Chapter 34 How to trust in perfection.
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(Version and commentary of He Shanggong in English)


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(⁎)
(Ⅱ)
(Ⅲ)
(Ⅳ)
(Ⅴ)
(Ⅵ)
(Ⅶ)
(Ⅷ)


34. 1  
Great Tao is overflowing, O!

This means: Tao is overflowing, like swimming, like sinking, like existing, like not existing. If one beholds it, it is not Tao. If one talks about it, it is difficult to distinguish.

It may be on the left or on the right.

Tao may be on the left or on the right. There is nothing to which it does not correspond.

All beings wait for it and live.

恃 = 待to wait. All beings wait for it in order to live.

And they are not rejected.

Tao rejects nobody and is opposed to nothing.

Merit is accomplished and exists without a name.

The possessor of Tao has no name. His [mere] existence accomplishes merit.

It loves and nourishes all beings and does not act as their master.

Though Tao loves and nourishes all beings, it is not like a ruler governing them.

It is always without desires and may be called the Little One.

Tao is hidden and Te concealed. The name is at anchor within non-action like subtility.

All beings return, and it does not act as their master.

All beings return to Tao and receive its breath. Tao is not like a ruler who deals out punishments.

One may call it that which is great.

All things come and go in every direction. It allows everything to be independent. Therefore it does not seem to be great.

Therefore the saint to his end does not play the great one.

The saint takes Tao for his model, hides Te and conceals the name, because they do not complete grandeur.

Therefore he can accomplish his grandeur.

The saint with his personality masters Tao. He does not talk but changes everything and practises asceticism. Thereby he is able to accomplish his grandeur.

- Chinese :

《道德經》: 大道汎兮,其可左右。萬物恃之而生而不辭,功成不名有。衣養萬物而不為主,常無欲,可名於小;萬物歸焉,而不為主,可名為大。以其終不自為大,故能成其大。

《老子河上公章句·任成》: 大道氾兮,其可左右。萬物恃之而生,而不辭,功成不名有,愛養萬物而不為主。常無欲,可名於小。萬物歸焉而不為主,可名為大。是以聖人終不為大,故能成其大。

《馬王堆·老子甲道經》: 道汎□□□□□□□□遂事而弗名有也。萬物歸焉而弗為主,則恆無欲也,可名於小;萬物歸焉,□□為主,可名於大。是□聲人之能成大也,以其不為大也,故能成大。

《馬王堆·老子乙道經》: 道渢呵,其可左右也,成功遂□□弗名有也。萬物歸焉,而弗為主,則恆無欲也,可名於小。萬物歸焉,而弗為主,可命於大。是以聖人之能成大也,以其不為大也,故能成大。
(⁎)
- He Shanggong (Chinese) :

大道氾兮,言道氾氾,若浮若沉,若有若無,視之不見,說之難殊。其可左右。道可左可右,無所不宜。萬物恃之而生,恃,待也。萬物皆待道而生。而不辭,道不辭謝而逆止也。功成不名有,有道不名其有功也。愛養萬物而不為主。道雖愛養萬物,不如人主有所收取。常無欲,可名於小。道匿德藏名,怕然無為,似若微小也。萬物歸焉而不為主,萬物皆歸道受氣,道非如人主有所禁止也。可名為大。萬物橫來橫去,使名自在,故可名於大也。是以聖人終不為大,聖人法道匿德藏名,不為滿大。故能成其大。聖人以身師導,不言而化,萬事修治,故能成其大。
(Ⅱ)
- Wing-Tsit Chan (1963) :

The Great Tao flows everywhere. It may go left or right.
All things depend on it for life, and it does not turn away from them. It accomplishes its task, but does not claim credit for it. It clothes and feeds all things but does not claim to be master over them.
Always without desires it may be called the Small.
All things come to it and it does not master them; it may be called the Great.
Therefore (the sage) never strives himself for the great, and thereby the great is achieved.
(Ⅲ)
- Ellen Marie Chen (1989) :

