Tao Te Ching – Verse 57 – If you want to be a great leader, you must learn to follow the Tao.

Tao Te Ching – Verse 57

If you want to be a great leader,
you must learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
and the world will govern itself.
The more prohibitions you have,
the less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have,
the less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have,
the less self-reliant people will be.

Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)

Govern a country with upright integrity
Deploy the military with surprise tactics
Take the world with non-interference
How do I know this is so?
With the following:

When there are many restrictions in the world
The people become more impoverished
When people have many sharp weapons
The country becomes more chaotic
When people have many clever tricks
More strange things occur
The more laws are posted
The more robbers and thieves there are

Therefore the sage says:
I take unattached action, and the people transform themselves
I prefer quiet, and the people right themselves
I do not interfere, and the people enrich themselves
I have no desires, and the people simplify themselves

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)

Rules create rule-breakers.
War creates crimes of war.
Laws create lawlessness.
Poverty creates weaponry.
Rank creates discord.
One Sage, doing Nothing,
Plants the seed of Peace.
Peace can lead to illumination.
Illumination is Nothingness:
No gain, no loss, Zero.
This heaven, sleeping a Light Sleep,
Waits patiently.
Never having left,
It is experienced when time is Right.
But right time knows no time.

(translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)

from I Ching Online


Author: harinam

Yogi, teacher, healer

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