Chapter 67

The {whole} world says, I'm Great;
Great, yet unlike [everyone else].
But it's precisely because I'm unlike [everyone else], that I'm therefore able to be Great.
Were I like [everyone else], for a long time now I'd have seemed insignificant and small.
I constantly have three treasures;
Hold on to them and treasure them.
The first is compassion;
The second is frugality;
And the third is not presuming to be at the forefront in the world.
Now, it's because I'm compassionate that I therefore can be courageous;
And it's because I'm frugal that I therefore can be magnanimous;
And it's because I don't presume to be at the forefront in the world that I therefore can be the head of those with complete talent.
Now, if you abandon this compassion and yet try to be courageous,
And if you abandon this frugality and yet try to be magnanimous,
And if you abandon this staying behind and yet go to the fore,
Then you will die.
If with compassion you attack, then you'll win;
If you defend, then you'll stand firm.
When Heaven's about to establish him,
It's as though he surrounds him with the protective wall of compassion.
Robert G. Henricks
ALL the world says that my Tao is great, but seems queer, like nothing on earth.
But it is just because my Tao is great that it is like nothing on earth!
If it were like anything on earth, how small it would have been from the very beginning!
I have Three Treasures, which I hold fast and watch over closely.
The first is Mercy.
The second is Frugality.
The third is Not Daring to Be First in the World.
Because I am merciful, therefore I can be brave.
Because I am frugal, therefore I can be generous.
Because I dare not be first, therefore I can be the chief of all vessels.
If a man wants to be brave without first being merciful, generous without first being frugal, a leader without first wishing to follow, he is only courting death!
Mercy alone can help you to win a war.
Mercy alone can help you to defend your state.
For Heaven will come to the rescue of the merciful, and protect him with its Mercy.
John C. H. Wu
The whole world says that my way is vast and resembles nothing.
It is because it is vast that it resembles nothing.
If it resembled anything, it would, long before now, have become small.
I have three treasures
Which I hold and cherish.
The first is known as compassion,
The second is known as frugality,
The third is known as not daring to take the lead in the empire;
Being compassionate one could afford to be courageous,
Being frugal one could afford to extend one's territory,
Not daring to take the lead in the empire one could afford to be lord over the vessels.
Now, to forsake compassion for courage, to forsake frugality for expansion, to forsake the rear for the lead, is sure to end in death.
Through compassion, one will triumph in attack and be impregnable in defence.
What heaven succours it protects with the gift of compassion.
D. C. Lau
All the world thinks that my Tao is great;
And yet it seems inconceivable.
Only its greatness makes it seem inconceivable.
If it could be conceived of,
It would have become insignificant long ago.
I have Three Treasures that support and protect:
The first is compassion.
The second is moderation.
The third is daring not to be first in the world.
With compassion one becomes courageous;
With moderation one becomes expansive.
In daring not to be first in the world,
One becomes the instrument of leadership.
Now if one is courageous without compassion, Or expansive without moderation,
Or first without holding back, One is doomed!
Compassion always triumphs when attacked;
It brings security when maintained.
Nature aids its leaders
By arming them with compassion.
R. L. Wing
All the people under Heaven say that my Tao is great,
But it is not like anything concrete.
Just because it is great,
It is not like anything concrete.
If it is like something concrete,
It would have been very small for long.
I have three precious things which I hold up and preserve:
The first is "tolerance";
The second is "economy";
The third is "to dare not go ahead of all the people under Heaven."
With tolerance, one can be brave;
With economy, one can be generous;
With not daring to go ahead of all the people under Heaven, one can be a leader.
Now,
seeking bravery without tolerance,
seeking generosity without economy,
and seeking precedence without retreat will only end with death.
With tolerance, one can be victorious in war or strengthen himself in defense.
When Heaven is to save a person, it will protect him through tolerance.
Ren Jiyu
Everyone under heaven says that my Tao is great and beyond compare.
