Chapter 36 How to become enlightened on the mystery.
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(Version and commentary of He Shanggong in English)


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(⁎)
(Ⅱ)
(Ⅲ)
(Ⅳ)
(Ⅴ)
(Ⅵ)
(Ⅶ)
(Ⅷ)


36. 1  
If one wants to contract, one must first extend.

Who first begins to extend wants to let his immense lust reach the utmost degree.

If one wants to weaken, one must first strengthen.

Who first begins to enlarge himself wants to meet with misfortune.

If one wants to throw down, one must first raise.

Who first raises himself wants to endanger himself through haughtiness.

If one wants to take, one must first give.

Who first gives something to himself wants to carry the desires of his heart to the utmost limit.

This is called becoming enlightened on the mystery.

These four modes of action would seem to represent the mystery of the Tao and the effective enlightenment.

Tenderness and weakness conquer hardness and strength.

Tenderness and weakness endure. Hardness and strength perish first.

Fishes cannot escape from a lake.

Fishes escaping from a lake illustrate the flight from strength and the attainment of weakness. One cannot return to the rule.

The country’s sharp tools ought not to be shown to the people.

The sharp tools are the balance of Tao.

- Chinese :

《道德經》: 將欲歙之,必固張之;將欲弱之,必固強之;將欲廢之,必固興之;將欲奪之,必固與之。是謂微明。柔弱勝剛強。魚不可脫於淵,國之利器不可以示人。

《老子河上公章句·微明》: 將欲歙之,必固張之。將欲弱之,必固強之。將欲廢之,必固興之。將欲奪之,必固與之。是謂微明。柔弱勝剛強。魚不可脫於淵,國之利器,不可以示人。

《馬王堆·老子甲道經》: 將欲拾之,必古張之;將欲弱之,□□強之;將欲去之,必古與之;將欲奪之,必古予之。是胃微明。柔弱勝強。魚不脫於瀟,邦利器不可以視人。

《馬王堆·老子乙道經》: 將欲翕之,必古張之;將欲弱之,必古○強之;將欲去之,必古與之;將欲奪之,必古予□。是胃微明。柔弱朕強。魚不可說於淵,國利器不可以示人。
(⁎)
- He Shanggong (Chinese) :

將欲歙之,必固張之。先開張之者,欲極其奢淫。將欲弱之,必固強之。先強大之者,欲使遇禍患。將欲廢之,必固興之。先興之者,欲使其驕危。將欲奪之,必固與之。先與之者,欲極其貪心。是謂微明。此四事,其道微,其效明也。柔弱勝剛強。柔弱者久長,剛強者先亡也。魚不可脫於淵,魚脫於淵,謂去剛得柔,不可復制焉。國之利器,不可以示人。利器者,謂權道也。治國權者,不可以示執事之臣也。 治身道者,不可以示非其人也。
(Ⅱ)
- Wing-Tsit Chan (1963) :

In order to contract, It is necessary first to expand. In order to weaken, It is necessary first to strengthen. In order to destroy, It is necessary first to promote. In order to grasp, It is necessary first to give.
This is called subtle light. The weak and the tender overcome the hard and the strong.
Fish should not be taken away from water. And sharp weapons of state should not be displayed to the people.
(Ⅲ)
- Ellen Marie Chen (1989) :

What is to be reduced,
Must first be expanded.
What is to be weakened,
Must first be made strong (ch'iang).
What is to be abolished,
Must first be established.
What is to be taken away,
Must first be given.
This is called the subtle illumination (wei ming).
The soft and weak overcome the hard and strong.
Fish must not leave the stream.
Sharp weapons (ch'i) of a state,
Must not be displayed.
(Ⅳ)
- Ch'u Ta-Kao (1904) :

In order to contract a thing, one should surely expand it first. In order to weaken, one will surely strengthen first. In order to overthrow, one will surely exalt first. 'In order to take, one will surely give first'!
This is called subtle wisdom. The soft and weak can overcome the hard and strong.
As the fish should not leave the deep So should the sharp implements of a nation not be shown to anyone!
(Ⅴ)
- World by world translation :

