Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching Chapter 71

Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 71

J Legge

To know and yet (think) we do not know is the highest (attainment); not to know (and yet think) we do know is a disease.

It is simply by being pained at (the thought of) having this disease that we are preserved from it. The sage has not the disease. He knows the pain that would be inseparable from it, and therefore he does not have it.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 71

J H McDonald

Knowing you don’t know is wholeness.
Thinking you know is a disease.
Only by recognizing that you have an illness
can you move to seek a cure.

The Master is whole because
she sees her illnesses and treats them,
and thus is able to remain whole.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 71

Lin Yutang

Who knows that he does not know is the highest;
Who (pretends to) know what he does not know is sick-minded.
And who recognizes sick-mindedness as sick-mindedness
is not sick-minded.
The Sage is not sick-minded.
Because he recognizes sick-mindedness as sick-mindness,
Therefore he is not sick-minded.

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