The Book of the Right Way of Laozi – 57


By order the state governs the nation.
By disorder the military exercises power.
But everything that occurs comes out of nothing.
How do I know that this is true?
By this!

The more you restrict them, the more the people are impoverished.
The more sophisticated, the more muddle-headed the people become.
The more technicians there are with their inventions and their innovations, the more the people suffer.
The more laws are made, the more criminals appear.

Therefore, the sage says:
Do not act, and the people will transform themselves.
Love stillness, and the people will govern themselves.
Do not toil, and the people will be rich.
Desire nothing, and the people’s lives will be easy.


1 because even rule state

2 because odd use army

3 because no-matter use heaven under

4 I why because know it right?

5 because this!

6 many under many taboo avoid mentioning yet people full poor

7 people many advantage device country home this muddle-headed

8 man many craft skilful odd thing weep rise

9 law make this manifest steal thief many be

10 therefore holy man say

11 I not act but people self make

12 I fond of quiet yet people self upright

13 I not work yet people self rich

14 I not desire yet people self simple