Traditional // simplified // pinyin // definition // dictionary
將 // 将 // jiāng // ① avec ② par ③ au moyen de ④ (suivi du COD, qui est suivi à son tour d'un verbe transitif, pour former l'inversion) // Chinese-French
將 // 将 // jiāng // ① will ② shall ③ to use ④ to take ⑤ to checkmate ⑥ just a short while ago ⑦ (introduces object of main verb, used in the same way as 把[ba3]) // CC-CEDICT
將 // 将 // jiàng // ① général // Chinese-French
將 // 将 // jiàng // ① general ② commander-in-chief (military) ③ king (chess piece) ④ to command ⑤ to lead // CC-CEDICT
將 // 将 // qiāng // ① to desire ② to invite ③ to request // 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
歙 // 歙 // shè // ① (nom d'un district dans l'Anhui) // Chinese-French
歙 // 歙 // shè // ① name of a district in Anhui // 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
必 // 必 // bì // ① nécessairement ② certainement ③ falloir ④ devoir // Chinese-French
必 // 必 // bì // ① certainly ② must ③ will ④ necessarily // CC-CEDICT
固 // 固 // gù // ① solide ② ferme ③ fermement ④ résolument // Chinese-French
固 // 固 // gù // ① hard ② strong ③ solid ④ sure ⑤ assuredly ⑥ undoubtedly ⑦ of course ⑧ indeed ⑨ admittedly // CC-CEDICT
張 // 张 // zhāng // ① (classificateur pour les objets plats, les feuilles, les bulletins de vote) ② (nom de famille) ③ ouvrir // Chinese-French
張 // 张 // zhāng // ① surname Zhang // CC-CEDICT
張 // 张 // zhāng // ① to open up ② to spread ③ sheet of paper ④ classifier for flat objects, sheet ⑤ classifier for votes // 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
將 // 将 // jiāng // ① avec ② par ③ au moyen de ④ (suivi du COD, qui est suivi à son tour d'un verbe transitif, pour former l'inversion) // Chinese-French
將 // 将 // jiāng // ① will ② shall ③ to use ④ to take ⑤ to checkmate ⑥ just a short while ago ⑦ (introduces object of main verb, used in the same way as 把[ba3]) // CC-CEDICT
將 // 将 // jiàng // ① général // Chinese-French
將 // 将 // jiàng // ① general ② commander-in-chief (military) ③ king (chess piece) ④ to command ⑤ to lead // CC-CEDICT
將 // 将 // qiāng // ① to desire ② to invite ③ to request // 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
弱 // 弱 // ruò // ① faible ② fragile ③ inférieur ④ un peu moins // Chinese-French
弱 // 弱 // ruò // ① weak ② feeble ③ young ④ inferior ⑤ (following a decimal or fraction) slightly less than // 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
必 // 必 // bì // ① nécessairement ② certainement ③ falloir ④ devoir // Chinese-French
必 // 必 // bì // ① certainly ② must ③ will ④ necessarily // CC-CEDICT
固 // 固 // gù // ① solide ② ferme ③ fermement ④ résolument // Chinese-French
固 // 固 // gù // ① hard ② strong ③ solid ④ sure ⑤ assuredly ⑥ undoubtedly ⑦ of course ⑧ indeed ⑨ admittedly // CC-CEDICT
強 // 强 // qiáng // ① fort ② puissant ③ de force // Chinese-French
強 // 强 // qiáng // ① surname Qiang // CC-CEDICT
強 // 强 // qiáng // ① strong ② powerful ③ better ④ slightly more than ⑤ vigorous ⑥ violent ⑦ best in their category, e.g. see 百強|百强[bai3 qiang2] // CC-CEDICT
強 // 强 // qiǎng // ① faire un effort ② forcer // Chinese-French
強 // 强 // qiǎng // ① to force ② to compel ③ to strive ④ to make an effort // CC-CEDICT
強 // 强 // jiàng // ① obstiné ② têtu ③ inflexible // Chinese-French
強 // 强 // jiàng // ① stubborn ② unyielding // 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
將 // 将 // jiāng // ① avec ② par ③ au moyen de ④ (suivi du COD, qui est suivi à son tour d'un verbe transitif, pour former l'inversion) // Chinese-French
