The Virtue of Simplicity, Effortless Excellence, Avoid Being Overly
Clever, Value of Ignorance, Hiding,
Profound Virtue, Learning Overrated, Avoid Cleverness 淳德
"The ancients who showed their skill in practicing the Tao did so, not to
enlighten the people, but rather to make them simple and ignorant.
The difficulty in governing the people arises from their having much knowledge.
He who tries to govern a state by his wisdom is a scourge to it;
While he who does not try to do so is a blessing.
He who knows these two things finds in them also his model and rule.
Ability to know this model and rule constitutes what we call the mysterious excellence of a governor.
Deep and far-reaching is such mysterious excellence, showing indeed its possessor as opposite to others, but leading them to a great conformity to him."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 65
"The ancients who were well versed in Reason did not thereby enlighten the
They intended thereby to make them simple-hearted.
If people are difficult to govern, it is because they are too smart.
To govern the country with smartness is the country's curse.
To govern the country without smartness is the country's blessing.
He who knows these two things is also a model like the ancients.
Always to know the model is called profound virtue.
Spiritual virtue, verily, is profound.
Verily, it is far-reaching.
Verily, it is to everything reverse.
But then it will procure great recognition."
- Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 65
"The ancients who were most adept at ruling did not try
to enlighten the people, but instead gradually made them stupid.
The people are difficult to govern because they are clever.
Hence, the nation's malefactor is one who uses cleverness to govern.
While the nation's benefactor is one who does not use cleverness to govern.
To understand both of these is also to harmonize with an eternal pattern.
To understand and harmonize with that pattern is called Profound Te.
Profound Te is so deep, so far-reaching.
It causes things to return and eventually reach Great Confluence."
- Translated by Tam Gibbs, 1981, Chapter 65
Those who, in ancient times, were eminent for the
practice of Tao, abstained from enlightening the people, and kept them simple.
The difficulty of governing the people arises from their excess of shrewdness.
He who employs shrewdness in governing a State, becomes a robber of the State;
he who does not do so, is a blessing to it.
The man who knows both these things presents an ideal of good government, and a knowledge of this ideal
constitutes Sublime Virtue.
Sublime Virtue is deep and far-reaching, and is in direct opposition to all objects of desire;
thus it is able to bring about universal accordance with the Tao."
- Translated by Frederic Henry Balfour, 1884, Chapter 65
"In days gone by, those who knew how to follow the Dao
did not seem enlightened but ignorant.
The reason why people are hard to govern is because they know too much.
And so to use knowledge to govern a country is to be its curse.
Not to use knowledge to govern a country is to be its blessing.
There are two primal principles, and to understand them always brings the deepest virtue (De).
How hidden, deep and far-reaching virtue (De) is.
It makes all things return to their source and so attain oneness."
- Translated by Tim Chilcott, 2005, Chapter 65
"In olden times those who were most practiced in the Tao
did not use their knowledge to instruct the people;
they used it rather to keep them simple.
It is when they are overstocked with learning that the people are hard to govern.
To govern by adding to the people's store of learning is to prey on the country;
To govern by decreasing the people's store of learning is to be a blessing to the country.
He who is familiar with these two methods will not want for a touchstone.
Always bearing this in mind, he will be able to draw on the Mysterious Power;
This power is infinitely deep and far-reaching, and, unlike all things else, goes back and back,
Until it attains to complete Unity."
- Translated by Herman Ould, 1946, Chapter 65
"Those skillful in the ancient Tao
Are not obvious to the people.
They appear to be simple-minded.
People are difficult to lead
Because they are too clever.
Hence, to lead the organization with cleverness
Will harm the organization.
To lead the organization without cleverness
Will benefit the organization.
Those who know these two things
Have investigated the patterns of the Absolute.
To know and investigate the patterns
Is called the Subtle Power.
The Subtle Power is profound and far-reaching.
Together wtih the Natural Law of polarity,
It leads to the Great Harmony."
- Translated by R. L. Wing, 1986, Chapter 65
"The ancients who mastered the Tao did not make the
people sharp and clever.
Instead, they made the people simple and deep.
The people are hard to govern
When they are too clever and know too much.
To govern the people with cleverness is to bring about calamities.
To govern the people with simplicity is to bring about blessings.
To know these two alternatives is to have the standard of governance.
To understand the standard of governance is to have sublime virtue.
Sublime virtue is deep and far-reaching.
Though it runs counter to the common way,
It follows the great way of the Tao Eternal."
- Translated by Yasuhiko Genku Kimura, Chapter 65
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
"Those ancients skilled at practicing the way
Did not try to enlighten the people
But would have tried to simplify them
The difficulties of governing the people
Are due to their great cleverness
And so to use cleverness in governing a realm
Is an injury to the realm
To avoid using cleverness in governing a realm
Is a favor to the realm
Those who comprehend both of these
Also examine for patterns
Always to know to look for patterns
May be called a mystic power
A mystic power so deep & so far reaching
As to help creation to turn itself around
Natural succession then reaches perfect harmony."
- Translated by Bradford Hatcher, 2005, Chapter 65
"The ancient adepts of the Way
did not teach the people everything,
freeing them from confusion.
People are hard to govern
when they have too much learning.
Who governs academically
deprives the people.
Who governs sympathically
enriches the people.
Between these two is set a measure,
To respect it always,
such is the wonder of integrity.
How deep, how far-reaching!
It receives all things
and leads them to great oneness."
- Translated by Douglas Allchin, 2002, Chapter 65
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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 65 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.
Center Tao. Includes a commentary on each Chapter.
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 65 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith. The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley.
Valley Spirit, Gu Shen, Concept, Chapter 6
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 comparison methods are provided, as well a a detailed index.
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 65, Line by Line Comparisons of 27 Translations of the Tao Te Ching Compiled by the St. Xenophon Wayist Seminary
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices
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.
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. 274 pages.
The Tao and Method: A Reasoned Approach to the Tao Te Ching. By Michael Lafargue. New York, SUNY Press, 1994. 660 pages.
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
Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Grove, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
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