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Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

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Chapter 22

The Increase Granted to Humility

Humility's Increase / Increase by Humility

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 The partial becomes complete; the crooked, straight; the empty, full; the worn out, new. He whose (desires) are few gets them; he whose (desires) are many goes astray. "The crooked shall be straight,
Crushed ones recuperate,
The empty find their fill.
The worn with strength shall thrill;
Who little have receive,
And who have much will grieve."
At that time the deficient will be made perfect; the distorted will be straightened; the empty will be filled; the worn out will be renewed; those having little will obtain and those having much will be overcome.

Therefore the sage holds in his embrace the one thing (of humility), and manifests it to all the world. He is free from self- display, and therefore he shines; from self-assertion, and therefore he is distinguished; from self-boasting, and therefore his merit is acknowledged; from self-complacency, and therefore he acquires superiority. It is because he is thus free from striving that therefore no one in the world is able to strive with him.

Therefore the holy man embraces unity and becomes for all the world a model. Not self-displaying he is enlightened; Not self -approving he is distinguished; Not self-asserting he acquires merit; Not self-seeking he gaineth life. Since he does not quarrel, therefore no one in the world can quarrel with him.

Therefore the wise man, embracing unity as he does, will become the world's model. Not pushing himself forward he will become enlightened; not asserting himself he will become distinguished; not boasting of himself he will acquire merit; not approving himself he will endure. Forasmuch as he will not quarrel, the world will not quarrel with him.

3 That saying of the ancients that 'the partial becomes complete' was
not vainly spoken:--all real completion is comprehended under it.
The saying of the ancients: "The crooked shall be straight," is it in any way vainly spoken? Verily, they will be straightened and return home. Is the old saying, "The crooked shall be made straight," a false saying? Indeed, no! They will be perfected and return rejoicing.
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