

therefore • it is not
able to • be obtained
and then • be intimate with
(k)不可得
而踈

not • able to • be obtained
and then • neglected
(l)不可得
而利

not • able to • be obtained
and then • benefited
(m)不可得
而害

not • able to • be obtained
and then • harmed
(n)不可得
而貴

not • able to • be obtained
and then • esteemed
(o)不可得
而賤

not • able to • be obtained
and then • demeaned
(p)故為
天下貴

therefore • it serves as • in heaven • below
the most precious (of all things)

Chapter 57

(a) 以正治國 (b) 以奇用兵 (c) 以無事取天下 (d) 吾何以知其然哉 (e) 以此 (f) 天下多忌諱 (g) 而民彌貧 (h) 民多利器 (i) 國家滋昏 (j) 人多伎巧 (k) 奇物滋起 (l) 法令滋彰 (m) 盜賊多有 (n) 故聖人云 (o) 我無為 (p) 而民自化 (q) 我好靜 (r) 而民自正 (s) 我無事 (t) 而民自富 (u) 我無欲 (v) 而民自樸

(a)以正
治國

By means of • the conventional
govern • the empire
(b)以奇
用兵

by means of • the unconventional
the use of • arms
(c)以無事
取天下

by means of • not • meddling
take • heaven • below
(d)吾何以
知其然哉

for me • how is it possible • thusly
to know • such is • right • or not
(e)以此
by means of • this
(f)天下多
忌諱

in heaven • below • many
taboos • and censorship
(g)而民
彌貧

and • the people
are all the more • deficient
(h)民多
利器

the people • with many
sharpened • weapons
(i)國家
滋昏

in the empire • and the home
the greater • the confusion
(j)人多
伎巧

and people • with much
cleverness • and cunning
(k)奇物
滋起

and bizarre • things
these all • begin to appear
(l)法令
滋彰

and laws • and decrees
these all • begin to manifest
(m)盜賊
多有

(and then) bandits • and thieves
the more • there are
(n)故聖人云
therefore • sagely • people • say
(o)我無為
I (take) • no • action
(p)而民自化
and • people • of themselves • transform
(q)我好靜
I (keep) • very • still
(r)而民自正
and • the people • themselves • upright
(s)我無事
I (do) • no • meddling
(t)而民自富
and • the people • themselves • prosper
(u)我無欲
I am • without • desire
(v)而民
自樸

and • the people
themselves • uncarved blocks

Chapter 58

(a) 其政悶悶 (b) 其民淳淳 (c) 其政察察 (d) 其民缺缺 (e) 禍兮福之所倚 (f) 福兮禍之所伏 (g) 孰知其極 (h) 其無正 (i) 正復為奇 (j) 善復為妖 (k) 人之迷 (l) 其日固久 (m) 是以聖人方而不割 (n) 廉而不劌 (o) 直而不肆 (p) 光而不燿

(a)其政
悶悶

When the • government
is unobtrusive • and subdued
(b)其民
淳淳

the • people
are plain • and simple
(c)其政
察察

when the • government
is prying • and interfering
(d)其民
缺缺

the • people
are destitute • and needy
(e)禍兮福
之所倚

misfortune • follows upon • good fortune
the same • is actually • dependent
(f)福兮禍
之所伏

good fortune • follows upon • misfortune
the same • is actually • hidden
(g)孰知其極
who • knows • the • future
(h)其無正
it is • never • straight-forward
(i)正復
為奇

straight-forward • in turn
works • backwards
(j)善復
為妖

goodness • in turn
works out • unfavorably
(k)人之迷
and people • the same • bewildered
(l)其日
固久

and so it is • day by day
assuredly • on and on
(m)是以聖人
方而不割

yes • thusly are • sagely • people
(fair and) square • but • not • cutting
(n)廉而不劌
straight (and true) • but • not • piercing
(o)直而不肆
honest (and direct) • but • not • tactless
(p)光而不燿
enlightened • but • never • dazzling

Chapter 59

(a) 治人事天莫若嗇 (b) 夫唯嗇 (c) 是謂早服 (d) 早服謂之重積德 (e) 重積德則無不克 (f) 無不克則莫知其極 (g) 莫知其極 (h) 可以有國 (i) 有國之母 (j) 可以長久 (k) 是謂深根固柢 (l) 長生久視之道

