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  1. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 39

    Derek Lin 1994 39 Those that attained oneness since ancient times: The sky attained oneness and thus clarity The earth attained oneness and thus tranquility The gods attained oneness and thus divinity The valley attained oneness and thus abundance The myriad things attained oneness and thus life The rulers attained oneness and became the standard for the world These are all from oneness The sky, lacking clarity, would break apart The earth, lacking tranquility, would erupt The gods, lacking divinity, would vanish The valley, lacking abundance, would wither Myriad things, lacking life, would be extinct The rulers, lacking standard, would be toppled Therefore, the honored uses the lowly as basis The higher uses the lower as foundation Thus the rulers call themselves alone, bereft, and unworthy Is this not using the lowly as basis? Is it not so? Therefore, the ultimate honor is no honor Do not wish to be shiny like jade Be dull like rocks Ellen Marie Chen 1989 39 Those of old that attain the One: Heaven attains the One thus is clear, Earth attains the One thus is peaceful, Spirits attain the One thus are efficacious, Valleys attain the One thus are replenished, Ten thousand beings attain the One thus come to be, Princes and barons attain the One thus are exalted in the world. All because they attain the One. Heaven, without that which renders it clear, might crack, Earth, without that which renders it peaceful, might explode, Spirits, without that which makes them efficacious, might cease, Valleys, without that which replenishes them, might become empty, Ten thousand beings, without that which sustains them in existence, might become extinct, Barons and kings, without that which exalts them to high positions, might be toppled. Therefore the exalted is rooted in the humble, The high has the low for foundation. Therefore barons and kings call themselves orphaned, widowed and unworthy. Is this not taking the humble for one's root? Is it not? Therefore the most famous has no fame. Do not tinkle like jade, Or chime like stones! Ni 1979 39 Since ancient times there have been those who have attained the subtle essence of the universe and thus become what they are.Heaven attained the subtle essence of the universe and became clear.Earth attained the subtle essence of the universe and became stable.Divine spirits attained the subtle essence of the universe and became powerful.The Valley of the Universe attained the subtle essence of the universe and became productive.The myriad things attained the subtle essence of the universe and became prosperous.The sages attained the subtle essence of the universe and became wise.All became what they are by attaining the subtle essence of the universe and hence their true nature.Extinction happens to one who violates his true nature.Without being pure, Heaven would cease to be.Without being stable, Earth would burst into bits.Without maintaining their potency, spirits would disperse.Without being productive, the vast Valley of the Universe would become exhausted.Without being reproductive, the myriad things would perish.Without fortifying themselves with integral virtue, sages would stumble and fall.Greatness is rooted in plainness,just as the low forms the foundation of the high.Realizing this, the ancient sovereigns were content to style themselves as desolate, unworthy, and needy.Therefore, one who does not separate his being from the nature of the universe follows the Integral Way.He has no wish to sound like jingling jade pendants in order to court a good name,nor like the rumbling of a stone rolling from a cliff in order to create a bad name.Each one should work on one's own subtle spiritual integration with the subtle essence of the universe. Tao-Ku 1904 39 From of old the things that have acquired Unity are these:Heaven by Unity has become clear;Earth by Unity has become steady;The Spirit by Unity has become spiritual;The Valley by Unity has become full;All things by Unity have come into existence;Princes and kings by Unity have become rulers of the world.If heaven were not clear, it would be rent.If earth were not steady it would be tumbled down.If the Spirit were not active, it would pass away.If the Valley were not full, it would be dried up.If all things were not existing, they would be extinct.If princes and kings were not rulers, they would be overthrown.The noble must be styled in terms of the humble;The high must take the low as their foundation.Therefore princes and kings must call themselves 'the ignorant', 'the virtueless' and 'the unworthy'.Does this not mean that they take the humble as their root? What men hate most are 'the ignorant', 'the virtueless' and 'the unworthy'.And yet princes and kings chose them as their titles.Therefore the higest fame is to have no fame.Thus kings are increased by being diminished;They are diminished by being increased.It is undesirable to be as prominent as a single gem,Or as monotonously numerous as stones. Lin Yutang 1948 39 There were those in ancient times possessed of the One; Through possession of the One, the Heaven was clarified, Through possession of the One, The Earth was stabilized, Through possession of the One, the gods were spiritualized, Through possession of the One, the valleys were made full, Through possession of the One, all things lived and grew, Through possession of the One, the princes and dukes became the ennobled of the people. - that was how each became so. Without clarity, the Heavens would shake, Without stability, the Earth would quake, Without spiritual power, the gods would crumble, Without being filled, the valleys would crack, Without the life-giving power, all things would perish, Without the ennobling power, the princes and dukes would stumble. therefore the nobility depend upon the common man for support, And the exalted ones depend upon the lowly for their base. That is why the princes and dukes call themselves "the orphaned," "the lonely one," "the unworthy." Is is not true then that they depend upon the common man for support? Truly, take down the parts of a chariot, And there is no chariot (left). Rather than jingle like the jade, Rumble like the rocks. Flowing Hands 1987 39 In the ancient beginning, all things came from the one. That’s why the sky is whole and mysteriously distinct. The Earth is whole and firm. Within it, the spirit is whole and strong. The valley is whole and full. The Ten Thousand Things are whole and living. All these things are in wholeness with the Dao. The distinct fullness of the sky maintains the Earth. The wholeness and firmness of the Earth, nourishes the Ten Thousand Things. When the spirit is strong, so all will be maintained. Thus the Ten Thousand Things may reproduce and prevent their breed from dying. Therefore being nourished by the great Dao, the Ten Thousand Things are raised. For the Dao is humble in its greatness. In being at one with the Dao, the Ten Thousand Things are also humble in their greatness, and so they return to it. When man is not humble, the Dao is not great. and so catastrophe will follow. For man assumes he is greater than the Dao. Therefore be humble; do not seek wealth and riches, do not clatter like glass chimes, be at one with the Dao, then you can be truly great.
  2. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 36

    Derek Lin 1994 36 If one wishes to shrink it One must first expand it If one wishes to weaken it One must first strengthen it If one wishes to discard it One must first promote it If one wishes to seize it One must first give it This is called subtle clarity The soft and weak overcomes the tough and strong Fish cannot leave the depths The sharp instruments of the state Cannot be shown to the people If we wish to reduce something, to make something smaller, we must first expand it. After it is stretched out, it will naturally shrink back down to size. Similarly, if we wish to weaken something, we must first strengthen it. The seed of weakness invariably exists in the greatest of strengths. In order for something to be discarded or abandoned, it is first promoted. The world is full of examples of things that are hyped up and then thrown away and forgotten without a second thought. In order to get something, we must first give it. For instance, if we wish to be treated kindly, we must start by treating others with kindness. This works because the Tao process is circular; the principle underlying all interactions is one of dynamic, universal energy exchange. We say that these illuminated insights are subtle, because they seem to be the very opposite of our habitual thought patterns. To understand them is to become enlightened in the subtle workings of the Tao. That which is gentle, soft and weak seems to yield to that which possesses toughness, strength and aggressiveness, but the yielding is deceptive, for in the end the soft overcomes the hard. It is the nature of the Tao to remain hidden. Just as the fish does not leave the depths and a country does not display its weapons and inner workings to the people, a sage remains deeply immersed in the Tao and does not utilize his or her insights against people who are more shallow. Ellen Marie Chen 1989 36 What is to be reduced, Must first be expanded. What is to be weakened, Must first be made strong (ch'iang). What is to be abolished, Must first be established. What is to be taken away, Must first be given. This is called the subtle illumination (wei ming). The soft and weak overcome the hard and strong. Fish must not leave the stream. Sharp weapons (ch'i) of a state, Must not be displayed. Ni 1979 36 If you hope to expand, you should first contract. If you hope to become strong, you should first weaken yourself. If your ambition is to be exalted, humiliation will follow. If you hold fast to something, it will surely be taken away from you. This is the operation of the subtle law of the universe. The law of the universe is subtle, but it can be known. The soft and meek can overcome the hard and strong. The strength of a country must not be displayed. Just as fish cannot leave the deep, one must never stray from one's true nature. J. McDonald 36 If you want something to return to the source, you must first allow it to spread out. If you want something to weaken, you must first allow it to become strong. If you want something to be removed, you must first allow it to flourish. If you want to possess something, you must first give it away. This is called the subtle understanding of how things are meant to be. The soft and pliable overcomes the hard and inflexible. Just as fish remain hidden in deep waters, it is best to keep weapons out of sight. Ta-Kao 1904 36 In order to contract a thing, one should surely expand it first. In order to weaken, one will surely strengthen first. In order to overthrow, one will surely exalt first. In order to take, one will surely give first! This is called subtle wisdom. The soft and weak can overcome the hard and strong. As the fish should not leave the deep So should the sharp implements of a nation not be shown to anyone! Flowing Hands 1987 36 That which shrinks, must first have expanded. That which fails, must first have succeeded. In the nature of things, nothing is truly constant, for nature is constantly flowing, giving birth and then returning. This is the nature of all things. By observing nature we can see its workings. The soft and yielding will always overcome the strong and rigid. In a strong wind, a tree will never fall that bends to the force. If it remains inflexible and rigid, it will surely fall. The Dao is always soft and yielding. Therefore it always remains at one and will never fall. For it is eternal.
  3. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 39

    great analogy... then, every choice we make?
  4. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 36

    fish is each of us. Ocean is transparency. Depth Is hidden.
  5. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 38

