Soft Overcomes Hard, Explanation of a Paradox, A Secret Explained, Strengthen Then Weaken, Minimizing the Light, 微明
"When one is about to take an inspiration, he is sure to make a previous
When he is going to weaken another, he will first strengthen him.
When he is going to overthrow another, he will first have raised him up.
When he he is going to despoil another, he will first have made gifts to him.
This is called 'hiding the light' of his procedure.
The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak the strong.
Fishes should not be taken from the deep.
The instruments for the profit of a state should not be shown to the people."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 36
"When one feels a desire to concentrate it in one's own heart, it is
imperatively necessary to display it openly.
When one feels a desire to cultivate it in its pliant phase, it is imperatively necessary to fortify and strengthen one's own powers. When one feels a desire to abandon or neglect it, it is imperatively necessary to stir up one's mind afresh in its pursuit.
If anyone feels a desire to obtain it, it is imperatively necessary that it should be imparted to him.
By this means, the hidden phases of Tao will become clear.
The weak and pliable overcomes the strong and hard.
A fish cannot leave the depths.
The treasures of a State should not be employed to influence the people."
- Translated by Henry Balfour, 1884, Chapter 36
"That which is about to contract has surely been expanded.
That which is about to weaken has surely been strengthened.
That which is about to fall has surely been raised.
That which is about to be despoiled has surely been endowed.
This is an explanation of the secret that the tender and the weak conquer the hard and the strong.
As the fish should not escape from the deep, so with the country's sharp tools the people should not become acquainted."
- Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 36
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"Whatever is gathered in
Must first be stretched out;
Whatever is weakened
Must first be made strong;
Whatever is abandoned
Must first be joined;
Whatever is taken away
Must first be given.
This is what is called the subtle within what is evident.
The soft and weak vanquish the hard and strong.
Fishes should not relinquish the depths.
The sharpest instruments of state should not be revealed to others."
- Translated by Roger T. Ames and Donald L. Hall, 2003, Chapter 36
"When you wish to contract something,
You must momentarily expand it;
When you wish to weaken something,
You must momentarily strengthen it;
When you wish to reject something,
You must momentarily join with it;
When you wish to seize something,
You must momentarily give it up.
This is called "subtle insight."
The soft and weak conquer the strong.
Fish cannot be removed from the watery depths;
The profitable instruments of state cannot be shown to the people."
- Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990, Chapter 36
"What's in the end to be shrunk can first be stretched.
The one who is to be made to dwindle in power can first be caused to expand; and then it's necessary
first to expand.
Whatever is to be weakened must begin by being made strong.
He who is to be laid low can first be exalted to power.
So: first promote, next destroy. Or: To destroy, first promote.
What's to be overthrown must begin by being set up.
He who would be a taker must begin as a giver.
And this is the fine art of dimming one's light.
According to this the soft overcomes the hard; and the weak, the strong.
Fish should be left in the deep pool, not taken away from water.
Sharp weapons of the state should not be displayed, but left where nobody can see them."
- Translated by T. Byrn, 1997, Chapter 36
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 Way of Subtle Light ...
What is to be shrunken
Is first stretched out;
What is to be weakened
Is first made strong;
What will be thrown over
Is first raised up;
What will be withdrawn
Is first bestowed.
This indeed is
The gentle way
The hard and strong.
As fish should not
Get out of pools,
The realm's edged tools
Should not be shown
- Translated by Raymond Blackney, Chapter 36
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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
"If you desire to breathe deeply, you must first empty the lungs.
If you desire to be strong, you must first learn to be weak.
If you desire to be in a lofty position, you must first learn to take a lowly position.
If you desire to be enriched by gifts, you must first give away all that you have.
This is called concealment and enlightenment.
The soft overcomes the hard.
The weak overcomes the strong.
Fish cannot swim safely in shallow waters.
The secrets of government of a kingdom should not be revealed to the people."
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 36
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Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching
Tao Te Ching
Commentary, Interpretations, Research Tools, Resources
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 romanization, and a list of meanings for each character. An excellent reference tool!
Yellow Bridge Dao De Jing Comparison Table, Chapter 36 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 Pinyin romanization of the Chinese character and a list of meanings.
The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh Ching & Hua Hu Ching Translation and elucidation by Hua Ching Ni.
Tao Te Ching Commentaries - Google Search
Translators' Index, Tao Te Ching Translators Sorted Alphabetically by Translator, Links to Books and Online Versions
Tao Te Ching: A Bibliography and Index of Translations on the Web
Chapter 36 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith. The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley.
The Philosophy of the Daodejing By Hans-Georg Moeller. Columbia University Press, 2006, 176 pages.
Valley Spirit, Gu Shen, Concept
Das Tao Te King von Lao Tse The largest collection of very nicely formatted complete versions of the Tao Te Ching. The collection includes 209 complete versions in 27 languages, plus 28 Chinese versions. There are 112 English language versions of the Tao Te Ching available at this website. A variety of search methods and comparision methods are provided, as well a a detailed index. Offline as of 5/11/2013.
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 36, 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.
Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching
Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Grove, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
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