(a)治人
事天
莫若嗇

To govern • others
and the affairs • of heaven
there is nothing • like • frugality
(b)夫唯嗇
surely • just be • frugal
(c)是謂
早服

yes, this • is called
prompt • service
(d)早服
謂之
重積德

prompt • service
is known • the same
(as) being doubly • endowed with • Te
(e)重積德
則無不克

being doubly • endowed with • Te
then • there's nothing • left • to master
(f)無不克
則莫知其極

nothing • left • to master
then • no one • knows • the • limits
(g)莫知其極
without • knowing • the • limits
(h)可以有國
able • thusly • to possess • the country
(i)有國
之母

to possess • a country
(to be) the same's • mother
(j)可以長久
and able • thusly • to last • long
(k)是謂深根
固柢

this is • known as • having deep • roots
and a strong • trunk
(l)長生
久視
之道

long • life (immortality)
and enduring • insight
the same (is) • (the way of) Tao

Chapter 60

(a) 治大國若烹小鮮 (b) 以道蒞天下 (c) 其鬼不神 (d) 非其鬼不神 (e) 其神不傷人 (f) 非其神不傷人 (g) 聖人亦不傷人 (h) 夫兩不相傷 (i) 故德交歸焉

(a)治大國
若烹小鮮

Ruling • a great • country
is like • cooking • a small • fish
(b)以道蒞
天下

thusly • Tao • attend to
in heaven • below
(c)其鬼不神
and the • dark • will have no • power
(d)非其鬼
不神

not (only) • that the • dark
has no • power
(e)其神
不傷人

but the • nature spirits (Jp. Kami)
do no • harm • to people
(f)非其神
不傷人

not (only) • that the • spirits
do no • harm • to people
(g)聖人
亦不傷人

but sagely • people
also • do no • harm • to people
(h)夫兩
不相傷

surely • the two
do not • each other • harm
(i)故德交
歸焉

therefore • virtue • accrues
mutually • thereto

Chapter 61

(a) 大國者下流 (b) 天下之交 (c) 天下之牝 (d) 牝常以靜勝牡 (e) 以靜為下 (f) 故大國以下小國 (g) 則取小國 (h) 小國以下大國 (i) 則取大國 (j) 故或下以取 (k) 或下而取 (l) 大國不過欲兼畜人 (m) 小國不過欲入事人 (n) 夫兩者各得其所欲 (o) 大者宜為下

(a)大國者
下流

A great • nation • is one that
downward (lower) • flows
(b)天下之交
surely • lower • the same • to unite
(c)天下之牝
surely • lower • the same • as the female
(d)牝常以
靜勝牡

the female • commonly • thusly
keeping still • overcomes • the male
(e)以靜
為下

and thusly • keeping still
is not • the lesser (part)
(f)故大國
以下小國

therefore • the greater • country
keeps below • the lesser • country
(g)則取小國
so then • takes • the lesser • country
(h)小國以
下大國

the lesser • country • thusly
below • the greater • country
(i)則取大國
so then • takes • the greater • country
(j)故或下
以取

therefore • making possible • below
thusly • to take
(k)或下
而取

it is possible • to (remain) below
and yet • overcome
(l)大國
不過欲
兼畜人

(but) the great • nation
never • over-steps • seeking (only)
to unite • and nurture • others
(m)小國
不過欲
入事人

the lesser • country
never • oversteps • seeking (only)
an entrance • to serve • others
(n)夫兩者各
得其所欲

surely • for both of • these • each
obtains • for itself • what • it wants
(o)大者宜
為下

(if) the greater • one • rightly
acts as • the lesser

Chapter 62

(a) 道者萬物之奧 (b) 善人之寶 (c) 不善人之所保 (d) 美言可以市 (e) 尊行可以加人 (f) 人之不善 (g) 何棄之有 (h) 故立天子 (i) 置三公 (j) 雖有拱璧 (k) 以先駟馬 (l) 不如坐進此道 (m) 古之所以貴此道者 (n) 何不曰 (o) 以求得 (p) 有罪以免耶 (q) 故為天下貴

(a)道者萬物
之奧

Tao • is the • ten • thousand • things
the same's • sanctuary
(b)善人之寶
good • people • the same's • treasure
(c)不善人
之所保

