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Tao Te Ching Chapter 59 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





For regulating the human (in our constitution) and rendering the (proper) service to the heavenly, there is nothing like moderation.


It is only by this moderation that there is effected an early return (to man's normal state). That early return is what I call the repeated accumulation of the attributes (of the Tao). With that repeated accumulation of those attributes, there comes the subjugation

(of every obstacle to such return). Of this subjugation we know not what shall be the limit; and when one knows not what the limit shall be, he may be the ruler of a state.


He who possesses the mother of the state may continue long. His case is like that (of the plant) of which we say that its roots are deep and its flower stalks firm:--this is the way to secure that its enduring life shall long be seen.

For governing a country well

there is nothing better than moderation.


The mark of a moderate man

is freedom from his own ideas.

Tolerant like the sky,

all-pervading like sunlight,

firm like a mountain,

supple like a tree in the wind,

he has no destination in view

and makes use of anything

life happens to bring his way.


Nothing is impossible for him.

Because he has let go,

he can care for the people's welfare

as a mother cares for her child.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell


















 

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