Chapter 64 How to keep the mystery.
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(Version and commentary of He Shanggong in English)


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64. 1  
What is at rest is easily held fast.

The practice of asceticism and the government of the country are easy to keep for the restful one.

What is not yet prognosticated is easily planned.

At the time when the misfortune of desire has not yet taken form, it is easily brought to a standstill.

What is weak is easily broken.

Misfortune has not yet sprouted from its germs, desire has not yet become visible in the appearance. If something is weak, it is easily broken.

What is subtle is easily scattered.

What has not yet come to light, being subtle and small, is easily dispersed.

This is the relation of creation to the not yet existing,

If one wants to create something, it must not yet exist. At the time when something sprouts, one ought to impede its beginning.

the relation of domination to the not yet confused.

Practise asceticism and dominate the country when confusion has not yet arisen. One must shut the gate to it beforehand.

A tree [which can only be] embraced by several men grows from a tiny bit.

Proceeding from the small one completes the great.

A tower of nine storey rises out of heaped-up earth.

Proceeding from the low one reaches the high.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with putting down one foot.

Proceeding from what is near one reaches what is far away.

Who occupies himself with it spoils it.

Who occupies himself with affairs renounces his natural state. Who occupies him self with justice renounces benignity and humanity. Who occupies himself with a beauty renounces the spirit.

Who grasps it, loses it.

Who grasps for gain, meets with misfortune. Who grasps the enemy, loses the body. What is firmly grasped, is not acquired. What is refused, returns.

This is why the saint does nothing. Therefore he spoils nothing.

The saint does not trouble about the exterior, nor about gain and beauties, nor about hurtful things. Therefore nothing is spoilt.

Because he grasps nothing, he loses nothing.

The saint has got Te to instruct the stupid. He has got riches to help the poor. There is nothing which he should retain. Therefore he has nothing to lose to others.

When the people are doing business, they always complete little and spoil it.

XX (lit. to follow) = XX to do. If somebody is doing business, by his merit Te is always somewhat completed, but he covets a position, fame, greatness and fulness, and thus spoils it.

By being cautious to the end as well as in the beginning, one does not spoil one’s affairs.

One ought to be in the end as in the beginning. One must not become negligent.

Therefore the saint desires the undesirable.

The saint desires what others do not desire. Men desire to be brilliant. The saint desires hidden splendour. Men desire outward show. The saint desires reality and simplicity. Men desire beauty. The saint desires Te.

He does not esteem riches difficult to obtain.

The saint does not dazzle by wearing ornaments. He does not disdain the stone, nor does he esteem the jade.

He learns what cannot be learned.

The saint learns what others are unable to learn. Men learn wisdom and hypocrisy; the saint learns naturalness. Men learn to govern the world; the saint learns to practise asceticism and to guard the wisdom of Tao.

He reverses what all others pass by.

All men learn the contrary of what is asked for. They pass by the root and work with the top; they pass by the fruit and work with the flower. Who reverses this causes the return to the root.

Thereby he helps all beings to become natural.

Who teaches men to return to the root and to the fruit, thereby wants to help all beings towards the natural state of their character.

But he does not dare to act.

The saint works inactively. He does not dare to create anything. He is afraid to remove the root.

- Chinese :

《道德經》: 其安易持,其未兆易謀。其脆易泮,其微易散。為之於未有,治之於未亂。合抱之木,生於毫末;九層之臺,起於累土;千里之行,始於足下。為者敗之,執者失之。是以聖人無為故無敗;無執故無失。民之從事,常於幾成而敗之。慎終如始,則無敗事,是以聖人欲不欲,不貴難得之貨;學不學,復衆人之所過,以輔萬物之自然,而不敢為。

《老子河上公章句·守微》: 其安易持,其未兆易謀,其脆易破,其微易散。為之於未有,治之於未亂。合抱之木生於毫末;九層之臺起於累土;千里之行始於足下。為者敗之,執者失之。是以聖人無為故無敗,無執故無失。民之從事,常於幾成而敗之。慎終如始,則無敗事。是以聖人欲不欲,不貴難得之貨;學不學,復眾人之所過;以輔萬物之自然。而不敢為。