(and for) not • good • people
the same • that • provides refuge
(d)美言可
以市

admirable • words • can
thusly • buy and sell
(e)尊行可
以加人

honorable • actions • can
thusly • gain the respect • of others
(f)人之
不善

(but) people • the same
who are not • good
(g)何棄
之有

what reason • to discard
the same • is there
(h)故立天子
therefore • crowning • heaven's • child
(i)置三公
and installing • the three • ministers
(j)雖有
拱璧

though • they may hold
precious • (rings of) jade
(k)以先駟馬
and thusly • preceded by • four • horses
(l)不如
坐進此道

it's not • comparable to
sitting (still) • and offering • this • Tao
(m)古之所
以貴
此道者

the ancients • the same • this is why
thusly • they held precious
the • Tao • these
(n)何不曰
is it • not • said
(o)以求得
thusly (in Tao) • seek • and obtain
(p)有罪
以免

owning • faults
thusly (in Tao) • removed
isn't it so
(q)故為
天下貴

therefore • it (Tao) acts as
in Heaven • below • the most precious

Chapter 63

(a) 為無為 (b) 事無事 (c) 味無味 (d) 大小多少 (e) 報怨以德 (f) 圖難於其易 (g) 為大於其細 (h) 天下難事 (i) 必作於易 (j) 天下大事 (k) 必作於細 (l) 是以聖人終不為大 (m) 故能成其大 (n) 夫輕諾必寡信 (o) 多易必多難 (p) 是以聖人猶難之 (q) 故終無難矣

(a)為無為
act • without • acting
(b)事無事
manage • without • managing
(c)味無味
taste • without • tasting
(d)大小多少
large • or small • many • few
(e)報怨
以德

respond to • resentment
thusly with • virtue (Te)
(f)圖難於其易
picture • the difficult • while • it is • easy
(g)為大
於其細

accomplish • great things
while • they are • small
(h)天下難事
in heaven • below • difficult • things
(i)必作於易
necessarily • arise • while • easy
(j)天下大事
in heaven • below • great • things
(k)必作於細
necessarily • arise • while • small
(l)是以聖人
終不為大

yes • thusly for • sagely • people
the aim • is not • to achieve • greatness
(m)故能
成其大

therefore • they are able
to accomplish • what is • great
(n)夫輕諾
必寡信

surely • lightly • making promises
assures • the least • trust
(o)多易必
多難

excessive • ease • assures
excessive • difficulty
(p)是以聖人
猶難之

yes • accordingly • sagely • people
consider as • difficult • the same
(q)故終
無難矣

therefore • in the end
nothing • difficult • at all

Chapter 64

(a) 其安易持 (b) 其未兆易謀 (c) 其脆易泮 (d) 其微易散 (e) 為之於未有 (f) 治之於未亂 (g) 合抱之木 (h) 生於毫末 (i) 九層之臺 (j) 起於累土 (k) 千里之行 (l) 始於足下 (m) 為者敗之 (n) 執者失之 (o) 是以聖人無為故無敗 (p) 無執故無失 (q) 民之從事 (r) 常於幾成而敗之 (s) 慎終如始 (t) 則無敗事 (u) 是以聖人欲不欲 (v) 不貴難得之貨 (w) 學不學 (x) 復衆人之所過 (y) 以輔萬物之自然 (z) 而不敢為

(a)其安
易持

What is • at rest
is easy • to maintain
(b)其未兆
易謀

what has • not yet • given a sign
is easy • to plan
(c)其脆
易泮

what is • brittle
is easily • broken
(d)其微
易散

what is • tiny
is easily • to scattered
(e)為之於
未有

act • the same (way) • in time
before • (things) happen
(f)治之於
未亂

govern • the same (way) • in time
before • there is disorder
(g)合抱之木
fit • into your arms • the same • a tree
(h)生於毫末
(yet) it grows • from • a tiny • sprig
(i)九層之臺
nine • levels • the same • a terrace
(j)起於累土
rises • from • a heap • of earth
(k)千里之行
a thousand • leagues • the same's • journey
(l)始於足下
begins • at • one's feet • beneath
(m)為者敗之
act on • it • and defeated by • the same
(n)執者失之
hold on to • it • and • lose • the same
(o)是以聖人
無為故
無敗

yes • thusly • sagely • people
never • act • and therefore
never • defeated
(p)無執
故無失

never • hold too tightly
therefore • never • let slip
(q)民之從事
the people • the same • pursue • affairs
(r)常於幾成
而敗之

often • to • near • completion
but then • fail • the same
(s)慎終
如始

be (just as) cautious • at the end
as if • it were the beginning
(t)則無敗事
then • there is no • failure • in affairs
(u)是以聖人
欲不欲

yes • thusly • sagely • people
desire • non • desire
(v)不貴難得
之貨

do not • esteem • difficult • to obtain
the same's • commodities
(w)學不學
learn how to • un • learn
(x)復衆人
之所過

double back (redeem) • all • people
the same • wherever • they over reach
(y)以輔萬物
之自然

thus • assisting • the ten thousand • things
the same's • true (spontaneous) • nature
(z)而不敢為
and yet • never • daring • to act

