Laozi’s Dao De Jing (core 33 chapters)
Translated by LI Siming, 2011
55. Those rich in virtue are like baby
Those well established in Virtue, are like babies.
Bees and snakes won’t bite, fierce animals won’t claw, and large birds won’t hunt. (Their) bones and ligaments are soft but when they hold their fists are tight.
They don’t have sexual desire but their sexual organs often harden, as their bodily essence remains full.
They cry all day but their voices won’t soar, as they stay harmonized at all time.
Those who know harmony is normal, those who know normal is bright.
Those who have excess desire brings hazard, those who let their desires to use their energy is to show off.
Things when get too strong will get old, are against the Dao, and will soon disappear.
67. Dao not like anything, three treasures
The world called this Dao is big, but it does not look like anything described.
Because of its big, it does not look like anything.
If it looks like anything, it would be small long time ago!
I have three treasures, hold and keep them.
First is kindness, second is economy, third is not in front of the world.
Kind and therefore can brave; economy and therefore can widespread; not in front and therefore can lead.
Now (people) seek brave without kindness; widespread without economy; lead without staying in the back; die soon!
Fight with kindness and one will win in war, and will hold his ground in defense.
Heaven will save it, and protect it with kindness.
70. Easy to know and do
What i say is easy to know, easy to do. The world does not know, no one does.
What i say have principle, what i do have basis. People do not know, therefore do not understand me.
Understand me are few, follow me are precious.
Therefore saints wear coarse clothes but hold jade.
71. Knowing one knows nothing vs. no knowing but claims one knowing
Knowing one knows nothing, is sane; not knowing but claim one knows, is sickness.
When one knows sickness is sickness, one will not be sick.
Saints are not sick, as they see sickness as sickness, and therefore not sick.
73. Nature of heaven, like a giant net
Courage when applied to doing kills, when applied to not-doing saves.
These two could benefit or harm. Who could know what the heaven dislike? Even saints have difficulty to tell.
Heaven, do not compete but good at winning, do not speak but good at responding, do not invoke but arrive itself, broad and wise.
It is like a giant net, coarse but covers everywhere.
79. Hatred mediate vs. not arising, debt owner vs. collector
Mediate big hatred, and there is always some residual hatred; how could it be a good?
Therefore saints holding a debt note, but do not chase after the debtor.
Those with virtue are like debt note owner, those without virtue are like debt collector.
Heaven is not close to anyone, yet it helps the goods.