《郭店·老子甲》: 為之者敗之,執之者失之。是以聖人亡為,故亡敗;亡執,故亡失。臨事之紀,慎終如始,此亡敗事矣。聖人欲不欲,不貴難得之貨,教不教,復眾之所過。是故聖人能尃萬物之自然,而弗能為。

《郭店·老子丙》: 為之者敗之,執之者失之。聖人無為,故無敗也;無執,故□□□慎終若始,則無敗事矣。人之敗也,恒於其且成也敗之。是以□人欲不欲,不貴難得之貨;學不學,復眾之所過。是以能輔萬物之自然,而弗敢為。

《馬王堆·老子甲德經》: 其安也易持也,□□□□易謀□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□毫末;九成之臺,作於羸土;百仁之高,台於是□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□也□無敗□無執也,故無失也。民之從事也,恆於其成事而敗之。故慎終若始,則□□□□□□□□欲不欲,而不貴難得之貨;學不學,而復眾人之所過,能輔萬物之自□,□弗敢為。

《馬王堆·老子乙德經》: □□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□木,作於毫末;九成之臺,作於欙土;百千之高,始於足下。為之者敗之,執者失之。是以聖人無為□□□□□□□□□□□□。民之從事也,恆於其成而敗之。故曰:慎冬若始,則無敗事矣。是以聖人欲不欲,而不貴難得之貨;學不學,復眾人之所過,能輔萬物之自然,而弗敢為。
(⁎)
- He Shanggong (Chinese) :

其安易持,治身治國安靜者,易守持也。其未兆易謀,情欲禍患未有形兆時,易謀止也。其脆易破,禍亂未動於朝,情欲未見於色,如脆弱易破除。其微易散。其未彰著,微小易散去也。為之於未有,欲有所為,當於未有萌芽之時塞其端也。治之於未亂。治身治國於未亂之時,當豫閉其門也。合抱之木生於毫末;從小成大。九層之臺起於累土;從卑立高。千里之行始於足下。從近至遠。為者敗之,有為於事,廢於自然;有為於義,廢於仁;有為於色,廢於精神也。執者失之。執利遇患,執道全身,堅持不得,推讓反還。是以聖人無為故無敗,聖人不為華文,不為色利,不為殘賊,故無敗壞。無執故無失。聖人有德以教愚,有財以與貧,無所執藏,故無所失於人也。民之從事,常於幾成而敗之。從,為也。 民之為事,常於功德幾成,而貪位好名,奢泰盈滿而自敗之也。慎終如始,則無敗事。終當如始,不當懈怠。是以聖人欲不欲,聖人欲人所不欲。人欲彰顯,聖人欲伏光;人欲文飾,聖人欲質朴;人欲色,聖人欲於德。不貴難得之貨;聖人不眩為服,不賤石而貴玉。學不學,聖人學人所不能學。人學智詐,聖人學自然;人學治世,聖人學治身;守道真也。復眾人之所過;眾人學問反,過本為末,過實為華。復之者,使反本也。以輔萬物之自然。教人反本實者,欲以輔助萬物自然之性也。而不敢為。聖人動作因循,不敢有所造為,恐遠本也。
(Ⅱ)
- Wing-Tsit Chan (1963) :

What remains still is easy to hold. What is not yet manifest is easy to plan for. What is brittle is easy to crack. What is minute is easy to scatter.
Deal with things before they appear. Put things in order before disorder arises.
A tree as big as a man's embrace grows from a tiny shoot. A tower of nine stories begins with a heap of earth. The journey of a thousand li starts from where one stands.
He who takes action fails. He who grasps things loses them. For this reason the sage takes no action and therefore does not fail. He grasps nothing and therefore does not lose anything;
A sane man is sane in knowing what things he can spare, In not wishing what most people wish, In not reaching for things that seem rare.
Therefore the sage desires to have no desire, He does not value rare treasures. He learns to be unlearned, and returns to what the multitude has missed (Tao). Thus he supports all things in their natural state but does not take any action.
(Ⅲ)
- Ellen Marie Chen (1989) :