    Derek Lin 1994 38 High virtue is not virtuous Therefore it has virtue Low virtue never loses virtue Therefore it has no virtue High virtue takes no contrived action And acts without agenda Low virtue takes contrived action And acts with agenda High benevolence takes contrived action And acts without agenda High righteousness takes contrived action And acts with agenda High etiquette takes contrived action And upon encountering no response Uses arms to pull others Therefore, the Tao is lost, and then virtue Virtue is lost, and then benevolence Benevolence is lost, and then righteousness Righteousness is lost, and then etiquette Those who have etiquette Are a thin shell of loyalty and sincerity And the beginning of chaos Those with foreknowledge Are the flowers of the Tao And the beginning of ignorance Therefore the great person: Abides in substance, and does not dwell on the thin shell Abides in the real, and does not dwell on the flower Thus they discard that and take this Ellen Marie Chen 1989 38 A person of high te is not te, Therefore such a person has te; A person of low te does not lose (shih) te, Therefore such a person has no te. A person of high te does not act (wei), For such a person has no cause for action; A person of low te acts, For such a person has cause for action. A person of high jen (humanity) acts, Yet such a person has no cause for action; A person of high i (righteousness) acts, For such a person has cause for action. A person of high li (propriety) acts, Yet finding no response, Proceeds to bare the arms and throw a rope. Therefore when Tao is lost (shih), then there is te. When te is lost, then there is jen (humanity). When jen is lost, then there is i (righteousness). When i is lost, then there is li (propriety). As to li, it is the thin edge of loyalty and faithfullness, And the beginning of disorder; As to foreknowledge (ch'ien shih), it is the flowering of Tao, And the beginning of stupidity (yü). Thus a great person, abiding in the thick, Does not dwell in the thin; Abiding in the kernel, Does not dwell in the flower. Therefore such a person leaves that and takes this. Ni 1979 38 One of subtle universal virtue is not conscious of being virtuous, therefore, he is truly virtuous. One of partial virtue attempts to live up to an external standard of virtue, therefore, he is not truly virtuous. One of whole virtue does not need to do anything in order to be virtuous, because virtue is the very essence of one's true nature. But, one of partial virtue believes that something must be done in order to prove that he is virtuous. Thus, partial virtue becomes prevalent when people fail to follow their own true nature. Benevolence becomes prevalent when people fail to be naturally kind. Etiquette becomes prevalent when people fail to be righteous and considerate. When people find no response with etiquette, they roll up their sleeves and force others to respond to them. When people stray from the subtle way of universal nature, they can no longer perceive their own true nature. Thus, they emphasize relative virtue. When natural virtue is lost, society depends on the doctrine of humanism. When humanity becomes corrupted, social and religious teachings appear and become powerful forces. When social and religious teachings become corrupted, what is left behind is the empty shell of superficial ceremonies and artificial etiquette. When etiquette is emphasized, it is because people lack the simple qualities of fairness and kindness. This is the starting point of people of confusion. All of these man-made, partial virtues are merely superficial flowers, a false nature. When people begin to move away from their own true nature, it is the beginning of hypocrisy. Therefore, one who integrates his own individual being with the deep nature of the universe sets his heart upon the root of reality rather than the husk, and upon the nourishment of the fruit rather than the fleeting beauty of the flowers. Truly, he cherishes what is deep within rather than what is shallow without. Knowing this, he knows what to accept and what to reject. J. McDonald 1996 38 The highest good is not to seek to do good, but to allow yourself to become it. The ordinary person seeks to do good things, and finds that they can not do them continually. The Master does not force virtue on others, thus she is able to accomplish her task. The ordinary person who uses force, will find that they accomplish nothing. The kind person acts from the heart, and accomplishes a multitude of things. The righteous person acts out of pity, yet leaves many things undone. The moral person will act out of duty, and when no one will respond will roll up his sleeves and uses force. When the Tao is forgotten, there is righteousness. When righteousness is forgotten, there is morality. When morality is forgotten, there is the law. The law is the husk of faith, and trust is the beginning of chaos. Our basic understandings are not from the Tao because they come from the depths of our misunderstanding. The master abides in the fruit and not in the husk. She dwells in the Tao, and not with the things that hide it. This is how she increases in wisdom. Tao-Ku 1904 38 The superior virtue is not conscious of itself as virtue; Therefore it has virtue. The inferior virtue never lets off virtue; Therefore it has no virtue. The superior virtue seems inactive, and yet there is nothing that it does not do. The inferior virtue acts and yet in the end leaves things undone. The superior benevolence acts without a motive. The superior righteousness acts with a motive. The superior ritual acts, but at first no one responds to it; Gradually people raise their arms and follow it. Therefore when Tao is lost, virtue follows. When virtue is lost, benevolence follows. When benevolence is lost, righteousness follows. When righteousness is lost, ritual follows. Ritual, therefore, is the attenuation of loyalty and faith and the outset of confusion. Fore-knowledge is the flower of Tao and the beginning of folly. Therefore the truly great man keeps to the solid and not to the tenuous; Keeps to the fruit and not to the flower. Thus he rejects the latter and takes the former. Flowing Hands 1987 38 A truly good man is not aware of his goodness. And therefore his goodness shines forth. When a foolish man does good, things are overdone and out of balance. A truly good man does nothing and yet nothing is left undone. A foolish man's goodness leaves much to be desired, and a great deal is left to be finished. When a man of Dao does something, he leaves nothing undone. When a dictator does something and uses force, people rebel in their hearts and bitterness arises. Therefore when the Dao is lost, goodness and kindness arise. When goodness and kindness are lost, dictatorship arises. These things are the beginning of confusion. Confusion always arises when the Dao is lost, people then must find something to replace it. Therefore the man of Dao dwells on what is real and not what is superficial. Great goodness and kindness are sometimes not in keeping with the Dao. So remain at one and all will be well.
  6. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 31