Chapter 65

(a) 古之善為道者 (b) 非以明民 (c) 將以愚之 (d) 民之難治 (e) 以其智多 (f) 故以智治國 (g) 國之賊 (h) 不以智治國 (i) 國之福 (j) 知此兩者亦𥡴式 (k) 常知𥡴式 (l) 是謂玄德 (m) 玄德深矣 (n) 遠矣 (o) 與物反矣 (p) 然後乃至大順

(a)古之善
為道者

The ancients • the same • good at
practicing • Tao • these
(b)非以
明民

did not • thereby
(seek to) enlighten • the people
(c)將以
愚之

but allowed (them) • thusly
(to remain) simple • the same
(d)民之
難治

the people • the same
are difficult • to govern well
(e)以其智多
if • they • possess cleverness • overmuch
(f)故以智
治國

thus • accordingly • cleverness
(begins to) rule • the country
(g)國之

so that the country • itself
a robber is
(h)不以智
治國

never • thusly • with cleverness
rule • the country
(i)國之福
the country • itself • is blessed
(j)
此兩
者亦𥡴式

understanding
these • two together
(simplicity and spontaneity)
is • also • generally • a model to follow
(k)常知
𥡴式

the constant • understanding
the general • model
(l)是謂
玄德

this • is called
the dark (mystic) • virtue
(m)玄德
深矣

the dark (mystic) • virtue
goes deep • indeed
(n)遠矣
and far-reaching • indeed
(o)與物
反矣

together with • (all) things
their return • indeed
(p)然後乃至
大順

so • then • thereby • arriving
at great • harmony

Chapter 66

(a) 江海所以能為百谷王者 (b) 以其善下之 (c) 故能為百谷王 (d) 是以欲上民 (e) 必以言下之 (f) 欲先民 (g) 必以身後之 (h) 是以聖人處上 (i) 而民不重 (j) 處前而民不害 (k) 是以天下樂推而不厭 (l) 以其不爭 (m) 故天下莫能與之爭

(a)江海所
以能為
百谷
王者

Rivers • and seas • these
thusly • can be • acted upon by
the hundred • valleys
as king • of them
(b)以其善
下之

because • they are • good at
being lower than • the same
(c)故能為
百谷王

therefore • they can • act upon
the hundred • valleys • as king
(d)是以欲
上民

yes, this • is what • is needed
to be above (rule) • the people
(e)必以言
下之

always • thusly • expressed
by being below • the same
(f)欲先民
desiring (only) • to advance • the people
(g)必以
身後之

always • thusly
putting self • behind • the same
(h)是以聖人
處上

yes • thusly • sagely • people
remain • above
(i)而民不重
yet • the people • are never • burdened
(j)處前
而民不害

keep • ahead
yet • the people • never • obstructed
(k)是以天下
樂推而不厭

yes • thusly • in heaven • below
joyful • praised • and • never • tiring
(l)以其不爭
and because • there is • no • competition
(m)故天下莫
能與之爭

therefore • in heaven • below • none
are able • with • the same • to compete

Chapter 67

(a) 天下皆謂我道大 (b) 似不肖 (c) 夫唯大 (d) 故似不肖 (e) 若肖久矣 (f) 其細也夫 (g) 我有三寶 (h) 持而保之 (i) 一曰慈 (j) 二曰儉 (k) 三曰不敢為天下先 (l) 慈故能勇 (m) 儉故能廣 (n) 不敢為天下先 (o) 故能成器長 (p) 今舍慈且勇 (q) 舍儉且廣 (r) 舍後且先 (s) 死矣 (t) 夫慈以戰則勝 (u) 以守則固 (v) 天將救之 (w) 以慈衛之