將 // 将 // jiāng // ① will ② shall ③ to use ④ to take ⑤ to checkmate ⑥ just a short while ago ⑦ (introduces object of main verb, used in the same way as 把[ba3]) // CC-CEDICT
將 // 将 // jiàng // ① général // Chinese-French
將 // 将 // jiàng // ① general ② commander-in-chief (military) ③ king (chess piece) ④ to command ⑤ to lead // CC-CEDICT
將 // 将 // qiāng // ① to desire ② to invite ③ to request // 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
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
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
必 // 必 // bì // ① nécessairement ② certainement ③ falloir ④ devoir // Chinese-French
必 // 必 // bì // ① certainly ② must ③ will ④ necessarily // CC-CEDICT
固 // 固 // gù // ① solide ② ferme ③ fermement ④ résolument // Chinese-French
固 // 固 // gù // ① hard ② strong ③ solid ④ sure ⑤ assuredly ⑥ undoubtedly ⑦ of course ⑧ indeed ⑨ admittedly // CC-CEDICT
興 // 兴 // xìng // ① joyeux ② inspiration ③ intérêt // Chinese-French
興 // 兴 // xìng // ① feeling or desire to do sth ② interest in sth ③ excitement // CC-CEDICT
興 // 兴 // xīng // ① s'élever ② élever ③ commencer // Chinese-French
興 // 兴 // xīng // ① surname Xing // CC-CEDICT
興 // 兴 // xīng // ① to rise ② to flourish ③ to become popular ④ to start ⑤ to encourage ⑥ to get up ⑦ (often used in the negative) to permit or allow (dialect) ⑧ maybe (dialect) // 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
將 // 将 // jiāng // ① avec ② par ③ au moyen de ④ (suivi du COD, qui est suivi à son tour d'un verbe transitif, pour former l'inversion) // Chinese-French
將 // 将 // jiāng // ① will ② shall ③ to use ④ to take ⑤ to checkmate ⑥ just a short while ago ⑦ (introduces object of main verb, used in the same way as 把[ba3]) // CC-CEDICT
將 // 将 // jiàng // ① général // Chinese-French
將 // 将 // jiàng // ① general ② commander-in-chief (military) ③ king (chess piece) ④ to command ⑤ to lead // CC-CEDICT
將 // 将 // qiāng // ① to desire ② to invite ③ to request // 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
奪 // 夺 // duó // ① s'emparer de ② arracher ③ se ruer ④ gagner ⑤ remporter ⑥ enlever // Chinese-French
奪 // 夺 // duó // ① to seize ② to take away forcibly ③ to wrest control of ④ to compete or strive for ⑤ to force one's way through ⑥ to leave out ⑦ to lose // 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
必 // 必 // bì // ① nécessairement ② certainement ③ falloir ④ devoir // Chinese-French
必 // 必 // bì // ① certainly ② must ③ will ④ necessarily // CC-CEDICT
固 // 固 // gù // ① solide ② ferme ③ fermement ④ résolument // Chinese-French
固 // 固 // gù // ① hard ② strong ③ solid ④ sure ⑤ assuredly ⑥ undoubtedly ⑦ of course ⑧ indeed ⑨ admittedly // CC-CEDICT
與 // 与 // yú // ① (particule exprimant le doute) // Chinese-French
與 // 与 // yú // ① variant of 歟|欤[yu2] // CC-CEDICT
與 // 与 // yǔ // ① et ② s'allier ③ offrir ④ donner // Chinese-French
與 // 与 // yǔ // ① and ② to give ③ together with // CC-CEDICT
與 // 与 // yù // ① prendre part à // Chinese-French
與 // 与 // yù // ① to take part in // 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
是 // 是 // shì // ① être ② oui ③ correct // Chinese-French
是 // 是 // shì // ① is ② are ③ am ④ yes ⑤ to be // CC-CEDICT
昰 // 是 // shì // ① variant of 是[shi4] ② (used in given names) // CC-CEDICT
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① dire ② adresser la parole ③ être appelé ④ penser // Chinese-French