    Legge 1891 31 Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen, hateful, it may be said, to all creatures. Therefore they who have the Tao do not like to employ them. The superior man ordinarily considers the left hand the most honourable place, but in time of war the right hand. Those sharp weapons are instruments of evil omen, and not the instruments of the superior man;--he uses them only on the compulsion of necessity. Calm and repose are what he prizes; victory (by force of arms) is to him undesirable. To consider this desirable would be to delight in the slaughter of men; and he who delights in the slaughter of men cannot get his will in the kingdom. On occasions of festivity to be on the left hand is the prized position; on occasions of mourning, the right hand. The second in command of the army has his place on the left; the general commanding in chief has his on the right;--his place, that is, is assigned to him as in the rites of mourning. He who has killed multitudes of men should weep for them with the bitterest grief; and the victor in battle has his place (rightly) according to those rites. Chu Ta-Kao 1904 31 So far as arms are concerned, they are implements of ill-omen. They are not implements for the man of Tao. The man of Tao when dwelling at home makes the left as the place of honour; and when using arms makes the right as the place of honour. He uses them only when he cannot avoid it. In his conquests he takes no delight. If he take delight in them, it would mean that he enjoys in the slaughter of men. He who takes delight in the slaughter of men cannot have his will done in the world. Derek Lin 1994 31 A strong military, a tool of misfortune All things detest it Therefore, those who possess the Tao avoid it Honorable gentlemen, while at home, value the left When deploying the military, value the right The military is a tool of misfortune Not the tool of honorable gentlemen When using it out of necessity Calm detachment should be above all Victorious but without glory Those who glorify Are delighting in the killing Those who delight in killing Cannot achieve their ambitions upon the world Auspicious events favor the left Inauspicious events favor the right The lieutenant general is positioned to the left The major general is positioned to the right We say that they are treated as if in a funeral The multitude who have been killed Should be mourned with sadness Victory in war should be treated as a funeral Strong military power isn't something to be glorified. We should recognize it as an inauspicious instrument, the use of which inevitably brings misfortunes and calamities. Violence and aggression are inextricably associated with the military. Thus, it is universally seen as extremely negative. Recognizing this, those who are on the path of Tao distance themselves from it. During peacetime, honorable individuals value the left in day-to-day living. The left in this case symbolizes harmony. During wartime, honorable individuals value the right in the utilization of the military. The right in this case symbolizes force. Because the military is an ominous instrument of destruction, honorable individuals cannot see it as a tool that they identify with. It is the last resort, to be used only when absolutely necessary, when there is no other choice. When forced to use the military, honorable individuals will do so with calmness above all, and detachment from emotional turmoil. They do not fight out of anger or hatred, and when they achieve victory, they do not consider it glorious. To them, there can be no possible glory in taking lives. Those who do glorify war tend to be the ones who take delight in killing. Such people may think they have what it takes to conquer the world, but history shows they invariably fail to achieve their ambitions. They may dominate by force but never win the people's hearts. Auspicious events favor the left (symbolizing harmony) while inauspicious events favor the right (symbolizing force). Thus, the lieutenant general, responsible for the peacetime training of the military organization, is situated to the left of the emperor. The major general, responsible for leading attacks, is stationed to the right. Because of their involvement with the military, both generals are regarded by Tao cultivators as if they are fixtures in a funeral. Because many lives are inevitably lost in battle, we understand the grief of those who mourn the dead, no matter which side they belong to. The military parade that follows victory may just as well be a funeral procession, no matter which side happens to be the victor. Ellen Marie Chen 1989 31 Military weapons are implements (ch'i) of ill omen, Avoided (o) even by natural creatures (wu). Hence the Taoist does not indulge (ch'u) in them. The princely person (chün-tzu) in dwelling honors the left, In military campaigns honors the right. Hence military weapons are not implements of a princely person. Military weapons, being implements of ill omen, Are to be employed only in dire necessity. Better to regard them with lack of interest. Do not admire (mei) them. If one admires (mei) them, One would be rejoicing in the killing of people. But whoever rejoices in the killing of people, Will not be successful (chih) in the world. Therefore in joyful affairs the left is honored, In mournful affairs the right is honored. The Second-in-Command takes the place of the left, The Commander-in-Chief takes the place of the right, Meaning that this is his place in the funeral rite. When many people have been killed, Wail them with sorrow and lamentations. When victorious in battle, Mark the occasion with the rite (li) of funeral. Witter Bynner 31 Even the finest arms are an instrument of evil, A spread of plague, And the way for a vital man to go is not the way of a soldier. But in time of war men civilized in peace Turn from their higher to their lower nature. Arms are an instrument of evil, No measure for thoughtful men Until there fail all other choice But sad acceptance of it. Triumph is not beautiful. He who thinks triumph beautiful Is one with a will to kill, And one with a will to kill Shall never prevail upon the world. It is a good sign when man's higher nature comes forward, A bad sign when his lower nature comes forward, When retainers take charge And the master stays back As in the conduct of a funeral. The death of a multitude is cause for mourning: Conduct your triumph as a funeral. Hua Ching Ni 31 Weapons are instruments of killing and destruction, which are contrary to the nature of life. Thus, they are avoided by those who follow the subtle Way of the universe. According to ancient social custom, in times of peace a gentleman regards the left side, the soft hand, as the place of honor; in times of war, the right side, the strong hand, is considered the place of honor. Because weapons are inauspicious, they are not the instruments of a gentleman. Only when one has no other choice may one resort to using them, and, if their use is necessary, one must employ calmness and restraint, for peace and quiet are the normal nature of universal life. Even in victory there is no cause for excitement and rejoicing. To rejoice over a victory is to delight in killing and destruction. He who delights in killing and destruction cannot be expected to thrive for long in the world. Therefore, on happy occasions the left side has precedence, while on sad occasions, it is the right side. When this rite was applied in the army, the lieutenant-commander stood at the left, while the commander-in-chief stood on the right. This indicates that war is treated as the equivalent of a funeral service. Because many people have been caused an unnatural death in war, it is only right that the survivors should mourn them. Even when a victory is won, the occasion should be regarded as lamentable. Flowing Hands 31 All creatures hate weapons of war; for they are instruments of fear and dread. Therefore followers of the Dao never display them and only use them when there is no choice. To a wise man, they are not his tools, for peace and quiet are dear to his heart. Do not rejoice in victory. If you rejoice in victory, you take delight in killing. If you take delight in killing, you can never fulfil yourself. The wise man's tools are his heart, mind and best of all, the Dao. In great wars many people are killed. The officers and generals should feel sadness in their hearts, to see their men die before them. War should be conducted like a funeral. The dead should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow. Unfortunately war is necessary when one party rejects the Dao, and observes it as a carnival of human carnage. For these Men are greedy and do not know or follow the Dao.
  7. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 30

    Legge 1891 30 He who would assist a lord of men in harmony with the Tao will not assert his mastery in the kingdom by force of arms. Such a course is sure to meet with its proper return. Wherever a host is stationed, briars and thorns spring up. In the sequence of great armies there are sure to be bad years. A skilful (commander) strikes a decisive blow, and stops. He does not dare (by continuing his operations) to assert and complete his mastery. He will strike the blow, but will be on his guard against being vain or boastful or arrogant in consequence of it. He strikes it as a matter of necessity; he strikes it, but not from a wish for mastery. When things have attained their strong maturity they become old. This may be said to be not in accordance with the Tao: and what is not in accordance with it soon comes to an end. Chu Ta-Kao 1904 30 He who assists a ruler of men with Tao does not force the world with arms. For the actions of arms will be well requited; where armies have been quartered brambles and thorns grow. Great wars are for certain followed by years of scarcity. He aims only at carrying out relief, and does not venture to force his power upon others. When relief is done, he will not be assuming, He will not be boastful; he will not be proud; And he will think that he was obliged to do it. So it comes that relief is done without resorting to force. When things come to the summit of their vigour, they begin to grow old. This is against Tao. What is against Tao will soon come to an end. Moss Roberts 2001 30 Those who guide their leaders by the Way Will not urge war to dominate the world, For such a course is bound to haunt its taker. Fields where armies camp grow thorns and weeds, And plague and famine follow every war. When the fruits of victory desist; Never seek to break a beaten foe, And flaunt no prowess with the victory, Assert no strength, show no pride; Be a visitor against your will, A victor who will not dominate. “Beware old age in pride of manly might”: This warns you work not against the Way. “Work against the Way, die before your day.” Derek Lin 1994 30 The one who uses the Tao to advise the ruler Does not dominate the world with soldiers Such methods tend to be returned The place where the troops camp Thistles and thorns grow Following the great army There must be an inauspicious year A good commander achieves result, then stops And does not dare reaching for domination Achieves result but does not brag Achieves result but does not flaunt Achieves result but is not arrogant Achieves result but only out of necessity Achieves result but does not dominate Things become strong and then get old This is called contrary to the Tao That which is contrary to the Tao soon ends A minister who follows the Tao, and applies the Tao in advising the sovereign ruler, will never attempt to dominate the world with military power. Those who are in tune with the Tao understand that violence begets more violence. What goes around comes around. Those who resort to methods of domination tend to have such methods turn back against them. Acts of aggression will inevitably cause retaliation and counterattack. The use of military power is, by its very nature, an extremely negative thing to do. The thistles and thorns that flourish where the troops strike camp is symbolic of this negativity. When a great army passes the land, an ominous year of famine invariably follows in its wake. Military leaders who really understand the use of force will never do any more than is necessary to achieve a particular result. Such leaders will not reach beyond the goal for more self-glorifying conquests. They accomplish the mission without bragging or flaunting. Success in completing the objective does not make them arrogant or over-confident. This is because they use force only when they have no other choice. They know that military power is the last resort, and not a tool with which to dominate others. In nature, we observe that when things grow excessively strong, they will quickly age and weaken. We say that this is not in accordance with the unhurried nature of Tao. Things that do not follow the natural progression of Tao will soon come to an end. The same principle applies to the use of military power as well. Ellen Marie Chen 1989 30 One who assists the ruler with Tao, Does not overpower (ch'iang) the world by military conquests. Such affairs have a way of returning (huan): Where armies are stationed, Briars and thorns grow, After great campaigns, Bad years are sure to follow. The good person is resolute (kuo) only, But dares not (kan) take the path of the strong (ch'iang). Be resolute (kuo) yet do not boast (ching), Be resolute yet do not show off (fa), Be resolute yet do not be haughty, Be resolute because you have no choice, Be resolute yet do not overpower (ch'iang). When things are full grown, they age. This is called not following Tao. Not following Tao they perish early. Witter Bynner 30 One who would guide a leader of men in the uses of life Will warn him against the use of arms for conquest. Weapons often turn upon the wielder, An army's harvest is a waste of thorns, Conscription of a multitude of men Drains the next year dry. A good general, daring to march, dares also to halt, Will never press his triumph beyond need. What he must do he does but not for glory, What he must do he does but not for show, What he must do he does but not for self; He has done it because it had to be done, Not from a hot head. Let life ripen and then fall, Force is not the way at all: Deny the way of life and you are dead. Flowing Hands 30 Whenever you advise a ruler in the way of Dao, tell him to leave well alone and use as little force as necessary, for this would only provoke resistance and rebellion. Thorn bushes spring up wherever an army has been; things are laid to waste. Lean years follow in the wake of wars. Just do what has to be done and leave people well alone. Never take advantage of power; it should only be used when absolutely necessary. Achieve results, but never glory in them. Achieve results, but never boast. Achieve results, because this is the natural way of things. Achieve results, have pride, but be open. Achieve results, but avoid it through violence. Force and violence are part of nature, for the Ten Thousand Things have to exert themselves forcefully to survive. But man uses violence unnecessarily for his own greed. This is certainly not the way of Dao. That which goes against the Dao will never last.
  8. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 1

