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Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

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Chapter 60

Occupying the Throne

How to Maintain One's Place / To Maintain Position

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 Governing a great state is like cooking small fish. Govern a great country as you would fry small fish: [neither gut nor scale them.] One should govern a great state as one fries small fish (i.e., do not scale or clean them).
2 Let the kingdom be governed according to the Dao, and the manes of the departed will not manifest their spiritual energy. It is not that those manes have not that spiritual energy, but it will not be employed to hurt men. It is not that it could not hurt men, but neither does the ruling sage hurt them. When these two do not injuriously affect each other, their good influences converge in the virtue (of the Dao).
If with Reason the empire is managed, its ghosts will not spook. Not only will its ghosts not spook, but its gods will not harm the people. Not only will its gods not harm the people, but neither will its holy men harm the people. Since neither will do harm, therefore their virtues will be combined. With Dao one may successfully rule the Empire. Ghosts will not frighten, gods will not harm, neither will wise men mislead the people. Since nothing frightens or harms the people, de [teh] will abide.
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