四十一

上士聞道,
勤而行之﹔中士聞道,
若存若亡﹔下士聞道,
大笑之。
不笑不 足以為道。
故建言有之:明道若昧﹔進道若退﹔夷道若纇﹔上德若谷﹔大 白若辱﹔廣德若不足﹔建德若偷﹔質真若渝﹔大方無隅﹔大器晚成﹔大音 希聲﹔大象無形﹔道隱無名。
夫唯道,
善貸且成。

sì shí yī

shàng shì wén dào
qín ér xíng zhī ; zhōng shì wén dào
ruò cún ruò wáng ; xià shì wén dào
dà xiào zhī
bù xiào bù zú yĭ wéi dào
gù jiàn yán yŏu zhī míng dào ruò mèi ; jìn dào ruò tuì ; yí dào ruò lèi ; shàng dé ruò gŭ ; dà bái ruò rŭ ; guăng dé ruò bù zú ; jiàn dé ruò tōu ; zhí zhēn ruò yú ; dà fāng wú yú ; dà qì wăn chéng ; dà yīn xī shēng ; dà xiàng wú xíng ; dào yĭn wú míng
fū wéi dào
shàn dài qiĕ chéng

41

When a superior man hears of the Tao,
he immediately begins to embody it.
When an average man hears of the Tao,
he half believes it, half doubts it.
When a foolish man hears of the Tao,
he laughs out loud.
If he didn't laugh,
it wouldn't be the Tao.

Thus it is said:
The path into the light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished,
true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure,
the greatest art seems unsophisticated,
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.

The Tao is nowhere to be found.
Yet it nourishes and completes all things.