In ancient times,
The wise did not try to make people wise.
Instead they employed their wisdom
To sustain the simplicity of the people.
The reason they governed this way
Is because a group cannot be governed
When everyone in it thinks they’re wiser than everyone else.
Complicating a culture can destroy a society,
While simplifying its notions can help it stick together.
He who understands when to use each of these two methods
Understands how to bind elements in a group.
And he who understands how to bind elements in a group
Wields the greatest power in the world—
It is a creative power so far-reaching
That it leads back to the very origin of things.
You may order or download The Tao Te Ching here.
List of verses here