October 2nd, 2009

Chapter nineteen: Raw silk (simplicity?) and uncut wood (integrity?)

Stop being holy, forget being prudent,
it'll be a hundred times better for everyone.
Stop being altruistic, forget being righteous.
people will remember what family feeling is.
Stop planning, forget making a profit.
there won't be any thieves and robbers.

But even these three rules
needn't be followed; what works reliably
is to know the raw silk,
hold the uncut wood.
need little,
want less.
Forget the rules,
be untroubled.

Ursula Le Guin, 1998.
goban
  • trevoke

19

Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom,
And it will be a hundred times better for everyone.

Give up kindness, renounce morality,
And men will rediscover filial piety and love.

Give up ingenuity, renounce profit,
And bandits and thieves will disappear.

These three are outward forms alone; they are not sufficient in themselves.
It is more important
To see the simplicity,
To realize one's true nature,
To cast off selfishness
And temper desire.
-
-
Get rid of sanctity.
People will understand the truth
and be happier.

Get rid of morality.
People will respect each other
and do what's right.

Get rid of value and profit.
People will not steal
if they do not desire.

If that's not possible, go to Plan B:
Be simple. Be real.
Do your work as best you can.
Don't think about what you get for it.
Stay focused. Get rid of all your crap.
-

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

Chapter twenty: Being different

How much difference between yes and no?
What difference between good and bad?

What the people fear
must be feared.
O desolation!
Not yet, not yet has it reached its limit!

Everybody's cheerful,
cheerful as if at a party,
or climbing a tower in springtime.
And here I sit unmoved,
clueless, like a child,
a baby too young to smile.

Forlorn, forlorn.
Like a homeless person.
Most people have plenty,
I'm the one that's poor,
a fool right through.

Ignorant, ignorant/
Most people are so bright.
I'm the one that's dull.
Most people are so keen.
I don't have the answers.
Oh, I'm desolate, at sea,
adrift, without harbor.

Everybody has something to do.
I'm the clumsy one, out of place.
I'm the different one,
for my food
is the milk of the mother.

Ursula Le Guin, 1998 Collapse )