dawei

[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 53

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David Hinton 2002
53

Understanding sparse and sparser still I travel the great Way, nothing to fear unless I stray.
The great Way is open and smooth, but people adore twisty paths:
Government in ruins, fields overgrown and graineries bare,
they indulge in elegant robes
and sharp swords,
lavish food and drink,
all those trappings of luxury.
It's vainglorious thievery -
not the Way, not the Way at all.


 

Chad Hansen 2009
53

Let me suddenly have some know-how 
To exercise on The Great Guide-- 
Only helping it--this I fear! 
The Great Guide is profoundly smooth 
and people easily track it. 
The palace is profoundly stripped. 
Fields are profoundly overgrown. 
Granaries are profoundly bare. 
Clothes embroidered colorfully. 
Belts have sharp swords. 
Bored of drink and food. 
Wealth and commodities are excessive. 
This is called 'stealing.' Exaggeration! 
Not a guide! 

 

 

Moss Roberts 2001
53

Grant me this: to firmly know
That in walking the great high Way
I shall fear only to deviate
From the high way plain and fair;
For to byways men are lightly drawn.
The court is richly blessed,
But the farm fields are wasting,
And the bins bare of grain;
And courtiers dress in elegance,
Bear well-honed swords,
Gorge on food and drink –
This superflux of wealth and goods
Is the piper’s tune for thieves,
The negation of the Way. 
 
 

Lok Sang Ho 2002
53

What makes me know what I know,
And adhere to the Dao
Is the fear of departing from it.92
The Dao is level and straight.
Yet people prefer to go on their devious paths.
When the court is busy with granting honors to its dignitaries,
And not caring for the fields that are overgrown by weeds,
While the granaries are empty;
When the officers of the nation dress themselves up beautifully,
And carry sharp swords with an air of superiority and power;
While excessive dining and drinking
go hand in hand with excessive consumption and waste,
You know this is arrogance at the Dao.
This is certainly not the Dao. 

 


Gu Zhengku 1993
53

If I have acquired a little knowledge,
I will be afraid of going astray
When I walk on the road.
The road is even,
Yet people prefer to take by-paths.
While the court is corrupt,
The fields lie waste;
The granaries are empty;
There are persons who are still dressed gaudily,
Wearing ornamented swords,
Satiated with fine food and drink,
In possession of extravagant goods.
They can be called the chieftains of robbers.
What a phenomenon against the Tao!

 

 

Lin Yutang 1948
53

If I were possessed of Austere Knowledge, 
Walking on the Main Path (Tao), 
I would avoid the by-paths. 
   the Main path is easy to walk on, 
   Yet people love the small by-paths.

The (official) courts are spic and span, 
(While) the fields go untilled, 
And the (people's) granaries are very low. 
(Yet) clad in embroidered gowns, 
And carrying find swords, 
Surfeited with good food and drinks, 
(They are) splitting with wealth and possessions. 
   - This is to lead the world toward brigandage. 
   Is this not corruption of Tao?

 

 

Flowing Hands 1987
53

If people had just a little sense, they would walk on the main road.
But people love to be side-tracked.
When people are side-tracked, they love splendid clothes,
fine jewels and material possessions.
The crops in the fields are abandoned, and men take to drinking and bragging.
The Kings and Lords have more possessions than they need.
They are titled robbers.
This is never the way to enlightenment, and certainly not in keeping with the Dao.
 

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and certainly not in keeping with the Dao.

 

Simply and clearly stated.

 

However,

 

I like this ending as well:  Is this not corruption of Tao?

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43 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

I like this ending as well:  Is this not corruption of Tao?

 

That is a really great prosaic line among all the DDJ !   but a bit humane point of view. 

 

 

 

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Just now, dawei said:

 

That is a really great prosaic line among all the DDJ !   but a bit humane point of view. 

 

Yes, anything we say about Dao must be from our human and humane point of view.

 

I doubt we can say what Dao likes and does not like.

 

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9 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Yes, anything we say about Dao must be from our human and humane point of view.

 

I doubt we can say what Dao likes and does not like.

 

 

If we can move beyond the six senses, then there is something more... which we can still find difficult to speak with words.  

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3 minutes ago, dawei said:

 

If we can move beyond the six senses, then there is something more... which we can still find difficult to speak with words.  

Would you consider that this is why I rarely speak of the Way of Dao is specific terms.  I almost always generalize based on my own opinions and understandings.  Even if I thought that Dao "wanted" I doubt I would have any idea what it wanted.

 

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56 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Would you consider that this is why I rarely speak of the Way of Dao is specific terms.  I almost always generalize based on my own opinions and understandings.  Even if I thought that Dao "wanted" I doubt I would have any idea what it wanted.

 

 

I think as a materialist or earthlist, your point of view is very strong as coming from the heart and mind.   And you are on the cusp of my meaning.  

