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[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 32

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Wing Tsit Chan 1963
32 
Tao is eternal and has no name. Though its simplicity seems insignificant, none in the world can master it. 
If kings and barons would hold on to it, all things would submit to the spontaneously. 
Heaven and earth unite to drip sweet dew. Without the command of men, its drips evenly over all. 
As soon as there were regulations and institutions, there were names. As soon as there were names, know that it is time to stop. It is by knowing when to stop that one can be free from danger. 
Analogically, Tao in the world may be compared to rivers and streams running into the sea. 

 

Gu Zhengkun
32
The Tao is nameless for ever.
Though it is very small,
It is subject to no one in the world.
If lords and kings can keep it,
They can bring all things in the world under subjection.
When the Yin and Yang between heaven and earth unite,
Sweet dew will fall, so equally scattered down
Without any interference on the part of the people.
The administration of the empire demands names;
Names are once given,
Limitations are thereby known.
The knowledge of limitations helps avoid danger.
The Tao is to the world what the river and the sea
Are to the countless streamlets.

 

David Hinton
32
Way is perennially nameless,
an uncarved simplicity.
Though small,
it's subject to nothing in all beneath heaven.
But when lords or emperors foster it,
the ten thousand things gladly become their guests,
heaven mingling with earth sends down sweet dew,
and the people free of mandates share justice among themselves.
When a governing blade begins carving it up, names arise.
Once names arise,
know that it's time to stop.
Knowing when to stop, you can avoid danger.
Way flowing through all beneath heaven:
it's like valley streams flowing into rivers and seas.


Ellen Marie Chen 1989
32
Tao everlasting (ch'ang) is the nameless uncarved wood (p'u).
Though small,
Nothing under heaven can subjugate it (mo neng ch'en).
If kings and barons can abide by (shou) it,
All creatures will arrive as guests (pin) to a banquet.
Heaven and earth unite,
To send down the sweet rain.
Without being commanded by the people (mo chih ling),
It falls evenly (chün) by itself.
At the beginning of institution names come to be.
Once there are names,
One must know when to stop (chih chih).
One who knows when to stop does not become exhausted (pu tai).
Tao in the world is like
Valley streams flowing into rivers and seas.


Witter Bynner
32
Existence is infinite, not to be defined;
And, though it seem but a bit of wood in your hand, to carve as you please,
It is not to be lightly played with and laid down.
When rulers adhered to the way of life,
They were upheld by natural loyalty:
Heaven and earth were joined and made fertile,
Life was a freshness of rain,
Subject to none,
Free to all.
But men of culture came, with their grades and their distinctions;
And as soon as such differences had been devised 
No one knew where to end them, 
Though the one who does know the end of all such differences
Is the sound man:
Existence
Might be likened to the course
Of many rivers reaching the one sea.


Hua Ching Ni
32
The universal subtle essence is unnameable and omnipresent.
Although it appears even in the plainest and most ordinary of things,
it is inferior to nothing.
It maintains itself as a model of indivisible integrity.
If people would embrace it as their own true nature,
everything would settle down in right order and peace of its own accord.
Harmonious relationship can be illustrated by the cycle of the seasons which produces rain and dew at exactly the right times.
People do not need to do anything to insure the harmony between Heaven and Earth.
All names were given for the purpose of distinction when the original simplicity was diversified.
When one departs from simplicity, the result is perplexity.
When one returns to simplicity, one is saved from destruction by confusion.
The universal subtle essence is to human beings what the great ocean is to the rivers and streams of the earth.


Flowing Hands
32
The Dao is eternally indefinable.
If kings and lords could use it to rule over their lands and people, everything would
naturally take its course.
Men would need no laws or bars to restrict their actions and their movements.
Once things are broken up and divided, the whole is lost.
Then the parts are given names.
When things are given names,
their purpose in the whole structure is lost.
Men should avoid giving things too many names, and look more closely at the whole.
For the Ten Thousand Things are part of one on-going, flowing structure.
Men are part of this also.
Here lies the key to balance and harmony.

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10 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

The natural flow of nature is always best.  But sometimes we have to get out of its way.

 

 

The natural flow may be to get out of the way... to avoid interference... let things flow their way.   In Chapter 51, nurture..  Here is Flowing Hands transmission

 

CHAPTER 51
All things are born of the Dao.
They are nourished by vital energy, and formed from the five elements.
They are shaped by the Dao and by their environment.
So the Ten Thousand Things all respect the Dao.
In respecting the Dao, they live naturally.
The Dao takes care of all their needs;
it shelters them, feeds them and allows them to reproduce.
But it does not possess them, claim them or demand anything from them.
For it is great.

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I think the later part of this chapter is worth highlighting. As the SFH version says...

 

...

Once things are broken up and divided, the whole is lost.
Then the parts are given names.
When things are given names,
their purpose in the whole structure is lost.
Men should avoid giving things too many names, and look more closely at the whole.
For the Ten Thousand Things are part of one on-going, flowing structure.
Men are part of this also.
Here lies the key to balance and harmony.

 

It is important to realize that men are also part of the this “one on-going, flowing structure”. Too often, people try to separate themselves and block out other people and energies, and when they do, “their purpose in the whole structure is lost”. As, the above chapter states, “the key to balance and harmony” is realizing your connection to other people. It is like there is a giant human network, that is part of the broader “ten thousand thing” network.

 

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