Tao Te Ching #19: “Eliminate sagacity, abandon knowledge”

Eliminate sagacity, abandon knowledge,
and the people benefit a hundredfold.
Eliminate humanitarianism, abandon duty,
and the people return to familial love.
Eliminate craft, abandon profit,
and theft will no longer exist.
These three become insufficient
when used for embellishment
causing there to be attachments.
See the basic,
embrace the unspoiled,
lessen selfishness,
diminish desire.

– Thomas Cleary


Get rid of wisdom and reason
and people will live a hundred times better
get rid of kindness and justice
and people once more will love and obey
get rid of cleverness and profit
and thieves will cease to exist
but these three sayings are incomplete
hence let these be added
display the undyed and preserve the uncarved
reduce self-interest and limit desires

– Red Pine


Refuse the wise, dismiss the intellects,
The folk will reap a hundredfold;
Refuse kin-kindness, dismiss due service,
The folk again will love as child and parent;
Refuse craft-skill, reject all gain,
No thief nor robber will be found—
These three as text do not suffice.
Commandments must be put in practice:
Plain appearance, humble habits,
Owning little, craving less.
Reject the teaching of the young
And thereby suffer no distress.

– Moss Roberts