[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 73

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David Hinton 2002


To infuse daring with courage means death.
To infuse caution with courage means life.
The one enriches you, and the other ruins you.
No one knows why heaven
despises what it despises,
that's why a sage inhabits the complexity of things.
The Way of heaven never contends
and so overcomes perfectly,
never speaks
and so answers perfectly,
never summons
and so arrives of itself,
stays calm
and so plans perfectly.
The net of heaven is vast, woven so vast and wide open nothing slips through.

Dwight Goddard 1919

Courage carried to daring leads to death. Courage restrained by caution leads to life. 
These two things, courage and caution, are sometimes beneficial and sometimes harmful. 
Some things are rejected by heaven, who can tell the reason? 
Therefore the wise man deems all acting difficult.
The Tao of heaven does not quarrel, yet it conquers. 
It speaks not, yet its response is good. 
It issues no summons but things come to it naturally because its devices are good. 
Heaven's net is vast, indeed! its meshes are wide but it loses nothing.


Bradford Hatcher 2005


Courage atop presumption suggests dying
Courage in avoiding presumption suggests survival
(Yet) either of these may be sometimes beneficial,
other times harmful
That which heaven holds in contempt -
Who knows as to the reasons?
This is why wise ones watch for things to get complicated
Heaven’s way does not compete, yet skillfully overcomes
Does not speak, yet skillfully replies
Does not summon, yet naturally attracts
Is above all of this, yet skillfully arranges
Heaven’s net is vast & encompassing
Loosely meshed, and yet nothing escapes


Wing-Tsit Chan 1963


He who is brave in daring will be killed. He who is brave in not daring will live. 
Of these two, one is advantageous and one is harmful. 
Who knows why Heaven dislikes what it dislikes? Even the sage considers it a difficult question. 
The Way of Heaven does not compete, and yet is skillfully achieves victory. 
It does not speak, and yet it skillfully responds to things. 
It comes to you without your invitation. It is not anxious about things and yet it plans well. 
Heaven's net is indeed vast. Though its meshes are wide, it misses nothing. 


Gu Zhengku 1993


Bravery in being bold leads to death;
Bravery in being timid leads to life.
These two kinds of bravery,
One leads to good the other to harm,
Who knows why
Heaven hates what it hates?
Even the sage feels it difficult to understand.
This is the Tao of heaven:
To excel in triumphing by means of non-contention;
To be good at answering by means of taciturnity;
To attract people by using no summons;
To be quick in planning by acting slowly.
The net of heaven is spread wide and far,
Though the mesh is largely knit,
Nothing can slip through the net.

Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904


He who shows courage in daring will perish;
He who shows courage in not-daring will live.
To know these two is to distinguish the one, benefit, from the other, harm.
Who can tell that one of them should be loathed by Heaven?
The Tao of heaven does not contend yet it surely wins the victory.
It does not speak; yet it surely responds.
It does not call; yet all things come of their own accord. The net of heaven is vast, and its meshes are wide; yet from it, nothing escapes.

Flowing Hands 1987
A brave and passionate man will always cause harm to himself or others.
A brave and calm man will always preserve himself and others.
Of these two, which is best?
Heaven appears unsure and ruthless sometimes.
Who knows why?
Even the Sage is unsure of the workings of Heaven.
Yet Heaven follows a plan and knows what it is doing.
It remains silent, but hears all.
Heaven's net is cast wide and although it may
be coarse, nothing can slip through.

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Look at me here, being the first! Hehe. The problem is, my question disappeared after reading your transmission @flowing hands:) This is very concise and I have understood my lesson for today. Thank you.

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Verse Seventy Three


those with courage and daring

Will often be killed;


The courageous who do not dare

Live to deal with the consequences.


I’m not sure which is better or worse.


What is evil under the sky? Even people wiser than me find this difficult.


The Dao, the path that even the sky follows,


Does not fight, but still wins in the end.


Does not speak, yet gets a good response.


Is not summoned, but arrives uninvited.


Calmly, peacefully seeking the right level


The sky is a wide, loose net

But nothing is able to slip through.


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