Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 67. Three precious things

Chapter 67. Three precious things

The whole world acknowledges, that even if my taoism is great, it is not sufficient.

Its greatness makes it look inadequate.

If it were like the others it would have been found inadequate ages ago.

But I hold on to three precious things, which I also practice.

Celtic yin yang whorl in a triskele arrangement
Celtic yin yang whorl in a triskele arrangement; detail of the center of a bronze disc; find spot: Longban Island, Derry; pre-Christian period; on display at Ulster Museum in Belfast – CC-BY-SA 3.0 by artist and uploader Gun Powder Ma.

First one is good temper.

Second one is frugality

Third one is humbleness.

With good temper I can be courageous. With frugality I can be generous. With this humbleness I can be great in service like a vessel of honor.

But these days people abandon good temper and become intrusive.

They throw away frugality and become wasteful.

They leave humility and pursue proficiency and thus death.

Good temper is always victorious in attack and steadfast in defense.

That is why when heaven wants to conserve a human, it surrounds him with good temper.


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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