Because it is great, it seems different.
If it were not different, it would have vanished long ago.
I have three treasures which I hold and keep.
The first is mercy; the second is economy;
The third is daring not to be ahead of others.
From mercy comes courage; from economy comes generosity;
From humility comes leadership.
Nowadays men shun mercy, but try to be brave;
They abandon economy, but try to be generous;
They do not believe in humility, but always try to be first.
This is certain death.
Mercy brings victory in battle and strength in defense.
It is the means by which heaven saves and guards.
Gia-fu Feng
All under heaven say that my Dao though great seems to be useless.
Exactly because it is great it seems to be useless.
If it seemed to be useful, in all likelihood
it would be small, not great.
I have three treasures that I keep and adhere to always.
The first is compassion.
The second is thrift.
The third is humility.
Because I am compassionate, I have courage.
Because I am thrifty, I am generous.
Because I am humble, my potential can be fully developed.
These days people have forgotten about compassion,
instead they are daring;
They have forgotten about thrift,
instead they are spendthrift;
They have forgotten about humility,
and they always want to be number one.
They are doomed.
He who fights a war with compassion will win the war.
He who defends with compassion will hold out against his enemy.
Heaven will help him and defend him with compassion.
Lok Sang Ho
Everyone says my DAO is so great that it does not look like anything.
I say because it is so great, it does not look like anything.
If it were like anything, it would have disappeared long ago.
I have three treasures to keep and protect:
The first is kindness, the second is thrift, and the third is not fighting to be first.
Only if you are kind, can you be brave;
Only if you are thrifty, can you be generous;
Only if you do not fight to be first, can you be a leader.
However, the people today are not kind but brave,
Are not thrifty but generous,
Are not humble but want to be leaders.
These people are destined for failure.
With kindness, when you fight, you will win; when you defend, you will be strong.
If the heavens wants to save someone, it will always give him kindness as his defense.
Xiaolin Yang
All the world avows that while my Taoism is great, it is yet incompetent!
It is its greatness which makes it appear incompetent.
If it were like others, it would long ago have been recognised as incompetent.
But I hold fast to three precious things, which also I cherish.
The first is gentleness.
The second is economy.
The third is humility.
With such gentleness I can be daring.
With such economy I can be generous.
With such humility I can be great in service, as a vessel of honour.
But in these days men forsake gentleness and become only obtrusive.
They abandon economy and become only excessive.
They relinquish humility and strive for precedence, and thus for death.
Gentleness is ever victorious in attack and secure in defence.
Therefore when Heaven would preserve a man it enfolds him with gentleness.
Walter Gorn Old
All the world says that, while my Tao is great, it yet appears to be inferior (to other systems of teaching).
Now it is just its greatness that makes it seem to be inferior.
If it were like any other (system), for long would its smallness have been known!
But I have three precious things which I prize and hold fast.
The first is gentleness;
the second is economy;
and the third is shrinking from taking precedence of others.
With that gentleness I can be bold;
with that economy I can be liberal;
shrinking from taking precedence of others, I can become a vessel of the highest honour.
Now-a-days they give up gentleness and are all for being bold;
economy, and are all for being liberal;
the hindmost place, and seek only to be foremost;
- (of all which the end is) death.
Gentleness is sure to be victorious even in battle, and firmly to maintain its ground.
Heaven will save its possessor, by his (very) gentleness protecting him.
James Legge
People throughout all beneath heaven say
my Tao is so vast it's like nothing at all.
But it's only vast because it's like nothing at all:
if it were like anything else
it would have long since become trifling.
There are three treasures
I hold and nurture:
The first is called compassion,
the second economy,
and the third never daring to lead all beneath heaven.
Courage comes of compassion, generosity comes of economy,
and commanding leadership comes of never daring to lead all beneath heaven.
But these days it's all courage without compassion, generosity without economy, and leading without following.
