July 30th, 2010

Chapter 77

The course of nature is similar to the curve of a bow:
That which is at the top is pulled down;
That which is at the bottom is brought up.
That which is overfull is reduced,
That which is deficient is supplemented.
The course of nature is to reduce what is overfull
And to supplement what is deficient.
The course of man is to reduce what is deficient
And to supplement what is overfull.
Who can supplement the overfull for the people of the world?
Only the man of Tao can do it.
Therefore, with the wise, work is done and no one depends on it.
Achievements are made, but no one claims credit.
Is he not free from wishing to show off his inferiority ?

                             Translated by Chang Chung-yuan, 1975.
goban

77

The Tao of heaven is like the bending of a bow.
The high is lowered, and the low is raised.
If the string is too long, it is shortened;
If there is not enough, it is made longer.

The Tao of heaven is to take from those who have too much and give to those who do not have enough.
Man's way is different.
He takes from those who do not have enough and give to those who already have too much.
What man has more than enough and gives it to the world?
Only the man of Tao.

Therefore the sage works without recognition.
He achieves what has to be done without dwelling on it.
He does not try to show his knowledge.
-
-
Lao Tzu said using Tao
was like pulling on a bowstring:
The top bends down,
the bottom bends up,
and all the energy
is focused in the middle.

Tao takes energy from where it is,
and sends it where it needs to be.
But most people take from those
who don't have enough,
so those who have too much already
can have more.

So who in this world
is truly generous to others?
People who are in touch with Tao.
They do their work
without taking credit.
They get the job done and move on.
They aren't interested in showing off.
-

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