[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 55

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David Hinton 2002

Embody Integrity's abundance and you're like a vibrant child
hornets and vipers can't bite,
savage beasts can't maul and fierce birds can't claw,
bones supple and muscles tender, but still gripping firmly.
Knowing nothing of male and female mingling
and yet aroused:
this is the utmost essence.
Wailing all day without getting hoarse:
this is the utmost harmony.
To understand harmony is called constancy,
and to understand constancy is called enlightenment.
To enhance your life is called tempting fate,
and to control ch'i with the mind is called violence.
Things grown strong soon grow old.
This is called losing the Way: Lose the Way and you die young.



Chad Hansen 2009

The thickness of implicit virtuosity: 
Compare it to a robust infant. 
Bees, scorpions, serpents, and snakes do not sting. 
Ferocious animals do not seize. 
Birds of prey do not take. 
Bones are weak and muscles soft and yet he has a firm grasp. 
He does not yet know to join male and female and yet he is completely ready. 
This is the instinct's having arrived. 
The whole day he babbles and he does not get hoarse. 
This is the balance having arrived. 
Knowing to balance, call it 'constant' 
Knowing how to stay constant, call it 'discernment.' 
Benefiting life, call it 'auspicious.' 
The heart-mind's deploying life-force, call it 'coercion.' 
When natural kinds are mature then old age sets in. 
Call this not guided. 
That which is not guided is early already. 



Moss Roberts 2001

Who holds within the fullest power
To a newborn may compare,
Which no insects stings,
No wild beast seizes,
No taloned bird snatches.
Though soft-boned and weak-limbed, its grip is firm.
Before it ever knows of intercourse,
Its standing phallus knows its full life force.
It cries all day without a loss of voice,
A sign of its perfect balance.
Knowing balance means constant norm;
Knowing the norm means inner vision;
Enhancing life means good fortune;
Mind controlling spirit means inner strength.
‚ÄúBeware old age in pride of manly might,‚ÄĚ
For that means working against the Way.
‚ÄúWork against the Way, die before your day.‚ÄĚ

Lok Sang Ho 2002

To be receptive to the benefit of the Virtue,
Like an infant is receptive to the mother,
One would be spared of the stings and bites
 from bees, scorpions, and snakes;
One would be spared of being harmed
 by fierce beasts;
And of being clawed by the predatory birds.
To be so receptive,
Then even if one has weak bones and soft sinews
One can grip things firmly.
People do not realize that
the union of the male and female with moderation96
Represents energy at its height; and that
Being together all day sounding natural calls
and not losing voice through screaming
Represents harmony at its best.
To know the harmony of the universe is
 be congruent with the Eternal;
To know the Eternal is to be illuminated.
To preserve and to promote life is to bring good fortune;
To let the mind take command of the life-breath is to be strong.
Any living thing that indulges in excesses soon gets old.97
Indulging in excesses is against the Dao.
Going against the Dao, one soon dies. 


Gu Zhengku 1993

A man of prodigious virtue is just like a newly-born baby:
Poisonous insects will not sting it;
Beasts of prey will not harm it;
Birds of prey will not swoop down upon it.
Its bones and muscles are weak and supple,
Yet its hold is tight.
It does not know sexual intercourse between the male and female,
Yet its little penis often erects itself;
This is because it is at the height of virility.
It cries all day long,
Yet its throat does not become hoarse;
This is because it is at the height of harmonious vim and vigor.
To know harmony is to know the law of unity;
To know the law of unity is to know discernment;
To indulge in sensual pleasures is to look for disasters;
To let virility driven by desires is to give free rein to strength.
A creature in its prime is at the turning-point of being old,
For it is against the Tao.
What is against the Tao comes to an early end.


Lin Yutang 1948

Who is rich in character 
Is like a child. 
   No poisonous insects sting him, 
   No wild beasts attack him, 
   And no birds of prey pounce upon him. 
His bones are soft, his sinews tender, yet his grip is strong. 
Not knowing the union of male and female, yet his organs are complete, 
   Which means his vigor is unspoiled. 
Crying the whole day, yet his voice never runs hoarse, 
   Which means his (natural) harmony is perfect. 
To know harmony is to be in accord with the eternal, 
(And) to know eternity is called discerning. 
(But) to improve upon life is called an ill-omen; 
To let go the emotions through impulse is called assertiveness. 
(For) things age after reaching their prime; 
That (assertiveness) would be against Tao. 
And he who is against Tao perishes young.


Flowing Hands 1987

He who is at one with the Dao experiences all things.
Therefore the Sage is whole; he experiences the union of man and woman,
so he knows of the ways of mankind.
Without this, he is not following the way of Nature.
The Sage is one of the Ten Thousand Things, but his grip on the Dao is firm.
Having experienced all things, he can obtain enlightenment.
Through enlightenment, he can become Divine.
Knowing balance and harmony is insight into constancy.
Do not complicate your life.
This only causes stress and fatigue and ill-health will surely follow.
This is not the way of Dao.
Dwell in simplicity and enjoy a contented, peaceful life.
Whatever goes against the Dao will never last.

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And here we have:  A man of prodigious virtue is just like a newly-born baby:



new-born calf; uncarved block; basically, true nature



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  • Verse Fifty Five


Become wrapped up in your activities 

Like a new born child.

Poisonous insects will not sting you;

The fierce beast will not stalk them.

The stooping hawk will not take you as a prize.


An infant's  bones are weak, their muscles are soft, but their grip is strong.


They are filled with the essence of life.

They can scream as loud as they can,

for as long as they want, and not grow hoarse.


They will live a long time

And not  become decrepit with age.


This is the result of following the Trail Marker, 

Not doing things the natural way 

Has consequences.


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