There's nothing but death in that.
To overcome, attack with compassion.
To stand firm, defend with compassion.
Whatever heaven sustains it shelters with compassion.
David Hinton
All under heaven say I am vast;
Vast, but resemble nothing.
It is precisely because I resemble nothing
That I can be vast.
If I had resembled anything,
Long ago I would have become tiny indeed.
I constantly have three treasures
Which I uphold and value:
First, compassion;
Second, frugality;
Third, not daring to precede all under heaven.
Being compassionate,
I can be courageous;
Being frugal,
I can be all-embracing;
Not daring to precede all under heaven,
I can serve as
Head of the great vessels.
Now, if I had abandoned compassion and chosen courage,
Abandoned frugality and chosen all-embracingness;
Abandoned the back and chosen the front,
It would have been the death of me.
For compassion, used in battle,
Will bring you victory;
Used in defence,
Will make you impregnable.
When heaven is about to establish someone,
It seems to wall him up with compassion.
Chichung Huang
All under heaven say that my Tao is great,
That it seems useless (pu hsiao).
Because it is great,
Therefore it seems useless.
If it were useful,
It would have long been small.
I have three treasures (pao),
To hold and to keep:
The first is motherly love (tz'u),
The second is frugality (chien),
The third is daring not be at the world's front.
With motherly love one can be courageous,
With frugality one can be wide reaching,
Daring not be at the world's front,
One can grow to a full vessel (ch'i).
Now to discard motherly love, yet to be courageous,
To discard frugality, yet to be wide reaching,
To discard staying behind, yet to be at the front,
One dies!
One with motherly love is victorious in battle,
Invulnerable in defense.
When Heaven wills to save a people,
It guards them with motherly love.
Ellen M. Chen
People in this world often complained: either that my theory was big and empty, or worse than that it does not appear to be about anything significant;
It is just because I discussed matters of great importance that it was difficult for [ordinary people] to comprehend its outline;
If its contents is familiar to [any kind of those superficial] discourses people were accustomed to, [then they could pick it up lightheartedly and argue about it frivolously];
Before long, the meaning [of my theory] will be shifted [to satisfy their flippancy] that it will end up to be [nothing more than] trivial talks too!
I have three pieces of treasure which I maintain steadily;
The first one is compassion;
The second one is frugality;
The third one is "I would never dare to consider myself the first priority of the world." (I will always be selfless and humble).
Through being compassionate, a person will be brave;
Through being frugal, a person can [retain enough] to expand;
Through being selfless and humble, a person will complete [the proper development] to be an [authentic] leader of people;
Nowadays, leaders abandon compassion yet demand bravery from people;
They neglect the practice of frugality, yet seek expansion;
They discard humility, yet strive to lead the world.
All these performances are heading for end (death of their nation)!
Soldiers, who march to the battlefield with compassion in their hearts, will win the fight;
People, who stay behind to defend with compassion in their hearts, will resist [the aggression] firmly;
If Heaven will save a country, it will bestow its people with compassion in their hearts to protect it.
Lee Sun Chen Org
All the world says that my Way is great, but seems queer, like nothing on earth.
But it is just because my Way is great that it is like nothing on earth.
If it were like anything on earth, it would have been small from the very beginning.
I have three treasures, which I hold fast and watch over closely.
The first is compassion; the second is frugality; the third is not daring to be first in the world.
Being compassionate, I can be brave; being frugal, I can be generous; daring not be first, I can be the chief.
If a man forsakes compassion for courage, forsakes frugality for expansiveness, forsakes the rear position for front position, he is only courting death!
Compassionate to engage in war, one wins; in defense, one is secure.
When Heaven wants to help a man, it takes compassion to protect him.
Tien Cong Tran
People in the world say to me that Tao is great but it resembles nothing.
It is because of the greatness that nothing is like it.
If it were similar to anything, it would have turned trivial long ago.
