Chapter 63 How to think of the beginning.
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(Version and commentary of He Shanggong in English)


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63. 1  
Act non-action.

If you follow this, it will be completed. Therefore do nothing.

Be occupied without occupation.

Prepare everything beforehand. You will save trouble and reduce occupation.

Taste tastelessness.

By thinking deeply and being remotely afraid, you will taste the meaning of Tao.

Enlarge smallness. Augment minuteness.

By regulating injunctions and orders one wants to turn the large into the small and what is much into what is little. This is the natural way.

Requite hatred with Te.

Cultivate Tao, follow the good, detach yourself from misfortune when it is still unborn.

Plan the difficult within the easy.

If you want to plan difficult things, you ought to do it when they are easy, that is when they are not yet completed.

Do the great within the small.

If you want to do great deeds, you must do them when little misfortune and confusion will come out of the small.

The difficult affairs of the empire surely originate from the easy ones. The great affairs of the empire surely originate from the small ones.

This illustrates what has been said above on planning.

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

He modestly stays within the void.

Therefore he may complete his greatness.

The empire will unite and return to him.

Now to consent easily is certainly not very sincere.

One does not put stress on the words.

Much easiness surely contains many difficulties.

One is incautious in regard to misfortunes.

Therefore the saint behaves as if he took it serious.

If the saint wants to undertake something, he behaves as if he were proceeding and receding and taking it serious. He wants to obstruct its source.

Therefore to the end he has no difficulties.

The saint to the end of his life has no sorrowful and difficult affairs, because he avoids the depths of misfortune.

- Chinese :

《道德經》: 為無為,事無事,味無味。大小多少,報怨以德。圖難於其易,為大於其細;天下難事,必作於易,天下大事,必作於細。是以聖人終不為大,故能成其大。夫輕諾必寡信,多易必多難。是以聖人猶難之,故終無難矣。

《老子河上公章句·恩始》: 為無為,事無事,味無味。大小多少,報怨以德。圖難於其易,為大於其細。天下難事必作於易,天下大事必作於細。是以聖人終不為大,故能成其大。夫輕諾必寡信,多易必多難。是以聖人猶難之,故終無難矣。

《馬王堆·老子甲德經》: 為無為,事無事,味無未。大小多少,報怨以德。圖難乎□□□□□□□□□;天下之難,作於易;天下之大,作於細。是以聖人冬不為大,故能□□□□□□□□□□□□必多難。是□□人猷難之,故終於無難。

《馬王堆·老子乙德經》: 為無為,□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□乎其細也。天下之□□□易。天下之大□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□。夫輕若□□信,多易必多難。是以聖人□□之,故□□□□。
(⁎)
- He Shanggong (Chinese) :

為無為,因成循故,無所造作。事無事,預有備,除煩省事也。味無味。深思遠慮,味道意也。大小多少,陳其戒令也。欲大反小,欲多反少,自然之道也。報怨以德。脩道行善,絕禍於未生也。圖難於其易,欲圖難事,當於易時,未及成也。為大於其細。欲為大事,必作於小,禍亂從小來也。天下難事必作於易,天下大事必作於細。從易生難,從細生著。是以聖人終不為大,故能成其大。處謙虛,天下共歸之也。夫輕諾必寡信,不重言也。多易必多難。不慎患也。是以聖人猶難之,聖人動作舉事,猶進退,重難之,欲塞其源也。故終無難矣。聖人終生無患難之事,猶避害深也
(Ⅱ)
- Wing-Tsit Chan (1963) :

Act without action. Do without ado. Taste without tasting.
Whether it is big or small, many or few, repay hatred with virtue.
Prepare for the difficult while it is still easy. Deal with the big while it is still small.
Difficult undertakings have always started with what is easy. And great undertakings have always started with what is small.
Therefore the sage never strives for the great, And thereby the great is achieved.
He who makes rash promises surely lacks faith. He who takes things too easily will surely encounter much difficulty.
For this reason even the sage regards things as difficult. And therefore he encounters no difficulty.
(Ⅲ)
- Ellen Marie Chen (1989) :

