Things become strong and then get old This is called contrary to the Tao That which is contrary to the Tao soon ends Chapter A strong military, a tool of misfortune All things detest it Therefore, those who possess the Tao avoid it Honorable gentlemen, while at home, value the left When deploying the military, value the right.
The military is a tool of misfortune Not the tool of honorable gentlemen When using it out of necessity Calm detachment should be above all Victorious but without glory Those who glorify Are delighting in the killing Those who delight in killing Cannot achieve their ambitions upon the world. Auspicious events favor the left Inauspicious events favor the right The lieutenant general is positioned to the left The major general is positioned to the right We say that they are treated as if in a funeral Those who have been killed Should be mourned with sadness Victory in war should be treated as a funeral Chapter The Tao, eternally nameless Its simplicity, although imperceptible Cannot be treated by the world as subservient.
If the sovereign can hold on to it All will follow by themselves Heaven and Earth, together in harmony Will rain sweet dew People will not need to force it; it will adjust by itself. In the beginning, there were names Names came to exist everywhere One should know when to stop Knowing when to stop, thus avoiding danger.
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The existence of the Tao in the world Is like streams in the valley into rivers and the ocean Chapter Those who understand others are intelligent Those who understand themselves are enlightened. Those who do not lose their base endure Those who die but do not perish have longevity Chapter The myriad things depend on it for life, but it never stops It achieves its work, but does not take credit It clothes and feeds myriad things, but does not rule over them.
Ever desiring nothing It can be named insignificant Myriad things return to it but it does not rule over them It can be named great. Even in the end, it does not regard itself as great That is how it can achieve its greatness Chapter Hold the great image All under heaven will come They come without harm, in harmonious peace. Music and food, passing travelers stop The Tao that is spoken out of the mouth Is bland and without flavor.
Look at it, it cannot be seen Listen to it, it cannot be heard Use it, it cannot be exhausted Chapter If one wishes to shrink it One must first expand it If one wishes to weaken it One must first strengthen it If one wishes to discard it One must first promote it If one wishes to seize it One must first give it This is called subtle clarity.
The soft and weak overcomes the tough and strong Fish cannot leave the depths The sharp instruments of the state Cannot be shown to the people Chapter If the sovereign can hold on to this All things shall transform themselves Transformed, yet wishing to achieve I shall restrain them with the simplicity of the nameless The simplicity of the nameless They shall be without desire Without desire, using stillness The world shall steady itself Te Ching Virtue Classic — Chapters 38 to High virtue is not virtuous Therefore it has virtue Low virtue never loses virtue Therefore it has no virtue High virtue takes no contrived action And acts without agenda Low virtue takes contrived action And acts with agenda High benevolence takes contrived action And acts without agenda High righteousness takes contrived action And acts with agenda High etiquette takes contrived action And upon encountering no response Uses arms to pull others.
Therefore, the Tao is lost, and then virtue Virtue is lost, and then benevolence Benevolence is lost, and then righteousness Righteousness is lost, and then etiquette Those who have etiquette are a thin shell of loyalty and sincerity And the beginning of chaos Those with foreknowledge Are the flowers of the Tao And the beginning of ignorance Therefore the great person: Abides in substance, and does not dwell on the thin shell Abides in the real, and does not dwell on the flower Thus they discard that and take this Chapter Those that attained oneness since ancient times: The sky attained oneness and thus clarity The earth attained oneness and thus tranquility The gods attained oneness and thus divinity The valley attained oneness and thus abundance The myriad things attained oneness and thus life The rulers attained oneness and became the standard for the world These all emerged from oneness.
The sky, lacking clarity, would break apart The earth, lacking tranquility, would erupt The gods, lacking divinity, would vanish The valley, lacking abundance, would wither Myriad things, lacking life, would be extinct The rulers, lacking standard, would be toppled. Therefore, the honored uses the lowly as basis The higher uses the lower as foundation Thus the rulers call themselves alone, bereft, and unworthy Is this not using the lowly as basis?
Is it not so? Therefore, the ultimate honor is no honor. The myriad things of the world are born of being Being is born of non-being Chapter Higher people hear of the Tao They diligently practice it Average people hear of the Tao They sometimes keep it and sometimes lose it Lower people hear of the Tao They laugh loudly at it If they do not laugh, it would not be the Tao.
