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Tao Quotes

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28 Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32
Chapter 33 Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36 Chapter 37 Chapter 38 Chapter 39 Chapter 40
Chapter 41 Chapter 42 Chapter 43 Chapter 44 Chapter 45 Chapter 46 Chapter 47 Chapter 48
Chapter 49 Chapter 50 Chapter 51 Chapter 52 Chapter 53 Chapter 54 Chapter 55 Chapter 56
Chapter 57 Chapter 58 Chapter 59 Chapter 60 Chapter 61 Chapter 62 Chapter 63 Chapter 64
Chapter 65 Chapter 66 Chapter 67 Chapter 68 Chapter 69 Chapter 70 Chapter 71 Chapter 72
Chapter 73 Chapter 74 Chapter 75 Chapter 76 Chapter 77 Chapter 78 Chapter 79 Chapter 80
Chapter 81              

 

 

Secret Seven: Contentment

Chapter 46

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

天下有道: When the world is ruled by Tao,
却走马以粪: Fast horses are harnessed to haul manure.
天下无道: When the world is not ruled by Tao,
戎马生于郊: War horses give births outside the city.
罪莫大于可欲: There is no greater suffering than desire.
祸莫大于不知足: No greater calamity than discontent.
咎莫大于欲得: No greater regret than wanting more.
故知足之足,常足矣: A content man knows enough is enough and thus he always has enough.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 46:

When the world is ruled by Tao rulers,
Fast horses are employed to haul manure.
Oh peace! Men and horses working side by side! Fields are full of crops and children are laughing!
When the world is not ruled by Tao,
War horses give births outside the city.
Oh war! Men against men! Horses against horses! Fields are barren and children are hungry!
There is no greater sin than desire,
No greater calamity than discontentment.
No greater regret than wanting more.
Oh a blue bird has the whole forest to live but all it needs is a branch.
A thirsty squirrel has the whole river to drink but all it needs is a belly full.
Oh man, be content! A content man is a man who knows that enough is enough comes from inner joy and thus he always has enough.

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Chapter 44

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

名与身孰亲: Fame or your life: Which is more precious?
身与货孰多: Your life or your wealth: Which is more valuable?
得与亡孰病: Gain or loss: Which is sicker?
甚爱必大费: Obsessive love surely requires big expenditures.
多藏必厚亡: Too much accumulation surely brings heavy losses.
知足不辱: A content man does not bring shame.
知止不殆: He who knows when to stop can avoid danger,
可以长久: Thus he can live long.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 44:

Fame or your life: Which is more precious?
Your life or your wealth: Which values more?
You gain possessions but lose your life: Which is more painful?
Obsessive love surely requires big expenditures.
Oh the more you love the deeper you get hurt!
Excessive accumulation surely leads to heavy loss.
Oh the more you hoard the more you will lose it all!
Being content will not bring shame.
Knowing when to stop will avoid danger.
Avoiding danger one can last long.
Oh a contented man finds an easy life!
He doesn’t feel shame when his friends have more than he has – he is happy for them.
He doesn’t feel lonely when he has more than his friends – he shares with them.
A contented man looks beyond gain and loss – he is one with Tao.

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Chapter 81

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

信言不美: Sincere words are not beautiful;
美言不信: Beautiful words are not sincere.
善者不辩: Good man does not argue;
辩者不善: He who argues is not good.
知者不博: He who knows Tao is not complicated;
博者不知: The complicated does not know Tao.
圣人不积: Shengren does not hoard things.
既以为人己愈有: The more he serves others the greater his happiness;
既以与人己愈多: The more he gives to others the greater his abundance.
天之道,利而不害: The Tao of Heaven is to benefit all things without harming them.
圣人之道,为而不争: The Tao of Shengren is to act through cooperation not competition.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 81:

Sincere words are not beautiful;
Beautiful words are not sincere.
Oh beautiful words are for the ears not for the heart!
Good men do not argue;
Those who argue are not good.
Oh truth is self-evident and no argument can change it!
He who knows is not complicated;
The complicated do not know.
Oh he who knows Tao sees the world as simple Oneness. Oh he who doesn't know only sees the complicated manifestations of Tao.
The sage does not hoard things.
The more he serves others the greater his happiness;
The more he gives to others the greater his abundance.
Oh if you separate from Tao, the more you hoard the less you get!
Oh if you are one with Tao, you don’t need to hoard but you have it all!
The Tao of Heaven benefits all things without harming them. The Tao of the sage acts through cooperation, not competition.

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Chapter 18

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

大道废,有仁义: When the great Tao is abandoned, benevolence and righteousness appears.
智慧出,有大伪: When cleverness is used, great hypocrisy follows.
六亲不和,有孝慈: When the six family relationships are not in harmony, rules of filial piety and parental love are employed.
国家昏乱,有忠臣: When a country is in trouble, loyal ministers emerge.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 18:

When the great Tao is not used, feudal rules of benevolence and righteousness are employed.
When cleverness appears, great hypocrisy follows.
When the six family relations are in discord, filial piety and parental kindness arise.
When a country is in turmoil, loyal ministers appear.
Oh when the world is ruled with Tao, the people are simple and honest.
No feudal rules are needed when people are happy.
Oh, give people freedom, not feudal system!