(a)天下皆謂
我道大

In heaven • below • all • say
my • way • is great
(b)似不

though seemingly • not
likewise (of value)
(c)夫唯大
surely • it is only • great
(d)故似
不肖

because • seemingly
not • likewise (of value)
(e)若肖
久矣

if it were • likewise (obviously of value)
the ability to endure • indeed
(f)其細也夫
would be • thin (lacking depth) • also • surely
(g)我有三寶
my • way • has • three • treasures
(h)持而保之
I hold dear • and • protect • the same
(i)一曰慈
the first • I say • is compassion
(j)二曰儉
the second • I say • is simplicity / frugality
(k)三曰不敢
為天下先

the third • I say • is never • daring
to act • in heaven • below • at the front
(l)慈故
能勇

compassionate • therefore
able • to be brave
(m)儉故能廣
frugal • therefore • able to be • generous
(n)不敢為
天下先

not • daring • to act
in heaven • below • at the front
(o)故能成
器長

therefore • able • to become
a vessel • long-lasting
(p)今舍慈
且勇

but now • set aside • compassion
with • bravery (only)
(q)舍儉
且廣

set aside • thrift
with • (too much) generosity
(r)舍後
且先

set aside • being behind
with • (always) being first
(s)死矣
(then one is) dead (rigid) • indeed
(t)夫慈以
戰則勝

surely (needed) • is compassion • thusly
when • the consequence • is victory
(u)以守
則固

thusly (a time) • to (truly) guard
then • the ramparts (of the heart)
(v)天將救之
heaven • having • saved • the same
(w)以慈
衛之

continues • with compassion
to protect • the same

Chapter 68

(a) 善為士者 (b) 不武 (c) 善戰者 (d) 不怒 (e) 善勝敵者 (f) 不與 (g) 善用人者 (h) 為之下 (i) 是謂不爭之德 (j) 是謂用人之力 (k) 是謂配天古之極

(a)善為士者
Good at • accomplishing • discipline • the ones
(b)不武
who are not • combative
(c)善戰者
good at • confrontation • the ones
(d)不怒
who never • get angry
(e)善勝敵者
good at • subduing • opponents • the ones
(f)不與
who never • join in
(g)善用人者
good at • employing • people • the ones
(h)為之下
doing • the same (work) • here below
(i)是謂不爭
之德

yes, this • is called • non • contending
the same • is virtue (Te)
(j)是謂用人
之力

yes, this • is called • employing • the person
the same • is strength
(k)是謂配
天古之極

yes, this • is called • being an ally of
the heaven • the ancients • the same • attained

Chapter 69

(a) 用兵有言 (b) 吾不敢為主 (c) 而為客 (d) 不敢進寸 (e) 而退尺 (f) 是謂行無行 (g) 攘無臂 (h) 扔無敵 (i) 執無兵 (j) 禍莫大於輕敵 (k) 輕敵幾喪吾寶 (l) 故抗兵相加 (m) 哀者勝矣

(a)用兵有言
Strategists • in the military • have • this saying
(b)吾不敢為主
we • never • dare • to act • as master
(c)而為客
but rather • act as • guest
(d)不敢進寸
never • dare • to advance • an inch
(e)而退尺
but rather • retreat • a foot
(f)是謂行
無行

yes, this • is called • to proceed
without • proceeding
(g)
無臂

to roll up the sleeve
without • bearing/baring arms
(h)扔無敵
to oppose • without • opposition
(i)執無兵
to hold • without • force
(j)禍莫大
於輕敵

(for) calamity • there is none • greater
than • underestimating • the opponent
(k)輕敵幾
喪吾寶

to underestimate • the opponent • is like
forfeitinging • our • treasures  (Chapt. 67)
(l)故抗兵
相加

therefore • (when) opposing • forces
each other • encounter
(m)哀者
勝矣

the (more) compassionate • one
will be the victor • assuredly

Chapter 70

(a) 吾言甚易知 (b) 甚易行 (c) 天下莫能知 (d) 莫能行 (e) 言有宗 (f) 事有君 (g) 夫唯無知 (h) 是以不我知 (i) 知我者希 (j) 則我者貴 (k) 是以聖人被褐懷玉

(a)吾言甚
易知

My • words • are exceedingly
easy • to understand
(b)甚易行
exceedingly • easy • to practice
(c)天下莫
能知

