Tao 57

On a battlefield, craftiness is ideal.
In a government, honesty is ideal.
If you would see the world moving in harmony with Tao,
Neither battles nor governments are ideal.

Why do I say this?
Consider the following:

Weapons can only destroy.
More advanced weapons only yield more grotesque destruction.
Restrictions do naught but deprive.
Each new law brings into existence a new crime.

The sage would tell you:

Do not direct the people;
They will find their own way.
Enjoy your own serenity;
Allow the people do the same.
Live with perpetual satisfaction;
Let the people see the prosperity in your subsistence.
Avoid ambition;
Display the virtue of the uncarved block.


All 81 chapters of our version of the Tao Te Ching are available online for free here. If you are so inclined, an updated version of our translation is available as an e-book, here.

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