dawei

[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 79

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David Hinton 2002
79

You can resolve great rancor, but rancor always lingers on.
Understanding the more noble way,
a sage holds the creditor's half of contracts
and yet asks nothing of others.
Those with Integrity tend to such contracts;
those without Integrity tend to the collection of taxes.
The Way of heaven is indifferent, always abiding with people of nobility.


Dwight Goddard 1919

79

When reconciling great hatred there will some remain. 
How can it be made good?
Therefore the wise man accepts the debit side of the account and does not have to enforce payment from others. 
They who have virtue (teh) keep their obligations, they who have no virtue insist on their rights. 
Tao of heaven has no favorites but always helps the good man.

 

Bradford Hatcher 2005

79
(When) reconciling a great grievance
There will surely be lingering resentments
(And) how can this be regarded as good?
This is why wise ones will post the greater bond
And will not press upon others
To have character is to look after obligations
To lack character is to look for entitlements
Heaven’s way has no favorites
But usually sides with the right person


Wing-Tsit Chan 1963

79
To patch up great hatred is surely to leave some hatred behind. How can this be regarded as good? 
Therefore the sage keeps the left-hand portion (obligation) of a contract And does not blame the other party. 
Virtuous people attend to their left-hand portions, While those without virtue attend to other people's mistakes. 
"The Way of Heaven has not favourites. It is always with the good man." 


Gu Zhengku 1993

79
When the great enmity is allayed,
There must be some remaining hostility;
Even if one requites hostility with kindness,
How can that be considered perfect?
Therefore the sage keeps the stub of the receipt for a loan
But never presses for payment from people.
A man of virtue is as tolerant as the sage who keeps the stub of the receipt;
A man of no virtue is as harsh as tax collectors.
The Tao of heaven never shows favouritism;
It always helps those who are good.

 

Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904

79

Return love for great hatred.
Otherwise, when a great hatred is reconciled, some of it will surely remain.
How can this end in goodness?
Therefore the Sage holds to the left half of an agreement, but does not exact what the other holder ought to do.
The virtuous resort to agreement.
The virtueless resort to exaction.
The Tao of heaven shows no partiality;
It abides always with good men.
 


Flowing Hands 1987

79

In the affairs of men, know how to conduct yourself.
When men lack honesty and trust, quarrels will occur.
When they occur some resentment and bad feeling remains.
The answer lies in people's hearts.
Know your part and keep your word, then all will be well.
The Sage keeps his word and knows his part,
but does not expect others to fulfil their half.
With virtue a man performs his deed,
but a man without virtue is rigid in his desire for others to act.
Go with the flow and fulfil your part.
The Dao of Heaven is impartial and treats all things equally.
But it remains with good men all the time.
 

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If resolving hatred and enmity that arise from disagreements is the point of this chapter, it would be well to consider that much of that is an emotional response. Learning to let go of such emotional content would seem to be the sagely way.

 

This occurs frequently in society today. It has become common for people to take a position and defend it aggressively, often by demonizing the other position. In such a situation there is no opportunity to find middle ground. Spending all the effort and  engery on discrediting others precludes one from understanding the positions of others and dismissing whatever truths there may be there.

 

But I don't think this is all there is to  this chapter.  Flowing Hands has a broader yet more nuanced view.

 

The answer lies in people's hearts.
Know your part and keep your word, then all will be well.

 

There would seem to be two parts here. The heart is often considered the seat of emotion. Daoist practice calls for calming the heart-mind in order to see clearly. What better way of dissolving enmity than exercising that skill. Seeing clearly allows one to understand his role in social contracts and not enter into them lightly. Once committed,  fulfilling one's side of the arrangement becomes important. This is not always easy when disagreements arise. If one is able to fulfill his part in spite of misunderstanding, no blame.

 

 

 

 

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