The Book of the Right Way of Laozi – 42


The way begets one.
One begets two.
Two begets three.
Three begets everything.
Everything is burdened by suffering, yet clings to strength.
Life is strengthened by the harmonization of the two.
People hate it
When they see the impoverishment of the impoverished,
Yet the rulers claim to serve the people.
Therefore, what seems destructive may be beneficial
And what seems beneficial may be destructive.
This is what the people say,
And I say the same.
Therefore, the man who seeks power
Will come to a bad end.
I will make this my basic teaching.



Literal rendering:

1 method births single
2 single births double
3 double births triple
4 triple births 10,000 things
5 10,000 things bear dark on back, yet hold light in arms
6 strong vital breath by be harmony

7 people it actually hate
8 yes lonely
9 widowed
10 not grain
11 yet king public use be suitable

12 reason thing maybe damage maybe it yet increase
13 maybe increase it yet damage
14 people it actually teach
15 I myself also teach it

16 strength beam person not get their die
17 I will use be teach father.