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Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

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Chapter 71

The Disease of Knowing

The Disease of Knowledge / The Disease of Knowledge

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 To know and yet (think) we do not know is the highest (attainment); not to know (and yet think) we do know is a disease. To know the unknowable, that is elevating. Not to know the knowable, that is sickness. To recognize one's ignorance of unknowable things is mental health, and to be ignorant of knowable things is sickness.
2

It is simply by being pained at (the thought of) having this disease that we are preserved from it.

Only by becoming sick of sickness can we be without sickness.

Only by grieving over ignorance of knowable things are we in mental health.

3 The sage has not the disease. He knows the pain that would be inseparable from it, and therefore he does not have it. The holy man is not sick. Because he is sick of sickness, therefore he is not sick. The wise man is wise because he understands his ignorance and is grieved over it.
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