Dao de Jing: The Book of the Way

By Laozi; Moss Roberts | Go to book overview

STANZA 42
1. The number one of the Way was born.
2. A duad from this monad formed.
3. The duad next a triad made;
4. The triad bred the myriad,
5. Each holding yang
6. And held by yin,
7. Whose powers' balanced interaction
8. Brings all ten thousand to fruition. 1
9. By the names men most of all abhor—
10. “Orphaned, ” “wanting, ” “destitute”—
11. Kings and lords make themselves known.
12. For in this world
13. Those who take less shall have more,
14. Those given more shall have less.
15. These words men have taught
16. And so shall I teach:
17. “Who live by might never do die right”;
18. These my authority, my guiding light.

COMMENT The connection between lines 1–8 and lines 9–18 may be the primacy of the lowest. As the creation rises out of the lowest number, so political authority is effective only when it positions itself beneath all subject to it (see stanzas 39 and 61). The term yi, “one, ” is developed in “Chengfa” (Established law): “One rapidly unfolds; by the few know the many. ” 2

For more on the place of the number one in the cosmological structure, see the comment to stanza 14. “Duad” may or may not refer to yin and yang—terms that occur only in this stanza; “duad”

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Dao de Jing: The Book of the Way
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Dedication and Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Dao De Jing 25
  • Stanza 1 27
  • Stanza 2 30
  • Stanza 3 33
  • Stanza 4 36
  • Stanza 5 38
  • Stanza 6 41
  • Stanza 7 43
  • Stanza 8 45
  • Stanza 9 47
  • Stanza 10 48
  • Stanza 11 51
  • Stanza 12 53
  • Stanza 13 55
  • Stanza 14 59
  • Stanza 15 62
  • Stanza 16 64
  • Stanza 17 66
  • Stanza 18 68
  • Stanza 19 70
  • Stanza 20 72
  • Stanza 21 74
  • Stanza 22 76
  • Stanza 23 78
  • Stanza 24 80
  • Stanza 25 82
  • Stanza 26 84
  • Stanza 27 86
  • Stanza 28 88
  • Stanza 29 90
  • Stanza 30 91
  • Stanza 31 93
  • Stanza 32 95
  • Stanza 33 97
  • Stanza 34 98
  • Stanza 35 100
  • Stanza 36 101
  • Stanza 37 103
  • Stanza 38 106
  • Stanza 39 109
  • Stanza 40 112
  • Stanza 41 114
  • Stanza 42 116
  • Stanza 43 118
  • Stanza 44 121
  • Stanza 45 123
  • Stanza 46 125
  • Stanza 47 126
  • Stanza 48 128
  • Stanza 49 130
  • Stanza 50 132
  • Stanza 51 134
  • Stanza 52 136
  • Stanza 53 138
  • Stanza 54 139
  • Stanza 55 141
  • Stanza 56 143
  • Stanza 57 145
  • Stanza 58 147
  • Stanza 59 149
  • Stanza 60 151
  • Stanza 61 153
  • Stanza 62 155
  • Stanza 63 156
  • Stanza 64 158
  • Stanza 65 161
  • Stanza 66 163
  • Stanza 67 165
  • Stanza 68 168
  • Stanza 69 169
  • Stanza 70 171
  • Stanza 71 172
  • Stanza 72 174
  • Stanza 73 176
  • Stanza 74 177
  • Stanza 75 179
  • Stanza 76 180
  • Stanza 77 181
  • Stanza 78 183
  • Stanza 79 184
  • Stanza 80 186
  • Stanza 81 188
  • Notes 189
  • Selected Bibliography 223
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