Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 72

J Legge

When the people do not fear what they ought to fear, that which is their great dread will come on them.

Let them not thoughtlessly indulge themselves in their ordinary life; let them not act as if weary of what that life depends on.

It is by avoiding such indulgence that such weariness does not arise.

Therefore the sage knows (these things) of himself, but does not parade (his knowledge); loves, but does not (appear to set a) value on, himself. And thus he puts the latter alternative away and makes choice of the former.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 72

J H McDonald

When people become overly bold,
then disaster will soon arrive.

Do not meddle with peoples livelihood;
by respecting them they will in turn respect you.
Therefore, the Master knows herself but is not arrogant.
She loves herself but also loves others.
This is how she is able to make appropriate choices.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 72

Lin Yutang

When people have no fear of force,
Then (as is the common practice) great force descends upon them.

Despise not their dwellings,
Dislike not their progeny.
Because you do not dislike them,
You will not be disliked yourself.
Therefore the Sage knows himself, but does not show himself,
Loves himself, but does not exalt himself.
Therefore he rejects the one (force) and
accepts the other (gentility).

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