Do (wei) when there is nothing to do (wu-wei),
Manage affairs (shih) when there are none to manage,
Know (chih) by not knowing.
Regard the great as small, the much as little.
Repay injury (yüan) with te.
Plan the difficult while it is easy.
Accomplish (wei) the great when it is small.
Difficult affairs of the world,
Must be done while they are easy.
Great affairs of the world,
Must be done while they are small.
The sage never does anything great,
Therefore he can accomplish the great.
He who makes promises lightly seldom keeps his words.
He who takes much to be easy finds much to be difficult.
Therefore even the sage takes things to be difficult,
So that in the end they are not difficult.
(Ⅳ)
- Ch'u Ta-Kao (1904) :

Act non-action; undertake no undertaking; taste the tasteless.
The Sage desires the desireless, and prizes no articles that are difficult to get.
He learns no learning, but reviews what others have passed through.
Thus he lets all things develop in their own natural way, and does not venture to act.
Regard the small as the great; regard the few as many.
Manage the difficult while they are easy;
Manage the great while they are small.
All difficult things in the world start from the easy.
All the great things in the world start from the small.
The tree that fills a man's arms arises from a tender shoot.
The nine-storied tower is raised from a heap of earth;
A thousand miles' journey begins from the spot under one's feet.
Therefore the Sage never attempts great things, and thus he can achieve what is great.
He who makes easy promises will seldom keep his word;
He who regards many things as easy will find many difficulties.
Therefore the Sage regards things as difficult, and consequently never has difficulties.
(Ⅴ)
- World by world translation :

