Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 37

J Legge

The Tao in its regular course does nothing (for the sake of doing it), and so there is nothing which it does not do. If princes and kings were able to maintain it, all things would of themselves be transformed by them.

If this transformation became to me an object of desire,
I would express the desire by the nameless simplicity.

Simplicity without a name
Is free from all external aim.
With no desire, at rest and still,
All things go right as of their will.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 37

J H McDonald

The Tao never acts with force,
yet there is nothing that it cannot do.

If rulers could follow the way of the Tao,
then all of creation would willingly follow their example.
If selfish desires were to arise after their transformation,
I would erase them with the power of the Uncarved Block.

By the power of the Uncarved Block,
future generations would loose their selfish desires.
By losing their selfish desires,
the world would naturally settle into peace.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 37

Lin Yutang

The Tao never does nothing,
Yet through it everything is done.
If princes and dukes can keep the Tao,
the world will of its own accord be reformed.
When reformed and rising to action,
Let it be restrained by the Nameless pristine simplicity.
The Nameless pristine simplicity
Is stripped of desire (for contention).
By stripping of desire quiescence is achieved,
And the world arrives at peace of its own accord.

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