The Book of the Right Way of Laozi – 64


Undistracted, it is easy to have a steady hand.
When there are no omens it is easy to scheme.
What is brittle is easily melted.
What is small is easily scattered.
Act without attachment,
Govern without disorder.
Every tree began as a single seed.
A nine-storey tower began as a heap of dust.
One thousand neighbourhoods began as open ground.
He who wins, loses (his winnings).
He who grasps, loses (his grip).

Truly, because the sage
Does not act, therefore he cannot be defeated.
He does not grasp, therefore he cannot be dispossessed.
People in conducting their business almost succeed, then fail.
If they were to exercise the same caution at the end as at the beginning, then they would not fail in their business.
Truly, because the sage
Desires (to be) without desire,
He does not covet valuable things hard to find.
Intuitively wise,
He restores the people to their original state,
Healing the world without revolution.


1 such quiet easy grasp

2 such not omen easy scheme

3 such brittle easy melt

4 such tiny easy scatter

5 act it in regard to not having

6 manage it in regard to not disorder

7 one carry it tree grow

8 nine stories it your rise accumulate earth

9 1000 miles it travel begin in regard to foot under

10 act person defeated it

11 grasp person lose it

12 yes because holy man

13 not act therefore not defeat

14 bit grasp therefore not lose

15 people it step by step work always in regard to almost finish yet defeat it

16 cautious end such as begin follow

17 yes because holy man

18 desire not desire

19 not precious difficult get it money

20 study not study

21 return multitude person it place pass

22 because assist 10,000 thing it naturally correct yet not dare act