The Tao Te Ching, Chapter 3
Feng and English:

Not exalting the gifted prevents quarreling.
Not collecting treasures prevents stealing.
Not seeing desireable things prevents confusion of the heart.

The wise therefore rule by emptying hearts and stuffing bellies, by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.
If men lack knowledge and desire, then clever people will not try to interfere.
If nothing is done, then all will be well.

Le Guin:

Hushing

Not praising the praiseworthy
keeps people uncompetitive.

Not prizing rare treasures
keeps people from stealing.

Not looking at the desireable
keeps the mind quiet.

So the wise soul
governing people
would empty their minds,
fill their bellies,
weaken their wishes,
strengthen their bones,

keep people unknowing,
unwanting,
keep the ones who do know
from doing anything.

When you do not-doing,
nothing's out of order.

Peter Merel:
3. Without Action

Not praising the worthy prevents contention,
Not esteeming the valuable prevents theft,
Not displaying the beautiful prevents desire.

In this manner the sage governs people:
Emptying their minds,
Filling their bellies,
Weakening their ambitions,
And strengthening their bones.

If people lack knowledge and desire
Then they can not act;
If no action is taken
Harmony remains.

Tao Te Ching Back Next

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