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Therefore a proverb has the following: The clear Tao appears unclear The advancing Tao appears to retreat The smooth Tao appears uneven High virtue appears like a valley Great integrity appears like disgrace Encompassing virtue appears insufficient Building virtue appears inactive True substance appears inconstant The great square has no corners The great vessel is late in completion The great music is imperceptible in sound The great image has no form The Tao is hidden and nameless Yet it is only the Tao That excels in giving and completing everything Chapter Tao produces one One produces two Two produce three Three produce myriad things Myriad things, backed by yin and embracing yang Achieve harmony by integrating their energy What the people dislike Are alone, bereft, and unworthy But the rulers call themselves with these terms.
So with all things Appear to take loss but benefit Or receive benefit but lose What the ancients taught I will also teach The violent one cannot have a natural death I will use this as the principal of all teachings Chapter The benefits of actions without attachment Are rarely matched in the world Chapter Fame or the self, which is dearer?
The self or wealth, which is greater? Gain or loss, which is more painful? Knowing contentment avoids disgrace Knowing when to stop avoids danger Thus one can endure indefinitely Chapter Great perfection seems flawed Its function is without failure Great fullness seems empty Its function is without exhaustion Great straightness seems bent. Great skill seems unrefined Great eloquence seems inarticulate Movement overcomes cold Stillness overcomes heat Clear quietness is the standard of the world Chapter When the world has the Tao Fast horses are retired to till the soil When the world lacks the Tao Warhorses give birth on the battlefield.
Crisis in the Later Middle Ages | The Medieval Countryside
There is no crime greater than greed No disaster greater than discontentment No fault greater than avarice Thus the satisfaction of contentment is the lasting satisfaction Chapter Without going out the door, know the world Without peering out the window, see the Heavenly Tao The further one goes The less one knows. Therefore the sage Knows without going Names without seeing Achieves without striving Chapter Loss and more loss Until one reaches unattached action With unattached action, there is nothing one cannot do.
Take the world by constantly applying non-interference The one who interferes is not qualified to take the world Chapter The sages have no constant mind They take the mind of the people as their mind Those who are good, I am good to them Those who are not good, I am also good to them Thus the virtue of goodness Those who believe, I believe them Those who do not believe, I also believe them Thus the virtue of belief.
The sages live in the world They cautiously merge their mind for the world The people all pay attention with their ears and eyes The sages care for them as children Chapter Coming into life, entering death The followers of life, three in ten The followers of death, three in ten Those whose lives are moved toward death Also three in ten Why? Because they live lives of excess. Because they have no place for death Chapter Therefore all things respect the Tao and value virtue The respect for Tao, the value of virtue Not due to command but to constant nature.
Thus Tao produces them Virtue raises them Grows them, educates them Perfects them, matures them Nurtures them, protects them. Produces but does not possess Acts but does not flaunt Nurtures but does not dominate This is called Mystic Virtue Chapter The world has a beginning We regard it as the mother of the world Having its mother We can know her children Knowing her children Still holding on to the mother Live without danger all through life.
Close the mouth Shut the doors Live without toil all through life Open the mouth Meddle in the affairs Live without salvation all through life. Seeing details is called clarity Holding on to the soft is called strength Utilize the light Return to the clarity Leaving no disasters for the self This is called practicing constancy Chapter If I have a little knowledge Walking on the great Tao I fear only to deviate from it The great Tao is broad and plain But people like the side paths.
Officials wear fineries Carry sharp swords Fill up on drinks and food Acquire excessive wealth.
That which is well established cannot be uprooted That which is strongly held cannot be taken The descendants will commemorate it forever. Cultivate it in yourself; its virtue shall be true Cultivate it in the family; its virtue shall be abundant Cultivate it in the community; its virtue shall be lasting Cultivate it in the country; its virtue shall be prosperous Cultivate it in the world; its virtue shall be widespread.
Therefore observe others with yourself Observe other families with your family Observe other communities with your community Observe other countries with your country Observe the world with the world With what do I know the world? Those who hold an abundance of virtue Are similar to newborn infants Poisonous insects do not sting them Wild beasts do not claw them Birds of prey do not attack them Their bones are weak, tendons are soft But their grasp is firm They do not know of sexual union but can manifest arousal Due to the optimum of essence They can cry the whole day and yet not be hoarse Due to the optimum of harmony Knowing harmony is said to be constancy Knowing constancy is said to be clarity.