The great Tao floods over,
To the left, to the right.
Ten thousand beings live by it,
And it does not reject them.
Work is accomplished (ch'eng), yet it has no name.
It clothes and nourishes ten thousand beings,
But does not lord over them.
Always without desire,
It may be named the small;
Ten thousand beings return (kuei) to it,
Yet it does not lord over them,
It may be named the great.
Because it never considers itself great,
Therefore it can accomplish (ch'eng) its greatness.
(Ⅳ)
- Ch'u Ta-Kao (1904) :

The great Tao pervades everywhere, both on the left and on the right.
By it all things came into being, and it does not reject them. Merits accomplished, it does not possess them. It loves and nourishes all things but does not dominate over them.
It is always non-existent; therefore it can be named as small.
All things return home to it, and it does not claim mastery over them; therefore it can be named as great.
Because it never assumes greatness, therefore it can accomplish greatness.
(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
汎 // 泛 // fàn // ① variant of 泛[fan4] // CC-CEDICT
兮 // 兮 // xī // ① (interjection utilisée en poésie indiquant l'émerveillement) ② Oh! // Chinese-French
兮 // 兮 // xī // ① (particle in old Chinese similar to 啊) // CC-CEDICT
其 // 其 // qí // ① son ② sa ③ ses ④ leur ⑤ leurs ⑥ il(s) ⑦ elle(s) ⑧ ceci ⑨ cela // Chinese-French
其 // 其 // qí // ① his ② her ③ its ④ their ⑤ that ⑥ such ⑦ it (refers to sth preceding it) // CC-CEDICT
可 // 可 // kě // ① pouvoir ② permettre ③ approuver ④ mais ⑤ cependant // Chinese-French
可 // 可 // kě // ① can ② may ③ able to ④ to approve ⑤ to permit ⑥ to suit ⑦ (particle used for emphasis) certainly ⑧ very // CC-CEDICT
可 // 可 // kè // ① see 可汗[ke4 han2] // CC-CEDICT
左右 // 左右 // zuǒ yòu // ① environ ② à peu près ③ contrôler ④ tenir en main ⑤ droite et gauche ⑥ suite ⑦ suivants // Chinese-French
左右 // 左右 // zuǒ yòu // ① left and right ② nearby ③ approximately ④ attendant ⑤ to control ⑥ to influence // CC-CEDICT
萬物 // 万物 // wàn wù // ① tous les êtres vivants // Chinese-French
萬物 // 万物 // wàn wù // ① all living things // CC-CEDICT
恃 // 恃 // shì // ① s'appuyer sur ② compter sur // Chinese-French
恃 // 恃 // shì // ① to rely on ② mother (formal) // CC-CEDICT
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (remplaçant une personne ou une chose comme complément) ② (particule possessive dans différentes expressions) // Chinese-French
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) ② him ③ her ④ it // CC-CEDICT
而 // 而 // ér // ① et ② mais ③ tandis que ④ alors que // Chinese-French
而 // 而 // ér // ① and ② as well as ③ and so ④ but (not) ⑤ yet (not) ⑥ (indicates causal relation) ⑦ (indicates change of state) ⑧ (indicates contrast) // CC-CEDICT
生 // 生 // shēng // ① vie ② existence ③ élève ④ cru ⑤ inconnu ⑥ étranger ⑦ accoucher ⑧ naître ⑨ pousser ⑩ vivre // Chinese-French
生 // 生 // shēng // ① to be born ② to give birth ③ life ④ to grow ⑤ raw ⑥ uncooked ⑦ student // CC-CEDICT
而 // 而 // ér // ① et ② mais ③ tandis que ④ alors que // Chinese-French
而 // 而 // ér // ① and ② as well as ③ and so ④ but (not) ⑤ yet (not) ⑥ (indicates causal relation) ⑦ (indicates change of state) ⑧ (indicates contrast) // CC-CEDICT
