February 9th, 2013

  • trevoke


Whenever you advise a ruler in the way of Tao,
Counsel him not to use force to conquer the universe.
For this would only cause resistance.
Thorn bushes spring up wherever the army has passed.
Lean years follow in the wake of a great war.
Just do what needs to be done.
Never take advantage of power.

Achieve results,
But never glory in them.
Achieve results,
But never boast.
Achieve results,
But never be proud.
Achieve results,
Because this is the natural way.
Achieve results,
But not through violence.

Force is followed by loss of strength.
This is not the way of Tao.
That which goes against the Tao comes to an early end.
Listen up:
If you want to be a leader
who's in touch with Tao,
never use violence
to achieve your goals.

Every act of violence backfires.
An army on the move
leaves a trail of tears,
and a military victory
always lies in ruins.

The Masters do what needs doing
and that's all they do.
Do what you have to do
without arrogance or pride.
Get the job done
and don't brag about it afterwards.
Do what you have to do,
not for your own benefit,
but because it needs to be done.
And don't do it the way
you think it should be done,
do it the way it needs to be done.

The mighty will always lose their power
and any connection
they ever had to Tao.
They will not last long;
if you're not right with Tao,
you might as well be dead.

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

Chapter 30

30.1 Those who assist human leaders with the Way
       do not coerce the world with weapons,
       for these things are apt to backfire.
30.2 Brambles grow where an army has been;
       there are always bad years after a war.
30.3 Therefore the good are effective, that is all;
       they do not presume to grab power thereby:
30.4 they are effective but not conceited,
       effective but not proud,
       effective but not arrogant.
       They are effective when they have to be,
       effective but not coercive.
30.5 If you peak in strength, you then age;
       this, it is said, is unguided.
       The unguided soon come to an end.

Tao Teh Ching - Thomas Cleary Translation