Chapter 18 On the superficiality of the vulgar.
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(Version and commentary of He Shanggong in English)


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18. 1  
When the great Tao decays, there is humanity and justice.

In the time of the Great Tao there are filial sons within the family, and in the country there are faith and sincerity, humanity and justice, but they remain invisible. When the Great Tao decays, then hatred and rebellion arise. Then humanity and justice are there, and Tao is no longer transmitted.

Where wisdom and benevolence appear, there is great hypocrisy.

A wise and benevolent prince thinks little of Te and much of words. He thinks little of reality and much of appearances. His subjects correspond to this by being very hypocritical and deceitful.

When the six degrees of relationship are not in harmony, there is piety and benevolence.

If the six threads are torn, relatives are no longer in harmony. Then there is piety and benevolence so that they may nourish each other.

When state and family are in disorder, then there are loyal ministers.

When the government is not kept going, prince and subjects hate each other. When bad princes vie with each other for power, then there are loyal ministers to correct their princes. This means: When there is general peace in the world then nothing is known about humanity and justice. Nobody wants anything, and honesty is unknown. Of one’s own accord one keeps pure, and chastity is unknown. When under the domination of the Great Tao humanity and justice vanish and piety and benevolence disappear, this is like the stars’ losing their splendour when the sun has fully risen.

- Chinese :

《道德經》: 大道廢,有仁義;智慧出,有大偽;六親不和,有孝慈;國家昏亂,有忠臣

《老子河上公章句·俗薄》: 大道廢,有仁義。智慧出,有大偽。六親不和,有孝慈。國家昏亂,有忠臣

《郭店·老子丙》: 故大道廢,安有仁義。六親不和,安有孝慈。邦家昏□安有正臣

《馬王堆·老子甲道經》: 故大道廢,案有仁義;知快出,案有大偽;六親不和,案有畜茲;邦家昏亂,案有貞臣

《馬王堆·老子乙道經》: 故大道廢,安有仁義;知慧出,安有□□;六親不和,安又孝茲;國家昏亂,安有貞臣。
(⁎)
- He Shanggong (Chinese) :

大道廢,有仁義。大道之時,家有孝子,戶有忠信,仁義不見也。 大道廢不用,惡逆生,乃有仁義可傳道。智慧出,有大偽。智慧之君賤德而貴言,賤質而貴文,下則應之以為大偽姦詐。六親不和,有孝慈。六紀絕,親戚不合,乃有孝慈相牧養也。國家昏亂,有忠臣。政令不明,上下相怨,邪僻爭權,乃有忠臣匡正其君也。 此言天下太平不知仁,人盡無欲不知廉,各自潔己不知貞。 大道之世,仁義沒,孝慈滅,猶日中盛明,眾星失光。
(Ⅱ)
- Wing-Tsit Chan (1963) :

When the great Tao declined, The doctrine of humanity and righteousness arose.
When knowledge and wisdom appeared, There emerged great hypocrisy.
When the six family relationships are not in harmony, There will be the advocacy of filial piety and deep love to children.
When a country is in disorder, There will be the praise of loyal ministers.
(Ⅲ)
- Ellen Marie Chen (1989) :

On the decline of the great Tao,
There are humanity (jen) and righteousness (i).
When intelligence (hui) and knowledge (chih) appear,
There is great artificiality (wei).
When the six relations are not in harmony,
There are filial piety (hsiao) and parental love (tz'u).
When a nation is in darkness (hun) and disorder (lüan),
There are loyal ministers.
(Ⅳ)
- Ch'u Ta-Kao (1904) :

When the great Tao is lost, spring forth benevolence and righteousness.
When wisdom and sagacity arise, there are great hypocrites.
When family relations are no longer harmonious, we have filial children and devoted parents.
When a nation is in confusion and disorder, patriots are recognized. Where Tao is, equilibrium is. When Tao is lost, out come all the differences of things.
(Ⅴ)
- World by world translation :

