Tao Te Ching – Verse 3 – The Master leads by emptying people’s minds and filling their cores

3
If you overesteem great men,
people become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.

The Master leads
by emptying people’s minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.

Practice not-doing,
and everything will fall into place.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
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Do not glorify the achievers
So the people will not squabble
Do not treasure goods that are hard to obtain
So the people will not become thieves
Do not show the desired things
So their hearts will not be confused

Thus the governance of the sage:
Empties their hearts
Fills their bellies
Weakens their ambitions
Strengthens their bones

Let the people have no cunning and no greed
So those who scheme will not dare to meddle

Act without contrivance
And nothing will be beyond control

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
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Find the moralist to lead cry, then cry again the lost.
Result: civil war.
Creation of banks and outlawing natural goods creates dangerous thieves.
Study the private play of opposites, and peace is lost.
Emotion with no aim is bliss.
Simple food, or better, clear water, fulfills any hunger.
There is no desire; there is no knowledge.
There is ridding oneself of obstruction to what one was, has, and is.
Do nothing, accomplish everything.
He who wishes to punish others is already punished.

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

 

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