(in) heaven • below • none
are able • to understand
(d)莫能行
none • are able • to practice
(e)言有宗
words • have • an ancestry
(f)事有君
affairs • have • a mastery
(g)夫唯無知
surely • insofar as • not • comprehended
(h)是以不我知
yes • thusly • neither • am I • understood
(i)知我
者希

understanding • me
these are • a precious few
(j)則我者貴
likewise • I am • one • of value
(k)是以聖人
被褐
懷玉

yes, this • is why • sagely • people
wear • homespun cloth
(and) conceal in the heart • jade

Chapter 71

(a) 知不知上 (b) 不知知病 (c) 夫唯病病 (d) 是以不病 (e) 聖人不病 (f) 以其病病 (g) 是以不病

(a)知不知

To know • un • knowing
is the best
(b)不知知

not • to know • (true) knowing
is misfortune
(c)夫唯病

surely • to know • the not good
as the not good (misfortune)
(d)是以不病
this • thusly • negates • the not good
(e)聖人不

(thus) sagely • people • negate
the not good
(f)以其病

thusly • the • not good
is (understood as) not good
(g)是以不

this • thusly • negates
the misfortune

Chapter 72

(a) 民不畏威 (b) 則大威至 (c) 無狎其所居 (d) 無厭其所生 (e) 夫唯不厭 (f) 是以不厭 (g) 是以聖人自知不自見 (h) 自愛不自貴 (i) 故去彼取此

(a)民不
畏威

(When) the people • are not
afraid of • the powerful
(b)則大威

then • (truly) great • power
has arrived
(c)無狎其
所居

do not • intrude • on their
places • of dwelling
(d)無厭其
所生

do not • over burden/tax • their
means • of livelihood
(e)夫唯
不厭

surely • only because
they are not • over burdened
(f)是以不厭
yes • thusly • they are not • oppressed
(g)是以聖人
自知不
自見

yes • thusly • sagely • people
the self • know • (but) without
self • focusing
(h)自愛不
自貴

the self • love • but without
self • esteem
(i)故去彼
取此

therefore • let go • of that
(and) hold on • to this

Chapter 73

(a) 勇於敢則殺 (b) 勇於不敢則活 (c) 此兩者 (d) 或利或害 (e) 天之所惡 (f) 孰知其故 (g) 是以聖人猶難之 (h) 天之道 (i) 不爭而善勝 (j) 不言而善應 (k) 不召而自來 (l) 禪然而善謀 (m) 天網恢恢 (n) 踈而不失

(a)勇於敢則殺
(Overly) bold • in • daring • leads to • death
(b)勇於不敢則活
overly bold • in • not • daring • leads to • life
(c)此兩者
of these • two • one may be
(d)或利或害
at times • beneficial • other times • harmful
(e)天之所惡
heaven • the same • whatever • it hates
(f)孰知其故
who • knows • the • reason
(g)是以聖人
猶難之

this • is why • sagely • people
anticipate • difficulty • the same
(h)天之道
heaven too • the same's • way
(i)不爭
而善勝

never • contending
and yet • good at • winning
(j)不言
而善應

never • speaking
and yet • good at • responding
(k)不召
而自來

never • summoning
and yet • naturally • attracts
(l)禪然
而善謀

un • organized
and yet • good • at planning
(m)天網恢恢
heaven's • net • vast • vast
(n)踈而
不失

and coarse • and yet
nothing • slips through

Chapter 74

(a) 民不畏死 (b) 奈何以死懼之 (c) 若使民常畏死 (d) 而為奇者 (e) 吾得執而殺之 (f) 孰敢 (g) 常有司殺者殺 (h) 夫代司殺者殺 (i) 是謂代大匠斲 (j) 夫代大匠斲者 (k) 希有不傷其手矣

(a)民不畏威
(If) the people • do not • fear • death
(b)奈何以
死懼之

then • how • thusly can
death • frighten • the same
(c)若使民
常畏死

(even if) it is • granted that • the people
commonly • fear • death
(d)而為奇者
and • act • unlawfully • these
(e)吾得執
而殺之

if we were • to capture • detain
and • kill • the same
(f)孰敢
who • would dare it
(g)常有
司殺者殺

commonly • there is
a master • slayer • who • slays
(h)夫代
司殺者殺

surely • taking the place of
the master • slayer • who • slays
(i)是謂代
大匠斲

this • is called • taking the place of
the great • artisan • (who) carves
(j)夫代大
匠斲者

surely • one substituting for • the great
artisan • and carves • such a one
(k)希有不傷
其手矣

seldom • will they • not • wound
their • (own) hand • indeed

Chapter 75

(a) 民之飢 (b) 以其上食稅之多 (c) 是以飢 (d) 民之難治 (e) 以其上之有為 (f) 是以難治 (g) 民之輕死 (h) 以其求生之厚 (i) 是以輕死 (j) 夫唯無以生為者 (k) 是賢於貴生

