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古之善为道者,非以明民,将以愚之。民之难治,以其智多。故以智治国,国之贼;不以智治国,国之福。知此两者亦稽式。常知稽式,是谓玄德。玄德深矣,远矣,与物反矣,然后乃至大顺。

 

The ancients who knew how to follow the Tao

Aimed not to enlighten the people.,

But to keep them ignorant.

The reason it is difficult for the people to leave in peace

Is because of too much knowledge.

Those who seek to rule a country by knowledge

Are the nation's curse.

Those who seek not to rule a country by knowledge

Are the nation's blessing.

Those who know these two (principles)

Also know the ancient standard,

And to know always the ancient standard

Is called the Mystic Virtue.

When the Mystic Virtue becomes clear, far-reaching,

And things revert back (to their source)

Then and then only emerges the Grand Harmony.

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