Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
Chapter 16 Chapter 18 Index to All the Chapters Taoism Cloud Hands Blog
English Chinese Spanish
English and Chinese (Wade-Giles) Terms: Simplicity of Habits, Faith in Rulers, Existence or Presence (yu), Completes or Finishes (kung), Independence of People, Earned Respect, Despised Rulers, Deeds or Work (shih), Trust, Antiquity, Three Ages, Self (tsu), History, Self-Rule, Self-Reliance, Relaxed or Quiet (yu), Respected or Feared (wei), Tao, Self-Reliance, Peace, Prosperity, Wu Wei, Rulers or Leaders (shang), Control, Despised or Reviled (wu), Faith or Trust or Belief (hsin), Accomplishments of the People, Words (yen), Work or Task (ch'êng), Love or Attachment (ch'in), Families or People (hsing), Know or Aware (chih), Great or Best or Highest (t'ai), 淳風
Términos en Español: La Smplicidad de los hábitos, Fe en Reglas, Existencia, Presencia, Completa, Acabados, Independencia de las Personas, Respeto Ganado, Reglas Despreciado, Escrituras, Trabajo, Confianza, Antigüedad, Tres Edades, Historia, Gobierno Autónomo, Auto-Confianza, Relajado, Tranquilo, Respetados, Temidos, Autosuficiencia, Paz, Prosperidad, Gobernantes, Líderes, Despreciado, Convicciones, los logros del pueblo, Palabras, Tarea, Amor, Adjunto, Familias, Personas, Saber, Grande, Mejor.
"In the highest antiquity, the people did not know that
there were rulers.
In the next age they loved them and praised them.
In the next they feared them.
In the next they despised them.
Thus it was that when faith in the Dao was deficient in the rulers a want of faith in them ensued.
How irresolute did those earliest rulers appear, showing by their reticence the importance which they set upon their words!
Their work was done and their undertakings were successful, while the people all said, 'We are as we are, of ourselves!' "
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 17
"From great antiquity forth they have known and
Those of the next level loved and praised it.
The next were in awe of it.
And the next despised it.
If you lack sincerity no one will believe you.
How careful she is with her precious words!
When her work is complete and her job is finished,
Everybody says: "We did it!""
- Translated by Charles Muller, 1891, Chapter 17
"Of the best the people hardly ever know they exist;
The next best they flock to and praise for nothing.
The next they shrink from;
the next get reviled.
"Not believing people you turn them into liars" -
such bosses don't command the people's faith.
They lose faith in them and take to oaths!
The wise man is a clever ruler; he values his words highly.
It's so hard to get a single word from at any price that when his task is
finished, a work well done, everyone says,
"It happened by itself, and we did it." "
- Translated by Tromod Byrn, 1997, Chapter 17
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices By Mike Garofalo
"When great men rule, subjects know little of their
Rulers who are less great win the affection and praise of their subjects.
A common ruler is feared by his subjects, and an unworthy ruler is despised.
When a ruler lacks faith, you may seek in vain for it among his subjects.
How carefully a wise ruler chooses his words.
He performs deeds, and accumulates merit!
Under such a ruler the people think they are ruling themselves."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard, 1919, Chapter 17
Cloud Hands Blog
"In ancient times
The people knew that they had rulers.
Then they loved and praised them,
Then they feared them,
Then they despised them.
The rulers did not trust the people,
The people did not trust the rulers.
The rulers were grave, their words were precious.
The people having finished their work,
and brought it to a successful issue, said:
"We affirm the Self.""
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 17
best if you are barely known
The lesser state is being praised
Worse is being hated
Just stay empty and amazed
Only do what must be done
And see you are the one alone
When you finish all will say
We did this on our own"
- Translated by Jim Clatfelder, 2000, Chapter 17
Tao Te Ching Translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo
Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching Translated by John C. WuLao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching Translated by Livia Kohn
Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way Translated by Moss Roberts
"The greatest rulers are the ones whose existence the
people do not notice at all,
The rulers who are inferior to them are the ones whom the people honor and praise,
And inferior to those are the ones of whom they are afraid,
And inferior to those are the ones whom they despise.
