Sacred Texts  Taoism  Index 
1st ed. 
Previous  Next 

p. 59


To govern a great state one should do it as a cook fries small fish, that is, without scaling or cleaning them.

If one rules an empire by the principle of TAO, spirits will lose their power. It is not because their power is any less, but because the people can no longer be harmed by them. Neither is it because of the harmlessness of the gods, but because of the harmlessness of the wise ruler. Since neither ghosts nor gods can harm people, if they have a wise ruler, they will return to that ruler good-will and they will abide in tranquillity.

Next: Chapter 61