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Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

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Chapter 37

The Exercise of Government

Administration of Government/ Administering the Government

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 The Dao in its regular course does nothing (for the sake of doing it), and so there is nothing which it does not do.
Reason always practises non-assertion, and there is nothing that remains undone. Tao is apparently inactive (wu wei) and yet nothing remains undone. If princes and kings desire to keep) everything in order, they must first reform themselves. (If princes and kings would follow the example of Dao, then all things will reform themselves.)

If princes and kings were able to maintain it, all things would of themselves be transformed by them. If this transformation became to me an object of desire, I would express the desire by the nameless simplicity.

If princes and kings could keep Reason, the ten thousand creatures would of themselves be reformed. While being reformed they might yet be anxious to stir; but I would restrain them by the simplicity of the Ineffable.

If they still desire to change, I would pacify them by the simplicity of the ineffable Dao.
3 Simplicity without a name
Is free from all external aim.
With no desire, at rest and still,
All things go right as of their will.
"The simplicity of the unexpressed
Will purify the heart of lust.
Is there no lust there will be rest,
And all the world will thus be blest."
This simplicity will end desire, and if desire be absent there is quietness. All people will of themselves be satisfied.
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