Tao Te Ching – Verse 29 – Do you want to improve the world? I don’t think it can be done.

29
Do you want to improve the world?
I don’t think it can be done.

The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
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Those who wish to take the world and control it
I see that they cannot succeed
The world is a sacred instrument
One cannot control it
The one who controls it will fail
The one who grasps it will lose

Because all things:
Either lead or follow
Either blow hot or cold
Either have strength or weakness
Either have ownership or take by force

Therefore the sage:
Eliminates extremes
Eliminates excess
Eliminates arrogance

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
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Intense and Dull are the Same.
When the cloud drops
The rain cleans all,
And the Seeker becomes Sage.

(translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)
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from I Ching Online

 

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