December 22nd, 2011



The sage is often envied
because others do not know
that although he is nourished by the Tao,
like them, he too is mortal.

He who seeks wisdom is well advised
to give up academic ways,
and put an end to striving.
Then he will learn that yes and no
are distinguished only by distinction.

It is to the advantage of the sage
that he does not fear what others fear,
but it is to the advantage of others
that they can enjoy the feast,
or go walking, free of hindrance,
through the terraced park in spring.

The sage drifts like a cloud,
having no specific place.
Like a newborn babe before it smiles,
he does not seek to communicate.
In the eyes of those
who have more than they need,
the sage has nothing, and is a fool,
prizing only that which of the Tao is born.

The sage may seem to be perplexed,
being neither bright nor clear,
and to himself, sometimes he seems
both dull and weak, confused and shy.
Like the ocean at night,
he is serene and quiet,
but as penetrating as the winter wind.

Taoism - Stan Rosenthal's Tao Te Ching - Translation