I have three great treasures - Hold and maintain them.
The first is kindness.
The second is frugality.
The third is the reluctance to be prestigious in the world.
Being kind, one can have courage.
Being frugal, one can grow wide.
Reluctance to be prestigious, one can become the leader.
If one is courageous without kindness, expanding without frugality, and prestigious without modesty, he is doomed to fail.
With kindness, one would win in war, and be secure in defense.
When heaven come to rescue, it guards by using kindness.
Thomas Z. Zhang
Every one under heaven says that our Way is greatly like folly.
But it is just because it is great, that it seems like folly.
As for things that do not seem like folly -
well, there can be no question about their smallness!
Here are my three treasures.
Guard and keep them!
The first is pity; the second, frugality; the third: refusal to be 'foremost of all things under heaven'.
For only he that pities is truly able to be brave;
Only he that is frugal is truly able to be profuse;
Only he that refuses to be foremost of all things
Is truly able to become chief of all Ministers.
At present your bravery is not based on pity, nor your profusion on frugality, nor your vanguard on your rear; and this is death.
But pity cannot fight without conquering or guard without saving.
Heaven arms with pity those whom it would not see destroyed.
Arthur Waley
All under Heaven say that my Dao is great but seems to have no likeness [buxiao].
The reason why it seems to have no likeness is that greatness is its only attribute.
If it had a likeness, all this time it would have been insignificant!
I have three treasures, which I hold tight and protect.
The first is called "kindness," the second "frugality," and the third is "no presumption that I am first among all under Heaven."
It is thanks to kindness that one can be brave.
It is thanks to frugality that one can be generous.
It is by not presuming to be first among all under Heaven that one can make one's ready device last long.
Now, if one abandons kindness and takes bravery, abandons frugality and takes generosity, and abandons the back and takes first place, such a one will die!
Thanks to kindness, when one takes the field, he is victorious, and, when he takes a defensive position, he holds firm, for it is Heaven that will save him by protecting him with guards of kindness.
Richard John Lynn
All the world says:
My teaching (Tao) greatly resembles folly.
Because it is great; therefore it resembles folly.
If it did not resemble folly,
It would have long ago become petty indeed!
I have Three Treasures;
Guard them and keep them safe:
The first is Love.
The second is, never too much.
The third is, never be the first in the world.
Through Love, one has no fear;
Through not doing too much, one has amplitude (of reserve power);
Through not presuming to be the first in the world, one can develop one's talent and let it mature.
If one forsakes love and fearlessness, forsakes restraint and reserve power, forsakes following behind and rushes in front,
He is doomed!
For love is victorious in attack,
And invulnerable in defense.
Heaven arms with love
Those it would not see destroyed.
Lin Yutang
All under heaven say that I am great, great but unconventional.
Now,
Precisely because I am unconventional,
I can be great;
If I were conventional,
I would long since have become a trifle.
I have always possessed three treasures that I guard and cherish.
The first is compassion,
The second is frugality,
The third is not daring to be ahead of all under heaven.
Now,
Because I am compassionate, I can be brave;
Because I am frugal, I can be magnanimous;
Because I dare not be ahead of all under heaven, I can be a leader in the completion of affairs.
If, today, I were to
Be courageous while forsaking compassion,
Be magnanimous while forsaking frugality,
Get ahead while forsaking the hindmost,
that would be death!
For compassion
In war brings victory,
In defense brings invulnerability.
Whomsoever heaven would establish,
It surrounds with a bulwark of compassion.
Victor H. Mair
Everyone under heaven says my Tao is great and resembles nothing else.
It is because it is great that it seems different.
If it were like anything on earth
it would have been small from the beginning.
I have three treasures that I cherish and hold fast.
The first is gentleness,
the second is simplicity,
the third is daring not to be first among all things under heaven.
Because of gentleness I am able to be courageous.
Because of simplicity I am able to be generous.
