Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chapter 10, Part 3A - Chuang Tzu

The saying goes, "The fish should not be taken from the deep pool; the sharp weapons of the state should not be shown to men." The sage is the sharp weapon of the world, and therefore he should not be where the world can see him.

Cut off sageliness, cast away wisdom, and then the great thieves will cease. Break the jades, crush the pearls, and petty thieves will no longer rise up. Burn the tallies, shatter the seals, and the people will be simple and guileless. Hack up the bushels, snap the balances in two, and the people will no longer wrangle. Destroy and wipe out the laws that the sage has made for the world, and at last you will find you can reason with the people.
~ Burton Watson translation via Terebess Asia Online ~
Go here to read the introductory post to the chapters of the Book of Chuang Tzu.


  1. Stephen Mitchell's translation goes like this:

    Throw away holiness and wisdom,and people will be a hundred times happier.Throw away morality and justice,and people will do the right thing.Throw away industry and profit,and there won't be any thieves.

    I am not sure if Paul the apostle's words have some sort of a hidden parallel but here are his:
    Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.


Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.