What is at equilibrium is easy (i) to maintain;
What has not emerged is easy (i) to plan (mou);
What is fragile is easy (i) to dissolve;
What is minute is easy (i) to disperse.
Act (wei) when there is yet nothing to do.
Govern (chih) when there is yet no disorder (luan).
A tree whose trunk is of a man's embrace,
Begins from something extremely tiny.
A tower of nine stories high,
Is built from a heap of earth.
A trip of a thousand miles,
Begins right at one's feet.
He who acts (wei) fails,
He who holds on to loses.
Therefore the sage does not act (wei) so he does not fail,
He does not hold on to, so he does not lose.
The people in launching their projects,
Often fail when these are near completion.
Had they been as careful at the end as at the beginning,
There would have been no failures.
Therefore the sage desires not to desire,
He does not treasure hard-to-get goods;
Learns not to learn,
He recovers the transgressions (kuo) of many.
In assisting the self-becoming (tzu-jan) of all beings,
He dares not act (wei).
(Ⅳ)
- Ch'u Ta-Kao (1904) :

What is motionless is easy to hold;
What is not yet foreshadowed is easy to form plans for;
What is fragile is easy to break;
What is minute is easy to disperse.
Deal with a thing before it comes into existence;
Regulate a thing before it gets into confusion.
The common people in their business often fail on the verge of succeeding.
Take care with the end as you do with the beginning,
And you will have no failure.
(Ⅴ)
- World by world translation :