Traditional // simplified // pinyin // definition // dictionary
大道 // 大道 // dà dào // ① grande route ② route à grande circulation ③ la voie qui mène à un avenir radieux // Chinese-French
大道 // 大道 // dà dào // ① main street ② avenue // CC-CEDICT
廢 // 废 // fèi // ① usé ② perdu ③ abandonner ④ abolir // Chinese-French
廢 // 废 // fèi // ① to abolish ② to abandon ③ to abrogate ④ to discard ⑤ to depose ⑥ to oust ⑦ crippled ⑧ abandoned ⑨ waste // CC-CEDICT
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① avoir ② posséder ③ il y a ④ exister // Chinese-French
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① to have ② there is ③ there are ④ to exist ⑤ to be // CC-CEDICT
仁義 // 仁义 // rén yì // ① benevolence and righteousness // CC-CEDICT
仁義 // 仁义 // rén yi // ① affable et à l'humeur toujours égale ② sens de l'humanité ③ idéal confucéen // Chinese-French
仁義 // 仁义 // rén yi // ① affable and even-tempered // CC-CEDICT
智慧 // 智慧 // zhì huì // ① sagesse // Chinese-French
智慧 // 智慧 // zhì huì // ① wisdom ② knowledge ③ intelligent ④ intelligence // CC-CEDICT
出 // 出 // chū // ① sortir ② dépasser ③ délivrer ④ produire ⑤ fabriquer ⑥ paraître ⑦ surgir // Chinese-French
出 // 出 // chū // ① to go out ② to come out ③ to occur ④ to produce ⑤ to go beyond ⑥ to rise ⑦ to put forth ⑧ to happen ⑨ classifier for dramas, plays, operas etc // CC-CEDICT
齣 // 出 // chū // ① variant of 出[chu1] (classifier for plays or chapters of classical novels) // CC-CEDICT
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① avoir ② posséder ③ il y a ④ exister // Chinese-French
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① to have ② there is ③ there are ④ to exist ⑤ to be // CC-CEDICT
大 // 大 // dà // ① grand ② massif // Chinese-French
大 // 大 // dà // ① big ② huge ③ large ④ major ⑤ great ⑥ wide ⑦ deep ⑧ older (than) ⑨ oldest ⑩ eldest ⑪ greatly ⑫ very much ⑬ (dialect) father ⑭ father's elder or younger brother // CC-CEDICT
大 // 大 // dài // ① docteur ② médecin // Chinese-French
大 // 大 // dài // ① see 大夫[dai4 fu5] // CC-CEDICT
偽 // 伪 // wěi // ① false ② fake ③ forged ④ bogus ⑤ Taiwan pr. [wei4] // CC-CEDICT
六親 // 六亲 // liù qīn // ① les six relations de parenté (père, mère, frères plus âgés, frères moins âgés, femme, et enfants) ② parenté ③ les proches // Chinese-French
六親 // 六亲 // liù qīn // ① six close relatives, namely: father 父[fu4], mother 母[mu3], older brothers 兄[xiong1], younger brothers 弟[di4], wife 妻[qi1], male children 子[zi3] ② one's kin // CC-CEDICT
不和 // 不和 // bù hé // ① désaccord ② désunion ③ différend ④ discord ⑤ discorde ⑥ dissension ⑦ dissentiment ⑧ division ⑨ zizanie ⑩ trouble ⑪ fâcherie ⑫ friction ⑬ frottement ⑭ discorder ⑮ désunir // Chinese-French
不和 // 不和 // bù hé // ① not to get along well ② to be on bad terms ③ to be at odds ④ discord // CC-CEDICT
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① avoir ② posséder ③ il y a ④ exister // Chinese-French
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① to have ② there is ③ there are ④ to exist ⑤ to be // CC-CEDICT
孝 // 孝 // xiào // ① piété filiable ② deuil // Chinese-French
孝 // 孝 // xiào // ① filial piety or obedience ② mourning apparel // CC-CEDICT
慈 // 慈 // cí // ① bon ② tendre // Chinese-French
慈 // 慈 // cí // ① compassionate ② gentle ③ merciful ④ kind ⑤ humane // CC-CEDICT
國家 // 国家 // guó jiā // ① pays // Chinese-French
國家 // 国家 // guó jiā // ① country ② nation ③ state ④ CL:個|个[ge4] // CC-CEDICT
昏亂 // 昏乱 // hūn luàn // ① troublé ② désorienté ③ stupéfait ④ perdre le Nord // Chinese-French
昏亂 // 昏乱 // hūn luàn // ① dazed ② confused ③ fuddled // CC-CEDICT
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① avoir ② posséder ③ il y a ④ exister // Chinese-French
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① to have ② there is ③ there are ④ to exist ⑤ to be // CC-CEDICT
忠臣 // 忠臣 // zhōng chén // ① ministre fidèle // Chinese-French
忠臣 // 忠臣 // zhōng chén // ① faithful official // CC-CEDICT
(Ⅵ)
- Yi Wu (1989) :

When the Way is lost
There needs to be grace and kindness.
When sophisticated knowledge is produced
There must be falsehood.
When relatives turn rude to each other,
There must be filial piety.
When a country is in chaos,
There will appear loyalty.
(Ⅶ)
- Lynn (2004) :

It is when the great Dao is forsaken that benevolence and righteousness appear,
When wisdom and intelligence emerge that great falsehood occurs,
When the six relations exist in disharmony that the obedient and the kind appear, and when the state is in disorder that loyal ministers arise.
(Ⅷ)


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