Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 58. To allow others to heal themselves

Chapter 58. To allow others to heal themselves

Picture of a mixed forest with mist in the background.
CC-BY-SA 3.0 by author and uploader Saharadesertfox

Free and gentle government gives the people the possibility of development of itself.

When the government is stiff and demanding, the people are withered and wretched.

Misery is only the shadow of existence.

Happiness is only the curtain of misery.

When will these end?

If we give in a just way, destruction will come to the state automatically, and what was, in a way good, gives way to bad.¹

Truly the people have been under a cloud for a long time.

That is why the wise one is full justice, but he does not carve and engrave others. He is just, but does not criticize others.

He is straight but he does not straighten others.

He is illuminated, but never insults with his enlightenment.


  1. Mr. Ervast: “Laozi already understood that even division of the wealth would be of much help to the suffering society.”

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

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