Because of daring not to be first I am able to lead.
If people
forsake gentleness and attempt to be courageous,
forsake simplicity and attempt to be generous,
forsake the last place and attempt to get the first place,
this is certain death.
Gentleness conquers in battle and protects in defense.
What heaven guards, it arms with the gift of gentleness.
Tolbert McCarroll
People in the world say that my Direction is grand as if without a referent.
It is because it is grand that Direction is without a referent.
Were it capable of being referenced, it would not be grand.
I have three treasures - embrace and safeguard them.
One, affection.
Two, restraint.
Three, daring not to be at the front of [the people] of the world.
With affection, one becomes courageous;
With restraint, one becomes tolerant;
Daring not to be at the front of the world, one is at the head.
One courts death if one
forsakes affection for courage,
forsakes restraint for tolerance,
forsakes humility for prominence.
With affection,
in war, one wins;
in defense, strengthens.
When cosmos comes to the rescue, it shields with affection.
David H. Li
People say that my Tao is too immense and beyond compare.
However, because it is so immense, it is so different.
If it were not so different,
It would long ago have been reduced to something insignificant.
There are three treasures that I hold and cherish:
The first is tenderheartedness.
The second is thrift.
The third is daring not to be first in the world.
From tenderheartedness comes courage.
From thrift comes generosity.
From humility comes leadership.
If you try to be courageous without being tenderhearted,
If you try to be generous without being thrifty,
If you try to be a leader without learning humility,
You are courting your own self-destruction.
Venture with tenderheartedness and you will win the battle.
Defend with tenderheartedness and you will be invulnerable.
For tenderheartedness is the way Heaven guards you for your inner protection.
Yasuhiko Genku Kimura
What the Tao is to the world,
So the streams and valleys are to the rivers and seas.
Rivers and seas can be like kings to all the streams and valleys
Since the former can lower themselves before the latter.
Thus they are the kings of all the streams and valleys.
Therefore the sage, in order to be above the people,
Must lower himself before them in words,
And in order to head the people,
He must place himself behind them in body.
Thus, when he is above the people, the people do not suffer at his hand,
When he is at the head of the people, the people are not held back by him.
Therefore the whole world wants to carry him on its shoulders
And never tires of him.
He competes with nobody,
And therefore nobody competes with him.
Chou-Wing Chohan
I have three priceless treasures:
The first is Compassion
The second, thrift
And the third is that I never want to be ahead of you.
If I have compassion, you will die for me.
I know that.
If I waste nothing, I can give myself to you all -
And if I don't seem perfect, then you'll trust me to lead you.
These days people scorn compassion.
They try to be tough.
They spend all they have, and yet want to be generous.
They despise humility, and want to be the best.
I tell you that way is Death's.
If you have loved your people, you will know it
they will fight tooth and nail for you in attack or defence.
This is the protection of Heaven, and your harvest.
Man-Ho Kwok
The whole world says that my Tao is great,
Resembling nothing concrete,
Resembling nothing concrete,
Just because it is great.
If it resembled anything concrete,
It would have long become minute.
I have three magic weapons
Which I hold and treasure:
The first is mercy;
The second is thrift;
The third is unwillingness to take the lead in the world.
Being merciful, one can be brave;
Being thrifty, one can be generous;
Being unwilling to take the lead in the world, one can become the leader of the world.
Now seeking bravery by giving up mercy,
Seeking generosity by giving up thrift,
Seeking advance by giving up retreat,
One is bound to end in death.
Being merciful, one will triumph in the offensive
And be impregnable in defense.
If heaven wants to save one,
It must save him with mercy.
Gu Zhengkun
The whole world says that the Tao is great, and that it seems without form.
It is great - that is why it has no form.
It has existed for a long time, and can also seem small.
I have three treasures that I keep and protect:
the first is goodheartedness,
the second is frugality,
the third is not daring to take the lead.
