Quotes From the Book

Quotes from the book Laozi (aka Daodejing)

25.IV Human beings live by the Laws of Earth(world);
The Laws of Earth(world) subordinates to the Laws of Universe;
Universe is governed by the maxims of Tao;
Tao, per se, is self-subsistent and self-contained.

4.I Dao [in the physical world] is like an empty vessel;
Yet when comes to making use of it, its usefulness would go on and on as if it will never be exhausted.

4.III [Dao] is [hiding beneath the phenomenon that] its existence seems to be incomprehensible!
I do not know whose offspring it was;
But I know that it existed prior to, as well as surpassed, the [Five] Phenomenon Gods [who were worshipped as heavenly governors of changing of seasons].

6.0 The valley(the void whence birth came from) and the mystery [of growth] will never die out;
They were described [in I Jing] as the function of the “mysterious and inexplicable femininity” [which keeps everything in cosmos in motion];
The unveiling of the mystery of the inexplicable femininity could lead to the roots(basics) which sustains all births and growths between Heaven-and-Earth;
Its existence is long, contiguous, detailed and endless;
Its application is inexhaustible.

9.I People who accumulate extravagantly are less fortunate than those who would voluntarily cease and desist [before the accumulation of wealth becomes an obsession];

17.I The best leaders were those whose dependents were not even aware of their existence [since they were free from the feeling of insecurity, they did not bother to seek recognition of their authority];
Next were leaders who were loved by their people, [for they enjoyed to be recognized, as evidenced by their people’s appreciation and love];
Come next to it were leaders who loved to receive flattering from their underlings, [because their attentiveness assured them of their power];
Further down next [close to the bottom] were leaders who would intimidate their subordinates, [for they took pleasure out of displaying their control over others];

58.IV Accordingly:
A Sage keeps his integrity fair and square, still he does not truncate(impinge on) rights of others;
He is scrupulous and thrifty, yet he hurts nobody;
He is straightforward, but immune from being unrestrained [so he does not harm innocent people];
He is open but free from being showy.

68.I An ingenious soldier does not accept a challenge [frivolously];
A dexterous fighter cannot be aroused to anger [easily];
A shrewd victory-bound party defeats his enemy by avoiding direct confrontations;
A proficient manager situates himself in a humble position [to receive results of other people’s efforts].

69.I In ancient time a military strategist had on said:
“I do not dare to take the [subjective] position of a host in the battlefields, on the contrary, I adopt the [objective] position of a visitor;
I do not dare to advance one inch [counter-productively] at the cost of retreating one foot.”

72.II [A leader] should not oppress people and leave them no room for personal freedom;
[He also should not be the cause for] people to feel that life is cheap and unbearable;
[In other words] people would not feel their lives are cheap and unbearable if they are not oppressed and restricted.

75.O The reason people suffer from hunger is because their superiors (government) taxed them heavily, so after the taxation not much was left to support their bare necessity;
The reason people were difficult to govern was because their superiors were meddling with their affairs [thus their sense of propriety was impeded];
The reason people risked their lives for trivial causes was because their superiors(government officials) demand to lived affluently [at the cost of other people’s survival], people thus were forced to risk their lives [even for meager livelihood];
Accordingly, those [Solipsists] who did not get involve with other people’s affairs were better human beings than those who wanted to live very well personally [at the cost of the survivals of other people];
Even though the latter value the growth of population(lives) for his community.

81.II A Sage does not accumulate [goods and properties];
He adheres to the principle that the more he helps others, the more [De] he gains;
The more he gives, the more abundant [De] he aggregates;
The highest(heavenly) Dao is to do good to [others] without harming them;
The way of a Sage is to pursue [the happiness for others] without contesting them [for worldly gains].

Oracle Bone Characters