六十一

大國者下流,
天下之交也,
天下之牝。
牝常以靜勝牡,
以靜為下。
故大國 以下小國,
則取小國﹔小國以下大國,
則取大國。
故或下以取,
或下而取 。
大國不過欲兼畜人,
小國不過欲入事人。
夫兩者各得所欲,
大者宜為下 。

liù shí yī

dà guó zhĕ xià liú
tiān xià zhī jiāo yĕ
tiān xià zhī pìn
pìn cháng yĭ jìng shèng mŭ
yĭ jìng wéi xià
gù dà guó yĭ xià xiăo guó
zé qŭ xiăo guó ; xiăo guó yĭ xià dà guó
zé qŭ dà guó
gù huò xià yĭ qŭ
huò xià ér qŭ
dà guó bù guò yù jiān chù rén
xiăo guó bù guò yù rù shì rén
fū liăng zhĕ gè de5 suŏ yù
dà zhĕ yí wéi xià

61

When a country obtains great power,
it becomes like the sea:
all streams run downward into it.
The more powerful it grows,
the greater the need for humility.
Humility means trusting the Tao,
thus never needing to be defensive.

A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his enemy
as the shadow that he himself casts.

If a nation is centered in the Tao,
if it nourishes its own people
and doesn't meddle in the affairs of others,
it will be a light to all nations in the world.