Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
Chapter 68 Chapter 70 Index to All the Chapters Taoism Cloud Hands Blog
The Function of the Mysterious (Dao), Act as a Guest with Reserve, Host, Guest, Underestimate, Tactics, Battle, Enemy, War, Fighting, Treasure (pao), Weapons, Warriors, Retreating, Disputes, Peacemakers, Yielding, Military Strategy, Use of the Mystery, Reconciliation, Compromise, Healing, Compassion, Uselessness of War, Attitude, Inch, Foot, Calamities (huo), Rival, Foe, Restraint, Withdraw, Advance, Respect, Defend, Sorrow, Never Make Light of an Enemy, 玄用
"A master of the art of war has said, 'I do not dare to be the host to
commence the war;
I prefer to be the guest to act on the defensive.
I do not dare to advance an inch;
I prefer to retire a foot.'
This is called marshalling the ranks where there are no ranks;
Baring the arms to fight where there are no arms to bare;
Grasping the weapon where there is no weapon to grasp;
Advancing against the enemy where there is no enemy.
There is no calamity greater than lightly engaging in war.
To do that is near losing the gentleness which is so precious.
Thus it is that when opposing weapons are actually crossed, he who deplores the situation conquers."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 69
"The strategists have a saying:
‘I dare not take the offensive, but would rather take the defensive.'
‘I dare not advance an inch, but would rather retreat a foot.’
This is called marching without moving,
Rolling up one’s sleeve without showing one’s arm,
Defeating an enemy without confrontation,
Being armed without weapons.
No misfortune is greater than underestimating an enemy.
Underestimating my enemy almost makes me lose my treasures.
Therefore, when two sides takes arms against each other,
It is the side with the most reluctance which wins."
- Translated by Keith H. Seddon, Chapter 69
"In conflict just be cautious
And always on your guard
Rather than advance an inch
Instead retreat a yard
In this way you go along
And make your gain without advancing
You deal with the rival
As your position is enhancing
Remember that it's possible
Your rival just may yield
So don't advance on such a foe
Let differences be healed."
- Translated by Jim Caltfelter, 2000, Chapter 69
Cloud Hands Blog
"It is easier to retreat ten meters than to advance one,
Disputes could be solved by being in waiting.
Instead of an aggressive advancement it is better to retreat and wait,
Without displaying power and being aggressive,
Battles could be won.
Do not underestimates your enemy, neither those courageous in battle.
In the beginning aggressiveness seems to win,
But at the end, he who is compassionate wins."
- Translated by Octavian Sarbatoare, 2002, Chapter 69
"The generals have a saying:
"Rather than make the first move
it is better to wait and see.
Rather than advance an inch
it is better to retreat a yard."
This is called
going forward without advancing,
pushing back without using weapons.
There is no greater misfortune
than underestimating your enemy.
Underestimating your enemy
means thinking that he is evil.
Thus you destroy your three treasures
and become an enemy yourself.
When two great forces oppose each other,
the victory will go
to the one that knows how to yield."
- Translated by Stephen Mitchell, 1988, Chapter 69
用兵有言, 吾不敢為主, 而為客, 不敢進寸, 而退尺.
是謂行無行, 攘無臂, 扔無敵, 執無兵.
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English (includes a word by word key) from YellowBridge
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin transliteration (romanization), English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros.
Chinese and English Dictionary, MDGB
Chinese Character Dictionary
Tao Te Ching in Pinyin transliteration with Chinese characters, WuWei Foundation
Tao Te Ching in Pinyin transliteration
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 in Chinese characters: Big 5 Traditional and GB Simplified
Convert from Pinyin to Wade Giles to Yale transliterations of Words and Terms: A Translation Tool from Qi Journal
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin and Wade Giles transliteration spellings, English; a word for word translation of the Guodian Laozi Version.
Lao Zi's Dao De Jing: A Matrix Translation with Chinese Text by Bradford Hatcher.
Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition By Jonathan Star. Detailed tables for each verse provide line number, all the Chinese characters, Wade-Giles Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character. An essential reference tool with word by word transliterations, meanings, interpretations.
yong bing you yan:
'wu bu gan wei zhu er wei ke,
bu gan jin cun er tui chi.'
hang wu hang,
rang wu bi,
reng wu di,
zhi wu bing.
huo mo da yu qing di,
qing di ji sang wu bao.
gu kang bing xiang jia,
ai zhe sheng yi.
"A military expert used to say:
'I dare not act as host who takes the initiative but act as guest with reserve.
I dare not advance an inch, but I withdraw a foot."
This is called marching without marching, threatening without arms, charging without hostility, seizing without weapons.
No greater misfortune than making light of the enemy!
When we make light of the enemy, it is almost as though we had lost our treasure - compassion.
Thus, if matched armies encounter one another, the one who does so in sorrow is sure to conquer."
- Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 69
"The strategists have a saying,
I dare not play the host but play the guest,
I dare not advance an inch but retreat a foot instead.
This is known as marching forward when there is no road,
Rolling up one's sleeves when there is no arm,
Dragging one's adversary by force when there is no adversary,
And taking up arms when there are no arms.
There is no disaster greater than taking on an enemy too easily.
So doing nearly cost me my treasure.
Thus of two sides raising arms against each other,
It is the one that is sorrow-stricken that wins."
- Translated by D. C. Lau, 1963, Chapter 69
"There was a saying among the military
commanders of old,
'I do not venture to act the host, to give battle; I prefer to be the guest to await the attack.'
