|titles||-||The Placid and Contented Nature (JL)
Easy by nature (UKLG)
|rhyming lines||-||4-10 (DCL)|
|general||-||the importance of not striving to get on top or to the fore,
water being the Taoist symbol for the unassertive (AW);
water commonly used as an illustration of the way (JL)
|related chapters||-||66 (lines 1-3)
|1.||The highest good is like water.||
The highest excellence... (JL)
True goodness... (UKLG)
|2.||Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.||
Water is good at benefitting...
...without contending (DCL)
...and yet it [does not] compete [with them]. (RGH)
...and does not scramble, (AW)
Water is a pattern and example to the ten thousand things. (AW)
|3.||It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.||
...settles where none would like to be
It dwells in places the masses of people detest (RGH)
...and in its occupying the low place which all men dislike. (JL)
To the Confucians, the low ground (where water collects) is the collecting place of all the impurities under heaven, and therefore it is the symbol of iniquity. To the Taoists the low ground is the dwelling place of the Tao.
(see chapter 6: The valley spirit) (AW)
|4.||In dwelling, be close to the land.||
The excellence of a residence is in (the suitability) of
the place; (JL)
For a house, the good thing is level ground. (UKLG)
|4-10.||In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ..., the good thing is ...
In ... it is ... that matters (DCL)
In ..., know how to ... (JCHW)
The excellence of...is in... (JL)
|5.||In meditation, go deep in the heart.||
In the mind, the good thing is depth.
...that of the mind is in abysmal stillness; (JL)
|6.||In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.||
In an ally it is benevolence that matters.
In giving the good thing is being like Heaven. (RGH)
...that of associations is in their being with the virtuous; (JL)
|8.||In ruling, be just.||...in government, good order (AW) (sim DCL, JCHW, RGH, JL, UKLG)|
|9.||In business, be competent.||
In affairs... ability
In transacting business, know how to be efficient. (JCHW)
|10.||In action, watch the timing.||In activity... timeliness (DCL, RGH)|
|11.||No fight: No blame.||
It is only because it does not compete, that therefore it
is without fault. (RGH)
If you do not strive with others... (JCHW)
And when (one with the highest excellence) does not wrangle (about his low position), no one finds fault with him (JL)
(line 4: And if men think...) ...In each case it is because they prefer what does not lead to strife, And therefore does not go amiss. (AW)