Tao 58

The more a government enforces its vision of the country upon its people
The less able its people are to be true to themselves.
When order is born of force
The government has lost its legitimacy.

If there is no natural harmony
Honesty becomes dishonest,
Truth becomes surreal,
The good becomes a monstrosity,
And the people lead double lives.

Therefore, to avoid this path from which there is no recovering, the Sage:
Squares without severing,
Fashions wihout force,
Straightens without ruling,
And so governs by consensus.


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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