The Way of Virtue
He who would assist a lord of men in harmony with the Tao will not assert his mastery in the kingdom by force of arms. Such a course is sure to meet with its proper return.
Wherever a host is stationed, briars and thorns spring up. In the sequence of great armies there are sure to be bad years.
A skilful (commander) strikes a decisive blow, and stops. He does not dare (by continuing his operations) to assert and complete his mastery. He will strike the blow, but will be on his guard against being vain or boastful or arrogant in consequence of it. He strikes
it as a matter of necessity; he strikes it, but not from a wish for mastery.
When things have attained their strong maturity they become old.
This may be said to be not in accordance with the Tao: and what is not in accordance with it soon comes to an end.
Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men
doesn't try to force issues
or defeat enemies by force of arms.
For every force there is a counterforce.
Violence, even well intentioned,
always rebounds upon oneself.
The Master does his job
and then stops.
He understands that the universe
is forever out of control,
and that trying to dominate events
goes against the current of the Tao.
Because he believes in himself,
he doesn't try to convince others.
Because he is content with himself,
he doesn't need others' approval.
Because he accepts himself,
the whole world accepts him.
Translated by J. Legge
Translated by Stephen Mitchell
Liveology® Yoga Studios & Magazine creates uplifting content for evolving humans as we draw from wisdom across the world. Shop yogi swag and go down the rabbit hole for exclusive content. Please join our email list and tell a friend about us today. Thank you for your continued and growing support all over the world.
Peace & Pineapples!