Traditional // simplified // pinyin // definition // dictionary
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
安 // 安 // ān // ① paix ② calme ③ sécurité ④ calmer ⑤ rassurer ⑥ installer ⑦ pacifier ⑧ poser ⑨ être satisfait de ⑩ calme ⑪ paisible // Chinese-French
安 // 安 // ān // ① surname An // CC-CEDICT
安 // 安 // ān // ① content ② calm ③ still ④ quiet ⑤ safe ⑥ secure ⑦ in good health ⑧ to find a place for ⑨ to install ⑩ to fix ⑪ to fit ⑫ to bring (a charge against sb) ⑬ to pacify ⑭ to harbor (good intentions) ⑮ security ⑯ safety ⑰ peace ⑱ ampere // CC-CEDICT
安东乃特 // 安 // 索菲 [ān suǒ fēi // ① Anne Sophie // Chinese-French
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
持 // 持 // chí // ① tenir ② saisir ③ soutenir (une opinion) ④ maintenir ⑤ diriger ⑥ résister // Chinese-French
持 // 持 // chí // ① to hold ② to grasp ③ to support ④ to maintain ⑤ to persevere ⑥ to manage ⑦ to run (i.e. administer) ⑧ to control // 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
未 // 未 // wèi // ① ne pas ② pas encore ③ car. cycl. // Chinese-French
未 // 未 // wèi // ① not yet ② did not ③ have not ④ not ⑤ 8th earthly branch: 1-3 p.m., 6th solar month (7th July-6th August), year of the Sheep ⑥ ancient Chinese compass point: 210° // CC-CEDICT
兆 // 兆 // zhào // ① million ② présage // Chinese-French
兆 // 兆 // zhào // ① surname Zhao // CC-CEDICT
兆 // 兆 // zhào // ① omen ② to foretell ③ million ④ mega- ⑤ trillion ⑥ tera- ⑦ billion (old) // 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
謀 // 谋 // móu // ① projeter ② comploter ③ rechercher ④ chercher à obtenir ⑤ projet ⑥ complot ⑦ stratagème // Chinese-French
謀 // 谋 // móu // ① to plan ② to seek ③ scheme // 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
脆 // 脆 // cuì // ① fragile ② cassant ③ croquant ④ croustillant ⑤ sonore ⑥ éclatant // Chinese-French
脆 // 脆 // cuì // ① brittle ② fragile ③ crisp ④ crunchy ⑤ clear and loud voice ⑥ neat // CC-CEDICT
脃 // 脆 // cuì // ① old variant of 脆[cui4] // 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
泮 // 泮 // pàn // ① (literary) to melt ② to dissolve // 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
微 // 微 // wēi // ① petit, de peu de valeur ② subtil ③ obscur ④ ne pas // Chinese-French
微 // 微 // wēi // ① surname Wei ② ancient Chinese state near present day Chongqing ③ Taiwan pr. [Wei2] // CC-CEDICT
微 // 微 // wēi // ① tiny ② miniature ③ slightly ④ profound ⑤ abtruse ⑥ to decline ⑦ one millionth part of ⑧ micro- ⑨ Taiwan pr. [wei2] // 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
散 // 散 // sàn // ① se disperser ② diffuser ③ dissiper // Chinese-French
散 // 散 // sàn // ① to scatter ② to break up (a meeting etc) ③ to disperse ④ to disseminate ⑤ to dispel ⑥ (coll.) to sack // CC-CEDICT
㪚 // 散 // sàn // ① variant of 散[san4] // CC-CEDICT
散 // 散 // sǎn // ① se détacher ② se disperser ③ dispersé ④ éparpillé // Chinese-French
散 // 散 // sǎn // ① scattered ② loose ③ to come loose ④ to fall apart ⑤ leisurely ⑥ powdered medicine // 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
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
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
未有 // 未有 // wèi yǒu // ① n'est pas ② n'a jamais été ③ ne s'est jamais produit ④ sans précédent // Chinese-French
未有 // 未有 // wèi yǒu // ① is not ② has never been ③ never occurring ④ unprecedented // CC-CEDICT
治 // 治 // zhì // ① gouverner ② administrer ③ guérir ④ soigner ⑤ aménager ⑥ paix // Chinese-French
治 // 治 // zhì // ① to rule ② to govern ③ to manage ④ to control ⑤ to harness (a river) ⑥ to treat (a disease) ⑦ to wipe out (a pest) ⑧ to punish ⑨ to research // 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
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
未 // 未 // wèi // ① ne pas ② pas encore ③ car. cycl. // Chinese-French
未 // 未 // wèi // ① not yet ② did not ③ have not ④ not ⑤ 8th earthly branch: 1-3 p.m., 6th solar month (7th July-6th August), year of the Sheep ⑥ ancient Chinese compass point: 210° // CC-CEDICT
亂 // 乱 // luàn // ① désordre, confusion ② anarchie, rébellion // Chinese-French
亂 // 乱 // luàn // ① in confusion or disorder ② in a confused state of mind ③ disorder ④ upheaval ⑤ riot ⑥ illicit sexual relations ⑦ to throw into disorder ⑧ to mix up ⑨ indiscriminate ⑩ random ⑪ arbitrary // CC-CEDICT
合抱 // 合抱 // hé bào // ① to wrap one's arm around (used to describe the girth of a tree trunk) // 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
木 // 木 // mù // ① arbre ② bois ③ cercueil ④ engourdi // Chinese-French
木 // 木 // mù // ① surname Mu // CC-CEDICT
木 // 木 // mù // ① tree ② wood ③ coffin ④ wooden ⑤ simple ⑥ numb ⑦ one of the eight ancient musical instruments 八音[ba1 yin1] // 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
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
毫 // 毫 // háo // ① pas le (la) moindre ② poil ③ pinceau ④ milli- // Chinese-French
毫 // 毫 // háo // ① hair ② drawing brush ③ (in the) least ④ one thousandth ⑤ currency unit, 0.1 yuan // CC-CEDICT
末 // 末 // mò // ① extrémité ② fin ③ poudre ④ dernier ⑤ final // Chinese-French
