Dao De Jing Introduction Table of content – The Way and Its Power

The naturalist, individualist and politic doctrine of Lao-tse exhibited in 81 poetic and obscure texts. Tr. Waley (en), Lau (en), Julien (fr) and Wilhelm (de).

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Daodejing II. 76.

Section De – Chapter LXXVI

When he is born, man is soft and weak; in death he becomes stiff and hard. The ten thousand creatures and all plants and trees while they are alive are supple and soft, but when and dead they become brittle and dry. Truly, what is stiff and hard is a “companion of death”; what is soft and weak is a “companion of life”. Therefore “the weapon that is too hard will be broken, the tree that has the hardest wood will be cut down”. Truly, the hard and mighty are cast down; the soft and weak set on high.

Waley 76

人活着的时候, 身体是柔软的, 死后就会僵硬; 草木生时是柔脆的, 死后就要干枯。
所以强硬于死是同类, 柔弱于生是一家。
用兵逞强必遭灭亡, 树木粗壮必遭砍伐。
凡强大反居下方, 凡柔弱反居上方。


A man is supple and weak when living, but hard and stiff when dead.
Grass and trees are pliant and fragile when living, but dried and shrivelledwhen dead.
Thus the hard and the strong are the comrades of death;
The supple and the weak are the comrades of life.

Therefore a weapon that is strong will not vanquish;
A tree that is strong will suffer the axe.
The strong and big takes the lower position,
The supple and weak takes the higher position.

Lau 76

Quand l'homme vient au monde, il est souple et faible ; quand il meurt, il est roide et fort.
Quand les arbres et les plantes naissent, ils sont souples et tendres ; quand ils meurent, ils sont secs et arides.
La roideur et la force sont les compagnes de la mort ; la souplesse et la faiblesse sont les compagnes de la vie.
C'est pourquoi, lorsqu'une armée est forte, elle n'emporte pas la victoire.
Lorsqu'un arbre est devenu fort, on l'abat.
Ce qui est fort et grand occupe le rang inférieur ; ce qui est souple et faible occupe le rang supérieur.

Julien 76

Der Mensch, wenn er ins Leben tritt,
ist weich und schwach,
und wenn er stirbt,
so ist er hart und stark.
Die Pflanzen, wenn sie ins Leben treten,
sind weich md zart,
und wenn sie sterben,
sind sie dürr und starr.
Darum sind die Harten und Starken
Gesellen des Todes,
die Weichen und Schwachen
Gesellen des Lebens.
Sind die Waffen stark, so siegen sie nicht.
Sind die Bäume stark, so werden sie gefällt.
Das Starke und Große ist unten.
Das Weiche und Schwache ist oben.

Wilhelm 76

Dao De Jing II. 76. (76) IntroductionTable of content
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The Way and Its Power – Dao De Jing II. 76. – Chinese on/offFrançais/English
Alias Daode Jing, Dao De Jing, Tao Te Ching, Tao Teh Ching, le Tao-tö-king, Lao-Tzu Te-Tao Ching, the Laozi, Lao Zi, the Lao Tze, le Lao-tseu, The Book of the Way and its Virtue, the Way and its Power.

The Book of Odes, The Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, Three-characters book, The Book of Changes, The Way and its Power, 300 Tang Poems, The Art of War, Thirty-Six Strategies
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