September 23rd, 2012

Chapter 53

If I have a little knowledge
Walking on the great Tao
I fear only to deviate from it
The great Tao is broad and plain
But people like the side paths

The courts are corrupt
The fields are barren
The warehouses are empty

Officials wear fineries
Carry sharp swords
Fill up on drinks and food
Acquire excessive wealth

This is called robbery
It is not the Tao!

    Translated by Derek Lin
Accurate Translation of the Tao Te Ching
goban
  • trevoke

53

If I have even just a little sense,
I will walk on the main road and my only fear
will be of straying from it.
Keeping to the main road is easy,
But people love to be sidetracked.

When the court is arrayed in splendor,
The fields are full of weeds,
And the granaries are bare.
Some wear gorgeous clothes,
Carry sharp swords,
And indulge themselves with food and drink;
They have more possessions than they can use.
They are robber barons.
This is certainly not the way of Tao.
-
-
If I had any sense,
I'd be trying to get right with Tao,
and the only thing I'd worry about
would be messing up.
It's not that hard to get right with Tao,
but people are easily distracted.

"When the king's palace is full of treasure,"
Lao Tzu said,
"ordinary people's fields
are smothered with weeds,
and the food supplies run out."

Today, you see sharply dressed people
carrying flashy weapons
and living the high life.

They own more
than they could ever use,
let alone need.

They're nothing
but gangsters and crooks.
That's not what Tao's about.
-

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