February 6th, 2013

  • trevoke


A good walker leaves no tracks;
A good speaker makes no slips;
A good reckoner needs no tally.
A good door needs no lock,
Yet no one can open it.
Good binding requires no knots,
Yet no one can loosen it.

Therefore the sage takes care of all men
And abandons no one.
He takes care of all things
And abandons nothing.

This is called "following the light."

What is a good man?
A teacher of a bad man.
What is a bad man?
A good man's charge.
If the teacher is not respected,
And the student not cared for,
Confusion will arise, however clever one is.
This is the crux of mystery.
With enough practice,
you could come and go without a trace,
speak without stumbling over words,
do complicated math problems
in your head.

You could build a door with no lock
that nobody could open.
You could tie something down
with no knots,
without even a rope,
and nobody could pry it loose.

Masters have time to help everybody,
and ignore nobody.
They use their resources wisely,
wasting nothing.
Some people call this
"following the light."

Good people teach others
because they have the potential
to be good too.
Brains count for nothing
if you fail to respect your teachers
or to honor the potential in others.
That's one of the most important lessons of Tao.

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

Tao Teh Ching - Cleary Translation

27.1 Good works are trackless,
       good words are flawless,
       good planning isn't calculating.
27.2 What is well closed has no bolt locking it,
       but it cannot be opened.
       What is well bound has no rope confining it,
       but cannot be untied.
27.3 Therefore sages always consider it good to save people,
       so that there are no wasted humans;
       they always consider it good to save beings,
       so that there are no wasted beings.
27.4 So good people are teachers of people who are not good.
       People who are not good are students of people who are good.
27.5 Those who do not honor teachers or care for students are greatly deluded,
       even if knowledgeable.
       This is called an essential subtlety.

Tao Teh Ching - Cleary Translation