The Soft Overcomes the Hard, The Failed are Often Chosen, Water, Paradoxes, Have
Suppleness, Rituals, Paradoxes, Omens, Accept Responsibility, Trust, 任信
"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 Tao.
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."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard, 1919, Chapter 78
"In the world nothing is supple and weak in relation to
Yet of those things which attack the firm and unyielding
Nothing is able to do better
In what is absent, this easily happens.
Being supple conquers the unyielding
Being weak conquers the firm
In the world
No one is without knowing it
No one is able to practice it.
Appropriately it happens that sages say
He who accepts the disgrace of a nation
Is appropriately called lord of the grain shrine
He who accepts the misfortune of a nation
Is appropriately acting as the king of the world.
Correct words look like they turn back."
- Translated by David Lindauer, Chapter 78
to be at your best
pattern yourself after water
nothing in all the world is softer or more powerful
nothing in all the world can substitute for it
nothing in all the world can stop it
in their hearts
everyone easily knows that
the soft and the weak
will always overcome the hard and strong
but they find it difficult to live this way
the secret is to
move the bodymind like water."
- Translated by John Bright-Fey, 2006, Chapter 78
"Nothing in the world is Softer or Weaker than water.
But when it attacks what is hard and strong none of them can win out, because they have no way of affecting it.
Softness overcomes what is hard Weakness overcomes what is unyielding.
Everyone in the world understands it no one can practice it.
And so the Wise Person says: Taking on a state's dirt makes one lord of its earth altars taking on a state's misfortunes makes one King of the world.
Right words seem the opposite."
- Translated by Michael LaFargue, 1992, Chapter 78
"Water is soft and yielding, but
nothing can more effectively dissolve the hard and inflexible.
Weak defeats strong.
Soft defeats hard.
This is well–known, but not easy to put into practice.
Therefore, the Tao–Master says:
He who takes upon himself the dirt of the nation
becomes the master of its sacred soil;
he who takes upon himself the evils of the land
becomes a true king under Heaven.
Straight words seem crooked."
- Translated by George Cronk, 1999, Chapter 78
"Nothing in the world is weaker than water
but against the hard and the strong nothing excels it
for nothing can change it
the soft overcomes the hard
the weak overcomes the strong
this is something everyone knows but no one is able to practice
thus the sage declares who accepts a country's disgrace we call the lord of soil and grain
who accepts a country's misfortune we call king of all under Heaven
upright words sound upside down"
- Translated by Bill Porter (Red Pine), 1996, Chapter 78
"Heaven below (the sacred body) is not as soft and
yielding as water, yet can take on the rigid and violent.
Without its (the sacred body's) ability to overcome the rigid and the violent, it is nothing.
It replaces violence with gentleness.
It overcomes violence.
Tenderly it overcomes the unyielding.
Without knowing this, no one in Heaven below can progress.
The sages speak of guarding the community:
Dishonor comes from making sacrifices to the gods.
Preserve the community, not its omens.
It is correct to speak of Heaven below as what connects Heaven,
Humanity and Earth.
The words of the person who sacrifices backfire."
- Translated by Barbara Tovey and Alan Sheets, 2002, Chapter 78
"Nothing is softer, more flexible, or more giving than
nothing can resist it
nothing can take it away
nothing can endure it
there is no way to hurt it.
The flexible overcomes what resists it,
the giving overcomes what takes it,
the soft overcomes the hard,
but who uses this knowledge?
Only the person who knows the earth
as intimately as the trees and grasses
can rule the earth,
only the person who accepts
the guilt and evil of humanity
can rule the universe.
Straight tongues seem forked.
Straight talk seems crooked."
- Translated by Tom Kunesh, Chapter 78
"There is nothing in the world
as soft and weak as water.
But to erode the hard and strong,
nothing can surpass it;
nothing can be a substitute.
The weak can overcome the strong;
the soft can overcome the hard.
There is no-one in the world who does not know this,
but there is no-one who can put it into practice.
Those who are enlightened say:
those who bear a nation's disgrace
will become lords of its shrines to earth and grain; *
those who bear a nation's misfortune
will become kings under heaven.
True words often seem a paradox."
- Translated by Tim Chilcott, 2005, Chapter 78
Cloud Hands Blog, January 12, 2012: Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 78
Dao Te Ching by Lao Tsu, Posts to the Cloud Hands Blog
"Nothing in the world is more supple than water,
Yet nothing is more powerful than water in attacking the hard and strong.
Because nothing can take its place.
Everyone in the world knows
That the weak is more powerful than the strong,
That the supple is more rigid than the hard,
Yet no one so far can put the knowledge into practice.
That is why the sage says,
Only he who can bear the humiliation on behalf of the state
Can be called the great priest of the state;
Only he who dare shoulder the responsibility for the calamity of the state
Can be called the king of the state.
Factual words seem ironical."
- Translated by Gu Zhengkun, Chapter 78
"Nothing in the World is as yielding as water;
Nor can anything better overcome the hardened.
Just as the yielding overcomes the hardened,
The weak may overcome the strong;
Yet they do not.
The sage says:
"Who accepts responsibility for his people rules the country;
Who accepts responsibility for the World rules the World",
But his words are not understood.
- Translated by Peter Merel, Chapter 78
"Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than
Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it.
So the flexible overcomes the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful.
Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.
This is why the sages say those who can take on the disgrace of nations are leaders of lands;
and those who can take on the misfortune of nations are rulers of the world.
True sayings seem paradoxical."
- Translated by Thomas Cleary, 1991, Chapter 78
"There is nothing more yielding than water,
yet when acting on the solid and strong,
its gentleness and fluidity
have no equal in any thing.
The weak can overcome the strong,
and the supple overcome the hard.
Although this is known far and wide,
few put it into practice in their lives.
Although seemingly paradoxical,
the person who takes upon himself,
the people's humiliation,
is fit to rule;
and he is fit to lead,
who takes the country's disasters upon himself."
- Translated by Stan Rosenthal, 1984, Chapter 78
"There's hardly anything more yielding than gas, air,
and] water, but almost none is better in attacking the resistant and hard.
There are few substitutes for it.
Thus the yielding may conquer the resistant and the soft the hard.
This was utilized by none I knew.
"Only he who has accepted the dirt of a country can be lord of its soil-shrines: can become heaven-accepted there.
Who bears evils of the country can become a king.
Who takes into himself the calumny of the world serves to preserve the state."
Straight words seem crooked."
- Translated by Tormond Byrn, 1997, Chapter 78
Tao Te Ching Translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo
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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 78 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
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Chapter 78 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith. The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley.
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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 78, 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.
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