October 10th, 2009

Chapter twenty-seven: Skill

Good walkers leave no track.
Good talkers don't stammer.
Good counters don't use their fingers.
The best door's unlocked and unopened.
The best knot's not in a rope and can't be untied.

So wise souls are good at caring for people,
never turning their back on anyone.
They're good at looking after things,
never turning their back on anything.
There's a light hidden here.

Good people teach people who aren;t good yet;
the less good are the makings of the good.
Anyone who doesn't respect a teacher
or cherish a student
may be clever but has gone astray.
There's a deep mystery here.

Lao Tsu, Ursula Le Guin Collapse )
goban
  • trevoke

27

A good walker leaves no tracks;
A good speaker makes no slips;
A good reckoner needs no tally.
A good door needs no lock,
Yet no one can open it.
Good binding requires no knots,
Yet no one can loosen it.

Therefore the sage takes care of all men
And abandons no one.
He takes care of all things
And abandons nothing.

This is called "following the light."

What is a good man?
A teacher of a bad man.
What is a bad man?
A good man's charge.
If the teacher is not respected,
And the student not cared for,
Confusion will arise, however clever one is.
This is the crux of mystery.
-
-
With enough practice,
you could come and go without a trace,
speak without stumbling over words,
do complicated math problems
in your head.

You could build a door with no lock
that nobody could open.
You could tie something down
with no knots,
without even a rope,
and nobody could pry it loose.

Masters have time to help everybody,
and ignore nobody.
They use their resources wisely,
wasting nothing.
Some people call this
"following the light."

Good people teach others
because they have the potential
to be good too.
Brains count for nothing
if you fail to respect your teachers
or to honor the potential in others.
That's one of the most important lessons of Tao.
-

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