Excessive vitality is said to be inauspicious Mind overusing energy is said to be aggressive Things become strong and then grow old This is called contrary to the Tao That which is contrary to the Tao will soon perish Chapter They cannot obtain this and be closer They cannot obtain this and be distant They cannot obtain this and be benefited They cannot obtain this and be harmed They cannot obtain this and be valued They cannot obtain this and be degraded Therefore, they become honored by the world Chapter Govern a country with upright integrity Deploy the military with surprise tactics Take the world with non-interference How do I know this is so?
With the following:. When there are many restrictions in the world The people become more impoverished When people have many sharp weapons The country becomes more chaotic When people have many clever tricks More strange things occur The more laws are posted The more robbers and thieves there are. Therefore the sage says: I take unattached action, and the people transform themselves I prefer quiet, and the people right themselves I do not interfere, and the people enrich themselves I have no desires, and the people simplify themselves Chapter When governing is lackluster The people are simple and honest When governing is scrutinizing The people are shrewd and crafty.
Misfortune is what fortune depends upon Fortune is where misfortune hides beneath Who knows their ultimate end? They have no determined outcome Rightness reverts to become strange Goodness reverts to become wicked The confusion of people has lasted many long days. Therefore the sages are: Righteous without being scathing Incorruptible without being piercing Straightforward without being ruthless Illuminated without being flashy Chapter Ruling a large country is like cooking a small fish Using the Tao to manage the world Its demons have no power Not only do its demons have no power Its gods do not harm people.
Not only do its gods not harm people The sages also do not harm people They both do no harm to one another So virtue merges and returns Chapter The large country is like the lowest river The converging point of the world The receptive female of the world The female always overcomes the male with serenity Using serenity as the lower position. Thus if the large country is lower than the small country Then it can take the small country If the small country is lower than the large country Then it can be taken by the large country Thus one uses the lower position to take The other uses the lower position to be taken The large country only wishes to gather and protect people The small country only wishes to join and serve people So that both obtain what they wish The larger one should assume the lower position Chapter The Tao is the wonder of all things The treasure of the kind person The protection of the unkind person.
Therefore, when crowning the Emperor And installing the three ministers Although there is the offering of jade before four horses None of it can compare to being seated in this Tao. Why did the ancients value this Tao so much? Is it not said that those who seek will find, And those with guilt will not be faulted? Therefore, it is the greatest value in the world Chapter Act without action Manage without meddling Taste without tasting Great, small, many, few Respond to hatred with virtue.
Plan difficult tasks through the simplest tasks Achieve large tasks through the smallest tasks The difficult tasks of the world Must be handled through the simple tasks The large tasks of the world Must be handled through the small tasks Therefore, sages never attempt great deeds all through life Thus they can achieve greatness.
One who makes promises lightly must deserve little trust One who sees many easy tasks must encounter much difficulty Therefore, sages regard things as difficult So they never encounter difficulties all through life Chapter When it is peaceful, it is easy to maintain When it shows no signs, it is easy to plan When it is fragile, it is easy to break When it is small, it is easy to scatter Act on it when it has not yet begun Treat it when it is not yet chaotic A tree thick enough to embrace Grows from the tiny sapling A tower of nine levels Starts from the dirt heap A journey of a thousand miles Begins beneath the feet.
The one who meddles will fail The one who grasps will lose Therefore, sages do not meddle and thus do not fail They do not grasp and thus do not lose. People, in handling affairs Often come close to completion and fail If they are as careful in the end as the beginning Then they would have no failure.
Therefore, sages desire not to desire They do not value goods that are hard to acquire They learn to unlearn To redeem the fault of the people To assist the nature of all things Without daring to meddle Chapter Those of ancient times who were adept at the Tao Used it not to make people brighter But to keep them simple The difficulty in governing people Is due their excessive cleverness Therefore, using cleverness to govern the state Is being a thief of the state Not using cleverness to govern the state Is being a blessing of the state.
