Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching Chapter 81

Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 81

J Legge

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.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 81

J H McDonald

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 are 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.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 81

Lin Yutang

True words are not fine-sounding;
Fine-sounding words are not true.
A good man does not argue;
he who argues is not a good man.
the wise one does not know many things;
He who knows many things is not wise.

The Sage does not accumulate (for himself).
He lives for other people,
And grows richer himself;
He gives to other people,
And has greater abundance.

The Tao of Heaven
Blesses, but does not harm.
The Way of the Sage
Accomplishes, but does not contend.

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