When there is a lack of faith in the ruler,
No one believes in his rule.
Now, learn how much importance must be attributed to words."
- Translated by Chou Wing Chohan, Chapter 17
- Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 17
t'ai shang hsia chih yu chih.
ch'i tz'u ch'in erh yü chih.
chi tz'u wei chih.
ck'i tz'u wu chih.
hsin pu tsu yen yu pu hsin yen.
yu hsi ch'i kuei yen.
kung ch'êng shih sui pai hsing chieh wei wo tzu jan.
- Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 17
Audio Version in Chinese of Chapter 17 of the Tao Te Ching
tai shang bu zhi you zhi. qi ci qin er yu zhi. qi ci wei zhi. qi ci wu zhi. xin bu zu yan you bu xin yan. you xi qi gui yan. gong cheng shi sui bai xing jie wei wo zi ran. - Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 17
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English (includes a word by word key) from YellowBridge
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros.
Laozi Daodejing: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin (tone#), German, French and English.
Chinese and English Dictionary, MDGB
Chinese Character Dictionary
Dao De Jing Wade-Giles Concordance by Nina, Dao is Open
Dao De Jing English and Wade-Giles Concordance by Mike Garofalo
Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization with Chinese characters, WuWei Foundation
Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English
Tao Te Ching: English translation, Word by Word Chinese and English, and Commentary, Center Tao by Carl Abbott
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, English, Word by word analysis, Zhongwen
Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition Chinese characters, Wade-Giles Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character by Jonathan Star
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters: Big 5 Traditional and GB Simplified
Convert from Pinyin to Wade Giles to Yale Romanizations of Words and Terms: A Translation Tool from Qi Journal
Chinese Characters, Wade-Giles and Pinyin Romanizations, and 16 English Translations for Each Chapter of the Daodejing by Mike Garofalo.
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin and Wade Giles Romanization spellings, English; a word for word translation of the Guodian Laozi Dao De Jing Version.
Lao Zi's Dao De Jing: A Matrix Translation with Chinese Text by Bradford Hatcher.
"In the first age of mankind the people recognized their superiors.
In the second age they served and flattered them.
In the third age they feared them,
In the fourth age they despised them.
Where faith is lacking it does not inspire confidence.
How careful were they in their expressions!
When they had done a good thing they would say, "How very natural we are!" "
- Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 17
"Of great rulers the subjects do not notice the
To lesser ones people are attached; they praise them.
Still lesser ones people fear, and the meanest ones people despise.
For it is said: 'If your faith be insufficient, verily, you will receive no faith.'
How reluctantly the great rulers considered their words!
Merit they accomplished; deeds they performed; and the hundred families thought: 'We are independent.' "
- Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 17
"Of the best ruler,
The people only know he exists.
Next comes one the love and praise.
Next comes one they fear.
Next comes one they abhor.
When you are lacking in trust,
Others have no trust in you.
Of the work of one who is short with his words,
The hundred families say,
We have done it ourselves!"
- Translated by Herrymoon Maurer, 1985, Chapter 17
"The great rulers - the people do not notice their
The lesser ones - they attach to and praise them;
The still lesser ones - they fear them;
The still lesser ones - they despise them;
For where faith is lacking,
It cannot be met by faith.
Now how much importance must be attached to words!"
- Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 17
"The wise leader does not intervene unnecessarily. The
leader's presence is felt, but often the group runs itself.
Lesser leaders do a lot, say a lot, have followers, and form cults.
Even worse ones use fear to energize groups to overcome resistance.
Only the most dreadful leaders have bad reputations.
Remember that you are facilitating another person's process. It is not your process. Do not intrude. Do not control. Do not force your own needs and insights into the foreground.
If you do not trust a person's process, that person will not trust you.
Imagine that you are a midwife; you are assisting at someone else's birth. Do good without show or fuss. Facilitate what is happening rather than what you think ought to be happening. If you must take the lead, lead so that the mother is helped, yet still free and in charge.
