Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 67


天下皆謂我道大,似不肖。
夫唯大,故似不肖。
若肖久矣。
其細也夫!
我有三寶,持而保之。
一曰慈,二曰儉,三曰不敢為天下先。
慈故能勇;儉故能廣;不敢為天下先,故能成器長。
今舍慈且勇;舍儉且廣;舍後且先;死矣!
夫慈以戰則勝,以守則固。
天將救之,以慈衛之。
Everyone in the world calls my Tao great
As if it is beyond compare

It is only because of its greatness
That it seems beyond compare
If it can be compared
It would already be insignificant long ago

I have three treasures
I hold on to them and protect them

The first is called compassion
The second is called conservation
The third is called not daring to be ahead in the world

Compassionate, thus able to have courage
Conserving, thus able to reach widely
Not daring to be ahead in the world
Thus able to assume leadership

Now if one has courage but discards compassion
Reaches widely but discards conservation
Goes ahead but discards being behind
Then death!

If one fights with compassion, then victory
With defense, then security

Heaven shall save them
And with compassion guard them
(Translated by Derek Lin, 1994)

People all over the world say that Lao Tzu speaks of the “tao” grand as if it is not a specific thing. Because it’s grand, it’s not like something concrete. If it looks like it, then the “tao” is already small and becomes insignificant.

Lao Tzu has three treasures that he holds and cherishes: one is called compassion, the second is conservation, and the third is not to be seen above and ahead of the others.

Because of compassion, we can be brave and courageous. Because conservation, we can be broad and reach far; Because of daring not to put our interests ahead of the world, we can be the leaders of all things.

Without three treasures, it will result in death. Compassion brings victory in battle and strength in defense. It is the means by which heaven saves and guards.

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