October 28th, 2009

Chapter 45: Real Power

What's perfectly whole seems flawed,
but you can use it forever.
What's perfectly full seems empty,
but you can't use it up.

True straightness looks crooked.
Great skill looks clumsy.
Real eloquence seems to stammer.

To be comfortable in the cold, keep moving;
to be comfortable in the heat, hold still;
to be comfortable in the world, stay calm and clear.

Lao Tsu,  Tao te Ching.
interpreted by Ursula Le Guin

goban
  • trevoke

45

Great accomplishment seems imperfect,
Yet it does not outlive its usefulness.
Great fullness seems empty,
Yet cannot be exhausted.

Great straightness seems twisted.
Great intelligence seems stupid.
Great eloquence seems awkward.

Movement overcomes cold.
Stillness overcomes heat.
Stillness and tranquillity set things in order in the universe.
-
-
The greatest achievements
may look like mistakes,
but you will always be able
to build upon them.

The fullest reserves may seem empty,
but you will always be able
to draw upon them.

The straightest line looks crooked.
The most skilled people
come off as clumsy.
The most eloquent people
are usually silent.

When it's cold,
you can move around to stay warm.
When it's hot,
you should keep still and stay cool.
But whatever the weather,
if you stay calm,
the world will sort itself out around you.
-

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