I do not venture to advance an inch; I prefer to retire a foot.
This may be called operating negatively, and appropriating the enemy's possessions without infringing propriety.
Were this policy pursued, there would be no withstanding of our arms, and capture might be effected without striking a blow.
There is no greater calamity than that of despising an enemy.
By underestimating the enemy one brings about the loss of the three things I prize.
Wherefore when opposing forces meet in battle, it is the compassionate who conquer."
- Translated by Frederic Henry Balfour, 1884, Chapter 69
"Military tacticians have a saying:
"I dare not be the aggressor, but rather the defender.
I dare not advance an inch, but would rather retreat a foot."
This is to move without moving,
To raise one's fists without showing them,
To lead the enemy on but against no adversary,
To wield a weapon but not clash with the enemy's.
No disaster is greater than taking the enemy lightly.
If I take the enemy lightly, I am on the verge of losing my treasures.
Hence, when opposing troops resist each other, the one stung by grief will be the victor."
- Translated by Tam Gibbs, 1981, Chapter 69
"There is a saying on using military force:
'I dare not be the host, but rather a guest.
I dare not advance an inch, but rather retreat a foot.'
This is called performing without performing, rolling up one's sleeves without showing the arms.
By not holding on to an enemy, there is no enemy.
There is no disaster greater than having no enemy.
Having no enemy almost destroys my treasure.
When opposing armies clash, those who cry win!"
- Translated by Tao Huang, Chapter 69
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 strategists' saying:
"I dare not play the host but play the guest,
I dare not advance an inch but retreat a foot."
This is called marching no-marching,
Arming with no-weapons,
Charging at no-enemy.
No disaster is greater than making light of the enemy.
When I make light of the enemy, I may lose my treasure.
Therefore, when two sides confront each other with arms,
The one who grieves wins."
- Translated by Ha Poong Kim, Chapter 69
"The handbook of the strategist has said:
'Do not invite the fight, accept it instead,'
'Better a foot behind than an inch too far ahead,'
Look a man straight in the face and make no move,
Roll up your sleeve and clench no fist,
Open your hand and show no weapon,
Bare your breast and find no foe.
But as long as there be a foe, value him,
Respect him, measure him, be humble toward him;
Let him not strip from you, however strong he be,
Compassion, the one wealth which can afford him."
- Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 69
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
"A great soldier used to say:
"I plan not to be a Lord, but to be a follower; I plan not to advance an inch, but to recede a foot.
This is called:
Advancing with the advantage of Inner Life, baring the arm with the energy of Inner Life, grasping a weapon with the force of Inner Life, meeting the foe as a soldier of Inner Life.
There is no calamity greater than lightly to engage in war.
To engage lightly in war is to lose our treasure of gentleness.
Therefore, when soldiers meet who are equally strong,
He who is compassionate shall conquer."
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 69
"An ancient tactician has said:
'I dare not act as a host, but would rather act as a guest;
I dare not advance an inch, but would rather retreat a foot.'
This implies that he does not marshal the ranks as if there were no ranks;
He does not roll up his sleeves as if he had no arms;
He does not seize as if he had no weapons;
He does not fight as if there were no enemies.
No calamity is greater than under-estimating the enemy.
To under-estimate the enemy is to be on the point of losing our treasure.
Therefore, when opposing armies meet in the field the ruthful will win."
- Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 69
Further Teachings of Lao-Tzu: Understanding the Mysteries (Wen Tzu) Translated 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
"An experienced soldier said, 'I dare not be
The host in war, I' d rather be the guest;
I dare not, at the first, advance an inch,
But rather would retire a foot if pressed.'
It is to march when there' s nowhere to march,
To threat with arms when there are arms nowhere,
To charge without an enemy in sight,
To take by sword and spear when none are there.
Misfortune never greater can there be
Than to make light of enemies in war,
Thereby we lose our all, for then when meet
Embattled hosts, the weak is
- Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 69
"A strategist of old has said:
"I dare not be host, I prefer being guest. I dare not advance one inch, I prefer withdrawing one foot."
This is called: to march without marching, to roll up one's sleeves without having an arm, to draw without having a sword, to attack without having an adversary.
There is no greater calamity than underestimating one's adversary.
If I underestimate my adversary, I risk losing my treasures.
For, when the opposing arms are crossed, he who yields, will win."
- Translated by Jan J. L. Duyvendak, 1954, Chapter 69
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
"A great warrior has said, "I dare not be the host, I would rather be the
I dare not advance an inch, I would rather retire a foot."
Now this I call filling in without marshalling the ranks;
baring the arms without preparing to fight; grasping the sword without unsheathing it;
and advancing upon the enemy without coming into conflict.
There is nothing so unfortunate as entering lightly into battle.
For in doing so we are in danger of losing that which is most precious.
Thus it happens that when opposing forces meet in battle, he who feels the pity of is assuredly conquers."
- Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 69
"A military expert has said:
'I do not dare put myself forward as a host, but always act as a guest. I hesitate to advance an inch, but am willing to withdraw a foot.'
This is advancing by not advancing, it is winning without arms, it is charging without hostility, it is seizing without weapons.
There is no mistake greater than making light of an enemy.
By making light of an enemy we lose our treasure.
Therefore when well-matched armies come to conflict, the one who is conscious of his weakness conquers."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 69
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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 69 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 69 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith. The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley.
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. Offline as of 25 May 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 69, 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
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