不 // 不 // bù // ① ne... pas ② non ③ (pour former une question placé à la fin d'une phrase, pour indiquer l'indifférence avec shen me ④ pour indiquer une alternative avec jiu) // Chinese-French
不 // 不 // bù // ① (negative prefix) ② not ③ no // CC-CEDICT
辭 // 辞 // cí // ① terme ② parole ③ prendre congé de qqn ④ démissionner ⑤ licencier ⑥ éviter ⑦ se soustraire // Chinese-French
辭 // 辞 // cí // ① to resign ② to dismiss ③ to decline ④ to take leave ⑤ ballad (archaic poetic genre) ⑥ variant of 詞|词[ci2] // CC-CEDICT
功 // 功 // gōng // ① mérite, services ② effort, travail // Chinese-French
功 // 功 // gōng // ① meritorious deed or service ② achievement ③ result ④ service ⑤ accomplishment ⑥ work (physics) // CC-CEDICT
成 // 成 // chéng // ① réussir ② devenir ③ résultat ④ fruit (d'un travail) ⑤ très bien ⑥ d'accord ⑦ capable // Chinese-French
成 // 成 // chéng // ① surname Cheng // CC-CEDICT
成 // 成 // chéng // ① to succeed ② to finish ③ to complete ④ to accomplish ⑤ to become ⑥ to turn into ⑦ to be all right ⑧ OK! ⑨ one tenth // CC-CEDICT
不 // 不 // bù // ① ne... pas ② non ③ (pour former une question placé à la fin d'une phrase, pour indiquer l'indifférence avec shen me ④ pour indiquer une alternative avec jiu) // Chinese-French
不 // 不 // bù // ① (negative prefix) ② not ③ no // CC-CEDICT
名 // 名 // míng // ① nom ② nomination ③ place ④ réputé ⑤ célèbre // Chinese-French
名 // 名 // míng // ① name ② noun (part of speech) ③ place (e.g. among winners) ④ famous ⑤ classifier for people // 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
衣 // 衣 // yī // ① vêtements ② peau ③ enveloppe // Chinese-French
衣 // 衣 // yī // ① clothes ② CL:件[jian4] // CC-CEDICT
衣 // 衣 // yì // ① s'habiller ② porter (un vêtement) // Chinese-French
衣 // 衣 // yì // ① to dress ② to wear ③ to put on (clothes) // CC-CEDICT
養 // 养 // yǎng // ① nourrir ② entretenir ③ élever ④ se soigner // Chinese-French
養 // 养 // yǎng // ① to raise (animals) ② to bring up (children) ③ to keep (pets) ④ to support ⑤ to give birth // CC-CEDICT
萬物 // 万物 // wàn wù // ① tous les êtres vivants // Chinese-French
萬物 // 万物 // wàn wù // ① all living things // CC-CEDICT
而 // 而 // ér // ① et ② mais ③ tandis que ④ alors que // Chinese-French
而 // 而 // ér // ① and ② as well as ③ and so ④ but (not) ⑤ yet (not) ⑥ (indicates causal relation) ⑦ (indicates change of state) ⑧ (indicates contrast) // CC-CEDICT
不 // 不 // bù // ① ne... pas ② non ③ (pour former une question placé à la fin d'une phrase, pour indiquer l'indifférence avec shen me ④ pour indiquer une alternative avec jiu) // Chinese-French
不 // 不 // bù // ① (negative prefix) ② not ③ no // CC-CEDICT
為主 // 为主 // wéi zhǔ // ① to rely mainly on ② to attach most importance to // CC-CEDICT
常 // 常 // cháng // ① souvent ② fréquemment ③ ordinaire ④ commun ⑤ constant ⑥ invariable // Chinese-French
常 // 常 // cháng // ① surname Chang // CC-CEDICT
常 // 常 // cháng // ① always ② ever ③ often ④ frequently ⑤ common ⑥ general ⑦ constant // CC-CEDICT
無 // 无 // wú // ① non ② 71e radical // Chinese-French
無 // 无 // wú // ① not to have ② no ③ none ④ not ⑤ to lack ⑥ un- ⑦ -less // CC-CEDICT
欲 // 欲 // yù // ① envie ② désir ③ désirer ④ vouloir // Chinese-French
