November 25th, 2009

Chapter seventy-three: Daring to do

Brave daring leads to death.
Brave caution leads to life.
The choice can be the right one
or the wrong one.

Who will interpret
the judgment of heaven?
Even the wise soul
finds it hard.

The way of heaven
doesn't compete
yet wins handily,
doesn't speak
yet answers fully,
doesn't summon
yet attracts.
It acts
perfectly easily.

The net of heaven
is vast, vast,
wide-meshed,
yet misses nothing.

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

73

A brave and passionate man will kill or be killed.
A brave and calm man will always preserve life.
Of these two which is good and which is harmful?
Some things are not favored by heaven. Who knows why?
Even the sage is unsure of this.

The Tao of heaven does not strive, and yet it overcomes.
It does not speak, and yet is answered.
It does not ask, yet is supplied with all its needs.
It seems to have no aim and yet its purpose is fulfilled.

Heaven's net casts wide.
Though its meshes are course, nothing slips through.
-
-
Those who dare to be bold die.
Those who dare to be careful survive.
So--what do you want to do?

Why is life like that, you ask?
I don't know.

This is how Tao works:
It doesn't push itself,
and it always succeeds.
It acts silently, and it always reacts.
It can't be summoned;
it comes whenever it's ready.
It can't be rushed; it's always on time.

"Heaven casts a wide net,
with big holes,"
Lao Tzu used to say,
"but nothing ever gets by it."
-

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