Tao te ching XXX


XXX – LIMITARE LE OPERAZIONI MILITARI

Quei che col Tao assiste il sovrano
non fa violenza al mondo con le armi,
nelle sue imprese preferisce controbattere.
Là dove stanziano le milizie
nascono sterpi e rovi,
al seguito dei grandi eserciti
vengono certo annate di miseria.
Chi ben li adopra
soccorre e basta,
non osa con essi acquistar potenza.
Soccorre e non si esalta,
soccorre e non si gloria,
soccorre e non s’insuperbisce,
soccorre quando non può farne a meno,
soccorre ma non fa violenza.
Quel che s’invigorisce allor decade:
vuol dire che non è conforme al Tao.
Ciò che non è conforme al Tao presto finisce.

30
He who by Tao purposes to help a ruler of men, will oppose most conquest by force of arms:
Such things are wont to rebound.
Where armies are, thorns and brambles can grow.
The raising of a great host could be followed by a year of dearth.
Therefore a good general effects his purpose and next stops; for he dares not rely upon the strength of arms: he does not take further advantage of a victory. He fulfils his purpose and does hardly glory in things he has done; effects his purpose and doesnt boast of a thing he accomplished;
Fulfils an ignoble purpose, but takes no pride in something he did well; fulfils his purpose as some perhaps regrettable necessity – does it as a step that could hardly be averted and avoided. So he effects his purpose, but hardly loves violence. Why?
Things age after reaching their prime. What has a time of vigour [and conquest] also has its time of decay. After things reach their prime, they begin to grow old, which means being contrary to Tao. Furthermore, morbid violence and violence in excess could be against Tao. He who is against the Tao perishes young. Whatever is contrary to Tao will soon perish. What is against Tao will hardly survive.

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