Chapter 72 How to love the self.
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(Version and commentary of He Shanggong in English)


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72. 1  
If the people do not dread the dreadful, the great dreadful will reach them.

The great dreadful is misfortune. If man does not dread small misfortune, great misfortune will befall him. Great misfortune means to die and to perish. Who dreads this must love the spirits, receive [the commands of] heaven and obey to earth.

Do not narrow their dwelling.

This means that the heart serves as dwelling of the spirits. One ought to enlarge and not to narrow it.

Do not oppress their lives.

Whereby man lives, this is by his possessing the spirits. The spirits rely on emptiness and enjoy stillness. If one does not restrict food and drink, one despises Tao. By thinking of beauty and evil, by filling one’s stomach and spoiling one’s fortune one disperses the spirits.

Now because they are not oppressed they do not oppress.

A man who alone does not feel the spirits as oppressive, cleans his heart, washes off the dust, is insensitive and without desires.

Therefore the spirits remain within him without oppressing him.

Therefore the saint knows himself. He himself knows whereby his self gains and loses.

He does not make himself visible.

He does not outwardly display the beauty of his Te but hides it within himself.

He loves his self.

He loves his own body. Thereby he saves semen and breath.

He does not esteem his self.

He does not himself esteem a high and valued name within the world.

Therefore he flees from that and seizes this.

He flees from that displaying and valuing of himself. He takes to this knowing and loving of himself.

- Chinese :

《道德經》: 民不畏威,則大威至。無狎其所居,無厭其所生。夫唯不厭,是以不厭。是以聖人自知不自見;自愛不自貴。故去彼取此

《老子河上公章句·愛己》: 民不畏威,則大威至。無狎其所居,無厭其所生,夫唯不厭,是以不厭。是以聖人自知,不自見,自愛不自貴。故去彼取此。

《馬王堆·老子甲德經》: □□□畏畏,則大□□□矣。母閘其所居,毌猒其所生。夫唯弗猒,是□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□而不自貴也。故去被取此

《馬王堆·老子乙德經》: 民之不畏,則大畏將至矣。毌狹其所居,毌猒其所生。夫唯弗猒,是以不猒。是以聖人自知而不自見也;自愛而不自貴也。故去罷而取此。
(⁎)
- He Shanggong (Chinese) :

民不畏威,則大威至。威,害也。人不畏小害則大害至。大害者,謂死亡也。畏之者當愛精神,承天順地也。無狎其所居,謂心居神,當寬柔,不當急狹也。無厭其所生,人所以生者,以有精神。託空虛,喜清靜,飲食不節,忽道念色,邪僻滿腹,為伐本厭神也。夫唯不厭,是以不厭。夫唯獨不厭精神之人,洗心濯垢,恬泊無欲,則精神居之不厭也。是以聖人自知,不自見,自知己之得失,不自顯見德美於外,藏之於內。自愛不自貴。自愛其身以保精氣,不自貴高榮名於世。故去彼取此。去彼自見、自貴,取此自知、自愛。
(Ⅱ)
- Wing-Tsit Chan (1963) :

When the people do not fear what is dreadful, Then what is greatly dreadful will fall upon them.
Do not reduce the living space of their dwellings. Do no oppress their lives. It is because you do not oppress them that they are not oppressed.
Therefore the sage knows himself but does not show himself. He loves himself but does not exalt himself. Therefore he rejects the one but accepts the other.
(Ⅲ)
- Ellen Marie Chen (1989) :

When the people fear no power,
Then great power has indeed arrived.
Do not disturb them in their dwellings,
Do not weary them in their living.
It is because you do not weary (pu yen) them,
That they are not wearied of you.
Therefore the sage knows himself (tzu chih),
But does not see himself (tzu chien).
He loves himself (tzu ai),
But does not exalt himself (tzu kuei).
Therefore he leaves that and takes this.
(Ⅳ)
- Ch'u Ta-Kao (1904) :

If the people have no fear of their ruling authority, still greater fear will come.
Be sure not to give them too narrow a dwelling;
Nor make their living scanty.
Only when their dwelling place is no longer narrow will their dissatisfaction come to an end.
(Ⅴ)
- World by world translation :