Only goodheartedness can bring courage.
Only frugality can bring generosity.
Not daring to take the lead can bring leadership.
Now to give up goodheartedness for courage, frugality for generosity, the rear for the lead,
will surely lead to the end.
Goodheartedness in battle will lead to victory,
and defence will strengthen the territory.
Heaven will save the one who follows this and guard him with goodheartedness.
Chao-Hsiu Chen
It is said that my Way is the biggest
And nothing could be like it.
Because it is the biggest,
There can be nothing like it.
If there were anything like it,
It wouldn't have been the Way.
I have three things to keep it:
One is motherly love; one is frugality,
And one is the courage to lag behind.
Cherishing motherly love, one can be the bravest.
Being frugal, one can give the most.
Lagging behind, one can grow to the fullest.
The absurdity of today is this:
Foolhardiness is preferred more than motherly love;
Wastefulness preferred more than frugality;
Front positions preferred more than growing to the fullest.
The result can be nothing other than death!
Cherishing motherly love,
An army is invincible,
And unconquerable,
Because it is protected by Heaven with love.
Liu Qixuan
All the people in the world would say that my Tao is too great and that there is nothing similar to compare it with.
Now it is just because of its greatness that nothing similar can be compared with it.
If anything can be found similar to it, for long its smallness has been known.
At the same time, there are three precious things which I prize and hold fast.
The first is charity;
the second is economy;
and the third is shrinking from being the first of the world.
With that charity I can be bold.
With that economy I can be liberal.
Shrinking from being the first of the world, I can become a vessel of the highest value.
Present day kings give up charity, and are all for being bold;
give up economy, and are all for being liberal;
give up following behind, and rush in front;
of which the end is death.
For the result of using charity in battle is sure to be victory,
and firm maintenance of its ground in defense.
Heaven will save its possessor, his charitable attribute will protect him.
Shi Fu Hwang
All the world says to me:
'Great as Tao is, it resembles no description (form).'
Because it is great, therefore it resembles no description.
If it resembled any description it would have long since become small.
I have three treasures, which I hold and keep safe:
The first is called love;
The second is called moderation;
The third is called not venturing to go ahead of the world.
Being loving, one can be brave;
Being moderate, one can be ample;
Not venturing to go ahead of the world, one can be the chief of all officials.
Instead of love, one has only bravery;
Instead of moderation, one has only amplitude;
Instead of keeping behind, one goes ahead:
These lead to nothing but death.
For he who fights with love will win the battle;
He who defends with love will be secure.
Heaven will save him, and protect him with love.
Ch’u Ta-Kao
The whole world says that
My Tao is great but seems to resemble nothing.
Because it is great, it seems to resemble nothing.
If resembling anything, it would have become small long ago.
I have three treasures
To be kept and treasured;
One is compassion.
The second is thriftiness.
The third is not daring to be ahead of the world.
Through compassion, one can be brave.
Through thriftiness, one can be expansive.
Not daring to be ahead of the world,
One can be the master of the vessels.
Now to abandon compassion and to be brave,
To abandon thriftiness and to be expansive,
To abandon the rear and to be in front -
That means death!
Compassion, in attack, will bring victory;
In defense, it will hold firmly.
When heaven is going to save a person,
It will protect him with compassion.
Paul J. Lin
Everyone in the world says of me:
'Great - but doesn't seem normal'.
It's just 'greatness' -
that's why it does not seem normal.
If I were normal, I'd have been of little worth for a long time now.
I have three treasures,
I protect and keep hold of them.
The first is called 'gentleness',
the second is called 'frugality',
the third is called 'not presuming to act like leader of the world'.
Gentle, so able to be bold;
frugal, so able to be lavish;
not presuming to act like leader of the world, so able to become head of a government.
Now:
To be bold without being gentle,
to be lavish without being frugal,
to act like leader without putting oneself last:
This is death.