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Chapter 19

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

绝圣弃智: Eliminate sagacity, abandon wisdom,
民利百倍: And the people will benefit a hundredfold.
绝仁弃义: Eliminate benevolence and abandon righteousness,
民复孝慈: And the people will return to natural piety and love.
绝巧弃利: Eliminate cunning and abandon profit,
盗贼无有: And robbers and thieves will disappear.
此三者,以为文不足: These three things are superficial and are insufficient in themselves,
故令有所属: Thus the people need something else to follow:
见素抱朴: See the ordinary and embrace simplicity,
少私寡欲: Be less selfish and have fewer desires.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 19:

Eliminate Sagacity! Abandon Cleverness! Let the people benefit a hundredfold!
Oh, what is Sagacity but a name for people to compete for?
Oh, what is Cleverness but a presumption of knowledge by the learned?
Eliminate Benevolence! Abandon Righteousness! Let the people return to natural piety and kindness!
Oh, what is Benevolence but a feudal name for selfish love?
Oh, what is Righteousness but a feudal name for egoistic justice?
Eliminate Craftiness! Abandon Profiteering! Let there be no robbers and thieves!
Oh, what is Craftiness but playing tricks on each other?
Oh, what is Profiteering but fleecing each other for profit?
These three things are eliminated and abandoned because they are not natural but artificial words of man.
Therefore let the people return to their natural state:
See the beauty in every ordinary thing;
Embrace simplicity in every action!
Lessen selfishness to live altruistically;
Reduce desires to live in moderation!

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Chapter 12

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

五色令人目盲:The five colors make our eyes blind.
五音令人耳聋: The five sounds make our ears deaf.
五味令人口爽: The five tastes make our mouth dull
驰骋田猎,令人心发狂: Chasing and hunting in the field make our mind crazy.
难得之货,令人行妨: Rare goods make our conduct go astray.
是以圣人为腹不为目: Therefore, Shengren focuses inside his abdomen, not outside his eyes.
故去彼取此: So he avoids the outside distractions and retains his inner peace.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 12:

Five colors make our eyes blind,
So we can’t see the simplicity of Tao!
Five sounds make our ears deaf,
So we can’t hear the silence of Tao!
Five flavors make our mouths dull,
So we can’t taste the purity of Tao!
Chasing and hunting make our minds mad,
So we can’t be one with Tao!
Precious things lead us astray,
So we can’t walk on the path of Tao!
Too many desires make us depart from the moderation of Tao!
So the sage keeps to his belly not his eyes.
Oh the belly has a Tao ball not an eye ball.
Therefore, the sage can avoid outside distraction and retain his inner peace.

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Chapter 3

 

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

不尚贤,使民不争: Don’t reward the worthy so that people will not compete.
不贵难得之货,使民不为盗: Don’t value the rare goods so that people will not become thieves.
不见可欲,使民心不乱: Don’t display the desirable objects so that the mind of the people will not be confused.
是以圣人之治: Therefore Shengren governs by:
虚其心,实其腹: Empty the mind and solidify the abdomen;
弱其志,强其骨: Soften the ambitions and strengthen the bones.
常使民无知无欲,: Always let people live with no knowledge and no desires
使夫智者不敢为也: So that the clever ones dare not to interfere.
为无为,则无不治: Act the invisible action and nothing cannot be governed.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 3:

Don’t reward the worthy so that people won’t compete.
Don’t value precious things so that people won’t become thieves.
Don’t display the desirable objects so that people won’t be aroused.
Therefore the sage governs by:
Emptying the mind and filling the belly;
Softening ambitions and strengthening bones.
Always let people live without cleverness and without desires.
Oh desires! Products of the mind and ambitions!
Yes, when people live contently with basic knowledge for survival, they don't need the interfering action of the clever man.
Oh wuwei! The sage is an invisible ruler who rules without ruling. He sets all things in order before there are disorders.
Oh peace! Therefore when the world is ruled by invisible action wuwei, all things are governed naturally.

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Chapter 80

Sentence for Sentence Translation:

小国寡民: A small country has few people.
使民有什伯人之器而不用: Even if there are ten-hundred-manpower tools, they are not used.
使民重死而不远徙: The people take death seriously and do not travel too far.
虽有舟舆,无所乘之: Though there are boats and carriages, they are not used.
虽有甲兵,无所陈之: Though there are armor and weapons, they are not displayed.
使民复结绳而用之: Let the people return to the use of tying knots.
甘其食: They relish their food,
美其服: Beautify their clothes,
安其居: Live peacefully at their homes,
乐其俗: And enjoy their customs.
邻国相望,鸡狗之声相闻:The people from the neighboring countries can see each other; the sound of their roosters and dogs can be heard from both sides.
民至老死不相往来: The people grow old and die without invading each other.

Interpretational Translation of Tao Te Ching Chapter 80:

Imagine a small country with few people.
Oh it’s just like a dream! A sanctuary for all!
Though there are complicated machines, they are not needed.
Oh no machines! The people don’t take shortcuts to nature!
Oh life! The people take death seriously and do not travel too far from their homes.
Oh contentment! Though there are boats and carriages, they are not used.
Oh peace! Though there are armor and weapons, they are not displayed.
Oh simplicity! People return to the tying knots instead of writing.
They relish their natural food,
Dress in their simple clothes,
Live securely in their homes,
And take joy in their customs.
Oh harmony! Though they live within sight of their neighbors of other countries,
And the crowing of their roosters and the barking of their dogs are heard across the land,
They leave each other in peace while they grow old and die.
Oh it is not a dream! It’s real! It’s a way of life within!
Oh live in peace and harmony with yourself, with others and with nature!
Oh love yourself, love others and love nature!
This is the natural long life Tao! The sanctuary for all!

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