 

Dao wants nothing as that is just a concept word.   It describes what we see unfolding, from the infinite past to future.  The only want is from human feeling.  Once we let go of that want, we may understand Dao without want, but just an unfolding. 

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7 hours ago, dawei said:

The only want is from human feeling.  Once we let go of that want, we may understand Dao without want, but just an unfolding. 

We are told to reduce our desires.  I suppose it should be said that we should reduce our wants as well as they are kissing cousins of desires.

 

You know, that song, "You can't always get what you want …"

 

Logically, the fewer wants we have the fewer disappointments we will have.

 

That's about people.

 

We could ask, "What does Dao want of us?"

 

Dao is not a thing.  How could it possibly want?

 

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1 hour ago, Marblehead said:

We are told to reduce our desires.  I suppose it should be said that we should reduce our wants as well as they are kissing cousins of desires.

 

You know, that song, "You can't always get what you want …"

 

Logically, the fewer wants we have the fewer disappointments we will have.

 

That's about people.

 

We could ask, "What does Dao want of us?"

 

Dao is not a thing.  How could it possibly want?

 

 

Here is a point I often disagree with... reducing...  that is still treating it as a thing , and in particular that is influencing us and our existence or perceived existence.

 

In other words, you don't increase or reduce something that you just simply drop as a concept idea of the mind.    Think the Zen three stages where the last one talks of Mountains are Mountains [again]...  THey are there, but the second stage that they are not there also exists... at least with a smile.

 

I have always agreed with you and like your insistence that Dao is not a thing...  Thank you for beating a dead horse when it should be beat again ;)

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 I have no problem with beating a dead horse.  Redundancy is an excellent teacher.  It's even use in brain-washing.

 

The reason I speak of reducing is that I believe it is impossible for 99.9% of the people on the planet to actually eliminate their wants and desires.  It's not the way the human mind works.

 

Sure, wants and desires are not real things - they are mental concepts.  But recall that I have already admitted that dreams are real for the person having the dream.  Likewise, wants and desires are real for the person who has them.

 

And there will always be a mountain until we climb over it or walk around it.

 

The boulder will always be in the path until someone moves it.  (That's a different story.)

 

 

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The Tao seeks harmony so if the government has abundance and the common people have little then things are out of balance and is a failure,  it goes against the way. To take from excess and give to what is lacking would be the correct action to regain harmony.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

 I have no problem with beating a dead horse.  Redundancy is an excellent teacher.  It's even use in brain-washing.

 

The reason I speak of reducing is that I believe it is impossible for 99.9% of the people on the planet to actually eliminate their wants and desires.  It's not the way the human mind works.

 

Sure, wants and desires are not real things - they are mental concepts.  But recall that I have already admitted that dreams are real for the person having the dream.  Likewise, wants and desires are real for the person who has them.

 

And there will always be a mountain until we climb over it or walk around it.

 

The boulder will always be in the path until someone moves it.  (That's a different story.)

 

Yes, nicely said.  When we talk about Dao, we can't forget that most don't even conceptualize the non-conceptual need to drop the conceptualizing. 

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6 minutes ago, Wu Ming Jen said:

The Tao seeks harmony so if the government has abundance and the common people have little then things are out of balance and is a failure,  it goes against the way. To take from excess and give to what is lacking would be the correct action to regain harmony.

 

 

You almost said that better than Lao Tzu said it.

 

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I have been working through these sequentially.

 

51 speaks of the Mystic(al), the Profound ... the coming into being and the virtue of nurturing.

 

52 speaks of the mind understanding vs knowing ... and how to remain close to Dao.

 

53 speaks of what happens when the understanding mind has free rein and consumes all attention ... people are distracted from reality by a contentious mind and are thus corrupted.

 

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19 hours ago, dawei said:

What makes me know what I know,
And adhere to the Dao

 

Lok Sang Ho's rendering hit me like a splash of cold water. How many times have I asked myself the question ... How do I know what I know? There is no rationale to it. Its simply experiential. I can sit and think ... compare and contrast ... distinguish and discriminate ... and yet struggle to explain. After all ruminations, I find myself back at the same place. There is something there ... what is it. It is what keeps me moving on.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 28/09/2018 at 11:56 AM, Marblehead said:

The reason I speak of reducing is that I believe it is impossible for 99.9% of the people on the planet to actually eliminate their wants and desires.  It's not the way the human mind works.

 

It always comes back to this for me. As much as I cultivate, the rest of my day is spent thinking about my "wants".

 

My next job (I'm self employed) A girlfriend (nice to have) Some Chocolate in my house (also nice to have)

 

What cultivating has helped me with is to accept when I don't get what I want. To not be greedy and throw the toys out of the pram like I used to if things didn't go my way.

 

At some point, though, things do need to go our way, to the point where we are happy at least.

Edited by Rara

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