Dao de Jing: The Book of the Way

By Laozi; Moss Roberts | Go to book overview
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1. “All the world declares me great.
2. Be great but do not seem to be.
3. For it is seeming not to be
4. That makes you great.
5. Otherwise, by seeming so,
6. You'd long ago have ceased to matter.
7. We have always our triple treasure, 1
8. Which we rely upon and cherish:
9. “A mother's heart, a frugal hand, and
10. No drive to boldly lead this world.
11. A brave heart takes a mother's heart,
12. A giving hand a frugal hand;
13. And one who will not lead to serve
14. As sacred elder of this world.
15. Forsaking love for bravery,
16. Frugal hand for giving hand,
17. Staying back for leading forth
18. Mean entering the gates of death.
19. A mother's heart holds battle lines
20. And also makes defenses sure.
21. The man whom heaven means to keep 2
22. It protects with mother-heart.

COMMENT In the Laozi, the pronoun wo (I, we) refers either to those in power or to the author. In line 1 of this stanza wo probably means the ruler. Perhaps the first line is intended as the speech of a ruler and the second line as the author's reply. Unlike all


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Dao de Jing: The Book of the Way


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