and that small states, by abasing themselves to a great state, win it over to them.These two lines suggest to me the art of reverse psychology -- convincing someone in power willingly to do the opposite of their intention.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
And if a small country submits to a great country,
It can conquer the great country.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
If the small country is lower than the large country
Then it can be taken by the large country
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
If you submit to someone
more powerful than yourself,
you create an opportunity
to get your own way.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
In all honesty, however, this is one of the few verses in the TTC I wrestle with. I'm not altogether sure of what it means!
To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.