Translation Info: beck | blakney | byrn | feng | ganson | gnl | hansen | legge | mccarroll | mcdonald | merel | merel2 | mitchell | muller | rosenthal |
| all Prev Next | Chapter 81 All Translations . beck . blakney . byrn . feng . ganson . gnl . hansen . legge . mccarroll . mcdonald . merel2 . mitchell . muller . rosenthal . | headers Prev Chapter Chapter 81 Next Chapter |


True Words
True words are not beautiful.
Beautiful words are not truthful.
The good do not argue.
Those who argue are not good.
Those who know are not scholarly.
The scholarly do not know.

The wise do not hoard.
The more they give to others, the more they have.
The Way of heaven sharpens but does no harm.
The Way of the wise accomplishes without striving.

The Wise Man's way, to do his work without contending for a crown. ...

As honest words may not sound fine,
Fine words may not be honest ones;
A good man does not argue, and
An arguer may not be good!
The knowers are not learned men
And learned men may never know.

The Wise Man does not hoard his things;
Hard-pressed, from serving other men,
He has enough and some to spare;
But having given all he had,
He then is very rich indeed.

God's Way is gain that works no harm;
The Wise Man's way, to do his work
Without contending for a crown.

True words hardly sound fine. Nice words are far from always true.
A good man seldom proves by argument; he hardly argues. He who argues or proves by argument is hardly so good (as non-argumentative good men). Who argues [blatantly] is hardly (ever) a good man.
[All this is "Lao" arguing, debating or clowning.]

Brilliant wisdom is different from sordid learning. Much bookish learning can mean too little wisdom. Who has extensive knowledge is hardly a wise man.

The wise man has no need to hoard for himself. He lives for other people, seemingly, and grows richer himself if the more he uses for others, the more he has for himself - He gives to other people to get greater abundance.

Heaven's way is to sharpen and bless, all free from harm of cutting,
And the wise man's way is to act and accomplish without contending or striving.

Truthful words are not beautiful.
Beautiful words are not truthful.
Good men do not argue.
Those who argue are not good.
Those who know are not learned.
The learned do not know.

The sage never tries to store things up.
The more he does for others, the more he has.
The more he gives to others, the greater his abundance.
The Tao of heaven is pointed but does no harm.
The Tao of the sage is work without effort

Words of truth are not high-sounding;
high-sounding words are not the truth.
One who has Teh does not argue;
one who argues does not have Teh.
The truly wise do not know many things;
one who knows many things is not truly wise.

The truly wise do not selfishly crave.
They live for other people
and thereby grow richer.
They give freely of themselves
and thereby have great abundance.

The great Tao endows,
but does so unconditionally.
The Tao of the wise accomplishes,
but does so unselfishly.

The Sage
Honest people use no rhetoric;
Rhetoric is not honesty.
Enlightened people are not cultured;
Culture is not enlightenment.
Content people are not rich;
Riches are not contentment.

So the sage does not serve himself;
The more he does for others, the more he is satisfied;
The more he gives, the more he receives.
Nature flourishes at the expense of no one;
So the sage benefits all men and contends with none.

Making the Essence Clear
Accurate language is not beautiful.
Beautiful language is not accurate.
Those who are good at [things] don't distinguish.
Those who distinguish are not good at [things].
Those who know-how are not comprehensive.
Those who are comprehensive do not know how.
Sages don't accumulate.
Although they use it to deem-act "others"
Themselves increase 'having'
Although they use it to give others.
Themselves increase in magnitude.
The guide of nature: benefit and yet do not harm.
The guide of Sages: deem-act and don't dispute.

Sincere words are not fine; fine words are not sincere. Those
who are skilled (in the Tao) do not dispute (about it); the
disputatious are not skilled in it. Those who know (the Tao) are not
extensively learned; the extensively learned do not know it.

The sage does not accumulate (for himself). The more that he
expends for others, the more does he possess of his own; the more that
he gives to others, the more does he have himself.

With all the sharpness of the Way of Heaven, it injures not; with
all the doing in the way of the sage he does not strive.

Sincere words are not elegant;
elegant words are not sincere.
The good person does not argue;
the person who argues is not good.
The wise do not have great learning;
those with great learning are not wise.

True Persons do not hoard.
Using all they have for others, they still have more.
Giving all they have to others, they are richer than before.

The way of heaven is to benefit and not to harm.
The way of the True Reason is to assist without striving
in the unfolding of the story of the earth.

True words do not sound beautiful;
beautiful sounding words are not true.
Wise men don't need to debate;
men who need to debate are not wise.

Wise men are not scholars,
and scholars are not wise.
The Master desires no possessions.
Since the things she does is for the people,
she has more than she needs.
The more she gives to others,
the more she has for herself.

The Tao of Heaven nourishes by not forcing.
The Tao of the Wise person acts by not competing.

Let your community be small, with only a few people;
Keep tools in abundance, but do not depend upon them;
Appreciate your life and be content with your home;
Sail boats and ride horses, but don't go too far;
Keep weapons and armour, but do not employ them;
Let everyone read and write,
Eat well and make beautiful things.
Live peacefully and delight in your own society;
Dwell within cock-crow of your neighbours,
But maintain your independence from them.

True words aren't eloquent;
eloquent words aren't true.
Wise men don't need to prove their point;
men who need to prove their point aren't wise.

The Master has no possessions.
The more he does for others,
the happier he is.
The more he gives to others,
the wealthier he is.

The Tao nourishes by not forcing.
By not dominating, the Master leads.

True words are not fancy.
Fancy words are not true.
The good do not debate.
Debaters are not good.
The one who really knows is not broadly learned,
The extensively learned do not really know.
The sage does not hoard,
She gives people her surplus.
Giving her surplus to others she is enriched.

The way of Heaven is to help and not harm.

The truth is not always beautiful,
nor beautiful words the truth.

Those who have virtue,
have no need of argument for its own sake,
for they know that argument is of no avail.

Those who have knowledge of the natural way
do not train themselves in cunning,
whilst those who use cunning to rule their lives,
and the lives of others,
are not knowledgeable of the Tao,
nor of natural happiness.

The sage seeks not to have a store
of things or knowledge, for he knows,
the less of these he has, the more he has,
and that the more he gives,
the greater his abundance.

The way of the sage is pointed
but does not harm.

The way of the sage
is to work without cunning.