Yes, gentleness:
"Attack with it and you will win,
defend with it and you will stand firm."
When Heaven wants to rescue someone,
it surrounds him with a wall of gentleness.
Michael LaFargue
The world thinks that Truth which I describe is so great that it seems unreal.
It seems unreal because it is indeed so great.
If it were considered real, then it must be small.
There are three treasures which I cherish as the most precious.
The first is compassion.
The second is frugality.
The third is humility.
Because of compassion, there is courage.
Because of frugality, there is liberality.
Because of humility, there is supremacy.
Perdition will be the lot of those who choose courage, and abandon compassion;
who choose liberality, and abandon frugality;
who choose supremacy, and abandon humility.
When there is compassion, one can be victorious in an offensive war, and hold his position in a defensive war.
Because of the compassion of such a man, Heaven will deliver and protect him.
Cheng Lin
All the world says that my Way is too great to be like a thing.
It alone is great; so, it seems like no thing.
If it were like a thing, it would be already small.
I have three treasures to be kept and protected:
The first is called compassion;
The second is called thrift;
The third is called not daring to be ahead of the world.
Compassionate, one can be brave;
Thrifty, one can be expansive;
Not daring to be ahead of the world, one is able to be the leader.
Now,
Bravery without compassion,
Expansiveness without thrift,
Going ahead without retreat,
Is fatal.
Compassion,
In war, will result in victory;
In defense, will result in holding firm.
When Heaven is going to save someone,
It protects him with compassion.
Yi Wu
Everyone says that Dao is so huge that it does not resemble anything we know.
As it is so phenomenally huge, it becomes incomparable.
If it does remotely resemble something on earth, then with the passage of time, its uniqueness will evaporate and gradually become inconsequential.
I steadfastly hold on to my three treasures.
These are compassion, frugality and humility.
With compassion, I can arouse real courage from my subordinates.
With frugality, I would enjoy popular support.
With humility, I become the natural leader.
Let us examine the following scenarios.
Demanding bravery from the subjects without showing compassion towards them,
Expecting popular support without dispensing benefits,
And wanting to become the leader without exhibiting humility.
These are negative attributes that will lead to self-destruction.
By applying compassion in war, you will be triumphant in attack and invincible in defence.
When Providence wants to save a nation,
It does so by bestowing great compassion to its leader.
Han Hiong Tan
The world may say that the subtle Way of the universe which I describe is great,
but that it has little bearing on worldly life.
Truly, it is just that it is not definable, like the small ways of the world, thus it is indeed great.
There are three treasures which I embrace and follow closely:
the first is to be kind;
the second is to be simple;
the third is to not put one's own importance first in the world.
Because kindness and compassion can produce courage,
simplicity can thus be broadened to contain the world.
By not putting your own importance first in worldly affairs,
you will not impede the natural growth of all things.
If a person endeavors to be brave without first being kind,
great purposed, without first simplifying his life,
an authority, without first denying himself,
he cannot evolve freely from strife, and is only courting destruction.
Kindness can help to win a war.
Kindness can help to defend a fortification.
Kindness will invite the corresponding energy of kindness from Heaven through all the divine beings who support and protect.
Hua-Ching Ni
The world says that I am beyond determination
And cannot be identified with anything.
It is because I am beyond determination that I cannot be identified with anything.
If I could be identified with anything,
I would no longer be beyond determination.
There are three essentials that I value and maintain:
One is compassion (tz'u),
Another is renunciation (ch'ien),
The third is never longing to be first in the world.
One who is compassionate is able to be valiant.
One who renounces is able to broaden one's self.
One who never longs to be first in the world
Is able to achieve the full growth of his capacity.
In the present day, people wish to be valiant,
But they are not compassionate.
They wish to broaden their selves,
But they do not renounce.
They wish to achieve the full growth of their capacities,
But they long to be first in the world.
This indeed leads to death.
Through compassion, engaging in war, one wins.