When the baby is born, the mother will rightly say: "We did it ourselves!""
- Translated by John Heider, 1985, Chapter 17
"The best leaders are those the people hardly know
The next best is a leader who is loved and praised.
Next comes the one who is feared.
The worst one is the leader that is despised.
If you don't trust the people, they will become untrustworthy.
The best leaders value their words, and use them sparingly.
When she has accomplished her task,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!""
- Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 17
"First the supreme.
Then a sense of separateness.
Next preferences and eulogies.
Hence it is plain that lack of sincerity has its origins in superficial faith.
They valued their words, accomplished their purposes, settled their affairs,
And the people all said: “We are spontaneous.” "
- Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 17
"Of the best rulers
The people (only) know that they exist;
The next best the love and praise;
The next they fear;
And the next they revile.
When they do not command the people's faith,
Some will lose faith in them,
And then they resort to oaths!
But (of the best) when their task is accomplished,
their work done,
The people all remark, "We have done it ourselves.""
- Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 17
"As for him who is highest,
The people just know he is there.
His deputy's cherished and praised;
Of the third, they are frightened;
The fourth, they depise and revile.
If you trust people less than enough,
Some of them never trust you.
He is aloof, as if his talk
Were priced beyond the purchasing;
But once his project is contrived,
The folk will want to say of it:
"Of course! We did it by ourselves!""
- Translated by Raymond Blakney, 1955, Chapter 17
Walking the Way: 81 Zen Encounters with the Tao Te Ching by Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum
The Tao of Zen by Ray Grigg
Tao Te Ching: Zen Teachings on the Taoist Classic by Takuan Soho
Buddhism and Taoism Face to Face: Scripture, Ritual, and Iconographic Exchange in Medieval China by Christine Mollier
"The best leaders the people barely know.
The next best they love and praise.
The next they fear.
And the next they hate.
Those who lack trust will not be trusted.
Then they resort to promises.
But when they accomplish their task and complete their work,
the people say, "We did it ourselves.""
- Translated by Sanderson Beck, 1996, Chapter 17
"Very great leaders in their domains are only known to exist.
Those next best are loved and praised.
The lesser are feared and despised.
Therefore when faith is insufficient and there is disbelief, it is from the high value placed on words.
Works are accomplished, tasks are completed, and ordinary folk all say they are acting spontaneously."
- Translated by Thomas Cleary, 1991, Chapter 17
"In highest (antiquity)
one did not even know there were (rulers).
Next one loved them and praised them.
Next one feared them.
Next one despised them.
If good faith (of the prince towards the people) is inadequate, good faith (of the people towards the ruler) will be wanting.
Thoughtful were (the sage rulers), valuing their words!
When the work was done and things ran smoothly, the people all said: "We have done it ourselves!""
- Translated by Jan J. L. Duyvendak, 1954, Chapter 17
Further Teachings of Lao-Tzu: Understanding the Mysteries (Wen Tzu) By Thomas Cleary
The Lunar Tao: Meditations in Harmony with the Seasons By Deng Ming-DaoAwakening to the Tao By Lui I-Ming (1780) and translated by Thomas Cleary
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices By Mike Garofalo
Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings with Selections from Traditional Commentaries Translation and commentary by Brook ZiporynThe Inner Chapters of Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi) Translated by A. C. Graham
"In the highest antiquity people scarce knew
"With the highest rulers -
Those below simply know they exist.
With those one step down -
They love and praise them.
With those one further step down -
They fear them.
And with those at the bottom -
They ridicule and insult them.
Who does not trust enough
will not be trusted.
Hesitant and undecided!
Like this is his respect for speaking.
He completes his tasks and finishes his affairs
Yet the common people say,
"These things all happened by nature."
