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Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

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Chapter 44


Setting Up Precepts / Precepts

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 Or fame or life, Which do you hold more dear? Or life or wealth,
To which would you adhere?
Keep life and lose those other things; Keep them and lose your life:--which brings sorrow and pain more near?
"Name or person, which is more near? Person or fortune, which is more dear? Gain or loss, which is more sear? Which is nearer, a name or a person? Which is more, personality or treasure? Is it more painful to gain or to suffer loss?

Thus we may see,
Who cleaves to fame
Rejects what is more great;
Who loves large stores
Gives up the richer state.

"Extreme dotage leadeth to squandering.
Hoarded wealth inviteth plundering.

Extreme indulgence certainly greatly wastes. Much hoarding certainly invites severe loss.

3 Who is content
Needs fear no shame.
Who knows to stop
Incurs no blame.
From danger free
Long live shall he.
"Who is content incurs no humiliation,
Who knows when to stop risks no vitiation,
Forever lasteth his duration."
A contented person is not despised. One who knows when to stop is not endangered; he will be able therefore to continue.
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