欲 // 欲 // yù // ① to wish for ② to desire ③ variant of 慾|欲[yu4] // CC-CEDICT
慾 // 欲 // yù // ① desire ② appetite ③ passion ④ lust ⑤ greed // CC-CEDICT
可 // 可 // kě // ① pouvoir ② permettre ③ approuver ④ mais ⑤ cependant // Chinese-French
可 // 可 // kě // ① can ② may ③ able to ④ to approve ⑤ to permit ⑥ to suit ⑦ (particle used for emphasis) certainly ⑧ very // CC-CEDICT
可 // 可 // kè // ① see 可汗[ke4 han2] // CC-CEDICT
名 // 名 // míng // ① nom ② nomination ③ place ④ réputé ⑤ célèbre // Chinese-French
名 // 名 // míng // ① name ② noun (part of speech) ③ place (e.g. among winners) ④ famous ⑤ classifier for people // CC-CEDICT
於 // 于 // yú // ① dans ② à ③ de ④ par ⑤ que // Chinese-French
於 // 于 // yú // ① in ② at ③ to ④ from ⑤ by ⑥ than ⑦ out of // CC-CEDICT
於 // 於 // wū // ① en ② dans ③ pour ④ par // Chinese-French
於 // 於 // wū // ① (literary) Oh! ② Ah! // CC-CEDICT
於 // 於 // yū // ① surname Yu ② Taiwan pr. [Yu2] // CC-CEDICT
小 // 小 // xiǎo // ① petit ② jeune // Chinese-French
小 // 小 // xiǎo // ① small ② tiny ③ few ④ young // CC-CEDICT
萬物 // 万物 // wàn wù // ① tous les êtres vivants // Chinese-French
萬物 // 万物 // wàn wù // ① all living things // CC-CEDICT
歸 // 归 // guī // ① retourner ② rentrer ③ rendre ④ appartenir ⑤ vers // Chinese-French
歸 // 归 // guī // ① surname Gui // CC-CEDICT
歸 // 归 // guī // ① to return ② to go back to ③ to give back to ④ (of a responsibility) to be taken care of by ⑤ to belong to ⑥ to gather together ⑦ (used between two identical verbs) despite ⑧ to marry (of a woman) (old) ⑨ division on the abacus with a one-digit divisor // CC-CEDICT
焉 // 焉 // yān // ① (employé à la fin d'une phrase) ② comment ③ seulement ④ ici ⑤ cela // Chinese-French
焉 // 焉 // yān // ① where ② how // CC-CEDICT
而 // 而 // ér // ① et ② mais ③ tandis que ④ alors que // Chinese-French
而 // 而 // ér // ① and ② as well as ③ and so ④ but (not) ⑤ yet (not) ⑥ (indicates causal relation) ⑦ (indicates change of state) ⑧ (indicates contrast) // CC-CEDICT
不 // 不 // bù // ① ne... pas ② non ③ (pour former une question placé à la fin d'une phrase, pour indiquer l'indifférence avec shen me ④ pour indiquer une alternative avec jiu) // Chinese-French
不 // 不 // bù // ① (negative prefix) ② not ③ no // CC-CEDICT
為主 // 为主 // wéi zhǔ // ① to rely mainly on ② to attach most importance to // CC-CEDICT
可 // 可 // kě // ① pouvoir ② permettre ③ approuver ④ mais ⑤ cependant // Chinese-French
可 // 可 // kě // ① can ② may ③ able to ④ to approve ⑤ to permit ⑥ to suit ⑦ (particle used for emphasis) certainly ⑧ very // CC-CEDICT
可 // 可 // kè // ① see 可汗[ke4 han2] // CC-CEDICT
名為 // 名为 // míng wéi // ① nommé comme ② désigné comme // Chinese-French
名為 // 名为 // míng wéi // ① to be called ② to be known as // CC-CEDICT
名為 // 名为 // míng wèi // ① nommé // Chinese-French
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
以 // 以 // yǐ // ① prendre ② utiliser ③ selon ④ à cause de ⑤ pour // Chinese-French
以 // 以 // yǐ // ① abbr. for Israel 以色列[Yi3 se4 lie4] // CC-CEDICT
以 // 以 // yǐ // ① to use ② by means of ③ according to ④ in order to ⑤ because of ⑥ at (a certain date or place) // CC-CEDICT
㕥 // 以 // yǐ // ① old variant of 以[yi3] // CC-CEDICT
