三十八

上德不德,
是以有德﹔下德不失德,
是以無德。
上德無為而無以為﹔下德 無為而有以為。
上仁為之而無以為﹔上義為之而有以為。
上禮為之而莫之 應,
則攘臂而扔之。
故失道而后德,
失德而后仁,
失仁而后義,
失義而后 禮。
夫禮者,
忠信之薄,
而亂之首。
前識者,
道之華,
而愚之始。
是以大 丈夫處其厚,
不居其薄﹔處其實,
不居其華。
故去彼取此。

sān shí bā

shàng dé bù dé
shì yĭ yŏu dé ; xià dé bù shī dé
shì yĭ wú dé
shàng dé wú wéi ér wú yĭ wéi ; xià dé wú wéi ér yŏu yĭ wéi
shàng rén wéi zhī ér wú yĭ wéi ; shàng yì wéi zhī ér yŏu yĭ wéi
shàng lĭ wéi zhī ér mò zhī yìng
zé ráng bèi ér rĕng zhī
gù shī dào ér hòu dé
shī dé ér hòu rén
shī rén ér hòu yì
shī yì ér hòu lĭ
fū lĭ zhĕ
zhōng xìn zhī bó
ér luàn zhī shŏu
qián shí zhĕ
dào zhī huá
ér yú zhī shĭ
shì yĭ dà zhàng fū chŭ qí hòu
bù jū qí bó ; chŭ qí shí
bù jū qí huá
gù qù bĭ qŭ cĭ

38

The Master doesn't try to be powerful;
thus he is truly powerful.
The ordinary man keeps reaching for power;
thus he never has enough.

The Master does nothing,
yet he leaves nothing undone.
The ordinary man is always doing things,
yet many more are left to be done.

The kind man does something,
yet something remains undone.
The just man does something,
and leaves many things to be done.
The moral man does something,
and when no one responds
he rolls up his sleeves and uses force.

When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is morality.
When morality is lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the husk of true faith,
the beginning of chaos.

Therefore the Master concerns himself
with the depths and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower.
He has no will of his own.
He dwells in reality,
and lets all illusions go.