Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 30. Removing self from battle

Chapter 30. Removing self from battle

Who gives aid to the king via Tao¹ he gets the people to submit without wielding weapons. Wielding weapons is its own punishment.

Thorn bushes and brambles grow wild where legions have camped.

Picture of a rusty Iron Age sword
CC-BY 2.0 via Flicr.com uploaded by ThereseRS. Verified by bot.

Bad years follow on the trail of moving armies.

A good soldier is courageous, when his position requires it, but he will not risk himself for power.

Courageous he is, when situation requires it, but he does not oppress.

Courageous he is, when situation requires it, but he does not brag.

Courageous he is, when situation requires it, but he is not obnoxious.

Courageous he is, when situation requires it, but he is not turpid.

Courageous he is, when situation requires it, but he does not get upset.

Beings age through over-use. This is called non-Tao.

What is non-Tao will go to waste soon.


  1. Mr. Ervast: “That means makes the king wise. A wise government does not need to be in arms against its own people.”

Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka Ervast (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.