YellowBridge Chinese Language & Culture
Chinese Language Center

Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

YellowTipsm
Move mouse pointer over any Chinese character to see its meaning and pronunciation.

Chapter 3

Keeping the People at Rest

Keeping the People Quiet / Quieting People

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 Not to value and employ men of superior ability is the way to keep the people from rivalry among themselves; not to prize articles which are difficult to procure is the way to keep them from becoming thieves; Not boasting of one's worth forestalls people's envy.

Not prizing treasures difficult to obtain keeps people from committing theft.

Neglecting to praise the worthy deters people from emulating them; just as not prizing rare treasures deters a man from becoming a thief;
2 not to show them what is likely to excite their desires is the way to keep their minds from disorder. Not contemplating what kindles desire keeps the heart unconfused. or ignoring the things which awaken desire keeps the heart at rest.
3 Therefore the sage, in the exercise of his government, empties their minds, fills their bellies, weakens their wills, and strengthens their bones. He constantly (tries to) keep them without knowledge and without desire, and where there are those who have knowledge, to keep them from presuming to act (on it). When there is this abstinence from action, good order is universal. Therefore the holy man when he governs empties the people's hearts but fills their stomachs. He weakens their ambition but strengthens their bones. Always he keeps the people unsophisticated and without desire. He causes that the crafty do not dare to act. When he acts with non-assertion there is nothing ungoverned. Therefore the wise ruler does not suggest unnecessary things, but seeks to satisfy the minds of his people. He seeks to allay appetites but strengthen bones. He ever tries by keeping people in ignorance to keep them satisfied and those who have knowledge he restrains from evil. If he, himself, practices restraint then everything is in quietness.
Index Previous  Next Random