    Based on this thread: Why must the Dao De Jhing be translated right? This was posted in Ch. 4 by FH: Legge 1 The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name. (Conceived of as) having no name, it is the Originator of heaven and earth; (conceived of as) having a name, it is the Mother of all things. Always without desire we must be found, If its deep mystery we would sound; But if desire always within us be, Its outer fringe is all that we shall see. Under these two aspects, it is really the same; but as development takes place, it receives the different names. Together we call them the Mystery. Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that is subtle and wonderful. DC. Lau 1 The way that can be spoken of Is not the constant way; The name that can be named Is not the constant name. The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth; The named was the mother of the myriad creatures. Hence always rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets; But always allow yourself to have desires in order to observe its manifestations. These two are the same But diverge in name as they issue forth. Being the same they are called mysteries, Mystery upon mystery - The gateway of the manifold secrets. Feng/English 1 The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth. The named is the mother of the ten thousand things. Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations. These two spring from the same source but differ in name; this appears as darkness. Darkness within darkness. The gate to all mystery. Bill Porter (Red Pine) 1996 1 The way that becomes a way is not the Immortal Way the name that becomes a name is not the Immortal Name the maiden of Heaven and Earth has no name the mother of all things has a name thus in innocence we see the beginning in passion we see the end two different names for one and the same the one we call dark the dark beyond dark the door to all beginnings 2009 The way that becomes a way is not the Immortal Way the name that becomes a name is not the Immortal Name no-name is the maiden of Heaven and Earth name is the mother of all things thus in innocence we see the beginning in passion we see the end two different names for one and the same the one we call dark the dark beyond dark the door to all beginnings Jonathan Star 1 A way that can be walked is not The Way A name that can be named is not The Name Tao is both Named and Nameless As Nameless, it is the origin of all things As Named, it is the mother of all things. A mind free of thought, merged within itself, beholds the essence of Tao A mind filled with thought, identified with its own perceptions, beholds the mere forms of this world Tao and this world seem different but in truth they are one and the same The only difference is in what we call them How deep and mysterious is this unity How profound, how great! It is the truth beyond the truth, the hidden within the hidden It is the path to all wonder, the gate to the essence of everything!
  9. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 27

    no. I never much paid attention to Lau. Just changed up the translators a bit.
  10. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 27

    Legge 1891 27 The skilful traveller leaves no traces of his wheels or footsteps; the skilful speaker says nothing that can be found fault with or blamed; the skilful reckoner uses no tallies; the skilful closer needs no bolts or bars, while to open what he has shut will be impossible; the skilful binder uses no strings or knots, while to unloose what he has bound will be impossible. In the same way the sage is always skilful at saving men, and so he does not cast away any man; he is always skilful at saving things, and so he does not cast away anything. This is called 'Hiding the light of his procedure.' Therefore the man of skill is a master (to be looked up to) by him who has not the skill; and he who has not the skill is the helper of (the reputation of) him who has the skill. If the one did not honour his master, and the other did not rejoice in his helper, an (observer), though intelligent, might greatly err about them. This is called 'The utmost degree of mystery.' Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904 27 A good traveler leaves no track; A good speaker leaves no error; A good reckoner needs no counter; A good closer needs no bars or bolts, And yet it is impossible to open after him. A good fastener needs no cords or knots, And yet it is impossible to untie after him. Even if men be bad, why should they be rejected? Therefore the Sage is always a good saviour of men, And no man is rejected; He is a good saviour of things, And nothing is rejected: This is called double enlightenment. Therefore good men are had men's instructors, And bad men are good men's materials. Those who do not esteem their instructors, And those who do not love their materials, Though expedient, are in fact greatly confused. This is essential subtlety. Derek Lin 1994 27 Good traveling does not leave tracks Good speech does not seek faults Good reckoning does not use counters Good closure needs no bar and yet cannot be opened Good knot needs no rope and yet cannot be untied Therefore sages often save others And so do not abandon anyone They often save things And so do not abandon anything This is called following enlightenment Therefore the good person is the teacher of the bad person The bad person is the resource of the good person The one who does not value his teachers And does not love his resources Although intelligent, he is greatly confused This is called the essential wonder Skilled travelers in the journey of life follow the path of nature. They do not force their way through obstacles or trample over the paths of other travelers. Therefore, they leave no signs of their passing. Similarly, those who are skillful in the art of conversation do not use words to highlight the faults of others. Such actions breed contention - and conflicts leave many tracks indeed! There are those who are good at capturing people's attention, imagination, and heart. They do not need to lock people in to keep them around. People would naturally not wish to leave. They can also be skillful in bonding with people. When they have connected with people at a deep level, it is a bond that is stronger than any knots tied with ropes. This is how sages deal with people. Because of their genuine virtue, they maintain a captive audience without having to physically force anyone to be present. They cherish everyone and all things, and it becomes clear to the people that the sage would never abandon them. This is part of the powerful bond that the sage naturally establishes with others. One reason why sages don't give up on anyone is that everyone plays a role in the overall stage of life. Everyone has an impact on everyone else, and it is up to an individual to make use of that impact. A good person can serve as a teacher and be a great example for us to emulate. Not-so-good individuals is just as useful, because we can observe the negative consequences of their negative actions, and learn from that as what not to do. In this way, the sages see everyone as valuable teachers or resources. They do not praise the good people and condemn the bad, because they feel genuine love and affection for all of them. Most of us are not quite that way - we quickly develope likes and dislikes, preferences and aversions in dealing with others. We lack the ability to deal everyone with the same degree of universal love that sages possess; we can only look upon this essential aspect of their character with a sense of wonder. Perhaps one day, when we have reached a certain level of cultivation, we can also possess the essential wonder of universal love. When that happens, we will no longer see people we despise - only people who represent certain aspects of the greater oneness that is also us. Ellen Marie Chen 1989 27 Good (shan) running leaves no tracks, Good speech has no flaws, Good counting uses no counters, A good lock uses no bolts yet cannot be opened, A good knot uses no rope yet cannot be untied. Hence the sage is always good at saving people, Therefore no one is rejected. He is always good at saving things, Therefore nothing is rejected. This is called following the light (ming). Therefore the good person, Is the not-good (pu-shan) person's teacher. The not-good (pu-shan) person, Is the good person's capital. One who does not honor (kuei) the teacher, Or love (ai) the capital, Is greatly confounded though knowledgeable (chih). This is called the important mystery (miao). Hua Ching Ni 27 One who is good at running leaves no tracks. One who is good at talking has no flaws in his speech. One who is good at calculating makes no use of counting tools. One who is good at shutting things makes no use of bolt and bar, yet no one can open what he has shut. One who is good at tying makes no use of cords and knots, yet no one can untie what he has fastened. One of natural, integral virtue is good at helping all people impartially. Thus, no one is abandoned. Because he is good at protecting and preserving all things, nothing is ever thrown away. This is called "embodying the light of the subtle truth." Hence, the people on the Universal Integral Way are teachers of those off the Way. However, if the student does not value the teacher, and the teacher does not tend the student well, though they both may be intelligent enough, this leads only to further separation. Flowing Hands 27 When you are at one with the Dao, nothing is left undone. For a Man can walk without leaving any trace. A good speaker always knows his part. A good door requires no lock; for there is nothing behind that door that thieves and bandits will want to steal. A good teacher will always stay with a bad student, until his work is done. If the student is not cared for, how can the teacher be respected. To become a good teacher always use the Dao first, if this doesn't succeed, words must be used. When words are used great confusion can arise, thats why the Ancient Masters offered the Dao and said little. Added: Lin Yutang 1948 27 A good runner leaves no track. A good speech leaves no flaws for attack. A good reckoner makes use of no counters. A well-shut door makes use of no bolts, And yet cannot be opened. A well-tied knot makes use of no rope, And yet cannot be untied. Therefore the Sage is good at helping men; For that reason there is no rejected (useless) person. He is good at saving things; For that reason there is nothing rejected. - This is called stealing the Light. Therefore the good man is the Teacher of the bad. And the bad man is the lesson of the good. He who neither values his teacher Nor loves the lesson Is one gone far astray, Though he be learned. - Such is the subtle secret. LY notes: Without indulging in metaphysical terminology, Laotse is just as mystical as Chuangtse. "A good runner leaves no track" , etc, refers to the principle of reaching harmony and order without relying upon external devices and solutions. The futility of such devices is well shown in Chuangtse's discussion of the futility of the treatise for the purpose of keep peace, See 19.1. If peace, order, and the pursuit of happiness are invisible things, obviously they cannot be really obtained by visible means.
  11. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 26