Traditional // simplified // pinyin // definition // dictionary
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
無為 // 无为 // wú wéi // ① Wuwei county in Chaohu 巢湖[Chao2 hu2], Anhui // CC-CEDICT
無為 // 无为 // wú wéi // ① the Daoist doctrine of inaction ② let things take their own course ③ laissez-faire // CC-CEDICT
事 // 事 // shì // ① être occupé ② être engagé dans ③ affaire ④ chose ⑤ accident ⑥ trouble ⑦ travail ⑧ responsabilité ⑨ implication ⑩ empêtrement // Chinese-French
事 // 事 // shì // ① matter ② thing ③ item ④ work ⑤ affair ⑥ CL:件[jian4],樁|桩[zhuang1],回[hui2] // 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
事 // 事 // shì // ① être occupé ② être engagé dans ③ affaire ④ chose ⑤ accident ⑥ trouble ⑦ travail ⑧ responsabilité ⑨ implication ⑩ empêtrement // Chinese-French
事 // 事 // shì // ① matter ② thing ③ item ④ work ⑤ affair ⑥ CL:件[jian4],樁|桩[zhuang1],回[hui2] // CC-CEDICT
味 // 味 // wèi // ① goût ② odeur // Chinese-French
味 // 味 // wèi // ① taste ② smell ③ classifier for drugs (in TCM) // CC-CEDICT
無味 // 无味 // wú wèi // ① insipide ② inodore // Chinese-French
無味 // 无味 // wú wèi // ① tasteless ② odorless // CC-CEDICT
大小 // 大小 // dà xiǎo // ① grandeur ② dimension ③ pointure ④ taille ⑤ dimension // Chinese-French
大小 // 大小 // dà xiǎo // ① dimension ② magnitude ③ size ④ measurement ⑤ large and small ⑥ at any rate ⑦ adults and children ⑧ consideration of seniority // CC-CEDICT
多少 // 多少 // duō shǎo // ① nombre ② quanité ③ quelque peu // Chinese-French
多少 // 多少 // duō shǎo // ① number ② amount ③ somewhat // CC-CEDICT
多少 // 多少 // duō shao // ① combien ② plus ou moins ③ un peu ④ quantité ⑤ nombre ⑥ combien ⑦ une certaine quantité ⑧ un bon nombre // Chinese-French
多少 // 多少 // duō shao // ① how much ② how many ③ which (number) ④ as much as // CC-CEDICT
報怨 // 报怨 // bào yuàn // ① to pay back a score ② to get revenge ③ to requite ④ (old) variant of 抱怨[bao4 yuan4] // 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
德 // 德 // dé // ① vertu ② moralité ③ volonté ④ coeur ⑤ bonté ⑥ bienveillance ⑦ (abréviation d'Allemagne) // Chinese-French
德 // 德 // dé // ① Germany ② German ③ abbr. for 德國|德国[De2 guo2] // CC-CEDICT
德 // 德 // dé // ① virtue ② goodness ③ morality ④ ethics ⑤ kindness ⑥ favor ⑦ character ⑧ kind // CC-CEDICT
悳 // 德 // dé // ① variant of 德[de2] // CC-CEDICT
惪 // 德 // dé // ① variant of 德[de2] // CC-CEDICT
圖 // 图 // tú // ① carte (géographie) ② dessin, plan ③ projeter ④ désirer ⑤ compter sur ⑥ calculer ⑦ canton // Chinese-French
圖 // 图 // tú // ① diagram ② picture ③ drawing ④ chart ⑤ map ⑥ CL:張|张[zhang1] ⑦ to plan ⑧ to scheme ⑨ to attempt ⑩ to pursue ⑪ to seek // CC-CEDICT
難 // 难 // nán // ① difficile ② ennuyeux ③ fatigant // Chinese-French
難 // 难 // nán // ① difficult (to...) ② problem ③ difficulty ④ difficult ⑤ not good // CC-CEDICT
難 // 难 // nàn // ① désastre ② détresse ③ clamité ④ infortune ⑤ malheur // Chinese-French
難 // 难 // nàn // ① disaster ② distress ③ to scold // 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
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
易 // 易 // yì // ① changer ② échanger ③ facile ④ simple ⑤ changement ⑥ mutation // Chinese-French
易 // 易 // yì // ① surname Yi ② abbr. for 易經|易经[Yi4 jing1], the Book of Changes // CC-CEDICT
易 // 易 // yì // ① easy ② amiable ③ to change ④ to exchange // 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
大於 // 大于 // dà yú // ① dépasser // Chinese-French
大於 // 大于 // dà yú // ① greater than ② bigger than ③ more than, > // 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
細 // 细 // xì // ① minutieusement ② soigneusement ③ mince ④ fin // Chinese-French
細 // 细 // xì // ① thin or slender ② finely particulate ③ thin and soft ④ fine ⑤ delicate ⑥ trifling ⑦ (of a sound) quiet ⑧ frugal // CC-CEDICT
天下 // 天下 // tiān xià // ① empire céleste // Chinese-French
