A great nation flows downward
into intercourse with the world.
The female of the world
always prevails over the male by stillness.
Because stillness is considered lower,
by lowering itself to a small nation
a great nation takes a small nation;
by being lower than a great nation
a small nation takes a great nation.
So one takes by lowering itself,
another takes by being lower.
A great nation wants no more
than to include and nurture people;
a small nation wants no more
than to admit and serve people.
Both get what they want,
so the great should be below.
– Thomas Cleary

 

A great state is a watershed
the confluence of the world
the female of the world
the female uses stillness to overcome the male
in order to be still
she needs to be lower
the great state that lowers itself before the small state
governs the small state
the small state that lowers itself before the great state
is governed by the great state
some lower themselves to govern
some lower themselves to be governed
the great state’s one desire
is to unite and lead others
the small state’s one desire
is to join and serve others
for both to fulfill their desire
whichever is greater needs to be lower
– Red Pine

 

A mighty kingdom stays downstream,
Female of this world below,
Where all courses intersect.
Dam holding still has ever conquered sire.
But to hold herself still
She must remain below.
By lying below a great kingdom
A small state is taken over.
By moving lower the greater takes over.
Lying low the smaller is taken over.
A great kingdom seeks no more
Than to absorb and protect.
A small state no more than to enter its service.
Thus for both to fulfill their desire
Lower must the greater lie.
– Moss Roberts

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