YellowBridge Chinese Language & Culture
Chinese Language Center

Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

YellowTipsm
Move mouse pointer over any Chinese character to see its meaning and pronunciation.

Chapter 56

The Mysterious Excellence

The Virtue of the Mysterious / The Virtueof the Mysterious

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 He who knows (the Dao) does not (care to) speak (about it); he
who is (ever ready to) speak about it does not know it. He (who knows it) will keep his mouth shut and close the portals (of his nostrils).
One who knows does not talk. One who talks does not know. Therefore the sage keeps his mouth shut and his sense-gates closed.

The one who knows does not speak; the one who speaks does not know. The wise man shuts his mouth and closes his gates.

2

He will blunt his sharp points and unravel the complications of things; he will attemper his brightness, and bring himself into agreement with the obscurity (of others). This is called 'the Mysterious Agreement.'

"He will blunt his own sharpness, His own tangles adjust; He will dim his own radiance, And be one with his dust." This is called profound identification.

He softens his sharpness, unravels his tangles, dims his brilliancy, and reckons himself with the mysterious.

3 (Such an one) cannot be treated familiarly or distantly; he is
beyond all consideration of profit or injury; of nobility or meanness:--he is the noblest man under heaven.
Thus he is inaccessible to love and also inaccessible to enmity. He is inaccessible to profit and inaccessible to loss. He is also inaccessible to favor and inaccessible to disgrace. Thus he becomes world-honored.

He is inaccessible to favor or hate; he cannot be reached by profit or injury; he cannot be honored or humiliated. Thereby he is honored by all.

Index Previous  Next Random