    I've fallen behind quite a bit on keeping up on this... I'm going to revive it with some new translators. I don't intend to include all of this in the future but would accept comments on them. Chapter 26: Legge Gravity is the root of lightness; stillness, the ruler of movement. Therefore a wise prince, marching the whole day, does not go far from his baggage waggons. Although he may have brilliant prospects to look at, he quietly remains (in his proper place), indifferent to them. How should the lord of a myriad chariots carry himself lightly before the kingdom? If he do act lightly, he has lost his root (of gravity); if he proceed to active movement, he will lose his throne. Ta-Kao Heaviness is the basis of lightness; Calmness is the controlling power of hastiness. Therefore the Sage, though traveling all day long, Never separates from his baggage-wagon; Though surrounded with magnificent sights, He lives in tranquillity. How is it, then, that a king of ten thousand chariots Should conduct himself so lightly in the empire? To be light is to lose the basis; To be hasty is to lose the controlling power. Hinton Heavy is the root of light, and tranquil the ruler of reckless. A sage traveling all day is never far from the supplies in his cart, and however spectacular the views he remains calm and composed. How can a lord having ten thousand chariots act lightly in governing all beneath heaven? Act lightly and you lose your source-root. Act recklessly and you lose your rule. Lok Sang Ho We keep our weight, so we will not lose our roots. We keep our serenity, so we will not lose our poise. For these reasons when the Sage travels all day, he does not part from his heavy luggage wagon. He sits quietly, untouched by the magnificent views. What a pity it is then to see the lord of ten thousand chariots losing his weight in front of his people! If one loses one’s weight, one also loses one’s base. If one loses one’s serenity, one also loses one’s poise. Laozi advises that keeping one’s weight can treat problems related to “not having taken a deep root,” and keeping still can treat problems related to restlessness. How would one keep one’s weight and not be moved by one’s own emotions and peoples’ words of praise or insult? One needs to have faith in the Dao—in the virtues of humility and down-to-earth preparations(example of the farmer). The Buddha is said to have the virtue of not being moved by the “eight winds,” namely profit, loss, damage, honor, praise, jeers, unpleasant feelings, and pleasant feelings. 45 Laozi stresses the necessity to keep one’s base 本, and then one will not be easily swayed by circumstances. The necessity to keep one’s base is important for everyone, but even more so for those with power or those in the leadership of a country. Derek Lin Heaviness is the root of lightness. Quietness is the master of restlessness Therefore the sage travels the entire day Without leaving the heavy supplies Even though there are luxurious sights He is composed and transcends beyond How can the lord of ten thousand chariots Applies himself lightly to the world? To be light is to lose one's root To be restless is to lose one's mastery Heaviness, or gravitas, lies at the root of human affairs. Lightness, or gaiety, dances carelessly above them. Those who are quiet, unmoved, deliberate and composed possess power over those who are noisy, restless, impulsive and impatient. Therefore, the sage traverses the Tao an entire day without ever losing track of the essentials of life. Even though there are many colorful sights of luxuries along the way, the sage recognizes them as illusory, and so remains perfectly composed and unmoved, transcending beyond the temptation. How, then, can the king, who rules the force of ten thousand war chariots, treat lightly the serious task of governing the kingdom? To be "light," in this context, is to be disconnected from the important foundation of life. In a similar way, being restless or unstable is to lose one's power of mastery - the power of the true self! Ni Centeredness is the cure for impulsiveness. Serenity is the master of restlessness. Knowing this, one of universal nature is placid and never departs from the center of his own being. Though he may move about all day, he never loses his poise. Though he may be surrounded by splendor and comfort, he is always dispassionate and undistracted. For one with great responsibility, to conduct himself lightly is perilous. In frivolity, one's root is lost. In restlessness, one's self-mastery could go with the wind! Chan The heavy is the root of the light. The tranquil is the ruler of the hasty. Therefore the sage travels all day Without leaving his baggage. Even at the sight of magnificent scenes He remains leisurely and indifferent. How is it that a lord with ten thousand chariots Should behave lightheartedly in his empire? If he is lighthearted, the minister will be destroyed. If he is hasty, the ruler is lost. Chen The heavy (chung) is root (ken) to the light (ch'ing); The tranquil (ching) is master (chün) to the agitated (tsao). Therefore the sage travels all day, Without leaving (li) his baggage wagon (tzu chung). Although he has glorious palaces (yung kuan), He avoids its sumptuous apartments (yen-ch'u). How could the Lord of ten thousand chariots, Conduct himself lightly in the world? One who acts lightly loses his foundation (pen); One who is agitated loses his master (chün). Flowing Hands When one is full of Dao, there is stillness and peace. When one is empty of Dao, there is disorder and unrest. The Sage resides forever in stillness and peace, therefore he is full of Dao. Though there are beautiful things all around him, he remains at one and unattached. When there is disorder and unrest, the Dao is lost; stillness and peace give way to loss of control. Moss Roberts As weight anchors lightnessAnd calm governs impulse,The wise leader, all day on the march,Stays by his stockage trainWithin his guarded cordon,Safely positioned, beyond harm’s reach.Could the lord of ten thousand wagons of warRisk his own self for the sake of the world?Let such lightness lose him his anchoring base?Such impulse his rule?
  12. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 23

