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Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

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Chapter 72

Loving One's Self

Holding Oneself Dear / To Cherish One's Self

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 When the people do not fear what they ought to fear, that which is their great dread will come on them. If the people do not fear the dreadful, the great dreadful will come, surely.

When people are too ignorant to fear the fearsome thing, then it will surely come.


Let them not thoughtlessly indulge themselves in their ordinary life; let them not act as if weary of what that life depends on. It is by avoiding such indulgence that such weariness does not arise.

Let them not deem their lives narrow. Let them not deem their lot wearisome. When it is not deemed wearisome, then it will not be wearisome.

Do not make the place where they dwell confining, the life they live wearisome. If they are let alone, they will not become restless.

3 Therefore the sage knows (these things) of himself, but does not parade (his knowledge); loves, but does not (appear to set a) value on, himself. And thus he puts the latter alternative away and makes choice of the former. Therefore the holy man knows himself but does not display himself. He holds himself dear but does not honor himself. Thus he discards the latter and chooses the former. Therefore the wise man while not understanding himself regards himself, while cherishing he does not overvalue himself. Therefore he discards flattery and prefers regard.
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