That which was the beginning of all things under heaven
We may speak of as the “mother” of all things.
He who apprehends the mother
Thereby knows the sons.
And he who has known the sons,
Will hold all the tighter to the mother,
And to the end of his days suffer no harm;
“Block the passages, shut the doors,
And till the end your strength shall not fail.
Open up the passages, increase your doings,
And till your last day no help shall come to you.”
As good sight means seeing what is very small
So strength means holding on to what is weak.
He who having used the outer-light can return to the innerlight
Is thereby preserved from all harm.
This is called resorting to the always-so.
apprehend：understand or perceive.感知以之译
passages：a narrow way, typically having walls on either side, allowing access between buildings or to different rooms within a building; a passageway.通道，以之译
He who having used the outer-light can return to the innerlight ：外光返内光，以之译
preserve：maintain (something) in its original or existing state.保留。以之译
resort：turn to and adopt (a strategy or course of action, especially a disagreeable or undesirable one) so as to resolve a difficult situation. 采取，以之译
He who has the least scrap of sense, once he has got started on the great highway has nothing to fear so long as he avoids turnings.
For great highways are safe and easy.
But men love by-paths.
So long as Court is in order
They are content to let their fields run to weed
And their granaries stand empty.
They wear patterns and embroideries,
Carry sharp swords, glut themselves with drink and food, have more possessions than they can use.
These are the riotous ways of brigandage; they are not the Highway.
scrap：a small piece or amount of something, especially one that is left over after the greater part has been used.碎片
has the least scrap of sense：以之译
granary：a storehouse for threshed grain.粮仓
embroidery：the art or pastime of embroidering cloth.刺绣
glut：supply or fill to excess.过多供应。以之译厌
riotous：marked by or involving public disorder.暴动的
What Tao plants cannot be plucked,
What Tao clasps, cannot slip.
By its virtue alone can one generation after another carry on the ancestral sacrifice.
Apply it to yourself and by its power you will be freed from dross.
Apply it to your household and your household shall thereby have abundance.
Apply it to the village, and the village will be made secure.
Apply it to the kingdom, and the kingdom shall thereby be made to flourish.
Apply it to an empire, and the empire shall thereby be extended.
Therefore just as through oneself one may contemplate Oneself,
So through the household one may contemplate the Household,
And through the village, one may contemplate the Village,
And through the kingdom, one may contemplate the Kingdom,
And through the empire, one may contemplate the Empire.
How do I know that the empire is so?
pluck:take hold of (something) and quickly remove it from its place; pick.
clasp：grasp (something) tightly with one’s hand.
slip:(of a person or animal) slide unintentionally for a short distance, typically losing one’s balance or footing. 滑，以之译
dross：something regarded as worthless; rubbish.渣滓
you will be freed from dross以之译
be made secure：保持安全，以之译
be made to flourish：蓬勃发展，以之译
contemplate：look thoughtfully for a long time at.沉思，注视。以之译