    Legge 23 Abstaining from speech marks him who is obeying the spontaneity of his nature. A violent wind does not last for a whole morning; a sudden rain does not last for the whole day. To whom is it that these (two) things are owing? To Heaven and Earth. If Heaven and Earth cannot make such (spasmodic) actings last long, how much less can man! Therefore when one is making the Tao his business, those who are also pursuing it, agree with him in it, and those who are making the manifestation of its course their object agree with him in that; while even those who are failing in both these things agree with him where they fail. Hence, those with whom he agrees as to the Tao have the happiness of attaining to it; those with whom he agrees as to its manifestation have the happiness of attaining to it; and those with whom he agrees in their failure have also the happiness of attaining (to the Tao). (But) when there is not faith sufficient (on his part), a want of faith (in him) ensues (on the part of the others). Lau 23 To use words but rarely Is to be natural. Hence a gusty wind cannot last all morning, and a sudden downpour cannot last all day. Who is it that produces these? Heaven and earth. If even heaven and earth cannot go on forever, much less can man. That is why one follows the way. A man of the way conforms to the way; A man of virtue conforms to virtue; A man of loss conforms to loss. He who conforms to the way is gladly accepted by the way; He who conforms to virtue is gladly accepted by virtue; He who conforms to loss is gladly accepted by loss. When there is not enough faith, there is lack of good faith. Feng/English 23 To talk little is natural. High winds do not last all morning. Heavy rain does not last all day. Why is this? Heaven and Earth! If heaven and Earth cannot make things eternal, How is it possible for man? He who follows the Tao Is at one with the Tao. He who is virtuous Experiences Virtue. He who loses the way Is lost. When you are at one with the Tao, The Tao welcomes you. When you are at one with Virtue, The Virtue is always there. When you are at one with loss, The loss is experienced willingly. He who does not trust enough Will not be trusted. Jonathan Star 23 Speak little Hold to your own nature A strong wind does not blow all morning A cloudburst does not last all day The wind and the rain are form Heaven and Earth and even these do not last long How much less so the efforts of man? One who lives in accordance with the Truth becomes an embodiment of Tao His actions become those of Nature his ways those of Heaven It is through such a one that Heaven rejoices that Earth rejoices that all of life rejoices Flowing Hands 23 In Nature nothing is eternal. High winds do not last all morning, heavy rain does not last all day. So why should man be forever talking. In silence, the mind and heart are set at peace. This is natural. Heaven is eternal and so is the Earth, by reproducing its own kind each generation. Man can never make things eternal, he will only just ruin things by interfering. He who follows the Dao, is at one with the Dao. He who is virtuous, is at one with virtue. He who loses the way, feels lost. When you are at one with the Dao, the Dao welcomes you. When you are at one with virtue, virtue is always there in your heart. When you are at one with loss, loss is experienced willingly.
  13. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 23

    Word for word. For a translation, then use Lau as a comparison: 失-者-同-於-失 loss-person-same-ah! (alas)-loss A man of loss conforms to loss -- Lau
  14. Heshang Gong commentary of DDJ

    Heshang Gong (HSG) , 1 century CE and Wang Bi (WB), about 240 CE, both have a version of the DDJ (characters) and a commentary. There are other DDJ versions as well. See this thread: https://www.thedaobums.com/topic/33887-time-table-of-the-tao-te-ching/ IMO, HSG saw the DDJ as more a cultivation text and WB saw it more as a civil/political text. HSG's is considered one of the earliest in the fullest sense to cover all chapters, although the legalist Hanfeizi has an earlier commentary with only some passages surviving and written in a more pragmatic application to the [Warring] times (250 BC). Erkes wrote his work of the HSG in 1945. Dan Reid wrote his work of HSG in 2015. Alan Chan wrote his work of HSG and WB in 1991. Richard Bertschinger wrote his work of HSG and WB in 2010. Richard John Lynn wrote a translation on WB commentary and notes in 1999. Rudolf Wagner wrote a translation on WB commentary and notes in 2003 (part of a 3 part series). Wagner has done extensive research on WB to show that much of what is there is based on HSG. He further showed that WB notes seem to show that the version attributed to WB must of had some changes as the character version at times does not really agree with his notes.
  15. The Ho-Shang Kung Commentary on Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching by Heshang Gong (Author), Lao Tzu (Author), Dan G. Reid (Translator) Amazon link Dan G. Reid (not to be confused with Daniel P. Reid, author of “The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity”). I have only seen (and own) the one commentary of HSG on the DDJ... Here is another
  16. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 25

    I played with the last lines for a long time, once before, and I like 'model' (Lau uses it). In this way, the 'sequence' would suggest as you say: by being modeled on earth we are modeled on Dao. Man vs King. This has a history of debate but seems it is not required to be so distinct. Chan in his translation notes that there are versions with 'man' instead and writes in his notes: "the king here is representative of men. Moreover, in chapter 16 and 39, Heaven, Earth and Man are spoken of together. Wagner's translation of Wang Bi's notes are explained as his (WB) quoting a text that seems to appear to say man is the most exalted being and the king is highest of men... and thus WB supports the use of Man. But Wagner says the entire section is trying to show that WB "intends to show why the king is not great but only 'also great' (see The King is also Great--Lau). He is also great because Heaven and Earth have given the highest endowment to humans and he is their lord. He is not intrinsically great but also great by this endownment."
  17. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 25

    Legge 25 There was something undefined and complete, coming into existence before Heaven and Earth. How still it was and formless, standing alone, and undergoing no change, reaching everywhere and in no danger (of being exhausted)! It may be regarded as the Mother of all things. I do not know its name, and I give it the designation of the Tao (the Way or Course). Making an effort (further) to give it a name I call it The Great. Great, it passes on (in constant flow). Passing on, it becomes remote. Having become remote, it returns. Therefore the Tao is great; Heaven is great; Earth is great; and the (sage) king is also great. In the universe there are four that are great, and the (sage) king is one of them. Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its being what it is. Lau 25 There is a thing confusedly formed, Born before heaven and earth. Silent and void It stands alone and does not change, Goes round and does not weary. It is capable of being the mother of the world. I know not its name So I style it 'the way'. I give it the makeshift name of 'the great'. Being great, it is further described as receding, Receding, it is described as far away, Being far away, it is described as turning back. Hence the way is great; Heaven is great; Earth is great; The king is also great. Within the realm there are four things that are great, And the king counts as one. Man models himself on earth, Earth on heaven, Heaven on the way, And the way on that which is naturally so. Feng/English 25 Something mysteriously formed, Born before heaven and Earth. In the silence and the void, Standing alone and unchanging, Ever present and in motion. Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things. I do not know its name Call it Tao. For lack of a better word, I call it great. Being great, it flows I flows far away. Having gone far, it returns. Therefore, "Tao is great; Heaven is great; Earth is great; The king is also great." These are the four great powers of the universe, And the king is one of them. Man follows Earth. Earth follows heaven. Heaven follows the Tao. Tao follows what is natural. Jonathan Star 25 Something formless, complete in itself There before Heaven and Earth Tranquil, vast, standing alone, unchanging It provide for all things yet cannot be exhausted It is the mother of the universe I do not know its name so I call it ?Tao? Forced to name it further I call it ?The greatness of all things? ?The end of all endings? I call it ?That which is beyond the beyond? ?That to which all things return? From Tao comes all greatness ? I makes Heaven great It makes Earth great It makes man great Mankind depends on the laws of the Earth Earth depends on the laws of Heaven Heaven depends on the laws of Tao But Tao depends on itself alone Supremely free, self-so, it rests in its own nature Flowing Hands 25 Something mysteriously formed, born before Heaven and Earth. In silence and from within the void. Alone and constant, ever present and flowing. It is the Mother of the Ten Thousand Things. I do not know its name, so I call it Dao. For lack of a better word I call it great. Being great it flows. It nourishes the Ten Thousand Things far and away. From whence it came I do not know. Therefore the Dao is great. Heaven is great. Earth is great. The Ten Thousand Things are great. These are the four great powers of the Universe, And one of them is the Ten Thousand Things. Man follows the Earth. Earth follows Heaven. Heaven follows the Dao. Dao is what is natural.
  18. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 23

    失: Loss, mistake, neglect, miss, fail It is an interesting set of sentences that are essentially in parallel meaning, such as: 失-者-同-於-失 loss-person-same-ah! (alas)-loss There may be some leeway for a meaning of 'cautious' (cautious person) but maybe less so here.
  19. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 18

    Yes... kind of an entropy unfolding from the Dao (natural way) to Man (intentional way). I think your finishing with the idea that from man's point of view, these are 'good' but nonetheless not necessarily without interference. What is interesting to note is that ch. 17 & 18 are in Guodian C and 18 starts, 'therefore' and the two are a single chapter there. Can also note that the first words to describe the first descent is 'ren' and 'yi' (There is benevolence and justice--Lin) both of which are important concepts in Confucianism. Remember that the Heaven and Earth is said to be 'not ren' in ch. 5.
  20. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 18

