[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 20

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Maybe the chapter simply indicates there is in fact a price to pay to lead a Taoist life. You will become incapable of fully participating in the ways of life of ordinary people.

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Edited by Rara
Nevermind. I was not being observant!

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  • Verse Twenty

Don’t worry about learning everything.

Phase geometry, where is Azerbaijan?

What is the difference between “Ah” and “Ah”?

What is the difference between good and evil?

Just because everyone else is afraid, doesn’t mean you need to be afraid.

A crowd of people can be an empty, desolate place.

Everyone so busy busy, making sure they have two 

When I only have one.

So much fun, like Disneyland, 

Literally, like a holiday in Chuntai in the springtime.

I stand alone, and it signifies nothing.

It seems like I haven’t grown up.

According to many people, 

I am the one who is obstinate, 

And , worse, vulgar.

I am alone, and different from most people.

I wonder what my Mother-in-law is cooking tonight?



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This and chapter thirteen are my favorite "mistranslations" - I see a narrative connection, a young Li Er had an opportunity at the tea plantation on Mount Li, things blew up - "The Kettle Came To Boil" - and now he stands in the marketplace, pondering. We also see another glimpse of his wise teacher, the matriarch of his family, the grandmother of his children. If I wrote a novel about Lao Tzu, this would be the frame.

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On 7/17/2017 at 1:13 PM, flowing hands said:


Good on you, I pick up snails that start to cross the road so that they won't get squashed, I'm afraid I love things too much to allow wu wei to happen!

to me, action of this nature is also wei wu wei... which i translate as 'acting without forcing' versus the more literal 'doing without doing'.


action arising from authentic core drives arise without necessity of 'forging added energies'.


such actions arise without forcing, but as a response to impulses to react according to one's core essential nature


thus actions arising of this prompting and are a direct effortless product of local awareness flowing with natural essential nature and are not 'manufactured action' but 'action that arises of itself'.




it is wholly within my nature to take action and move a snail from a busy walkway


some times i move worms off sidewalks as well, while other times, i do not...(birds gotta eat)

it's utterly situational

On 3/17/2018 at 7:59 PM, Marblehead said:

But sometimes we have to give a little push in order to get things rolling.


sometimes we are the 'natural' energy in any given situation that catylizes the shift of change that is natural to all life processes.

also tzujan and wei wu wei, even though sometimes 'great action' can be taking place...


On 3/22/2018 at 2:13 PM, Boundlesscostfairy said:

Well like a rock pushed down a hill.. though the force may be great to push the rock.. the rest is taken care via gravity-inertia rolling down the hill..

resonates perfectly with my local awareness' experience of it


 here is verse 20 from my haiku tao:




Between yes and no,

how much difference exists?

Twixt Good and Evil?


What others value

I should value this as such?

How ridiculous!


People ecstatic,

as if at a festival:

I alone, care not.


They have what they need.

I alone possess nothing.

I alone, drift loose.


Like one with no home,

I am like an idiot.

My mind so empty.


I am different,

unlike the ordinary.

I drink the Great Tao.

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One must cease to concern oneself with intellectual rigidity,
for through learning,
one does not attain the Unknowable realm of Tao.
How may intellectual learning ever serve this cause?
And the realm of Man is a realm of fear,
how shall mere intellectual learning ever overcome this sorrow?
And through fear thine intellect graspest for the Knowable,
for thou fearest the Unknowable like thou fearest the dark,
this is a desolate path in which one cannot touch the true heart of things.
Many Men, prosperous and splendid,
believe to live in joy but are in truth imprisoned,
thinking they have scaled the heights of accomplishment.
I alone am in my heart independent, so that I liken a lake tranquil,
whose silent water reflects clearly the cosmic secrets in the deeps of the night.
So clear am I! Like an unconditioned infant child,
of whom none may yet foretell what his bearing shall be.
A homeless wanderer I must seem, ever existing  outside the crowd,
appearing to have lost all things.
My clarity thus makes me seem as foolish, and my serenity as disorderly.
Among Men of learning, I am held as muddled.
And the traditionalists behold me,
and find that I am uncultured.
Tranquil and silent like an ocean ceaseless,
I am deemed a virtueless fool, deeply scorned.
How I exist beyond the ken of Man,
finding sanctum and providence sacred
but in the primordial origin.

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