- Translated by Bram den Hond, Chapter 17
Tao Te Ching: An Illustrated Journey Translated by Stephen Mitchell
Tao Te Ching Translated by David Hinton
The Book of Tao: Tao Te Ching - The Tao and Its Characteristics Translated by James Legge
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices
Taoism: Growth of a Religion By Isabelle Robinet
Zhuangzi (Chuang Tsu), Daoist Scripture: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes
Zhuangzi: Basic Writings Translated by Burton Watson
Zhuangzi Speaks: The Music of Nature An illustrated comic by Chih-chung Ts'ai
Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons
"Those of preeminent wisdom and purity knew this Tao
intuitively from their birth,
and so possessed it.
Those of the second rank—the men of virtue—approached it nearly, and eulogised it.
Those of the third rank—who were still above the commonalty—stood in awe of it.
Those of the lowest rank held it in light esteem.
Their belief in it was superficial, or imperfect; while there were even some who did not believe in it at all.
The first spoke only with forethought and calculation, as though honouring their words.
When their public labours were achieved, and affairs progressed unimpeded, the people all said,
"This is our natural and spontaneous condition.""
- Translated by Frederic Henry Balfour, 1884, Chapter 17
"A leader is best
When people barely know that he exists,
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him,
Worst when they despise him.
'Fail to honor people,
They fail to honor you;'
But of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will all say, 'We did this ourselves.'"
- Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 17
Language Versions of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing)
Tao Te Ching en Español
Lao Tsé Tao Te Ching Traducido al español por Anton Teplyy
Tao Te Ching Traducido por Stephen Mitchell, versión española
Tao Te Ching Traducido al español por el Padre Carmelo Elorduy
Tao Te Ching en Español
Lao Tzu-The Eternal Tao Te Ching Traducido al español por Yuanxiang Xu y Yongjian Yin
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices By Mike Garofalo Maduración Duraznos: Estudios y Prácticas Taoístas por Mike Garofalo
Tao Te Ching - Wikisource
Tao Te Ching Traducido al español por William Scott Wilson.
Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching Traducido al español por Javier Cruz
Tao te king Translated by John C. H. Wu, , versión española
Daodejing Español, Inglés, y Chino Versiones Lingüísticas de la Daodejing
"De los buenos líderes, la gente no nota su existencia.
A los no tan buenos, la gente les honrará y alabará.
A los mediocres, les temerán
y a los peores les odiarán.
Cuando se haya completado el trabajo de los mejores líderes,
la gente dirá: "lo hemos hecho nosotros""
- Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 17
"Acerca de los antiguos todo lo que se sabe es que
Los sucesores fueron amados y alabados, y los siguientes fueron temidos.
Los que vinieron después aborrecidos.
Sí no te tienes plena confianza, otros te serán infieles.
Entonces las palabras rituales estaban medidas.
El mérito de las obras tenía plenitud.
Todo el mundo decía:
"Estamos en armonía con nosotros mismos"."
- Translation from Logia Medio Dia, 2015, Capítulo 17
"El gran gobernante pasa inadvertido por el pueblo.
A éste sucede el que es amado y elogiado por el pueblo.
Después, el que es temido.
Y finalmente, el despreciado.
Si no hay una confianza total,
se obtiene la desconfianza.
El gran gobernante practica el no-hacer
y así, a la obra acabada sigue el éxito.
Entonces, el pueblo cree vivir según su propia ley."
- Spanish Version Online at RatMachines, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 17
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Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching
Tao Te Ching
Commentary, Interpretations, Research Tools, Resources
Daodejing by Laozi: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin (tone#), German, French and English. This is an outstanding resource for serious students of the Tao Te Ching.
Yellow Bridge Dao De Jing Comparison Table Provides side by side comparisons of translations of the Tao Te Ching by James Legge, D. T. Suzuki, and Dwight Goddard. Chinese characters for each paragraph in the Chapter are on the left; place your cursor over the Chinese characters to see the Hanyu Pinyin (1982) Romanization of the Chinese character and a list of meanings.
Center Tao. Includes a brief commentary on each Chapter. A keyword glossary for each chapter is provided.
Tao Te Ching Commentaries - Google Search
Tao Te Ching English Language Corncordance by Gerold Claser. An excellent concordance providing terms, chapter and line references, and the proximal text. No Chinese language characters or Wade-Giles or Pinyin Romanizations.