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① surname Wei // CC-CEDICT
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① to speak ② to say ③ to name ④ to designate ⑤ meaning ⑥ sense // CC-CEDICT
微明 // 微明 // wēi míng // ① crépuscule // Chinese-French
微明 // 微明 // wēi míng // ① twilight // CC-CEDICT
柔弱 // 柔弱 // róu ruò // ① faible ② délicat // Chinese-French
柔弱 // 柔弱 // róu ruò // ① weak ② delicate // CC-CEDICT
勝 // 胜 // shèng // ① remarquable ② excellent ③ supérieur ④ être égal à ⑤ être à la hauteur de ⑥ pouvoir supporter ⑦ victoire ⑧ succès ⑨ vaincre ⑩ remporter la victoire sur ⑪ surpasser ⑫ dépasser // Chinese-French
勝 // 胜 // shèng // ① victory ② success ③ to beat ④ to defeat ⑤ to surpass ⑥ victorious ⑦ superior to ⑧ to get the better of ⑨ better than ⑩ surpassing ⑪ superb (of vista) ⑫ beautiful (scenery) ⑬ wonderful (view) ⑭ (Taiwan pr. [sheng1]) able to bear ⑮ equal to (a task) // CC-CEDICT
剛強 // 刚强 // gāng qiáng // ① inflexible ② indomptable // Chinese-French
剛強 // 刚强 // gāng qiáng // ① firm ② unyielding // CC-CEDICT
魚 // 鱼 // yú // ① poisson ② 195e radical // Chinese-French
魚 // 鱼 // yú // ① surname Yu // CC-CEDICT
魚 // 鱼 // yú // ① fish ② CL:條|条[tiao2],尾[wei3] // CC-CEDICT
不可 // 不可 // bù kě // ① ne pas devoir ② ne pas pouvoir ③ pas // Chinese-French
不可 // 不可 // bù kě // ① cannot ② should not ③ must not // CC-CEDICT
脫 // 脱 // tuō // ① enlever ② ôter // Chinese-French
脫 // 脱 // tuō // ① to shed ② to take off ③ to escape ④ to get away from // 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
淵 // 渊 // yuān // ① profond ② gouffre ③ eau profonde // Chinese-French
淵 // 渊 // yuān // ① deep pool ② deep ③ profound // CC-CEDICT
國 // 国 // guó // ① pays ② royaume ③ État // Chinese-French
國 // 国 // guó // ① surname Guo // CC-CEDICT
國 // 国 // guó // ① country ② nation ③ state ④ national ⑤ CL:個|个[ge4] // 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
利器 // 利器 // lì qì // ① couverts // Chinese-French
利器 // 利器 // lì qì // ① sharp weapon ② effective implement ③ outstandingly able individual // CC-CEDICT
不可以 // 不可以 // bù kě yǐ // ① ne pas pouvoir // Chinese-French
不可以 // 不可以 // bù kě yǐ // ① may not // CC-CEDICT
示 // 示 // shì // ① montrer ② indiquer // Chinese-French
示 // 示 // shì // ① to show ② to reveal // CC-CEDICT
人 // 人 // rén // ① une personne ② être humain ③ homo sapiens // Chinese-French
人 // 人 // rén // ① man ② person ③ people ④ CL:個|个[ge4],位[wei4] // CC-CEDICT
(Ⅵ)
- Yi Wu (1989) :

To compress something, one must first prop it.
To weaken something, one must first strengthen it.
To stop something, one must first advocate it.
To take something, one must first give it.
Subtle wisdom depends on the Way
In enabling the weak to defeat the strong killers.
A fish cannot go out of deep water for its existence.
A nation's effective system should be kept unknown.
(Ⅶ)
- Lynn (2004) :

If you would like to gather him in, you must resolve yourself to let him aggrandize himself.
If you would like to weaken him, you must resolve yourself to let him grow strong.
If you would like to nullify him, you must resolve yourself to let him flourish.
If you would like to take him, you must resolve yourself to let him have his way.
Such an approach is called subtle and perspicacious.
Softness and pliancy conquer hardness and forcefulness.
Fish must not be allowed to escape to the depths.
The sharp instruments of the state may not be disclosed to the people.
(Ⅷ)


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