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In order to understand what Lao-tze means by manhood and womanhood, by brightness and blackness, by fame and shame, we must bear in mind what has been said above in the explanation of Chapter 5 about the two principles Yin and Yang. Compare also Lao-tze's views about honoring the right in times of war and the left in times of peace (Chapter 31). Manliness is not worth much unless tempered by womanliness, and a good warrior is not warlike, a good fighter is not pugnacious (Chap. 68).

The word chih means "to carve, to form, to regulate," and as a noun "law" or "norm." Lao-tze seems to mean that a government which upholds great principles and rules according to the maxims of the Tao can never do any harm.

Professor Giles translates, "a great principle can not be divided," which

p. 163

he interprets to mean, that it applies universally. (See Emendations and Comments to Lao-Tze's Tao-Teh-King, pp. xxi-xxii.)

Next: Chapter 29