    Legge 18 When the Great Tao (Way or Method) ceased to be observed, benevolence and righteousness came into vogue. (Then) appeared wisdom and shrewdness, and there ensued great hypocrisy. When harmony no longer prevailed throughout the six kinships, filial sons found their manifestation; when the states and clans fell into disorder, loyal ministers appeared. Lau 18 When the great way falls into disuse There are benevolence and rectitude; When cleverness emerges There is great hypocrisy; When the six relations are at variance There are filial children; When the state is benighted There are loyal ministers. Feng/English 18 The very highest if barely known. Then comes that which people know and love. Then that which is feared, Then that which is despised. Who does not trust enough will not be trusted. When actions are performed Without unnecessary speech, People say, "We did it!" Jonathan Star 18 When the greatness of Tao is present action arises from one?s own heart When the greatness of Tao is absent action comes from the rules of ?kindness? and ?justice? If you need rules to be kind and just, if you act virtuous, this is a sure sign that virtue is absent Thus we see the great hypocrisy Only when the family loses its harmony do we hear of ?dutiful sons? Only when the state is in chaos do we hear of ?loyal ministers? Flowing Hand's Tranmission 18 When the great Dao is forgotten, human kindness and morals arise. When clever people employ their schemes, the great perversion begins. When the family have forgotten the natural order, filial piety and devotion arises. When the country is in chaos, loyal ministers always appear. Set things in order, be at one with the Dao. For when people are at one, there is no need for such things. Hinton 18 When the great Way is abandoned we're faced with Humanity and Duty.When clever wisdom appears we're faced with duplicity.When familial harmony ends we're faced with obedience and kindness.And when chaos engulfs the nation we're faced with trustworthy ministers. Lin 18 The great Tao fades away There is benevolence and justice Intelligence comes forth There is great deception The six relations are not harmonious There is filial piety and kind affection The country is in confused chaos There are loyal ministers [Lin commentary] When people forsake the great Tao, so that it fades away and perishes in their thoughts, concepts like benevolence, compassion, justice and righteousness appear in the world. When intelligence, book knowledge and cleverness become widespread in the world, we end up with great hypocrisy and deception everywhere When the six family relationships - parent, child, older sibling, younger sibling, husband, wife - are in a state of disharmony, concepts like filial piety, obedience, and the kind affection of parental love become important and significant. When the country is in a state of chaos and anarchy, it becomes crucial to make the distinction between ministers who are loyal, and those who are not.
  21. Yellow jelly like semen after retention?

    There are two sides of this that you should likely find out which one is at work. 1. Sperm volume is denser/thicker and jells up. This can occur with certain tonics too. 2. Certain disorders interfere with liquidity of sperm and can cause it to coagulate.
  22. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 20

    Legge 20 When we renounce learning we have no troubles. The (ready) 'yes,' and (flattering) 'yea;'-- Small is the difference they display. But mark their issues, good and ill;-- What space the gulf between shall fill? What all men fear is indeed to be feared; but how wide and without end is the range of questions (asking to be discussed)! The multitude of men look satisfied and pleased; as if enjoying a full banquet, as if mounted on a tower in spring. I alone seem listless and still, my desires having as yet given no indication of their presence. I am like an infant which has not yet smiled. I look dejected and forlorn, as if I had no home to go to. The multitude of men all have enough and to spare. I alone seem to have lost everything. My mind is that of a stupid man; I am in a state of chaos. Ordinary men look bright and intelligent, while I alone seem to be benighted. They look full of discrimination, while I alone am dull and confused. I seem to be carried about as on the sea, drifting as if I had nowhere to rest. All men have their spheres of action, while I alone seem dull and incapable, like a rude borderer. (Thus) I alone am different from other men, but I value the nursing-mother (the Tao). Lau 20 Between yea and nay How much difference is there? Between good and evil How great is the distance? What others fear One must also fear. The multitude are joyous As if partaking of the offering Or going up to a terrace in spring. I alone am inactive and reveal no signs, And wax without having reached the limit. Like a baby that has not yet learned to smile, Listless as though with no home to go back to. The multitude all have more than enough. I alone seem to be in want. My mind is that of a fool - how blank! Vulgar people are clear. I alone am drowsy. Vulgar people are alert. I alone am muddled. Calm like the sea; Like a high wind that never ceases. The multitude all have a purpose. I alone am foolish and uncouth. I alone am different from others And value being fed by the mother. Feng/English 20 Give up learning, and put an end to your troubles. Is there a difference between yes and no? Is there a difference between good and evil? Must I fear what others fear? What nonsense! Other people are contented, enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox. In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace, But I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am. Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile, I am alone, without a place to go. Others have more than they need, but I alone have nothing. I am a fool. Oh, yes! I am confused. Others are clear and bright, But I alone am dim and weak. Others are sharp and clever, But I alone am dull and stupid. Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea, Without direction, like the restless wind. Everyone else is busy, But I alone am aimless and depressed. I am different. I am nourished by the great mother. Jonathan Star The difference between a formal yes and a casual yeah how slight! The difference between knowing Truth and not knowing it ? how great! Must I fear what others fear? Should I fear desolation when there is abundance? Should I fear darkness when that light is shining everywhere? Nonsense! The people of this world are steeped in their merrymaking as if gorging at a great feast or watching the sights of springtime Yet here I sit, without a sign, staring blank-eyed like a child I am but a guest in this world While others rush about to get things done I accept what is offered Oh, my mind is like that of a fool aloof to the clamour of life around me Everyone seems so bright and alive with the sharp distinctions of day I appear dark and dull with the blending of differences by night I am drifting like an ocean, floating like the winds Everyone is so rooted in this world yet I have no place to lay my head Indeed I am different. . . . I have no treasures but the Eternal Mother I have no food but what comes from her breast Flowing Hand's Tranmission 20 Give up learning, put an end to your troubles. Remain and dwell in simplicity. I am contented, for I dwell in the infinite; the Dao is full when it is present in the heart. Others enjoy the feast, but I am alone and wandering, drifting with the wind. Open and yielding like a new born babe. Innocent and simple, for I am nourished by the Great Mother of all thing,, Others have more than what they need, but I alone have nothing. I seem foolish and confused, but I alone am aware and alert. Other Men seem sharp and clever, For my simplicity and innocence appears dull and stupid to such Men. I drift like the waves of the sea and follow the flow. Everyone seems busy, but I alone am without desire and uncluttered. I am different, for I am nourished by the great Dao. Hinton 20 If you give up learning, troubles end.How much difference is there between yes and no?And is there a difference between lovely and ugly?If we can't stop fearingthose things people fear,it's pure confusion, never-ending confusion.People all radiate such joy,happily offering a sacrificial oxor climbing a tower in spring.But I go nowhere and reveal nothing,like a newborn child who has yet to smile,aimless and worn outas if the way home were lost.People all have enough and more.But I'm abandoned and destitute,an absolute simpleton, this mind of mine so utterlymuddled and blank.Others are bright and clear:I'm dark and murky.Others are confident and effective:I'm pensive and withdrawn,uneasy as boundless seasor perennial mountain winds.People all have a purpose in life,but I'm inept, thoroughly useless and backward.I'll never be like other people:I keep to the nurturing mother. Lin 20 Cease learning, no more worries Respectful response and scornful response How much is the difference? Goodness and evil How much do they differ? What the people fear, I cannot be unafraid So desolate! How limitless it is! The people are excited As if enjoying a great feast As if climbing up to the terrace in spring I alone am quiet and uninvolved Like an infant not yet smiling So weary, like having no place to return The people all have surplus While I alone seem lacking I have the heart of a fool indeed - so ignorant! Ordinary people are bright I alone am muddled Ordinary people are scrutinizing I alone am obtuse So tranquil, like the ocean So moving, as if without limits The people all have goals And I alone am stubborn and lowly I alone am different from them And value the nourishing mother [Lin Commentary] The blind pursuit of learning leads to excessive desires - the more you see, the more you want. Excessive desires, in turn, lead to anxiety and misery. Once we understand this and decide to no longer subject ourselves to information overload, the anxiety and misery disappear as quickly as the mental clutter. People tend to place too much importance and attachment to value judgments like good, evil, respect and scorn. In reality these are relative variables that change according to perspective. How much do they actually differ, when there are no absolute standards to measure against? Of course, I always proceed cautiously as a Tao cultivator. Whatever the people fear, I must approach with a healthy dose of caution. If they consider something to be bad, there is probably a reason. I will handle it with care, even though I understand the relative nature of value judgments. In this respect, I am not that different from them. Still, the great Tao is so vast, seemingly without limits. The gap between the Tao and ordinary people is huge indeed. For the most part, what they do and how they behave are quite different from my way of being. For instance, see how easily they become happy and excited, as if enjoying a great feast, or hiking up to a scenic spot where they can take in the panoramic view. I, on the other hand, maintain my quietness, tranquility, and the purity of my original nature, like a newborn baby that has not yet learned to smile. My demeanor is not jittery and excitable. Instead, it is slow and low-key, as if I am a weary traveler without a home to return to, and is therefore in no rush. I notice how the people have too much, while I alone seem to have too little. Their lives are filled with things they do not need, while I carry no excess baggage. My way is minimalist. I possess the bare necessities of life and and the freedom that comes with having few burdens. It would certainly appear that I have the heart and mind of a fool. I seem so simple and ignorant compared to the shrewdness of ordinary people. They seem so brilliant and logical. They handle everything in a calculating way, while I react slowly and cannot account for every little thing. They scrutinize every detail in everything with a sharp eye, while I am happy enough with a general idea and fuzzy approximations. My mind is tranquil and still, like the depths of the ocean. At the same time, it is also moving dynamically, like the wind high in the sky. This is something that most people are not likely to understand. I see them frantically pursuing various goals in the world, displaying their many talents and abilities, trying to get ahead in the rat race. Meanwhile, I appear to be stubbornly persisting in my lowly ways. Why am I so different? It is only because I hold on to the basis of life, the nurturing mother of all things - the Great Tao itself! Notes When Lao Tzu talks about not being overly calculating and scrutinizing, he is specifically referring to our conduct in interpersonal relationships. Most people keep track of "scores" - slights, cold shoulders, back stabs, and so on - with great clarity and precision, so that when the time is right they can dole out vengeance and "even the score." Tao cultivators do not do that. They take action to protect themselves, or distance themselves from malicious people, but otherwise let go of personal affronts without needing to retaliate in kind. People who do not understand think cultivators must be obtuse to let others take advantage of them like that. They fail to see that, as Gandhi once pointed out, if we all practice "an eye for an eye," pretty soon the whole world will be blind. In the game of life, those who shrewdly "win" at the expense of others will end up losing big sooner or later. Tao cultivators, in following Lao Tzu's wisdom, seem to "lose" in the short term, only to end up, inexplicably, as the ultimate winners in the long run.
  23. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 9