㠯 // 以 // yǐ // ① old variant of 以[yi3] // CC-CEDICT
其 // 其 // qí // ① son ② sa ③ ses ④ leur ⑤ leurs ⑥ il(s) ⑦ elle(s) ⑧ ceci ⑨ cela // Chinese-French
其 // 其 // qí // ① his ② her ③ its ④ their ⑤ that ⑥ such ⑦ it (refers to sth preceding it) // CC-CEDICT
終 // 终 // zhōng // ① finalement ② en fin de compte ③ fin ④ mort ⑤ finir ⑥ achever // Chinese-French
終 // 终 // zhōng // ① end ② finish // CC-CEDICT
不 // 不 // bù // ① ne... pas ② non ③ (pour former une question placé à la fin d'une phrase, pour indiquer l'indifférence avec shen me ④ pour indiquer une alternative avec jiu) // Chinese-French
不 // 不 // bù // ① (negative prefix) ② not ③ no // CC-CEDICT
自 // 自 // zì // ① depuis ② à partir de ③ soi-même ④ naturellement // Chinese-French
自 // 自 // zì // ① self ② oneself ③ from ④ since ⑤ naturally ⑥ surely // CC-CEDICT
為 // 为 // wèi // ① because of ② for ③ to // CC-CEDICT
為 // 为 // wéi // ① as (in the capacity of) ② to take sth as ③ to act as ④ to serve as ⑤ to behave as ⑥ to become ⑦ to be ⑧ to do ⑨ by (in the passive voice) // 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
故 // 故 // gù // ① incident ② cause ③ à dessein ④ exprès ⑤ raison ⑥ ancien ⑦ mourir // Chinese-French
故 // 故 // gù // ① happening ② instance ③ reason ④ cause ⑤ intentional ⑥ former ⑦ old ⑧ friend ⑨ therefore ⑩ hence ⑪ (of people) to die, dead // CC-CEDICT
能 // 能 // néng // ① capacité ② énergie ③ pouvoir ④ être capable de // Chinese-French
能 // 能 // néng // ① surname Neng // CC-CEDICT
能 // 能 // néng // ① can ② to be able to ③ might possibly ④ ability ⑤ (physics) energy // CC-CEDICT
成 // 成 // chéng // ① réussir ② devenir ③ résultat ④ fruit (d'un travail) ⑤ très bien ⑥ d'accord ⑦ capable // Chinese-French
成 // 成 // chéng // ① surname Cheng // CC-CEDICT
成 // 成 // chéng // ① to succeed ② to finish ③ to complete ④ to accomplish ⑤ to become ⑥ to turn into ⑦ to be all right ⑧ OK! ⑨ one tenth // CC-CEDICT
其 // 其 // qí // ① son ② sa ③ ses ④ leur ⑤ leurs ⑥ il(s) ⑦ elle(s) ⑧ ceci ⑨ cela // Chinese-French
其 // 其 // qí // ① his ② her ③ its ④ their ⑤ that ⑥ such ⑦ it (refers to sth preceding it) // 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
(Ⅵ)
- Yi Wu (1989) :

The Way extends and expands.
One is in it wherever one is.
By trusting it, all beings grow and develop.
The Way enables successes but possesses no name.
It provides for all but rules over nothing.
It is free of personal desires
And can therefore be named as insignificant.
It is obeyed by all, though it has no political power.
Therefore, it can be named as the greatest.
One who never wants to be great can therefore grow great.
(Ⅶ)
- Lynn (2004) :

The way the great Dao floods, oh, it can go left or right.
The myriad folk rely on it for life, but it does not tell them to do so.
It achieves success but enjoys no reputation for doing so.
It clothes and feeds the myriad folk but does not become their master.
It is always without desire and so can be named among the small.
The myriad things return to it, but it does not become their master, so it can be named among the great.
Therefore it is because he himself never tries to be great that he fulfills his greatness.
(Ⅷ)


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