|Chapter 71 The Disease of Knowledge
To recognize one’s ignorance of unknowable things is mental health, and to be ignorant of knowable things is sickness.
Only by grieving over ignorance of knowable things are we in mental health.
The wise man is wise because he understands his ignorance and is grieved over it.
|Chapter 72 To Cherish One’s Self
When people are too ignorant to fear the fearsome thing, then it will surely come.
Do not make the place where they dwell confining, the life they live wearisome. If they are let alone, they will not become restless.
Therefore the wise man while not understanding himself regards himself, while cherishing he does not overvalue himself. Therefore he discards flattery and prefers regard.
|Chapter 73 Action is Dangerous
Courage carried to daring leads to death. Courage restrained by caution leads to life. These two things, courage and caution, are sometimes beneficial and sometimes harmful.
Some things are rejected by heaven, who can tell the reason? Therefore the wise man deems all acting difficult.
The Dao of heaven does not quarrel, yet it conquers. It speaks not, yet its response is good. It issues no summons but things come to it naturally because its devices are good.
Heaven’s net is vast, indeed! its meshes are wide but it loses nothing.
|Chapter 74 Overcoming Delusions
If the people do not fear death, how can one frighten them with death? If we teach people to fear death, then when one rebels he can be seized and executed; after that who will dare to rebel?
There is always an officer to execute a murderer, but if one takes the place of the executioner, it is like taking the place of a skilled carpenter at his hewing. If one takes the place of the skilled carpenter he is liable to cut himself. (Therefore do not interfere with Dao.)
|Chapter 75 Loss By Greediness
Starvation of a people comes when an official appropriates to himself too much of the taxes. The reason a people are difficult to govern is because the officials are too meddlesome; the people make light of death because they are so absorbed in life’s interests.
The one who is not absorbed in life is more moral than he who esteems life.
|Chapter 76 Beware of Strength
When a man is living he is tender and fragile. When he dies he is hard and stiff.
It is the same with everything, the grass and trees, in life, are tender and delicate, but when they die they become rigid and dry.
Therefore those who are hard and stiff belong to death’s domain, while the tender and weak belong to the realm of life.Therefore soldiers are most invincible when they will not conquer.
When a tree is grown to its greatest strength it is doomed.
The strong and the great stay below; the tender and weak rise above
|Chapter 77 Dao Of Heaven
Tao of heaven resembles the stretching of a bow. The mighty it humbles, the lowly it exalts. They who have abundance it diminishes and gives to them who have need.
That is Dao of heaven; it depletes those who abound, and completes those who lack.
The human way is not so. Men take from those who lack to give to those who already abound.
Where is the man who by his abundance can best serve the world?
The wise man makes but claims not, he accomplishes merit, yet is not attached to it, neither does he display his excellence. Is it not so?
|Chapter 78 Trust and Faith
In the world nothing is more fragile than water, and yet of all the agencies that attack hard substances nothing can surpass 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 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.
True words are often paradoxical
|Chapter 79 Enforcing Contracts
When reconciling great hatred there will some remain. How can it be made good?
Therefore the wise man accepts the debit side of the account and does not have to enforce payment from others. They who have virtue (de [teh]) keep their obligations, they who have no virtue insist on their rights.
Tao of heaven has no favorites but always helps the good man.
|Chapter 80 Contentment
In a small country with few people let there be officers over tens and hundreds but not to exercise power. Let the people be not afraid of death, nor desire to move to a distance. Then though there be ships and carriages, they will have no occasion to use them. Though there be armor and weapons there will be no occasion for donning them.
The people can return to knotted cords for their records, they can delight in their food, be proud of their clothes, be content with their dwellings, rejoice in their customs. Other states may be close neighbors, their cocks and dogs may be mutually heard, people will come to old age and die but will have no desire to go or come.
|Chapter 81 The Nature of the Essential
Faithful words are often not pleasant; pleasant words are often not faithful. Good men do not dispute; the ones who dispute are not good. The learned men are often not the wise men, nor the wise men, the learned.
The wise man does not hoard, but ever working for others, he will the more exceedingly acquire. Having given to others freely, he himself will have in plenty.
Tao of heaven benefits but does not injure. The wise man’s Dao leads him to act but not to quarrel.