Tao Te Ching – Verse 65 – The ancient Masters didn’t try to educate the people, but kindly taught them to not-know.

65
The ancient Masters
didn’t try to educate the people,
but kindly taught them to not-know.

When they think that they know the answers,
people are difficult to guide.
When they know that they don’t know,
people can find their own way.

If you want to learn how to govern,
avoid being clever or rich.
The simplest pattern is the clearest.
Content with an ordinary life,
you can show all people the way
back to their own true nature.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
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Those of ancient times who were adept at the Tao
Used it not to make people brighter
But to keep them simple
The difficulty in governing people
Is due their excessive cleverness
Therefore, using cleverness to govern the state
Is being a thief of the state
Not using cleverness to govern the state
Is being a blessing of the state

Know that these two are both standards
Always knowing these standards
Is called Mystic Virtue
Mystic Virtue: Profound! Far-reaching!
It goes opposite to material things
Then it reaches great congruence

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
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An empowered master,
Or,
A skilled magician.
These things have no consequence.
There may be a Divine Law,
But it is beyond the human power.
Therefore teach Nothing
And keep the peace,
Allowing a neat path to Zero.

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

 

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