July 23rd, 2010

Chapter 70

It is not difficult to grasp my words or to follow them.
Yet no one in the world can grasp them or follow them.
Because words must derive from the source of words,
Action requires and actor who acts.
Since you are not aware of this, you cannot know me.
The less people know me, the more valuable I am.
Thus, the wise is covered with tattered clothes which conceal precious jade.

                       Translated by Chang Chung-yuan, 1975

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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.