November 22nd, 2009

Chapter seventy: Being obscure

My words are so easy to understand,
so easy to follow,

and yet nobody in the world
understands or follows them.

Words come from an ancestry,
deeds from a mastery;
when these are unknown, so am I.

In my obscurity
is my value.
That's why the wise
wear their jade under common clothes.

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

70

My words are easy to understand and easy to perform,
Yet no man under heaven knows them or practices them.

My words have ancient beginnings.
My actions are disciplined.
Because men do not understand, they have no knowledge of me.

Those that know me are few;
Those that abuse me are honored.
Therefore the sage wears rough clothing and holds the jewel in his heart.
-
-
Lao Tzu's advice
was easy to understand
and easy to follow.
But nobody understood him
or did what he suggested.

His words
stemmed from ancient wisdom,
and his actions were highly disciplined.
People didn't get that,
which is why
they didn't understand him.
And the less they understood him,
the more meaningful his advice became.

That's why the Masters live simply,
hiding their wisdom deep within themselves.
-

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