DAO DE JING Part 2 De - Power 2
Dao is the source of all living things, and they are nourished by Dao’s power.
They are influenced by the other living things around them,
and they are shaped by their circumstances.
Everything respects Dao and honours its power. That’s just the way it is.
Tao gives life to all things, and its power watches out for them,
cares for them, helps them grow, protects them, and comforts them.
Create something without holding on to it. Do the work without expecting credit for it.
Lead people without giving them orders. That’s the secret of the power of Dao
Everything starts with Dao, the mother of all things.
If you know the mother, you know the children.
If you know the children and remember the mother,
you have nothing to fear in your life.
Shut your mouth and keep still, and your life will be full of happiness.
If you talk all the time, always doing something, your life will be hopeless.
It takes insight to see subtlety. It takes strength to yield gently to force.
Use that strength to hang on to your insight, and you will always be at peace.
That’s how to get right with Dao.
If I had any sense, I’d be trying to get right with Dao,
and the only thing I’d worry about would be messing up.
It’s not that hard to get right with Dao, but people are easily distracted.
“When the king’s palace is full of treasure,”
Lao Tzu said,
“ordinary people’s fields are smothered with weeds, and the food supplies run out.”
Today, you see sharply dressed people carrying flashy weapons and living the high life.
They own more than they could ever use, let alone need.
They’re nothing but gangsters and crooks.
That’s not what Dao’s about.
Dao’s power is so deeply entrenched it can never be uprooted.
Dao’s power clings so tightly it can never slip away.
It will endure for generations.
If you get in touch with the power of Dao, it will become real.
If your family gets in touch with the power of Dao, the power will flourish.
If your community gets in touch with the power of Dao, the power will grow even stronger.
If your country gets in touch with the power of Dao, the power will become abundant.
If the world gets in touch with the power of Dao, the power will be everywhere.
How can I know this? I just do.
A person filled with the power of Dao is like a baby boy:
bees can’t sting him, wild beasts can’t attack him.
A baby has soft bones and weak muscles, but a firm grip.
He hasn’t had sex, but he can get an erection.
That’s because he’s got lots of energy.
He can cry all day and never lose his voice.
That’s because he’s at one with his world.
If you’re at one with the world, you know constancy.
And if you know constancy, you’ve been enlightened.
It’s not healthy to try to prolong your life.
It’s unnatural to impose the mind’s will upon the body.
People waste time and energy trying to be strong or beautiful, and their strength and beauty fade.
They’ve lost touch with Dao, and when you lose touch with Dao, you might as well be dead.
Those who know, don’t talk.
Those who talk, don’t know.
Shut your mouth. Be still. Relax.
Let go of your worries. Stay out of the spotlight.
Be at one with the world and get right with Dao.
If you get right with Dao,
you won’t be worried about praise or scorn, about winning or losing, about honour or disgrace.
That’s the way to be.
You can run a country by sticking to principles,
and you can win a war with strategy and tactics.
But you can gain the entire world by doing nothing at all.
How do I know this?
I’ve seen it happen:
The more restrictions a nation imposes, the poorer its people become.
When a nation hoards weapons, troubles arise from within and from without.
When its leaders try to be cunning and clever, the situation spins further out of control.
When they try to fix things by passing more laws, they only increase the number of outlaws.
A wise leader says to himself:
“I do nothing, and people transform themselves.
I keep silent, and they do the right thing on their own.
I stay out of the way, and they prosper.
I want for nothing, and they lead simple lives.”
When a nation is ruled with a light touch, people lead simple lives.
When a government is harsh and demanding, people will spend their time trying to outsmart it.
Happiness is rooted in misery, and misery lurks beneath all joy.
Who knows what could happen tomorrow?
Everything is relative; what’s considered proper today may become improper.
Correct appearances may hide dishonesty and sinfulness.
No wonder so many people get confused.
The Masters have sharp minds, not sharp tongues. They are austere, but never judgmental.
They are straightforward, but not provocative. They are brilliant, but not flashy.
59. Leadership is based on moderation. Practice moderation,
and you’ll get in touch with the power of Dao.
If you get right with Dao, nothing is impossible.
If you get right with Dao, there’s no limit to what you can do.
If you get right with Dao, you can be a true leader.
Remember this advice
if you want to be a leader: Plant deep roots in firm soil.
Get right with Dao, and you’ll always see things clearly.
Being a leader is like cooking a small fish;
get right with Dao, and it’s quick and easy.
When you’re in touch with Dao, you don’t need to worry about misfortune.
You can’t make it go away, of course, but you can keep it from harming other people.
Also, as a wise leader, you cause no harm to others,
so people won’t have to worry about getting hurt,
and they’ll take the opportunity to do the right thing.
Power flows down to every level of existence
like a river to the ocean.
Victory comes from lying perfectly still
and waiting for power to come your way.
If you yield to someone less powerful than yourself,
you will be in a position to influence them.
If you submit to someone more powerful than yourself,
you create an opportunity to get your own way.
So if you want to get ahead, lay low and bide your time.
That way, everybody’s happy.
Every living thing gets its strength from Dao.
Good people respect the value of Dao.
The wicked and foolish don’t, but Dao provides for them anyway.
Some people gain power and prestige through fancy words, others through great deeds.
But Dao is available to everyone, not just the powerful.
So don’t look down on anybody.
When people become powerful, and everybody lines up
to kiss their ass, sit still and stay right with Dao.
Why have the Masters always respected Dao?
Because when you get right with Dao, you can always find
what you need to get by, and trouble can never find you.
Keep still. Don’t work so hard.
Learn to appreciate everyday life.
Pay attention to details. Start small and work your way up.
When people give you trouble, let it slide.
Break everything down to its essentials.
Get the job done before it becomes a chore.
With the right preparation, difficult tasks can be completed with ease;
every major project consists of simple steps.
The Masters don’t take on more than they can handle,
which is why they can do just about anything.
Don’t promise more than you can deliver, and don’t underestimate the task:
You’ll only make things harder for yourself.
The Masters are always aware of the difficulties involved,
which is why they never have to deal with them.
It’s easy to maintain balance. Trouble can be nipped in the bud.
Fragile things break easily, and small things are easy to lose.
Deal with the situation before it becomes a problem.
Keep everything straight so it can’t get messed up.
Every tree was once a seed.
Every skyscraper started out with a shovel of dirt.
And–stop me if you’ve heard this one before–
a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
When you try too hard, you defeat your own purpose.
Cling to stuff, and you will suffer loss.
The Masters make no effort, so they never fail.
They aren’t attached to things, so they never feel loss.
People often screw up when the job’s nearly done.
Pay as much attention to the finishing touches as you do to the initial steps,
and you won’t screw up like that.
The Masters try to be free from desire.
They don’t collect precious things.
They don’t cling to any beliefs.
They pay attention to what everybody else ignores.
They help the world get right with Dao,
but don’t try to change a thing.
In ancient times, leaders who were right with Dao
didn’t teach everybody how to become enlightened.
They kept people’s lives simple.
People who know too much can’t be taught anything.
Leaders who try to be clever always screw things up.
Leaders who keep things simple always make things right.
If you get that, you’ll understand the mysterious power of Dao.
That kind of power is so deep, so extensive, it penetrates into every level of existence.
An ocean is greater than the hundred rivers that flow into it,
and all it does is wait to receive what they bring.
If you want to teach people, don’t talk down to them.
If you want to lead them, find out where they want to go.
People love leaders who make them feel safe without smothering them.
They’ll always support a leader like that,
and because he doesn’t try to compete with anybody,
nobody is able to compete with him.