Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 78. Embracing the truth

Chapter 78. Embracing the truth

The impact of a drop of water in a full glass of water
Image of a drop of water impacting some water that doesn’t mind it. CC-BY-SA 3.0 by photographer and uploader Roger McLassus.

Nothing in this world is as weak and bendable like water is, yet for breaking down the mighty there is nothing like it.

There is no choice to be made here.

The whole world knows that the soft can wear the hard down and that the weak wins the strong, but no-one endures to act it out in his actions.

That is why the wise one says: “He who bears the sins of his country, is truly the lord of the country. Who bears the sufferings of the people is truly their king.¹

The words of truth are always peculiar (paradoxes)!


  1. Mr. Ervast: “Even as this is the savior moral of all ages, there is also a view of the coming savior of the world.”

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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