Tao Te Ching – Verse 75 – When the government is too intrusive, people lose their spirit

75
When taxes are too high,
people go hungry.
When the government is too intrusive,
people lose their spirit.

Act for the people’s benefit.
Trust them; leave them alone.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
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The people’s hunger
Is due to the excess of their ruler’s taxation
So they starve
The people’s difficulty in being governed
Is due to the meddling of their ruler
So they are difficult to govern
The people’s disregard for death
Is due to the glut in their ruler’s pursuit of life
So they disregard death
Therefore those who do not strive for living
Are better than those who value living

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
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In creating wealth,
So created is fear.
The peace of heaven is lost.
Fools believe wealth is life,
But wealth brings death.
The poor, the many, do not fear death,
And thus there is no more death for them.

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

 

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