末 // 末 // mò // ① tip ② end ③ final stage ④ latter part ⑤ inessential detail ⑥ powder ⑦ dust ⑧ opera role of old man // CC-CEDICT
九 // 九 // jiǔ // ① neuf // Chinese-French
九 // 九 // jiǔ // ① nine ② 9 // CC-CEDICT
層 // 层 // céng // ① couche ② étage ③ strate ④ niveau ⑤ superposer // Chinese-French
層 // 层 // céng // ① layer ② stratum ③ laminated ④ floor (of a building) ⑤ storey ⑥ classifier for layers ⑦ repeated ⑧ sheaf (math.) // 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
臺 // 台 // tái // ① Taiwan (abbr.) // CC-CEDICT
臺 // 台 // tái // ① platform ② stage ③ terrace ④ stand ⑤ support ⑥ station ⑦ broadcasting station ⑧ classifier for vehicles or machines // CC-CEDICT
起 // 起 // qǐ // ① augmenter ② soulever ③ se lever // Chinese-French
起 // 起 // qǐ // ① to rise ② to raise ③ to get up ④ to set out ⑤ to start ⑥ to appear ⑦ to launch ⑧ to initiate (action) ⑨ to draft ⑩ to establish ⑪ to get (from a depot or counter) ⑫ verb suffix, to start ⑬ starting from (a time, place, price etc) ⑭ classifier for occurrences or unpredictable events: case, instance ⑮ classifier for groups: batch, group // 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
累 // 累 // lèi // ① fatiguer ② causer, impliquer ③ lasser ④ fatigué ⑤ épuisé ⑥ las // Chinese-French
累 // 累 // lèi // ① tired ② weary ③ to strain ④ to wear out ⑤ to work hard // CC-CEDICT
累 // 累 // lěi // ① souvent ② superposer ③ accumuler ④ continu ⑤ progressif // Chinese-French
累 // 累 // lěi // ① to accumulate ② to involve or implicate (Taiwan pr. [lei4]) ③ continuous ④ repeated // CC-CEDICT
纍 // 累 // léi // ① lier ② grimper // Chinese-French
纍 // 累 // léi // ① surname Lei // CC-CEDICT
纍 // 累 // léi // ① rope ② to bind together ③ to twist around // CC-CEDICT
土 // 土 // tǔ // ① terre ② sol ③ poussière ④ local ⑤ rustique // Chinese-French
土 // 土 // tǔ // ① Tu (ethnic group) ② surname Tu // CC-CEDICT
土 // 土 // tǔ // ① earth ② dust ③ clay ④ local ⑤ indigenous ⑥ crude opium ⑦ unsophisticated ⑧ one of the eight ancient musical instruments 八音[ba1 yin1] // CC-CEDICT
千里之行,始於足下 // 千里之行,始于足下 // qiān lǐ zhī xíng , shǐ yú zú xià // ① Une marche de mille lis commence toujours par le premier pas. ② Pas à pas, on va loin ③ Le grand succès est une accumulation de petits succès // Chinese-French
千里之行,始於足下 // 千里之行,始于足下 // qiān lǐ zhī xíng , shǐ yú zú xià // ① lit. a thousand mile journey begins with the first step ② fig. big accomplishments come from an accumulation of little achievements made one by one // 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
者 // 者 // zhě // ① (placé après un adjectif ou un verbe est utilisé comme substantif pour désigner une personne ou une chose) // Chinese-French
者 // 者 // zhě // ① (after a verb or adjective) one who (is) ... ② (after a noun) person involved in ... ③ -er ④ -ist ⑤ (used after a number or 後|后[hou4] or 前[qian2] to refer to sth mentioned previously) ⑥ (used after a term, to mark a pause before defining the term) ⑦ (old) (used at the end of a command) ⑧ (old) this // CC-CEDICT
敗 // 败 // bài // ① échec ② insuccès ③ être vaincu, battu ④ subir une défaite ⑤ infliger une défaite ⑥ échouer ⑦ subir un échec ⑧ gâter ⑨ neutraliser ⑩ dessécher ⑪ flétrir ⑫ faner ⑬ fané ⑭ desséché // Chinese-French
敗 // 败 // bài // ① to defeat ② to damage ③ to lose (to an opponent) ④ to fail ⑤ to wither // 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
執 // 执 // zhí // ① tenir ② persister ③ appliquer ④ exécuter // Chinese-French
執 // 执 // zhí // ① to execute (a plan) ② to grasp // CC-CEDICT
者 // 者 // zhě // ① (placé après un adjectif ou un verbe est utilisé comme substantif pour désigner une personne ou une chose) // Chinese-French
者 // 者 // zhě // ① (after a verb or adjective) one who (is) ... ② (after a noun) person involved in ... ③ -er ④ -ist ⑤ (used after a number or 後|后[hou4] or 前[qian2] to refer to sth mentioned previously) ⑥ (used after a term, to mark a pause before defining the term) ⑦ (old) (used at the end of a command) ⑧ (old) this // CC-CEDICT
失 // 失 // shī // ① erreur ② accident ③ perdre // Chinese-French
失 // 失 // shī // ① to lose ② to miss ③ to fail // 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
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
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
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
敗 // 败 // bài // ① échec ② insuccès ③ être vaincu, battu ④ subir une défaite ⑤ infliger une défaite ⑥ échouer ⑦ subir un échec ⑧ gâter ⑨ neutraliser ⑩ dessécher ⑪ flétrir ⑫ faner ⑬ fané ⑭ desséché // Chinese-French
敗 // 败 // bài // ① to defeat ② to damage ③ to lose (to an opponent) ④ to fail ⑤ to wither // 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
執 // 执 // zhí // ① tenir ② persister ③ appliquer ④ exécuter // Chinese-French
執 // 执 // zhí // ① to execute (a plan) ② to grasp // 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
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
失 // 失 // shī // ① erreur ② accident ③ perdre // Chinese-French
失 // 失 // shī // ① to lose ② to miss ③ to fail // CC-CEDICT
民 // 民 // mín // ① peuple ② gens du commun // Chinese-French
