Sunday, May 23, 2010

In Harmony with the Tao...


In harmony with the Tao,

the sky is clear and spacious,
the earth is solid and full,
all creatures flourish together,
content with the way they are,
endlessly repeating themselves,
endlessly renewed.


When man interferes with the Tao,

the sky becomes filthy,
the earth becomes depleted,
the equilibrium crumbles,
creatures become extinct.



The Master views the parts with compassion,
because he understands the whole.
His constant practice is humility.



He doesn't glitter like a jewel
but lets himself be shaped by the Tao,
as rugged and common as stone.

Tao Te Ching #39, Stephen Mitchell translation


[With thanks to Roy Hilbinger, who posted this exquisite quote on his blog]



4-part interview with Stephen Mitchell

3 comments:

Roy said...

Gee, and I thought nobody really looked at that stuff I have in the sidebar! Heh, heh. Yeah, I've always liked Mitchell's translation best because he uses the flexibility of the Chinese language to adapt the Tao to contemporary issues. Ursula K. LeGuin's version (it's not really a translation but rather her interpretation based of several translations, including Mitchell's) is cool, too, especially if you get it with the two CDs included, which is Ms. LeGuin reading it to the musical accompaniment of Todd Barton. Really cool stuff!

Monyet King said...

When man interferes with the Tao,
the sky becomes filthy,
the earth becomes depleted,
the equilibrium crumbles,
creatures become extinct. --- that's exactly what's happening now.
Stop messing around with the Tao

semuanya OK kot said...

- When virtue is lost, benevolence appears. When benevolence is lost, right conduct ap-pears. When right conduct is lost, expediency appears. Expediency… is the beginning of disorder… If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish… When a nation is filled with strife, then patriots flourish. - Lao Tzu
- In the places where armies are stationed, thorns and brambles will grow. - Lao Tzu
- Nature is not human-hearted. - Lao Tzu
- To understand yourself is to be wise. To know when you have enough is to be rich… Manifest plainness. Embrace simplicity. Reduce selfishness. Have few desires. - Lao Tzu