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CHAT: Tao Te Ching translations (long-ish ;)

From:Andy Canivet <cathode_ray00@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 19, 2002, 19:41
I might as well add a couple more to the list, since we're at it...

Stephen Mitchell:


Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.

If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.

D.C. Lau:

He who knows others is clever;
He who knows himself has discernment.
He who overcomes others has force;
He who overcomes himself is strong.
He who knows contentment is rich;
He who perseveres is a man of purpose;
He who does not lose his station will endure;
He who lives out his days has had a long life.

Of course, I think my favorite is #65...

In Lau:

Of old those who excelled in the pursuit of the way did not use it to
enlighten the people but to hoodwink them.  The reason why the people are
difficult to govern is that they are too clever.

Hence to rule a state by cleverness
Will be to the detriment of the state;
Not to rule a state by cleverness
Will be a boon to the state.
These two are models.
Always to know the models
Is known as mysterious virtue.
Mysterious virtue is profound and far-reaching.
But when things turn back it turns back with them.

Only then is complete conformity realized.

In Mitchell:

The ancient Masters
did't try to educate the people,
but kindly taught them to not-know.

When they think that they know the answers,
people are difficult to guide.
When they know that they don't know,
people can find their own way.   <-- [I love this! Like Socrates]

If you want to learn how to govern,
avoid being clever or rich.
The simplest pattern is the clearest.
Content with an ordinary life,
you can show all people the way
back to their own true nature.

Mitchell's commentary on Chapter 65 reads:
*kindly taught them to not-know:* The ancient Masters taught them the
supreme value of Don't-know Mind, which is forever fresh, open, and fertile
with possibilities.  (Another name for it is Beginner's Mind.)

I also really enjoy Chuang-Tzu - but I am only familiar with is the Burton
Watson translation.


MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos:


John Cowan <jcowan@...>