民 // 民 // mín // ① surname Min // CC-CEDICT
民 // 民 // mín // ① the people ② nationality ③ citizen // 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
從事 // 从事 // cóng shì // ① s'appliquer à ② s'occuper à ③ se consacrer à ④ traiter // Chinese-French
從事 // 从事 // cóng shì // ① to go for ② to engage in ③ to undertake ④ to deal with ⑤ to handle ⑥ to do // 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
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
幾 // 几 // jǐ // ① combien ② quelques ③ un peu // Chinese-French
幾 // 几 // jǐ // ① how much ② how many ③ several ④ a few // CC-CEDICT
幾 // 几 // jī // ① presque // Chinese-French
幾 // 几 // jī // ① almost // 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
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
敗 // 败 // bài // ① échec ② insuccès ③ être vaincu, battu ④ subir une défaite ⑤ infliger une défaite ⑥ échouer ⑦ subir un échec ⑧ gâter ⑨ neutraliser ⑩ dessécher ⑪ flétrir ⑫ faner ⑬ fané ⑭ desséché // Chinese-French
敗 // 败 // bài // ① to defeat ② to damage ③ to lose (to an opponent) ④ to fail ⑤ to wither // 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
慎 // 慎 // shèn // ① prudent ② discret // Chinese-French
慎 // 慎 // shèn // ① careful ② cautious // CC-CEDICT
昚 // 慎 // shèn // ① old variant of 慎[shen4] // 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
如 // 如 // rú // ① si ② conformément à ③ selon ④ par exemple ⑤ comme si ⑥ être comparable ⑦ égaler // Chinese-French
如 // 如 // rú // ① as ② as if ③ such as // CC-CEDICT
始 // 始 // shǐ // ① début ② origine // Chinese-French
始 // 始 // shǐ // ① to begin ② to start ③ then ④ only then // CC-CEDICT
則 // 则 // zé // ① règle ② règlement ③ alors ④ donc // Chinese-French
則 // 则 // zé // ① (conjunction used to express contrast with a previous clause) but ② then ③ standard ④ norm ⑤ principle ⑥ to imitate ⑦ to follow ⑧ classifier for written items // 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
敗 // 败 // bài // ① échec ② insuccès ③ être vaincu, battu ④ subir une défaite ⑤ infliger une défaite ⑥ échouer ⑦ subir un échec ⑧ gâter ⑨ neutraliser ⑩ dessécher ⑪ flétrir ⑫ faner ⑬ fané ⑭ desséché // Chinese-French
敗 // 败 // bài // ① to defeat ② to damage ③ to lose (to an opponent) ④ to fail ⑤ to wither // 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
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
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
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
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
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
貴 // 贵 // guì // ① cher ② coûteux ③ précieux // Chinese-French
貴 // 贵 // guì // ① expensive ② noble ③ precious ④ (honorific) your // CC-CEDICT
難得 // 难得 // nán dé // ① précieux ② rare ③ peu fréquent // Chinese-French
難得 // 难得 // nán dé // ① seldom ② rare ③ hard to come by // 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
貨 // 货 // huò // ① marchandise // Chinese-French
貨 // 货 // huò // ① goods ② money ③ commodity ④ CL:個|个[ge4] // CC-CEDICT
學 // 学 // xué // ① étudier ② apprendre ③ science ④ -ologie // Chinese-French
學 // 学 // xué // ① to learn ② to study ③ to imitate ④ science ⑤ -ology // 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
學 // 学 // xué // ① étudier ② apprendre ③ science ④ -ologie // Chinese-French
學 // 学 // xué // ① to learn ② to study ③ to imitate ④ science ⑤ -ology // CC-CEDICT
復 // 复 // fù // ① to go and return ② to return ③ to resume ④ to return to a normal or original state ⑤ to repeat ⑥ again ⑦ to recover ⑧ to restore ⑨ to turn over ⑩ to reply ⑪ to answer ⑫ to reply to a letter ⑬ to retaliate ⑭ to carry out // CC-CEDICT
衆 // 众 // zhòng // ① nombreux ② foule // Chinese-French
衆 // 众 // zhòng // ① variant of 眾|众[zhong4] // 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
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
所 // 所 // suǒ // ① place ② endroit ③ institut ④ office // Chinese-French
所 // 所 // suǒ // ① actually ② place ③ classifier for houses, small buildings, institutions etc ④ that which ⑤ particle introducing a relative clause or passive ⑥ CL:個|个[ge4] // CC-CEDICT
過 // 过 // guò // ① traverser ② passer (du temps) ③ (utilisé après le verbe pour indiquer une action passée) // Chinese-French
過 // 过 // guò // ① surname Guo // CC-CEDICT
過 // 过 // guò // ① to cross ② to go over ③ to pass (time) ④ to celebrate (a holiday) ⑤ to live ⑥ to get along ⑦ excessively ⑧ too- // CC-CEDICT
過 // 过 // guo // ① (experienced action marker) // 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
輔 // 辅 // fǔ // ① complémentaire ② subsidiaire ③ aider ④ assiter // Chinese-French
輔 // 辅 // fǔ // ① to assist ② to complement ③ auxiliary // 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
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
自然 // 自然 // zì rán // ① nature ② naturel // Chinese-French
自然 // 自然 // zì rán // ① nature ② natural ③ naturally // 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
不敢 // 不敢 // bù gǎn // ① ne pas oser // Chinese-French
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
(Ⅵ)
- Yi Wu (1989) :

