Dao de Jing: The Book of the Way

By Laozi; Moss Roberts | Go to book overview

STANZA 65
1. Those of old who pursued the Way
2. Never meant to make their people see;
3. Their purpose was to keep them unaware.
4. The people are harder to manage
5. For knowing things.
6. To have the learned govern the kingdom
7. Is a bane to the kingdom.
8. Not to have them
9. Is a boon to the kingdom.
10. Know always that this double dictum
11. Defines a guide to judgment,
12. Which when firmly fixed in mind
13. May be called sublime virtue.
14. Such virtue, deep and reaching far,
15. In counter-motion like all things,
16. Achieves congruence with the Way.

COMMENT Mencius (3 A4.8) describes how the sagekings of antiquity first taught (jiao) the people to sow and reap and then appointed a minister of education to teach the people about social relations and their attendant ethical codes so that the people's virtue (de) would be stimulated. Laozi opposes the entire Confucian principle of government by education.

There are relevant passages in the Analects as well to which this stanza may refer. Analects 8.9 says, “What the people may be made to follow they may not be made to understand. ” This passage is sometimes adduced as a parallel to stanza 65 of the Laozi, a variant on the theme of keeping the people ignorant. However, Confucius may simply be acknowledging the limits of the people in a particu

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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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