June 3rd, 2010

Chapter 20

What is the difference between the respectful "wei" and the disrespectful "o"?
What is the difference between good and bad?
Where others are afraid, must I be afraid too?
How extremely ridiculous this is!
The people are rejoicing as if they are enjoying a sacrificial feast,
Or walking up a terrace in the blossoming spring.
How quiescent I am, alone unstirred, like a baby before he knows how to make pleasant expressions.
How aimlessly I wander, with no home to turn to.
People all have many ambitions and desires.
I, alone, seem to have left all of them.
How ignorant I am!  My mind must be that of a fool.
People are glorious and shining.
I, alone, am dark and dull.
People are clever and inquisitive.
I, alone, am obscure and blunt.
How tranquil I am, like the placid sea.
How loftily drifting, as if  I am bound nowhere.
People all have their motives.
I, alone, am good for nothing and uncouth.
I am not like the others.
I am nourished by the 'Mother.'

                   translated by Chang Chung-yuan, 1975


Give up learning, and put an end to your troubles.

Is there a difference between yes and no?
Is there a difference between good and evil?
Must I fear what others fear? What nonsense!
Other people are contented, enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox.
In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace,
But I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am.
Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile,
I am alone, without a place to go.
Others have more than they need, but I alone have nothing.
I am a fool. Oh, yes! I am confused.
Others are clear and bright,
But I alone am dim and weak.
Others are sharp and clever,
But I alone am dull and stupid.
Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea,
Without direction, like the restless wind.
Everyone else is busy,
But I alone am aimless and depressed.
I am different.
I am nourished by the great mother.
Don't spend too much time
thinking about stupid shit.
Why should you care
if people agree or disagree with you?
Why should you care
if others find you attractive or not?
Why should you care
about things that worry others?
Call bullshit on all that.

Let other people
get worked up
and try to enjoy themselves.
I'm not going to give myself away.
A baby doesn't know how to smile,
but it's still happy.

Let other people
get excited about stuff.
I'm not going to hang on to anything.
I'm not going to fill my mind with ideas.
I'm not going to get stuck in a rut,
tied down to any one place.

Other people are clever;
I guess I must be stupid.
Other people have goals;
I guess I must be aimless.
Like the wind. Or the waves.

I'm not like other people.
I'm getting right with Tao.

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