What is still is easy to keep.
What has not developed is easy to guide.
What is fragile is easy to break.
What is little is easy to scatter.
One starts a project before things develop otherwise.
One prevents tumults before they happen otherwise.
A huge tree starts from a small sprout.
A nine-story tower starts from the first shovel full of dirt.
A long journey starts from the spot under the feet.
One who willfully starts a cause will ruin it.
One who willfully ends a cause will lose it.
The wise person does nothing willfully
And will therefore neither ruin nor lose.
People often fail when they are about to succeed.
If one is careful from start to end, one will not fail.
The wise ruler therefore desires what none would desire,
Values what none would value, learns what none can learn,
Remembers the useful experiences and lessons of all,
And does nothing willfully so as to help cultivate the natural.
(Ⅶ)
- Lynn (2004) :

The secure is easy to maintain; the premanifest [weizhao] is easy to plan for.
The fragile is easy to melt; the tiny is easy to dissolve.
So take action while it still does not exist
And control it before it turns into disorder.
A tree that takes both arms to clasp grows from a tiny shoot;
a nine-story terrace starts from a pile of dirt;
a journey of a thousand li begins under one's feet.
One who takes deliberate action [wei] will become ruined;
one who consciously administers will become lost.
This is why the sage engages in no deliberate action and so never becomes ruined, does not consciously administer and so never becomes lost.
People pursue matters in such a way that they always suffer ruin just when they are about to succeed.
If one is as mindful of ends as he is of beginnings, his endeavors will never end in defeat.
This is why the sage desires to have no desire and does not value goods hard to get.
He learns not to learn and redeems the errors that the mass of common folk make.
Accordingly, he enhances the natural state of the myriad folk but dares not engage in deliberate action.
(Ⅷ)


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