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. 74.

Section De – Chapter LXXIV

The people are not frightened of death. What then is the use of trying to intimidate them with the death-penalty?

And even supposing people were generally frightened of death and did not regard it as an everyday thing, which of us would dare to seize them and slay them?

There is the Lord of Slaughter always ready for this task, and to do it in his stead is like thrusting oneself into the master-carpenter's place and doing his chipping for him. Now “he who tries to do the master-carpenter's chipping for him is lucky if he does not cut his hand.”

Waley 74

如果人民饱受苛刑暴政的逼迫, 到了连死都不怕而起来反抗的时候, 统治者又怎能用死来威胁他们呢? 如果人民畏惧死, 一有作坏事的人就把他抓起来杀掉, 谁还敢胡作非为呢?
天地间, 冥冥中有专司杀伐的力量, 无须人代劳。如果人代替天实施杀伐, 就好象一个不会工艺的人代替木匠做工一样, 很少有不伤到自己的。


When the people are not afraid of death, wherefore frighten them withdeath?
Were the people always afraid of death, and were I able to arrest andput to death those who innovate, then who would dare?
There is a regular executioner whose charge it is to kill.
To kill on behalf of the executioner is what is described as choppingwood on behalf of the master carpenter.
In chopping wood on behalf of the master carpenter, there are few whoescape hurting their own hands instead.

Lau 74

Lorsque le peuple ne craint pas la mort, comment l'effrayer par la menace de la mort ?
Si le peuple craint constamment la mort, et que quelqu'un fasse le mal, je puis le saisir et le tuer, et alors qui osera (l'imiter) ?
Il y a constamment un magistrat suprême qui inflige la mort.
Si l'on veut remplacer ce magistrat suprême, et infliger soi-même la mort, on ressemble à un homme (inhabile) qui voudrait tailler le bois à la place d'un charpentier.
Lorsqu'on veut tailler le bois à la place d'un charpentier, il est rare qu'on ne se blesse pas les mains.

Julien 74

Wenn die Leute den Tod nicht scheuen,
wie will ich sie dann mit dem Tode einschüchtern?
Wenn ich aber die Leute
beständig in Furcht vor dem Tode halte,
und wenn einer Wunderliches treibt,
soll ich ihn ergreifen und töten?
Wer traut sich das?
Es gibt immer eine Todesmacht, die tötet.
Anstelle dieser Todesmacht zu töten, das ist,
wie wenn man anstelle eines Zimmermanns
die Axt führen wollte.
Wer statt des Zimmermanns
die Axt führen wollte,
kommt selten davon,
ohne das er sich die Hand verletzt.

Wilhelm 74

Dao De Jing II. 74. (74) IntroductionTable of content
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The Way and Its Power – Dao De Jing II. 74. – 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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