Category Archives: Uncategorized

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 73. Freedom of action

Chapter 73. Freedom of action

Whose bravery manifests itself in defiance, he will be in the hands of death.

Whose bravery shows itself in self control, he stays.

Thus there are two kinds of bravery, one is unlucky and the other is beneficial.

But who can say why one of them receives the damnation of the heaven?

This is why the wise one notices action to be difficult.

The heavenly Tao does not compete, yet it wins everything; it does not speak and yet it is skilled in answering, it does not call and yet things come easily to it.

Picture of an empty speech bubble
Silence is golden but you cannot buy it with gold nor platinum. PD by artist and uploader Anynobody

It is quiet in its course of action and its actions are fully effective.

The net of the heaven has large meshes and yet nothing slips through them.


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

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 71. The disease of ignorance

Chapter 71. The disease of ignorance

 

Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org) graphic created by EFF Senior Designer Hugh D'Andrade to illustrate EFF's work on health insurance and privacy.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org) graphic created by EFF Senior Designer Hugh D’Andrade to illustrate EFF’s work on health insurance and privacy. CC-BY 3.0 by artist and uploader Eff Graphics.

Knowing your own ignorance is the best knowledge.

Lack of such knowledge is disease.

If someone just considers it a disease, he is freed of it.

Wise one is free of this disease.

He knows what it is and is free of it.


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

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 70. The difficulty of becoming known

Chapter 70. The difficulty of becoming known

Chinese characters for "words"
单词 – Chong Wen word for words

Easy are my words to learn and easy they are to put into practice.

Yet no-one can understand or enact them into practice.

For in my words is a distant origin and in my actions the highly law.

Those who do not know it, don’t know me either.

The ones who understand me are few and they give me value.

For a wise one is externally poor but in his bosom he has a jewel.


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

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 66. Placing yourself last

Chapter 66. Placing yourself last

Image of a turqoise lake with mountaneus backdrop
PD by artist and uploader Wieschendahl.

The great streams and rivers receive tax from all rivers and streams through their lowliness: this is the reason for their greatness.

That is why a wise one wanting to rule the people talks of himself as lower than them; and wanting to be able he sets himself back-most.

Thus even if he is higher than them, they don’t feel his weight, and even if he were to go in front of them he is a hindrance to none.

That is why the whole world raises him to glory and no-one is offended by it.

Because he does not compete, he has no-one envious of him.


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

Translation: Tao Te King: Chapter 65 – Simple virtue

Chapter 65 – The simple virtue

 Illustration from Chinese book of alchemy
Scanned from “The Secret of the Golden Flower” by Richard Wilhelm and uploaded by Redheylin. PD-life-plus-70

The ancient ones who put the Tao into use, did not use it to make the people posh, but to make them simple and natural.

The difficulty of governing is due to too much statecraft.

He who tries to rule the kingdom with statecraft is only a menace to it, but whom rules without it is a blessing.

Knowing these two things is the real statecraft and following these is called the virtue of simplicity.

Deep and wide is this virtue of simplicity, and even if it is opposite to other means, it can bring about perfect order.


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

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 62. The practical Tao

Chapter 62. The practical Tao

Tao is the silent leader of all beings.

It enriches a good man and repels the evil-doer.

Its advice is always in rightly situated, its benevolence comes always when needed.

Even those who are not good it does not abandon.

Photograph of a sculpture in the Taoist Dai Temple. Apparently showing at least 4 faces on one being
Photograph of a sculpture in the Taoist Dai Temple at the foot of Mount Tai in Tai’an, Shandong Province, China. CC-BY-SA 3.o by artist and uploader Rolfmueller

That is why when an emperor sits on his throne and summons up aristocrats, not even the prince, who comes in front of him with medals and escorted by a cavalry, isn’t as worthy as he who in humbleness presents this Tao.

For why did the ancient ones hold Tao in such high value?

Is it not because it is open to all without great seeking and through it human was released from sin.

This is why it was considered the greatest treasure 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.

Tao Te King translation – Iteration II – Read in original language aided by machines and adjust –

All this is coming up after I’ve finished translating all 81 chapters and then rested and recooperated a bit so there is like 25 or so to go.

Picture of a stone statue of Laozi in Shanghai Museum
Gotta get to Shanghai to see this statue.. Also to meet my Shanghainese irc friend in person. Maybe one day.

Here be some awesome tools for learning the good ol Chongwen

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 40. Declining work

Chapter 40. Declining work

The way of the Tao goes backwards.¹

Picture of Yin yang swirls on Celtic bronze plaque from Mairy, Marne, dated to 4th century BC
Yin yang swirls on Celtic bronze plaque from Mairy, Marne, dated to 4th century BC; on display at Musée des Antiquités nationales in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. CC-BY-CA 3.0 by photographer and uploader Gun Powder Ma

Tao’s property is kindness.

Everything in the universe is because of Tao, but the existence of Tao from its inexistence.


  1. Mr. Ervast: ‘The road of Tao goes “backwards” i.e. back to itself. A human who walks the way of the Tao no longer goes “forward”, he no longer develops in the material world but detaches from it.’

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

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 35. Virtue of benevolence

Chapter 35. Virtue of benevolence

Take the great ideal of the Tao and the whole world joins with you.

A vector drawing of a statue of Laozi
CC-BY-SA 3.0 by artist Elijahmeek

It joins with you and is not offended for it gets to rest in mysterious peace.¹

Where there is celebrating, the traveling man stops.

But the Tao is bland and tasteless to the palate.

While watching it the eyes do not enjoy.

While listening to it the ear is not attached to it.

But in practice its benefit is endless.²


  1. Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (KJV)
  2. Mr. Ervast: “The force of all life and action is godliness that cannot be sensed.”

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

Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 34. The perfect state

Chapter 34. The perfect state

The great Tao pushes through all things.

Less then three. Moving on ambivalent bot.
Less than three. Moving on ambivalent bot. Copyvio by Apotheker. Work by taty1410.

It is simultaneously on this side and the other side.

All living beings are dependent on it and under it.

It works, it finishes and doesn’t know the name of merit.

In love it works and it doesn’t demand itself proficiency in it.

It doesn’t know of asking for honor nor does it know of lust.

It can be put among the lowliest of creatures.

All things return to it in the end and it does not grow through this.

It can be mentioned among the greatest of things.

Thus a wise man refrains from valuing himself highly and therefore reaches greatness.

 


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