||The ancients who showed their skill in practising the Dao did
so, not to enlighten the people, but rather to make
them simple and
|The ancients who were well versed in Reason did not thereby enlighten the people;
they intended thereby to make them simple-hearted.
||In the olden days those who obeyed the spirit of Dao did not enlighten the people
but kept them simple hearted.
The difficulty in governing the people arises from their having much knowledge.
He who (tries to) govern a state by his wisdom is
scourge to it; while he who does not (try to) do so is a blessing. He who knows
these two things finds in them also his model and rule.
Ability to know this model and rule constitutes what
the mysterious excellence (of a governor).
If people are difficult to govern, it is because they are too smart. To govern
the country with smartness is the country's curse.
To govern the country without smartness is the country's
blessing. He who knows these two things is also a
model [like the ancients]. Always to know the model
is called profound virtue.
The reason people are difficult to govern is because of their smartness; likewise
to govern a people with guile is a curse; and to
govern them with simplicity is a blessing. He who
remembers these two things is a model ruler.
Always to follow this standard and rule is de [teh], the
||Deep and far-reaching is such mysterious excellence, showing indeed its possessor
as opposite to others, but leading them to a great
conformity to him.
||Spiritual virtue, verily, is profound. Verily, it is far-reaching. Verily, it
is to everything reverse. But then it will procure
||Profound de [teh] is deep indeed and far reaching. The very opposite of common things,
but by it one obtains obedient subjects.