天下 // 天下 // tiān xià // ① land under heaven ② the whole world ③ the whole of China ④ realm ⑤ rule // CC-CEDICT
難事 // 难事 // nán shì // ① difficulté // Chinese-French
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
作 // 作 // zuò // ① faire ② apparaître ③ rédiger ④ ouvrage ⑤ oeuvre ⑥ considérer comme // Chinese-French
作 // 作 // zuò // ① to do ② to grow ③ to write or compose ④ to pretend ⑤ to regard as ⑥ to feel ⑦ writings or works // CC-CEDICT
作 // 作 // zuō // ① worker ② workshop ③ (slang) troublesome ④ high-maintenance (person) // 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
易 // 易 // yì // ① changer ② échanger ③ facile ④ simple ⑤ changement ⑥ mutation // Chinese-French
易 // 易 // yì // ① surname Yi ② abbr. for 易經|易经[Yi4 jing1], the Book of Changes // CC-CEDICT
易 // 易 // yì // ① easy ② amiable ③ to change ④ to exchange // CC-CEDICT
天下 // 天下 // tiān xià // ① empire céleste // Chinese-French
天下 // 天下 // tiān xià // ① land under heaven ② the whole world ③ the whole of China ④ realm ⑤ rule // CC-CEDICT
大事 // 大事 // dà shì // ① événement ② grand-chose ③ événement // Chinese-French
大事 // 大事 // dà shì // ① major event ② major political event (war or change of regime) ③ major social event (wedding or funeral) ④ (do sth) in a big way ⑤ CL:件[jian4],樁|桩[zhuang1] // 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
作 // 作 // zuò // ① faire ② apparaître ③ rédiger ④ ouvrage ⑤ oeuvre ⑥ considérer comme // Chinese-French
作 // 作 // zuò // ① to do ② to grow ③ to write or compose ④ to pretend ⑤ to regard as ⑥ to feel ⑦ writings or works // CC-CEDICT
作 // 作 // zuō // ① worker ② workshop ③ (slang) troublesome ④ high-maintenance (person) // 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
細 // 细 // xì // ① minutieusement ② soigneusement ③ mince ④ fin // Chinese-French
細 // 细 // xì // ① thin or slender ② finely particulate ③ thin and soft ④ fine ⑤ delicate ⑥ trifling ⑦ (of a sound) quiet ⑧ frugal // CC-CEDICT
是以 // 是以 // shì yǐ // ① par conséquent ② donc // Chinese-French
是以 // 是以 // shì yǐ // ① therefore ② thus ③ so // CC-CEDICT
聖人 // 圣人 // shèng rén // ① saint // Chinese-French
聖人 // 圣人 // shèng rén // ① saint ② sage ③ refers to Confucius 孔子[Kong3 zi3] ④ the current reigning Emperor // 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
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
夫 // 夫 // fū // ① mari // Chinese-French
夫 // 夫 // fū // ① husband ② man ③ manual worker ④ conscripted laborer (old) // CC-CEDICT
夫 // 夫 // fú // ① (classical) this, that ② he, she, they ③ (exclamatory final particle) ④ (initial particle, introduces an opinion) // CC-CEDICT
輕 // 轻 // qīng // ① léger ② jeune ③ peu important ④ doucement ⑤ à la légère ⑥ mépriser // Chinese-French
輕 // 轻 // qīng // ① light ② easy ③ gentle ④ soft ⑤ reckless ⑥ unimportant ⑦ frivolous ⑧ small in number ⑨ unstressed ⑩ neutral ⑪ to disparage // CC-CEDICT
諾 // 诺 // nuò // ① consentir ② promettre // Chinese-French
諾 // 诺 // nuò // ① to consent ② to promise ③ (literary) yes! // 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
寡 // 寡 // guǎ // ① peu ② fade ③ monotone ④ veuve // Chinese-French
寡 // 寡 // guǎ // ① few ② scant ③ widowed // CC-CEDICT
信 // 信 // xìn // ① avoir confiance ② croire ③ lettre // Chinese-French
信 // 信 // xìn // ① letter ② mail ③ CL:封[feng1] ④ to trust ⑤ to believe ⑥ to profess faith in ⑦ truthful ⑧ confidence ⑨ trust ⑩ at will ⑪ at random // CC-CEDICT
多 // 多 // duō // ① beaucoup ② nombreux ③ de plus ④ de trop ⑤ plus de // Chinese-French
多 // 多 // duō // "① many ② much ③ often ④ a lot of ⑤ numerous ⑥ more ⑦ in excess ⑧ how (to what extent) ⑨ multi- ⑩ Taiwan pr. [duo2] when it means ""how""" // CC-CEDICT
易 // 易 // yì // ① changer ② échanger ③ facile ④ simple ⑤ changement ⑥ mutation // Chinese-French
