March 16th, 2013



In the beginning those who knew the Tao did not try to enlighten others,
But kept it hidden.
Why is it so hard to rule?
Because people are so clever.
Rulers who try to use cleverness
Cheat the country.
Those who rule without cleverness
Are a blessing to the land.
These are the two alternatives.
Understanding these is Primal Virtue.
Primal Virtue is deep and far.
It leads all things back
Toward the great oneness.
In ancient times,
leaders who were right with Tao
didn't teach everybody
how to become enlightened.
They kept people's lives simple.

People who know too much
can't be taught anything.
Leaders who try to be clever
always screw things up.
Leaders who keep things simple
always make things right.

If you get that,
you'll understand
the mysterious power of Tao.

That kind of power is so deep,
so extensive,
it penetrates into every level of existence.

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

Chapter 65

65.1 In ancient times,
       good practitioners of the Way
       did not use it to enlighten the people,
       but to make them unsophisticated.

65.2 When people are unruly,
       it is because of their sophistication.
       So to govern a country by cunning
       is to rob the country.
      Not using cunning to govern a country
       is good fortune for the country.
65.3 To know these two is also a model.
       Being always aware of the model
       is called hidden virtue.

65.4 Hidden virtue is deep, far-reaching,
       in contrast to ordinary people.
       Only when it i thus
       does it reach great accord.
Tao Teh Ching - Cleary Translation