July 20th, 2010

Chapter 67

The world says that I am beyond determination
And cannot be identified with anything.
It is because I am beyond determination that I cannot be identified with anything.
If I could be identified with anything,
I would no longer be beyond determination.
There are three essentials that I value and maintain:
One is compassion (Tz'u),
Another is renunciation (ch'ien),
The third is never longing to be first in the world.
One who is compassionate is able to be valiant.
One who renounces is able to broaden one's self.
One who never longs to be first in the world
Is able to achieve full growth of his capacity.
In the present day, people wish to be valiant,
But they are not compassionate.
They wish to broaden their selves
But they do not renounce.
They wish to achieve the full growth of their capacities,
But they long to be first in the world.
This indeed leads to death.
Through compassion, engaging in war, one wins.
In self-defense, one is very well protected.
This type of person is saved by heaven.
Because he is compassionate, he is taken care of well.

              Translated by Chang Chung-yuan, 1975.


Everyone under heaven says that my Tao is great and beyond compare.
Because it is great, it seems different.
If it were not different, it would have vanished long ago.

I have three treasures which I hold and keep.
The first is mercy; the second is economy;
The third is daring not to be ahead of others.
From mercy comes courage; from economy comes generosity;
From humility comes leadership.

Nowadays men shun mercy, but try to be brave;
They abandon economy, but try to be generous;
They do not believe in humility, but always try to be first.
This is certain death.

Mercy brings victory in battle and strength in defense.
It is the means by which heaven saves and guards.
Everywhere I go, people tell me,
"Tao is so powerful, so immense,
it's inconceivable!"

But it's only powerful
because it's inconceivable.
If we could wrap our minds around it,
Tao would be just another thing.

The three most important qualities in life
are compassion,
or showing kindness and mercy to others,
or knowing what a thing is worth,
and modesty,
or knowing your place in the world.

Courage stems from showing
kindness and mercy to others.
Generosity starts with knowing
what a thing is worth.
True leadership begins with knowing
your place in the world.

But these days,
I see everyone trying to act courageous
without any trace of compassion.
They try to be generous
but they don't practice moderation
in their own lives.
They act like leaders,
but they have no sense of modesty.
No good can come of this.

If you want to get ahead,
show people compassion.
When other people attack you,
defend yourself with compassion.
It's the most powerful force in the universe.

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