these are to last lines of the third chapter of Dao De Jing.my question to the first line: Is the first 為 used in another meaning than the last one. I know what is 無為. Should I translate it: by 無為, there is no untreatment? sorry, if my translation is silly:)


3 Answers 3


Is the first 為 used in another meaning than the last one.

They have the same literal meaning of 'action', but very different connotations. Since you already know what 無為 is, you know the connotation of the word is much deeper than the sum of the two characters.

How to translate it

By acting the non-action, nothing can't be treated/ruled.



無為(more detailed):不做任何違反自然規律、有損道德規範、違反社會法則,有害眾生的事.

Translation From Old Chinese:


Then translate it to English.

Do not translate 順任自然 into "Do anything you want." OR "Do nothing"

I think "Do anything you should." OR "Do anything you believe it's correct" is better.


"無為" is an adjective describing the action ("為") or it can be an adverb describing the way of acting/performing.

A clumsy translation I could think of:

When a person is able to harmonise his actions with the Nature such that no one can realise them, there is nothing he cannot accomplish.

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