||If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it
would be better for the people a hundredfold. If we
our benevolence and discard our righteousness, the
people would again
become filial and kindly. If we could renounce our
contrivances and discard our (scheming for) gain, there
would be no
thieves nor robbers.
|Abandon your saintliness; put away your prudence; and the people will gain a
Abandon your benevolence;
put away your justice; and the people will return
to filial piety and paternal devotion.
give up greed; and thieves and robbers will no longer
||Abandon the show of saintliness and relinquish excessive prudence, then people
will benefit a hundredfold. Abandon ostentatious benevolence
and conspicuous righteousness, then people will return
to the primal virtues of filial piety and parental
affection. Abandon cleverness and relinquish gains,
then thieves and robbers will disappear.
||Those three methods (of government)
Thought olden ways in elegance did fail
And made these names their want of worth to veil; But simple views, and courses
plain and true Would selfish ends and many lusts eschew.
|These are three things for which culture is insufficient. Therefore it is said: "Hold fast to that which will endure, Show thyself simple, preserve thee pure,
And lessen self with desires fewer."
||Here are three fundamentals on which to depend, wherein culture is insufficient.
Therefore let all men hold to that which is reliable,
namely, recognize simplicity, cherish purity, reduce
one's possessions, diminish one's desires.