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Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

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Chapter 26

The Quality of Gravity

The Virtue of Gravity / The Virtue of Dignity

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 Gravity is the root of lightness; stillness, the ruler of movement.
The heavy is of the light the root, and rest is motion's master. The heavy is the root of the light; the quiet is master of motion.
2 Therefore a wise prince, marching the whole day, does not go far from his baggage waggons. Although he may have brilliant prospects to look at, he quietly remains (in his proper place), indifferent to them.

Therefore the holy man in his daily walk does not depart from gravity. Although he may have magnificent sights, he calmly sits with liberated mind.

Therefore the wise man in all the experience of the day will not depart from dignity. Though he be surrounded with sights that are magnificent, he will remain calm and unconcerned.
3 How should the lord of a myriad chariots carry himself lightly before the kingdom? If he do act lightly, he has lost his root (of gravity); if he proceed to active movement, he will lose his throne. But how is it when the master of the ten thousand chariots in his personal conduct is too light for the empire? If he is too light he will lose his vassals. If he is too passionate he will lose the throne.
How does it come to pass that the Emperor, master of ten thousand chariots, has lost the mastery of the Empire? Because being flippant himself, he has lost the respect of his subjects; being passionate himself, he has lost the control of the Empire.
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