Traditional // simplified // pinyin // definition // dictionary
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
不畏 // 不畏 // bù wèi // ① sans peur ② défier // Chinese-French
不畏 // 不畏 // bù wèi // ① unafraid ② to defy // CC-CEDICT
威 // 威 // wēi // ① majestueux ② imposant ③ prestige ④ autorité // Chinese-French
威 // 威 // wēi // ① power ② might ③ prestige // 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
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
威 // 威 // wēi // ① majestueux ② imposant ③ prestige ④ autorité // Chinese-French
威 // 威 // wēi // ① power ② might ③ prestige // CC-CEDICT
至 // 至 // zhì // ① jusqu'à ② à ③ très // Chinese-French
至 // 至 // zhì // ① to arrive ② most ③ to ④ until // 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
狎 // 狎 // xiá // ① habitué ② mépriser // Chinese-French
狎 // 狎 // xiá // ① be intimate with // CC-CEDICT
其所 // 其所 // qí suǒ // ① its place ② one's appointed place ③ the place for that // CC-CEDICT
居 // 居 // jū // ① résidence ② habitation ③ résider ④ habiter ⑤ se trouver // Chinese-French
居 // 居 // jū // ① surname Ju // CC-CEDICT
居 // 居 // jū // ① to reside ② to be (in a certain position) ③ to store up ④ to be at a standstill ⑤ residence ⑥ house ⑦ restaurant ⑧ classifier for bedrooms // CC-CEDICT
居 // 居 // jī // ① (archaic) sentence-final particle expressing a doubting attitude // 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
厭 // 厌 // yàn // ① détester ② en avoir assez de ③ répugner // Chinese-French
厭 // 厌 // yàn // ① to loathe // CC-CEDICT
其所 // 其所 // qí suǒ // ① its place ② one's appointed place ③ the place for that // 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
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
唯 // 唯 // wéi // ① seulement // Chinese-French
唯 // 唯 // wéi // ① -ism ② only ③ alone // CC-CEDICT
唯 // 唯 // wěi // ① consentir // Chinese-French
唯 // 唯 // wěi // ① yes // CC-CEDICT
不厭 // 不厌 // bù yàn // ① not to tire of ② not to object to // 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
不厭 // 不厌 // bù yàn // ① not to tire of ② not to object to // 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
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
知 // 知 // zhī // ① savoir ② connaître ③ connaissances // Chinese-French
知 // 知 // zhī // ① to know ② to be aware // 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
見 // 见 // jiàn // ① voir ② apercevoir ③ rencontrer ④ être au contact de ⑤ être exposé à ⑥ se référer à // Chinese-French
見 // 见 // jiàn // ① to see ② to meet ③ to appear (to be sth) ④ to interview // CC-CEDICT
見 // 见 // xiàn // ① apparaître ② se montrer // Chinese-French
見 // 见 // xiàn // ① to appear ② also written 現|现[xian4] // CC-CEDICT
自愛 // 自爱 // zì ài // ① respect de soi-même ② amour-propre // Chinese-French
自愛 // 自爱 // zì ài // ① self-respect ② self-love ③ self-regard ④ regard for oneself ⑤ to cherish one's good name ⑥ to take good care of one's health // 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
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
故去 // 故去 // gù qù // ① mourir ② la mort // Chinese-French
故去 // 故去 // gù qù // ① to die ② death // CC-CEDICT
彼 // 彼 // bǐ // ① celui-là ② l'autre // Chinese-French
彼 // 彼 // bǐ // ① that ② those ③ (one) another // CC-CEDICT
取 // 取 // qǔ // ① prendre ② reprendre ③ obtenir ④ adopter ⑤ choisir // Chinese-French
取 // 取 // qǔ // ① to take ② to get ③ to choose ④ to fetch // CC-CEDICT
此 // 此 // cǐ // ① ce ② ici // Chinese-French
此 // 此 // cǐ // ① this ② these // CC-CEDICT
(Ⅵ)
- Yi Wu (1989) :

When people revolt,
Governmental prestige ends.
The ruler should always bear this in mind:
Never narrow the roads of life;
Never cause people to be dissatisfied with their existence.
For, satisfied with life,
None would revolt against the government.
The moral for the ruler is:
Know one's own shortcomings
Instead of being occupied with one's own views.
Appreciate others' appreciation
Instead of imposing one's self upon others.
That is how the wise person makes choices.
(Ⅶ)
- Lynn (2004) :

If the common folk do not fear force, then such great force will arrive that there will be no restricting them to the boundaries within which they should dwell, no satisfying them within the limits in which they should live.
It is just because one is insatiable
That there is no satisfying him.
Therefore what the sage himself knows he does not himself reveal.
He cherishes himself but does not value himself.
Thus he rejects the one and keeps the other.
(Ⅷ)


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