October 18th, 2012

Chapter 78

Chapter 78

Nothing in the world is softer or weaker than water
Yet nothing is better at overcoming the hard and strong
This is because nothing can replace it

That the weak overcomes the strong
And the soft overcomes the hard
Everybody in the world knows
But cannot put into practice

Therefore sages say:
The one who accepts the humiliation of the state
Is called its master
The one who accepts the misfortune of the state
Becomes king of the world
The truth seems like the opposite

      Translation by Derek Lin


Accurate Translation of the Tao Te Ching
goban
  • trevoke

78

Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.
Under heaven everyone knows this,
Yet no one puts it into practice.
Therefore the sage says:
He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people is fit to rule them.
He who takes upon himself the country's disasters deserves to be king of the universe.
The truth often sounds paradoxical.
-
-
Nothing is softer
or more yielding
than water.
Yet, given time,
it can erode even the hardest stone.
That's how the weak
can defeat the strong,
and the supple
can win out over the stiff.

Everybody knows it.
So why don't we apply it to our own lives?

Lao Tzu used to say:
"Take on people's problems,
and you can be their leader.
Deal with the world's problems,
and you'll be a Master."

Sometimes the truth makes no sense.
-

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