    Legge 9 It is better to leave a vessel unfilled, than to attempt to carry it when it is full. If you keep feeling a point that has been sharpened, the point cannot long preserve its sharpness. When gold and jade fill the hall, their possessor cannot keep them safe. When wealth and honours lead to arrogancy, this brings its evil on itself. When the work is done, and one's name is becoming distinguished, to withdraw into obscurity is the way of Heaven. Lau 9 Rather than fill it to the brim by keeping it upright Better to have stopped in time; Hammer it to a point And the sharpness cannot be preserved for ever; There may be gold and jade to fill a hall But there is none who can keep them. To be overbearing when one has wealth and position Is to bring calamity upon oneself. To retire when the task is accomplished Is the way of heaven. Feng/English 9 Better to stop short than fill to the brim. Oversharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt. Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it. Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow. Retire when the work is done. This is the way of heaven. Bill Porter (Red Pine) 9. Instead of pouring in more better stop while you can making it sharper won't help it last longer rooms full of treasure can never be safe the vanity of success invites its own failure when your work is done retire this is the Way of Heaven Jonathan Star 9 Grabbing and stuffing ? there is no end to it Sharpen a blade too much and its edge will soon be lost Fill a house with gold and jade and no one can protect it Puff yourself with honour and pride and no one can save you from a fall Complete the task at had Be selfless in your actions This is the way of Heaven This is the way to Heaven FH: 9 Better to stop short than to fill to the brim. Oversharpen a blade and it will soon become blunt. Make a hoard of gold and jade and no one can protect them. Claim wealth and titles and disaster will surely follow. Retire when the work is done. For this is the way of Heaven. Ni: 9 A bow that is stretched to its fullest capacity may certainly snap. A sword that is tempered to its very sharpest may easily be broken. A house that is full of jade and gold cannot remain secure for long. One who proudly displays his wealth invites trouble. Therefore, resign from a high position when your mission is complete. This is the Universal Way of a life of deep virtue.
  24. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 19

    Legge 19 If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it would be better for the people a hundredfold. If we could renounce our benevolence and discard our righteousness, the people would again become filial and kindly. If we could renounce our artful contrivances and discard our (scheming for) gain, there would be no thieves nor robbers. Those three methods (of government) Thought olden ways in elegance did fail And made these names their want of worth to veil; But simple views, and courses plain and true Would selfish ends and many lusts eschew. Lau 19 Exterminate learning and there will no longer be worries. Exterminate the sage, discard the wise, And the people will benefit a hundredfold; Exterminate benevolence, discard rectitude, And the people will again be filial; Exterminate ingenuity, discard profit, And there will be no more thieves and bandits. These three, being false adornments, are not enough And the people must have something to which they can attach themselves: Exhibit the unadorned and embrace the uncarved block, Have little thought of self and as few desires as possible. Feng/English 19 Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom, And it will be a hundred times better for everyone. Give up kindness, renounce morality, And men will rediscover filial piety and love. Give up ingenuity, renounce profit, And bandits and thieves will disappear. These three are outward forms alone; they are not sufficient in themselves. It is more important To see the simplicity, To realize one's true nature, To cast off selfishness And temper desire. Jonathan Star 19 Abandon holiness Discard cleverness and the people will benefit a hundredfold Abandon the rules of kindness Discard righteous action and the people will return to their own natural affections Abandon book learning Discard the rules of behaviour and the people will have no worries Abandon plots and schemes Discard profit-seeking and the people will not become thieves These lessons are mere elaborations The essence of my teachings is this: See with original purity Embrace with original simplicity Reduce what you have Flowing Hand's Tranmission 19 Give up Sainthood, stop preaching. Let people follow the Dao, and it will be a hundred times better for everyone. If people are at one, there is no need for religion or morality? Give up ingenuity, don't look for profit and bandits and thieves will disappear. It is more important to follow the ways of Nature; to observe its order and workings, to see the simplicity, to realise one's true nature, to cast off selfishness and dispel desire. For here lies the way of Dao. Hinton 19 If you give up sagehood and abandon wisdom people will profit a hundred times over.If you give up Humanity and abandon Duty people will return to obedience and kindness.If you give up ingenuity and abandon profit bandits and thieves will roam no more.But these threeare mere refinements, nowhere near enough.They depend on something more:observe origin's weave,embrace uncarved simplicity,self nearly forgotten,desires rare. Lin 19 Discontinue sagacity, abandon knowledge The people benefit a hundred times Discontinue benevolence, abandon righteousness The people return to piety and charity Discontinue cunning, discard profit Bandits and thieves no longer exist These three things are superficial and insufficient Thus this teaching has its place: Show plainness, hold simplicity Reduce selfishness, decrease desires [Lin Commentary] This chapter presents one of the more difficult teachings to understand, because we have a strong tendency to worship knowledge. We've all been conditioned to believe that knowledge is power, and having more can't possibly be a bad thing. Lao Tzu is uniquely alone among all the ancient philosophers in steadfastly pointing to the pitfalls of knowledge. He saw the link between academic intelligence and scholarly arrogance clearly, and addressed it several times throughout the Tao Te Ching in no uncertain language. One of the problems with knowledge is that we become very good at using it in a crafty and shrewd way to twist the truth. There are examples of this everywhere, and one of them applies to this very chapter. The first two words of this chapter are literally "end sagacity." The meaning is that we should put a stop to this obsession with book smarts and focus instead on the wisdom of living an actual life apart from the books. It is the ancient Chinese equivalent of telling a bookworm to "get a life." But some readers of the Tao Te Ching have such a powerful desire for ever more knowledge that they do not hear this message at all. They interpret "end" to mean "extreme" or "ultimate" so they can change the first line to say something completely different - that if one can gain the ultimate knowledge so that there is nothing more to learn (thus bringing about an end to learning), then people would benefit a hundredfold. In this fashion, they have taken a warning against the disconnect of knowledge from down-to-earth living, and transformed it to a rallying cry to acquire ever more knowledge. The fact that this can happen at all is the very reason why Lao Tzu emphasizes intuitive wisdom and downplays intelligence. As we progress through cultivation, let's keep Lao Tzu's admonition in mind: Knowledge isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but book smarts is a very different thing from street smarts... and school learning can never compare to, or supplant life learning.
  25. I think there are three basic reasons: 1. readiness - most asian countries have a history of dealing with outbreaks and have a prepareness the west tends to not have in terms of mobilizing and implementing in very short order. 2. containment - this helps explain many countries quick 'lockdown' including why china did not spread so much; for other countries, their containment was mostly in not allowing transportation as well. 3. public enforcement - yes, the public has to participate in a way that supports the first two points. A government cannot enforce this alone. I would pick some countries and study their quick actions vs very slow actions. You will find some very telling stories.