Tao 60

Governing a group of people is like cultivating a delicate plant
That could wilt at the slightest touch.
Any attempt to mould or shape a person
Leaves bruises and sores.
Thus, if you would have an effect on the world,
Do not attempt to do so.

Allow things to flow naturally,
And evil will have no power.
That is not to say that evil loses its power…
Better, perhaps, to say that evil itself is lost.
Without a “good” to point away from,
Evil’s compass spins aimlessly.

And so, the sage leaves things to be what they are,
Leaving evil unharmed,
And in turn being unharmed by evil.

The spinning compass
Becomes a cycle of natural virtue.


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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