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Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

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Chapter 78

Things to be Believed

Trust in Faith / Trust and Faith

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 There is nothing in the world more soft and weak than water, and yet for attacking things that are firm and strong there is nothing that can take precedence of it;--for there is nothing (so effectual) for which it can be changed. In the world nothing is tenderer and more delicate than water. In attacking the hard and the strong nothing will surpass it. There is nothing that herein takes its place. In the world nothing is more fragile than water, and yet of all the agencies that attack hard substances nothing can surpass it.

Every one in the world knows that the soft overcomes the hard, and the weak the strong, but no one is able to carry it out in practice.

The weak conquer the strong, the tender conquer the rigid. In the world there is no one who does not know it, but no one will practise it.

Of all things there is nothing that can take the place of Dao. By it the weak are conquerors of the strong, the pliable are conquerors of the rigid. In the world every one knows this, but none practice it.


Therefore a sage has said,
'He who accepts his state's reproach,
Is hailed therefore its altars' lord;
To him who bears men's direful woes
They all the name of King accord.'

Therefore the holy man says:"Him who the country's sin makes his,
We hail as priest at the great sacrifice.
Him who the curse bears of the country's failing. As king of the empire we are hailing."

Therefore the wise man declares: he who is guilty of the country's sin may be the priest at the altar. He who is to blame for the country's misfortunes, is often the Empire's Sovereign.

4 Words that are strictly true seem to be paradoxical. True words seem paradoxical. True words are often paradoxical
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