title: Tao Te Ching 3 - Practice not-doing and everything will fall into place

Book - Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu

Stephen Mitchell Translation

If you overesteem great men, people become powerless. If you overvalue possessions, people begin to steal1.

The Master leads by emptying people’s minds and filling their cores, by weakening their ambition2 and toughening their resolve. He helps people lose everything they know, everything they desire3, and creates confusion in those who think that they know4.

Practice not-doing5, and everything will fall into place.

1: avoid greed and compulsive consumption The Middle Path 2: Ambition 3: happiness is the absence of desire 4: Embrace Uncertainty | epistemic humility 5: Wu Wei, go with the flow

Other translations I like

- Stephen Addiss & Stanley Lombardo

Don’t glorify heroes, And people will not contend. Don’t treasure rare objects, And no one will steal. Don’t display what people desire, And their hearts will not be disturbed. Therefore, the Sage rules By emptying hearts and filling bellies, By weakening ambitions and strengthening bones; Leads people Away from knowing and wanting; Deters those who know too much From going too far: Practices non-action And the natural order is not disrupted.