When an esteemed scholar hears about the way, he just walks away.
When an average scholar hears about the way, he considers his existence and death.
When the poor scholar hears about the way, it’s just a big joke.
If there weren’t laughs, it wouldn’t be the way.
The way is dark,
The way is withdrawn,
The way is tangled.
Virtue is like a valley,
Great purity seems disgraceful,
Great virtue seems at times insufficient,
Trying to establish virtue is like pilfering,
The real nature of things is change,
A great square with no corners,
A great bottle that is finished over the course of a night,
A great sound with rare tone,
A great image without shape,
The way is hidden and nameless.
The way is forgiving until the end.
The way gives rise to one,
One gives rises to two,
Two gives rise to three,
Three gives rise to all things.
All things bear the pessimistic but embrace the optimistic infusing the life breath with harmony.
There are orphans, widows and the impoverished and yet kings believe the public is getting by just fine.
So, one man’s loss might be perceived as another man’s gain.
Perhaps gains coincide with losses.
What others teach, I also teach.
A man rigid as a beam does not die a natural death,
I will believe in the teachings of my father.
In the world the soft are trampled on by the strong.
The intangible penetrates the impenetrable.
I therefore know that non-action is of benefit.
It goes without saying that non-action is a beneficial teaching,
The world rarely reaches this conclusion.
Which is dearer your title or your life?
Which is worth more your life or your wealth?
Acquiring things or dying, which is more malignant?
Therefore our affinities must come at a great cost.
Accumulating much provides one with a generous death.
So, knowing when you have had enough is not disgraceful,
Knowing when to stop is not dangerous,
Be able to have good long life.
A major success seems incomplete unless its purpose was not to defraud.
A great surplus seems absent if its function has not been to exhaust its supply.
The straight seem crooked,
The skillful seem awkward,
Arguers seem cautious.
Stillness overcomes a hot temper,
Cold overcomes the heat.
Purity and serenity are standards for the world.
When the world uses the way, horses walk around manure.
When the world doesn’t use the Way, war horses breed in the suburbs.
The greatest disasters come from not knowing what sufficiency.
There is only desire to blame,
So know when enough is enough and it will always be sufficient.
Without leaving my door, I can know the world.
Without peeping out my window, I can see the way of heaven.
The farther one travels the less one knows.
Therefore the cultivated person does travel and yet he knows,
He does not see and yet he understands,
He does not do and yet he is done.
Learning day by day, the day’s path is lost.
Lose it and lose it again until you come to inactivity.
Not doing and yet not doing nothing.
The world is always busy and yet it is not busy doing anything,
Insufficiency is the choice of the world.
A sage is often without his own heart,
The people’s heart is his heart.
When people are good to me, I am good to them.
When people are not good to me, I am still good to them so that virtue is goodness.
Truthful people I believe,
Liars I also believe so that virtue can be believable.
A saint is of the world,
The world muddies the heart,
The people all pay attention with just their ears and eyes,
A saint in all cases is like a child.
From life we enter death.
Three out of ten for life,
Three out of ten for death.
Of men who live, three out of every ten tend to the earth and the dead.
In order to live life generously!
I have heard that a man of highest virtue can walk paths and not meet with rhinoceros or tigers.
Entering into battle, he does put on the armor of a soldier.
The rhinoceros is unable to thrust its horn,
The tiger is unable to use its claws,
Soldiers are unable to take up a sword.
There is no place for death.