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[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 64

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David Hinton 2002

64

It's easy to embrace the tranquil
and easy to prevent trouble before omens appear.
It's easy for the trifling to melt away
and easy for the slight to scatter away.
Work at things before they've begun
and establish order before confusion sets in,
for a tree you can barely reach around
grows from the tiniest rootlet,
a nine-tiered tower
starts as a basket of dirt,
a thousand-mile journey
begins with a single step.
Work at things and you ruin them; cling to things and you lose them.
That's why a sage does nothing and so ruins nothing, clings to nothing and so loses nothing.
When people devote themselves to something they always ruin it on the verge of success.
Finish with the same care you took in beginning and you'll avoid ruining things.
This is why a sage desires without desire,
never longing for rare treasures,
learns without learning,
always returning to what people have passed by,
helps the ten thousand things occur of themselves by never presuming to work at them.

 

 

Dwight Goddard 1919
64

That which is at rest is easily restrained, that which has not yet appeared is easily prevented. 
The weak is easily broken, the scanty is easily scattered. 
Consider a difficulty before it arises, and administer affairs before they become disorganized. 
A tree that it takes both arms to encircle grew from a tiny rootlet. 
A pagoda of nine stories was erected by placing small bricks. A journey of three thousand miles begins with one step. If one tries to improve a thing, he mars it; if he seizes it, he loses it. The wise man, therefore, not attempting to form things does not mar them, and not grasping after things he does not lose them. The people in their rush for business are ever approaching success but continually failing. 
One must be as careful to the end as at the beginning if he is to succeed.
Therefore the wise man desires to be free from desire, he does not value the things that are difficult of attainment. 
He learns to be unlearned, he returns to that which all others ignore. 
In that spirit he helps all things toward their natural development, but dares not interfere.

 

 

Bradford Hatcher 2005

64

What is secure is easy to hold
What has yet to begin is easy to plan for
What is thin is easy to break up
What is minute is easy to scatter
Attend to things before they come to be
Arrange things before they entangle
A tree which fills the joined embrace
Has grown from a slender shoot
A tower which reaches nine stories
Begins as a basket of earth
A journey of a thousand li
Begins from beneath the feet
Those who interfere spoil things
Those who grab lose things
This is why wise ones do not interfere and so do not spoil
Do not grab and so do not lose
People in their pursuits & affairs
(are) ever on the verge of achieving and still ruin things
Take care at the end as well as at the beginning
And then there will be no ruined affairs
This is why wise ones desire to have no desires
Do not prize goods which are hard to obtain
Learn to unlearn
And return to what everyone else has passed by
Thus helping the myriad beings to realize themselves
While not presuming to interfere

 

 

Wing-Tsit Chan 1963
64 

What remains still is easy to hold. What is not yet manifest is easy to plan for. What is brittle is easy to crack. What is minute is easy to scatter. 
Deal with things before they appear. Put things in order before disorder arises. 
A tree as big as a man's embrace grows from a tiny shoot. A tower of nine stories begins with a heap of earth. The journey of a thousand li starts from where one stands. 
He who takes action fails. He who grasps things loses them. For this reason the sage takes no action and therefore does not fail. He grasps nothing and therefore does not lose anything; 
A sane man is sane in knowing what things he can spare, In not wishing what most people wish, In not reaching for things that seem rare. 
Therefore the sage desires to have no desire, He does not value rare treasures. He learns to be unlearned, and returns to what the multitude has missed (Tao). Thus he supports all things in their natural state but does not take any action. 

 

 

Gu Zhengku 1993

64

A stable situation is easy to be maintained;
A condition without the sign of apparent change is easy to be coped with;
A fragile thing is easy to break;
A minute thing is easy to dissolve.
The proper treatment should be given to what has happened;
Keep things in order before disorder sets in.
A huge tree grows from a tiny seedling;
A nine-storey terrace rises from a mound of earth;
A journey of a thousand li starts from beneath one's feet.
Those who wants to obtain it by force will ruin it;
Those who hold it by force will lose it.
Thus the sage never ruins anything,
Because of his inaction;
He never loses anything.
In doing things,
People often fail on the verge of success.
If they are as prudent at the end as at the beginning,
They will never fail.
That is why the sage
Desires what others do not desire,
Values not rare goods,
Learns to lack learning,
Makes up for people's faults.
In this way he helps all things develop naturally
And refrains from interfering in them.

 

 

Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904
64

What is motionless is easy to hold;
What is not yet foreshadowed is easy to form plans for;
What is fragile is easy to break;
What is minute is easy to disperse.
Deal with a thing before it comes into existence;
Regulate a thing before it gets into confusion.
The common people in their business often fail on the verge of succeeding.
Take care with the end as you do with the beginning,
And you will have no failure.

 


Flowing Hands 1987
64
If people knew of the ways of nature, and their hearts were simple,
peace would be dear to them.
Trouble can be easily overcome, because their lives are simple,
and so their troubles are simple too.
All things stem from something;
knowing this, trouble can be avoided before it arises.
Because the Sage knows of the ways of nature, he is freed from the bond of desire.
He does not notice gold and jade.
His ideas are open and yielding.
He helps men find themselves when they are lost, and remains at one.
So he leaves the Ten Thousand Things to follow their natural course.

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On 10/27/2018 at 7:26 PM, dawei said:

Flowing Hands 1987
64
If people knew of the ways of nature, and their hearts were simple,
peace would be dear to them.
Trouble can be easily overcome, because their lives are simple,
and so their troubles are simple too.
All things stem from something;
knowing this, trouble can be avoided before it arises.
Because the Sage knows of the ways of nature, he is freed from the bond of desire.
He does not notice gold and jade.
His ideas are open and yielding.
He helps men find themselves when they are lost, and remains at one.
So he leaves the Ten Thousand Things to follow their natural course.

 

The simplicity of this transmission seems to say it all. 

 

1. Know the ways of nature

2. Hearts are simple

3. Trouble overcome

4. All things are due to something

5. Know this, and avoid trouble

6. As a Sage be free from desire

7. No discrimination nor distinction

8. Be completely open and yield to the even beyond the universe of thought

9. Help others but be unmoved

10. Observe life as it is and respect it

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