(a)民之飢
The people • the same • are hungry
(b)以其上食
稅之多

because • those • above • devour
their grain • the same • too much
(c)是以飢
yes, this • is why • they go hungry
(d)民之
難治

and the people • the same
are difficult • to govern
(e)以其上之
有為

because of • those • above • the same
due to their • actions
(f)是以難治
this is • why • difficult • to govern
(g)民之
輕死

the people • the same
are inured to • death
(h)以其求
生之厚

because of • those • who seek
to grow • the same • rich
(i)是以輕死
yes, this • is why • inured • to death
(j)夫唯無以
生為者

surely • only because • not • thusly
a (rich) livelihood • able to make • these
(k)是賢
於貴生

yes this is • how they are able
to • find (real) value • in existence

Chapter 76

(a) 人之生也柔弱 (b) 其死也堅強 (c) 萬物草木之生也柔脆 (d) 其死也枯槁 (e) 故堅強者死之徒 (f) 柔弱者生之徒 (g) 是以兵強則不勝 (h) 木強則共 (i) 強大處下 (j) 柔弱處上

(a)人之生
也柔弱

(A person's) body • the same • is born
when • it is yielding • and soft
(b)其死
也堅強

(but when) it • dies
then it is • hard • and inflexible
(c)萬物草木
之生也柔脆

ten thousand • creatures • grasses • and trees
the same • are born • also • yielding • and tender
(d)其死
也枯槁

(but when) they • die
then • withered • and dried up
(e)故堅強
者死之徒

therefore • the hard • and unyielding
these • of mortality • the same • are disciples
(f)柔弱者
生之徒

the yielding • and soft • these
of life (im-mortality) • the same • are disciples
(g)是以兵強
則不勝

this is • why • military • force
accordingly • is never • victorious
(h)木強
則共

trees • the biggest
accordingly • get cut down
(i) 強大處下
the strong • and mighty
take the position • below (ground)
(j)柔弱
處上

the yielding • and soft (sprig)
take the position • above (ground)

Chapter 77

(a) 天之道 (b) 其猶張弓與 (c) 高者抑之 (d) 下者舉之 (e) 有餘者損之 (f) 不足者補之 (g) 天之道 (h) 損有餘而補不足 (i) 人之道 (j) 則不然 (k) 損不足以奉有餘 (l) 孰能有餘以奉天下 (m) 唯有道者 (n) 是以聖人為而不恃 (o) 功成而不處 (p) 其不欲見賢

(a)天之道
Heaven • the same's • way
(b)其猶張
弓與

it is • comparable • to stretching
a bow • isn't it
(c)高者抑之
the high • it • pulls down • the same
(d)下者舉之
the low • it • lifts up • the same
(e)有餘
者損之

what has • an abundance
it • decreases • the same
(f)不足
者補之

(what) is not • sufficient
it • increases • the same
(g)天之道
heaven • the same's • way
(h)損有餘
而補不足

a loss • becomes • a surplus
and • supplements • what is not • enough
(i)人之道
people • the same's • way
(j)則不然
consequently • is not • like so
(k)損不足
以奉有餘

diminishing • what is not • enough
so as to • add to • what has • excess
(l)孰能有餘
以奉天下

who is • able • to have • abundance
thus to • offer it • to heaven • below
(m)唯有道者
only because • having • the way • they are
(n)是以聖人
為而不恃

yes • accordingly • sagely • people
act • but • not • with attachment
(o)功成而不處
work • to completion • but • never • reside
(p)其不欲
見賢

(since) there is • no • desire
to appear • exceptionally gifted

Chapter 78

(a) 天下莫柔弱於水 (b) 而攻堅強者莫之能勝 (c) 其無以易之 (d) 弱之勝強 (e) 柔之勝剛 (f) 天下莫不知 (g) 莫能行 (h) 是以聖人云 (i) 受國之垢 (j) 是謂社稷主 (k) 受國不祥 (l) 是為天下王 (m) 正言若反

