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 I. 17.

Section Dao – Chapter XVII

Of the highest the people merely know that such a one exists;
The next they draw near to and praise.
The next they shrink from, intimidated; but revile.
Truly, “It is by not believing people that you turn them into liars”.
But from the Sage it is so hard at any price to get a single word
That when his task is accomplished, his work done,
Throughout the country every one says: “It happened of its own accord”.

Waley 17

国君治理国家, 可分为四等。最上等的国君, 推行无言的教化。使人民各顺其性, 各安其生。君不扰民, 以至老百姓不知谁是国君。次一等的国君, 以德教感化人民, 用仁义教育人民。使老百姓觉得国君亲切, 赞美他, 感激他。第三等的国君用政教治理人民, 用刑法威吓人民。人民恐惧他。第四等的国君用权术愚弄人民, 用诡计欺骗人民。人民憎恶他。信不足, 则有不信, 政府失信于民。最好的政治是无为而治, 人民各顺其性, 各安其生。功成事遂, 百姓浑然不觉, 都说“这是我们自然如此的啊。”


The best of all rulers is but a shadowy presence to his subjects.
Next comes the ruler they love and praise;
Next comes one they fear;
Next comes one with whom they take liberties.

When there is not enough faith, there is lack of good faith.

Hesitant, he does not utter words lightly.
When his task is accomplished and his work done
The people all say, 'It happened to us naturally.'

Lau 17

Dans la Haute Antiquité, le peuple savait seulement qu'il avait des rois.
Les suivants, il les aima et leur donna des louanges.
Les suivants il les craignit.
Les suivants, il les méprisa.
Celui qui n'a pas confiance dans les autres n'obtient pas leur confiance.
(Les premiers) étaient graves et réservés dans leurs paroles.
Après qu'ils avaient acquis des mérites et réussi dans leurs desseins, les cent familles disaient : Nous suivons notre nature.

Julien 17

Herrscht ein ganz Großer,
so weiß das Volk kaum, daß er da ist.
Mindere werden geliebt und gelobt,
noch Mindere werden gefürchtet,
noch Mindere werden verachtet.
Wie überlegt muß man sein in seinen Worten!
Die Werke sind vollbracht, die Geschäfte gehen ihren Lauf,
und die Leute denken alle:
Wir sind frei.

Wilhelm 17

Dao De Jing I. 17. (17) IntroductionTable of content
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The Way and Its Power – Dao De Jing I. 17. – 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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