It goes opposite to material things Then it reaches great congruence Chapter Rivers and oceans can be the kings of a hundred valleys Because of their goodness in staying low So they can be the kings of a hundred valleys Thus if sages wish to be over people They must speak humbly to them If they wish to be in front of people They must place themselves behind them Thus the sages are positioned above But the people do not feel burdened They are positioned in front But the people do not feel harmed Thus the world is glad to push them forward without resentment Because they do not contend So the world cannot contend with them Chapter Everyone in the world calls my Tao great As if it is beyond compare It is only because of its greatness That it seems beyond compare If it can be compared It would already be insignificant long ago!
I have three treasures I hold on to them and protect them The first is called compassion The second is called conservation The third is called not daring to be ahead in the world Compassionate, thus able to have courage Conserving, thus able to reach widely Not daring to be ahead in the world Thus able to assume leadership Now if one has courage but discards compassion Reaches widely but discards conservation Goes ahead but discards being behind Then death! If one fights with compassion, then victory With defense, then security Heaven shall save them And with compassion guard them Chapter The great generals are not warlike The great warriors do not get angry Those who are good at defeating enemies do not engage them Those who are good at managing people lower themselves It is called the virtue of non-contention It is called the power of managing people It is called being harmonious with Heaven The ultimate principle of the ancients Chapter In using the military, there is a saying: I dare not be the host, but prefer to be the guest I dare not advance an inch, but prefer to withdraw a foot.
This is called marching in formation without formation Raising arms without arms Grappling enemies without enemies Holding weapons without weapons There is no greater disaster than to underestimate the enemy Underestimating the enemy almost made me lose my treasures. So when evenly matched armies meet The side that is compassionate shall win Chapter My words are easy to understand, easy to practice The world cannot understand, cannot practice My words have basis My actions have principle People do not understand this Therefore they do not understand me Those who understand me are few Thus I am highly valued Therefore the sage wears plain clothes but holds jade Chapter The sages are without fault Because they recognize the fault as a fault That is why they are without fault Chapter Do not limit their place Do not reject their livelihood Because the ruler does not reject them Therefore they do not reject the ruler.
Therefore the sages: Know themselves but do not glorify themselves Respect themselves but do not praise themselves Thus they discard that and take this Chapter Of these two, one may benefit, the other may harm The one hated by Heaven — who knows the reason? Even the sages still find this difficult. The Tao of Heaven: Does not contend and yet excels in winning Does not speak and yet excels in responding Is not summoned and yet comes on its own Is unhurried and yet excels in planning The heavenly net is vast Loose, and yet does not let anything slip through Chapter People do not fear death How can they be threatened with death?
Memory of War in France, 1914–45
If people are made to constantly fear death Then those who act unlawfully I can capture and kill them Who would dare? There exists a master executioner that kills If we substitute for the master executioner to kill It is like substituting for the great carpenter to cut Those who substitute for the great carpenter to cut It is rare that they do not hurt their own hands Chapter While alive, the body is soft and pliant When dead, it is hard and rigid All living things, grass and trees, While alive, are soft and supple When dead, become dry and brittle Thus that which is hard and stiff is the follower of death That which is soft and yielding is the follower of life Therefore, an inflexible army will not win A strong tree will be cut down The big and forceful occupy a lowly position While the soft and pliant occupy a higher place Chapter The Tao of Heaven Is like drawing a bow Lower that which is high Raise that which is low Reduce that which has excess Add to that which is lacking.
The Tao of people is not so It reduces the lacking In order to offer to the excessive. Who can offer their excess to the world? Only those who have the Tao Therefore sages act without conceit Achieve without claiming credit They do not wish to display their virtue!
Chapter Nothing in the world is softer or weaker than water Yet nothing is better at overcoming the hard and strong This is because nothing can replace it. That the weak overcomes the strong And the soft overcomes the hard Everybody in the world knows But cannot put into practice. Therefore sages say: The one who accepts the humiliation of the state Is called its master The one who accepts the misfortune of the state Becomes king of the world The truth seems like the opposite Chapter After settling a great dispute There must be remaining resentments How can this be considered good?
Therefore the sage holds the left part of the contract But does not demand payment from the other person Those who have virtue hold the contract Those without virtue hold the collections. The Heavenly Tao has no favorites It constantly gives to the kind people Chapter Small country, few people Let them have many weapons but not use them Let the people regard death seriously And not migrate far away.
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