Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 60. Filling the throne

Chapter 60. Filling the throne

Picture of a Chinese imperial throne. from Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign, 1736–95.
Chinese imperial throne from Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign, 1736–95. CC-BY-2.5 uploaded to by artist and uploader Opal_Art_Seekers_4 . Robot harvested from Flickr and license checked by Kaldari.

States should be governed like we boil small fish, without much ado.

When Tao is brought to guide the nation, it gives rest to the shadows of the dead¹.

Not like that the spirits would become idle but they stop menacing the people.

But – what is more important – a wise leader of the people does no evil to them.

And when these don’t bother each other, their effect is focused on the common good.


  1. Mr. Ervast: Laozi knew well how restless the “netherworld” is when earthly life has boasted the lusts generated by a badly run 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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