In self-defense, one is very well protected.
This type of person is saved by heaven.
Because he is compassionate, he is taken care of well.
Chang Chung-yuan
All the world says I am great
But rather odd and different from the ordinary.
Be it noted that greatness itself is the very reason
Why it appears rather odd and different from the ordinary.
If it had resembled the ordinary,
It would have become pettiness long ago.
I have three treasures.
Keep them and treasure them.
The first is compassion;
The second is frugality;
The third is:
Dare not be first in the world.
Because compassionate, a person can be courageous;
Because frugal, he can expand his scope;
Because he dare not be first in the world, he can develop his gifts of leadership.
Nowadays people are courageous without compassion,
Expand their scope without frugality,
And assume leadership without being humble.
They are doomed!
Compassion is invincible in offense,
And in defense invulnerable.
When Heaven wants to deliver a person from harm,
It grants him compassion as a protective charm.
Henry Wei
All under Heaven says that
My Tao is great yet doesn't look like it [Tao].
Truly, because it is great,
It doesn't look like it.
If it did,
It would have turned out a petty one long ago.
I have three treasures.
I hold and cherish them.
The first is called mercifulness;
The second, frugality;
The third, refusal to be ahead of all under Heaven.
Being merciful, you can therefore be brave;
Being frugal, you can therefore be liberal;
Refusing to be ahead of all under Heaven,
You can therefore become the leader of the vessels.
Now, to be brave, forsaking mercifulness,
To be liberal, forsaking frugality,
To be ahead, forsaking being behind
Is death.
With mercifulness -
If you fight, you will be triumphant,
If you defend, you will be invincible.
Whatever Heaven is about to save
Heaven will protect it with mercifulness.
Ha Poong Kim
Everyone in the world says I am great, great without parallel.
Being without parallel is what enables greatness.
If there is a long-standing parallel, it becomes small.
I always have three treasures:
First is compassion.
Second is frugality.
Third is to not dare act in front of the world.
So compassion enables courage.
Frugality enables abundance.
Not daring to act in front of the world enables the mechanism to endure.
Today there is courage without compassion.
There is abundance without frugality.
There is appearance alone without substance.
This means no-life.
Through compassion: fight and win, defend and be secure.
When the heaven establishes itself, it always relies upon compassion.
Tao Huang
All in the world may think that Dao is unlike to be so superior, that nothing in the world can compare to it.
If it were comparable to anything, it would be inferior.
If it is not superior, it would not be Dao.
I have three treasured strategies to which I hold fast and embrace them all:
the first is Mercy;
the second is Economy of Force;
and the third is Dare Not to Take Initiative Before the World.
Because of Mercy, one can be courageous.
Because of Economy of Force, one can have superior force.
Because of Dare Not To Take Initiative Before the World, one can be the master of instruments.
Alas!
Nowadays, rulers want to be brave without being merciful;
want to have superior force without knowing economy of force;
and want to take initiative without being able to be resistant.
They will surely die in the war.
Mercy helps one to win when on the offensive;
to consolidate when on the defensive.
If one guides oneself by mercy Heavens will protect him.
Tang Zi-chang
All the world says that my Tao is great and does not seem to resemble (the ordinary).
It is precisely because it is great that it does not resemble (the ordinary).
If it did resemble, it would have been small for a long time.
I have three treasures.
Guard and keep them:
The first is deep love,
The second is frugality,
And the third is not to dare to be ahead of the world.
Because of deep love, one is courageous.
Because of frugality, one is generous.
Because of not daring to be ahead of the world, one becomes the leader of the world.
Now, to be courageous by forsaking deep love,
To be generous by forsaking frugality,
And to be ahead of the world by forsaking following behind -
This is fatal.
For deep love helps one to win in the case of attack,
And to be firm in the case of defense.
When Heaven is to save a person,
Heaven will protect him through deep love.
Wing-tsit Chan