(a)天下莫
柔弱於水

In heaven • below • there is nothing
more yielding • and gentle • than • water
(b)而攻堅強
者莫之能勝

and yet • it overcomes • the strong • and mighty
which • no other • the same • can • defeat
(c)其無以易之
it • can not • thusly • be exchanged • the same
(d)弱之
勝強

the weak • the same
overcomes • the strong
(e)柔之
勝剛

the adaptable • the same
overcomes • the resolute
(f)天下莫
不知

in heaven • below • there are none
who do not • understand (this)
(g)莫能行
(and yet) none • able • to follow (it)
(h)是以聖人云
yes this • is why • sagely • people • say
(i)受國之垢
accept • the country • the same's • shame
(j)是謂
社稷主

yes this • is called
the altar • of the fields • the master
(k)受國不祥
accept • the country's • mis • fortunes
(l)是為天下王
this is • to serve
in heaven • below • as sovereign
(m)正言若反
upright • speech • seems • upside-down

Chapter 79

(a) 和大怨 (b) 必有餘怨 (c) 安可以為善 (d) 是以聖人執左契 (e) 而不責於人 (f) 有德司契 (g) 無德司徹 (h) 天道無親 (i) 常與善人

(a)和大怨
Reconciling • great • resentment
(b)必有餘怨
necessarily • there is • left over • resentment:
(c)安可
以為善

making peace • how can it
thusly • serve as • goodness
(d)是以聖人
執左契

yes this • is why • sagely • people
take • the left [debtor's] side • of the tally
(e)而不責於人
and • do not • place blame • on • others
(f)有德
司契

having • virtue (Te)
one addresses • the tally
(g)無德
司徹

without • virtue (Te)
one addresses • (only) claims
(h)天道無親
heaven's • way • has no • favorites
(i)常與
善人

commonly • offering up
goodness • to (all) people

Chapter 80

(a) 小國寡民 (b) 使有什伯人之器而不用 (c) 使民重死而不遠徙 (d) 雖有舟輿 (e) 無所乘之 (f) 雖有甲兵 (g) 無所陳之 (h) 使民復結繩而用之 (i) 甘其食 (j) 美其服 (k) 安其居 (l) 樂其俗 (m) 鄰國相望 (n) 雞犬之聲相聞 (o) 民至老死 (p) 不相往來

(a)小國寡民
A smaller • country • with fewer • people
(b)使有什伯人
之器而
不用

enables • there to be • ten • fold • individuals
the same's • weapons • however
never • put to use
(c)使民重死
而不遠徙

enables • the people • to weigh • death
and • never • far afield • to wander
(d)雖有舟輿
although • there be • boats • and carriages
(e)無所乘之
nary • a place • to ride • the same
(f)雖有甲兵
although • their be • shields • and arms
(g)無所陳之
nary • a place • to display • the same
(h)使民復
結繩而用之

it enables • individuals • to double back to
knot • and cords • and • make use of • the same
(i)甘其食
to savor • their • food
(j)美其服
find beauty • in their • clothes
(k)安其居
happy • in their • abodes
(l)樂其俗
delighted • in their • simple ways
(m)鄰國
相望

neighboring • lands
one another • view
(n)雞犬之
聲相聞

roosters • and dogs • the same's
sounds • one another • hear
(o)民至老死
the people • grow • old • and die
(p)不相
往來

without • to the other
coming • and going

Chapter 81

(a) 信言不美 (b) 美言不信 (c) 善者不辯 (d) 辯者不善 (e) 知者不博 (f) 博者不知 (g) 聖人不積 (h) 既以為人己愈有 (i) 既以與人己愈多 (j) 天之道 (k) 利而不害 (l) 聖人之道 (m) 為而不爭

(a)信言不美
True • speech • is not • beauty
(b)美言不信
beautiful • speech • are not • truth
(c)善者不辯
the good • is • not • argument
(d)辯者不善
arguments • are • not • goodness
(e)知者不博
to know • is • not • to obtain
(f)博者不知
to obtain • is • not • knowing
(g)聖人不積
sagely • people • never • hoard
(h)既以
為人
己愈有

enough • thusly
to act on behalf of • others
(so) themselves • the more • possess
(i)既以與人
己愈多

enough • thusly • to give to • others
(so) themselves • the more • benefit
(j)天之道
heaven • the same's • way
(k)利而不害
to help • and • never • to harm
(l)聖人之道
sagely • people • the same's • way
(m)為而不爭
to serve • and • never • to contend
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