易 // 易 // yì // ① surname Yi ② abbr. for 易經|易经[Yi4 jing1], the Book of Changes // CC-CEDICT
易 // 易 // yì // ① easy ② amiable ③ to change ④ to exchange // 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
多 // 多 // duō // ① beaucoup ② nombreux ③ de plus ④ de trop ⑤ plus de // Chinese-French
多 // 多 // duō // "① many ② much ③ often ④ a lot of ⑤ numerous ⑥ more ⑦ in excess ⑧ how (to what extent) ⑨ multi- ⑩ Taiwan pr. [duo2] when it means ""how""" // CC-CEDICT
難 // 难 // nán // ① difficile ② ennuyeux ③ fatigant // Chinese-French
難 // 难 // nán // ① difficult (to...) ② problem ③ difficulty ④ difficult ⑤ not good // CC-CEDICT
難 // 难 // nàn // ① désastre ② détresse ③ clamité ④ infortune ⑤ malheur // Chinese-French
難 // 难 // nàn // ① disaster ② distress ③ to scold // CC-CEDICT
是以 // 是以 // shì yǐ // ① par conséquent ② donc // Chinese-French
是以 // 是以 // shì yǐ // ① therefore ② thus ③ so // CC-CEDICT
聖人 // 圣人 // shèng rén // ① saint // Chinese-French
聖人 // 圣人 // shèng rén // ① saint ② sage ③ refers to Confucius 孔子[Kong3 zi3] ④ the current reigning Emperor // CC-CEDICT
猶 // 犹 // yóu // ① comme ② encore // Chinese-French
猶 // 犹 // yóu // ① as if ② (just) like ③ just as ④ still ⑤ yet // CC-CEDICT
難 // 难 // nán // ① difficile ② ennuyeux ③ fatigant // Chinese-French
難 // 难 // nán // ① difficult (to...) ② problem ③ difficulty ④ difficult ⑤ not good // CC-CEDICT
難 // 难 // nàn // ① désastre ② détresse ③ clamité ④ infortune ⑤ malheur // Chinese-French
難 // 难 // nàn // ① disaster ② distress ③ to scold // 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
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
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
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
難 // 难 // nán // ① difficile ② ennuyeux ③ fatigant // Chinese-French
難 // 难 // nán // ① difficult (to...) ② problem ③ difficulty ④ difficult ⑤ not good // CC-CEDICT
難 // 难 // nàn // ① désastre ② détresse ③ clamité ④ infortune ⑤ malheur // Chinese-French
難 // 难 // nàn // ① disaster ② distress ③ to scold // CC-CEDICT
矣 // 矣 // yǐ // ① (finale) : c'est tout // Chinese-French
矣 // 矣 // yǐ // ① classical final particle, similar to modern 了[le5] // CC-CEDICT
(Ⅵ)
- Yi Wu (1989) :

One does things so that one needs to do nothing.
One takes actions so that one needs no action.
One tastes so that one can appreciate tastelessness.
One values what is small or little, and returns good for evil.
One starts from the easiest to achieve the most difficult.
One starts from the most trivial to achieve the highest.
For it is only by taking easy measures
That one can achieve the most difficult in the world.
It is only by taking trivial steps
That one can achieve the highest in the world.
Therefore, the wise person who never looks important
Is able to be the most important.
Those who make hasty promises can rarely keep them.
Those who think nothing difficult will have many difficulties.
That is why the wise person worries about difficulties
And can therefore solve them successfully.
(Ⅶ)
- Lynn (2004) :

Act by not acting;
do by not doing;
find flavor in that which has no flavor.
Deal with the small as if it were the great, and deal with the few as if it were the many, but respond to resentment in terms of virtue.
Plan for the difficult while it is still easy;
work on the great while it is still small.
Every difficult matter under Heaven surely originates in something easy, and every great matter under Heaven surely originates in something small.
Therefore it is because the sage never tries to be great that he fulfills his greatness.
Assent lightly given surely inspires little trust.
Regarding many things as easy is sure to result in many difficulties.
Therefore the sage still regards them as difficulties.
Thus he never has difficulties.
(Ⅷ)


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