Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 76. The danger of power

Chapter 76. The danger of power

Image of a small baby sleeping.
CC-BY 3.0 by artist and uploader Kamaljeee

When a human is born he is delicate and weak, when dying he is stiff and powerful.

The same is with all things. Trees and sprouts in their early growth are soft and flexibile, but when they are dying they are dried up and tough.

Their hardness and stiffness are the companions of death, but finesse and flexibility are the companions of life.

That is why the soldier by trusting in his force does not conquer death and similarly a a strong tree becomes only firewood. For the strong and thick should be low but silent and consenting should be high.


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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