Tao Te Ching – Verse 53 – The great Way is easy, yet people prefer the side paths

53
The great Way is easy,
yet people prefer the side paths.
Be aware when things are out of balance.
Stay centered within the Tao.

When rich speculators prosper
While farmers lose their land;
when government officials spend money
on weapons instead of cures;
when the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible
while the poor have nowhere to turn-
all this is robbery and chaos.
It is not in keeping with the Tao.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
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If I have a little knowledge
Walking on the great Tao
I fear only to deviate from it
The great Tao is broad and plain
But people like the side paths

The courts are corrupt
The fields are barren
The warehouses are empty

Officials wear fineries
Carry sharp swords
Fill up on drinks and food
Acquire excessive wealth

This is called robbery
It is not the Tao!

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
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The Path has been laid out.
Lustrous distractions
Are made meaningless
When the Path is followed.

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

 

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