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Hanyu Pinyin (1982) Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros.
Translators' Index, Tao Te Ching Translators Sorted Alphabetically by Translator, Links to Books and Online Versions
Taoism and the Tao Te Ching: Bibliography, Resources, Links
Spanish Language Translations of the Tao Te Ching, Daodejing en Español
Concordance to the Daodejing
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Wade-Giles (1892) and Hanyu Pinyin (1982) Romanization spellings, English; a word for word translation of the Guodian Laozi Dao De Jing Version. From the Dao is Open website.
Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition By Jonathan Star. Translation, commentary and research tools. New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin, 2001. Concordance, tables, appendices, 349 pages. A new rendition of the Tao Te Ching is provided, then a verbatim translation with extensive notes. Detailed tables for each verse provide line number, all the Chinese characters, Wade-Giles (1892) Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character. An excellent print reference tool!
Two Visions of the Way: A Study of the Wang Pi and the Ho-Shang Kung Commentaries on the Lao-Tzu. By Professor by Alan Kam-Leung Chan. SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture. State University of New York Press, 1991. Index, bibliography, glossary, notes, 314 pages. ISBN: 0791404560.
Chinese Reading of the Daodejing Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation. By Professor Rudolf G. Wagner. A SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture. English and Mandarin Chinese Edition. State University of New York Press; Bilingual edition (October 2003). 540 pages. ISBN: 978-0791451823. Wang Bi (Wang Pi, Fusi), 226-249 CE, Commentary on the Tao Te Ching.
Chapter 17 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith. The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley.
Valley Spirit, Gu Shen, Concept, Chapter 6
Tao Te Ching English Translations from Terebess Asia Online. Over 30 translations.
Lao-tzu's Taoteching Translated by Red Pine (Bill Porter). Includes many brief selected commentaries for each Chapter draw from commentaries in the past 2,000 years. Provides a verbatim translation and shows the text in Chinese characters. San Francisco, Mercury House, 1996, Second Edition, 184 pages. An invaluable resource for commentaries.
Reading Lao Tzu: A Companion to the Tao Te Ching with a New Translation By Ha Poong Kim. Xlibris, 2003, 198 pages.
Chapter 17, Line by Line Comparisons of 27 Translations of the Tao Te Ching Compiled by the St. Xenophon Wayist Seminary
Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation By Roger T. Ames and David T. Hall. Ballantine, 2003, 256 pages.
Thematic Index to the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching
Lao Tzu: Te-Tao Ching - A New Translation Based on the Recently Discovered Ma-wang-tui Texts (Classics of Ancient China) Translated with and introduction and detailed exposition and commentary by Professor Robert G. Henricks. New York, Ballantine Books, 1992. Includes Chinese characters for each chapter. Bibliography, detailed notes, 282 pages.
Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living. Translated by Eva Wong. Lieh-Tzu was writing around 450 BCE. Boston, Shambhala, 2001. Introduction, 246 pages.
Revealing the Tao Te Ching: In-depth Commentaries on an Ancient Classic. By Hu Huezhi. Edited by Jesse Lee Parker. Seven Star Communications, 2006. 240 pages.
Cloud Hands Blog Mike Garofalo writes about Taoism, Gardening, Taijiquan, Walking, Mysticism, Qigong, and the Eight Ways.
Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary. By Ellen Chen. Paragon House, 1998. Detailed glossary, index, bibliography, notes, 274 pages.
The Tao and Method: A Reasoned Approach to the Tao Te Ching. By Michael Lafargue. New York, SUNY Press, 1994. 640 pages. Detailed index, bibliography, notes, and tables. An essential research tool.
The Whole Heart of Tao: The Complete Teachings From the Oral Tradition of Lao Tzu. By John Bright-Fey. Crane Hill Publishers, 2006. 376 pages.
Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching
This webpage was last modified or updated on April 25, 2015.
This webpage was first distributed online on February 11, 2011.
Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu, Zhuang Zhou, Master Chuang) 369—286 BCE
The Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) circa 500 BCE