November 14th, 2009

Chapter sixty-two: The gift of the way

The way is the hearth and the home
of the ten thousand things.
Good souls treasure it,
lost souls find shelter in it.

Fine words are for sale,
fine deeds go cheap;
even worthless people can get them.

So, at the coronation of the Son of Heaven,
when the Three Ministers take office,
you might race out in a four-horse chariot,
to offer a jade screen;
but wouldn't it be better to sit still
and let the Way be your offering?

Why was the Way honored
in the old days?
Wasn't it said
Seek, you'll find it.
Hide, it will shelter you.
So it was honored under heaven.

Lao Tse, Tao te Ching.
Interpreted by Ursula Le Guin.
goban
  • trevoke

62

Tao is source of the ten thousand things.
It is the treasure of the good man, and the refuge of the bad.
Sweet words can buy honor;
Good deeds can gain respect.
If a man is bad, do not abandon him.
Therefore on the day the emperor is crowned,
Or the three officers of state installed,
Do not send a gift of jade and a team of four horses,
But remain still and offer the Tao.
Why does everyone like the Tao so much at first?
Isn't it because you find what you seek and are forgiven when you sin?
Therefore this is the greatest treasure of the universe.
-
-
Every living thing
gets its strength from Tao.
Good people respect the value of Tao.
The wicked and foolish don't,
but Tao provides for them anyway.

Some people gain power and prestige through fancy words,
others through great deeds.
But Tao is available to everyone,
not just the powerful.
So don't look down on anybody.

When people become powerful,
and everybody lines up
to kiss their ass,
sit still and stay right with Tao.

Why have the Masters
always respected Tao?
Because when you get right with Tao,
you can always find
swhat you need to get by,
and trouble can never find you.
-

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