THE TAO TEH KING, OR THE TAO AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS

a nice rainbow header

☯ The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao ☯

a nice rainbow header by Lao-Tse
Translated by James Legge

Book 2

Chapter 80

(1) In a little state with a small population, I would so order it, that, though there were individuals with the abilities of ten or a hundred men, there should be no employment of them; I would make the people, while looking on death as a grievous thing, yet not remove elsewhere (to avoid it).

(2) Though they had boats and carriages, they should have no occasion to ride in them; though they had buff coats and sharp weapons, they should have no occasion to don or use them.

(3) I would make the people return to the use of knotted cords (instead of the written characters).

(4) They should think their (coarse) food sweet; their (plain) clothes beautiful; their (poor) dwellings places of rest; and their common (simple) ways sources of enjoyment.

(5) There should be a neighbouring state within sight, and the voices of the fowls and dogs should be heard all the way from it to us, but I would make the people to old age, even to death, not have any intercourse with it.