flowing hands

your favourite verse and Why?

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My favourite verse is the first verse.

 

The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao

The name that can be named is not the eternal name

The nameless is the Mother of Heaven and Earth

The named is the manifestations of the Ten Thousand things

Ever desireless one can feel ( heart) the mystery

Ever desiring one can see its manifestations

One appears as imperceptible, infinity upon infinity

Here lies the path of all mystery. 

 

It is just so complete

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My favorite verse is Chapter 28 as it gives the progression of higher levels of realization that exists no where else in written words...

 

Know the strength of man, 

But keep a woman's care! 

Be the stream of the universe! 

Being the stream of the universe, 

Ever true and unswerving, 

Become as a little child once more. 

Know the white, 

But keep the black! 

Be an example to the world! 

Being an example to the world, 

Ever true and unwavering, 

Return to the infinite. 

Know honor, 

Yet keep humility. 

Be the valley of the universe! 

Being the valley of the universe, 

Ever true and resourceful, 

Return to the state of the uncarved block. 

When the block is carved, it becomes useful. 

When the sage uses it, he becomes the ruler. 

Thus, "A great tailor cuts little."

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Posted (edited)

My favorite is from Lin Yutang's translation of Ch 32.

 

Tao is absolute and has no name.
Though the uncarved wood is small,

It cannot be employed (used as vessel) by anyone.

If kings and barons can keep (this unspoiled nature),

The whole world shall yield them lordship of their own accord.


The Heaven and Earth join,

And the sweet rain falls,

Beyond the command of men,

Yet evenly upon all.

 

Then human civilisation arose and there were names.
Since there were names,

It were well one knew where to stop.

He who knows where to stop

May be exempt from danger.

Tao in the world

May be compared to rivers that run into the sea.

 

The first section speaks of the simplicity and humility of being in accord with the Dao. Where the last section points out the risk that gaining too much knowledge can lead away from the Way.

 

The middle section is ... just beautiful. All things are leveled in Dao.

 

I have always liked the way Lin Yutang used capitalization, indentations and blank lines to enhance the flow and reading of the verses.

 

 

Edited by OldDog
Grammar
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2 hours ago, flowing hands said:

My favourite verse is the first verse.

 

The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao

The name that can be named is not the eternal name

The nameless is the Mother of Heaven and Earth

The named is the manifestations of the Ten Thousand things

Ever desireless one can feel ( heart) the mystery

Ever desiring one can see its manifestations

One appears as imperceptible, infinity upon infinity

Here lies the path of all mystery. 

 

It is just so complete

I don't know what is complete in this verse. For some is not the first verse but #39 the beginning of the second half of the book. If I read the translation and truly if I don't know the commentaries, the last two lines I wouldn't understand a thing especially the path of mystery. What kind of mystery? What kind of path?

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38 minutes ago, Mig said:

I don't know what is complete in this verse. For some is not the first verse but #39 the beginning of the second half of the book. If I read the translation and truly if I don't know the commentaries, the last two lines I wouldn't understand a thing especially the path of mystery. What kind of mystery? What kind of path?

 

Its easy really it tells you everything you ever need to know!

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2 hours ago, flowing hands said:

 

Its easy really it tells you everything you ever need to know!

Don't take this personally, it seems that it tells you everything  to you but not to me unless I read commentaries and paraphrasing or inventions to make it sound esoteric, mysterious and fantastic.

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39 minutes ago, Mig said:

Don't take this personally, it seems that it tells you everything  to you but not to me unless I read commentaries and paraphrasing or inventions to make it sound esoteric, mysterious and fantastic.

Look at the study threads it may enlighten you to understand better.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Mig said:

I don't know what is complete in this verse. For some is not the first verse but #39 the beginning of the second half of the book. If I read the translation and truly if I don't know the commentaries, the last two lines I wouldn't understand a thing especially the path of mystery. What kind of mystery? What kind of path?

 

The character often translated as 'mystery' can also mean primordial.  So, its the path from the beginning which the chapter is essentially laying out in a dualistic way;  Form = Void comes to mind. 

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I would have to agree that the first verse sets the groundwork for everything that follows. The Tao Te Ching covers all three primes at same time an incredible treasure to say the least.

 

If you think you know it you do not.

 

If you think you can name it you can not

 

The nameless (Wu Ming)  is the mother of all things and that includes you. You are not an orphan she will always provide and nourish you so be respectful, you can not repay her.

 

If you can name something that is not all of it. You are missing the subtle, the fine, the unseen world around you and before you were born.

 

Without desire you are completed, all thing are done with no effort.

 

With desire you are involved in the world of shapes and forms and miss out on the grand design. Basically looking to small and narrow looking for profit and advantage just not being a complete person.

 

If you decide to be a complete person you will vanish into the infinite, you become part of the great mystery. To be named would reduce you into being just a piece in the puzzle again.

 

I love flowing hands translations of the Tao Te ching by the way, very good stuff.

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I love chapter 20 in all its myriad translations, including and especially yours, flowing hands:

 

20

Give up learning, put an end to your troubles.  Remain and dwell in simplicity. 
I am contented, for I dwell in the infinite;  the Dao is full when it is present in the heart. 
Others enjoy the feast, but I am alone and wandering, drifting with the wind. Open and yielding like a new born babe.  Innocent and simple, for I am nourished by the Great Mother of all thing,, 
Others have more than what they need, but I alone have nothing. I seem foolish and confused, but I alone am aware and alert. Other Men seem sharp and clever, For my simplicity and innocence appears dull and stupid to such Men.  I drift like the waves of the sea and follow the flow. 
Everyone seems busy, but I alone am without desire and uncluttered. I am different, for I am nourished by the great Dao.

 

It speaks to both where I am - clueless, and where I aspire to be - okay with that and simply surrendering to the flow of the all that is.

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2 hours ago, Cybele said:

I love chapter 20 in all its myriad translations, including and especially yours, flowing hands:

 

20

Give up learning, put an end to your troubles.  Remain and dwell in simplicity. 
I am contented, for I dwell in the infinite;  the Dao is full when it is present in the heart. 
Others enjoy the feast, but I am alone and wandering, drifting with the wind. Open and yielding like a new born babe.  Innocent and simple, for I am nourished by the Great Mother of all thing,, 
Others have more than what they need, but I alone have nothing. I seem foolish and confused, but I alone am aware and alert. Other Men seem sharp and clever, For my simplicity and innocence appears dull and stupid to such Men.  I drift like the waves of the sea and follow the flow. 
Everyone seems busy, but I alone am without desire and uncluttered. I am different, for I am nourished by the great Dao.

 

It speaks to both where I am - clueless, and where I aspire to be - okay with that and simply surrendering to the flow of the all that is.

 Yes a great verse:)

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On 1/5/2019 at 6:30 AM, flowing hands said:

My favourite verse is the first verse.

 

The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao

The name that can be named is not the eternal name

The nameless is the Mother of Heaven and Earth

The named is the manifestations of the Ten Thousand things

Ever desireless one can feel ( heart) the mystery

Ever desiring one can see its manifestations

One appears as imperceptible, infinity upon infinity

Here lies the path of all mystery. 

 

It is just so complete

Ditto (-:

 

Edit to add: A TTC's treatment of Ch 1 generally reveals the underlying 'starting point' of the renderer. Or so it seems to me.

Edited by rene

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