March 11th, 2013



Ruling the country is like cooking a small fish.
Approach the universe with Tao,
And evil will have no power.
Not that evil is not powerful,
But its power will not be used to harm others.
Not only will it do no harm to others,
But the sage himself will also be protected.
They do not hurt each other,
And the Virtue in each one refreshes both.
Being a leader
is like cooking a small fish;
get right with Tao,
and it's quick and easy.

When you're in touch with Tao,
you don't need to worry
about misfortune.
You can't make it go away, of course,
but you can keep it
from harming other people.

Also, as a wise leader,
you cause no harm to others,
so people won't have to worry
about getting hurt,
and they'll take the opportunity
to do the right thing.

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

Chapter 60

60.1 Governing a large nation is like cooking a little fish

.60.2 When the world is ruled by the Way,
       the ghosts are powerless.
60.3 It is not that the ghosts are powerless;
       their spirits do not harm the people.
       Not only do the spirits not harm the people;
       sages do not harm the people either.
60.4 Because the two do not harm each other,
       their virtues ultimately combine.

Tao Teh Ching - Cleary Translation