February 18th, 2013

goban
  • trevoke

39

These things from ancient times arise from one:
The sky is whole and clear.
The earth is whole and firm.
The spirit is whole and strong.
The valley is whole and full.
The ten thousand things are whole and alive.
Kings and lords are whole, and the country is upright.
All these are in virtue of wholeness.

The clarity of the sky prevents its falling.
The firmness of the earth prevents its splitting.
The strength of the spirit prevents its being used up.
The fullness of the valley prevents its running dry.
The growth of the ten thousand things prevents their drying out.
The leadership of kings and lords prevents the downfall of the country.

Therefore the humble is the root of the noble.
The low is the foundation of the high.
Princes and lords consider themselves "orphaned", "widowed" and "worthless".
Do they not depend on being humble?

Too much success is not an advantage.
Do not tinkle like jade
Or clatter like stone chimes.
-
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Since time began,
this is what it's meant
to be in touch with Tao:

Tao made the heavens clear.
Tao made the earth solid.
Tao made our spirits strong.
Tao made the valleys fertile.
Tao gave all living things life.
Tao gave rulers authority.

Without Tao,
the heavens would collapse.
Without Tao,
the earth would crumble.
Without Tao,
our spirits would fade away.
Without Tao,
the valleys would dry up.
Without Tao,
all life would become extinct.
Without Tao,
rulers would stumble and fall.

Humility gives us power.
Our leaders should think of themselves
as insignificant, powerless,
unworthy of their stature.
Isn't that what humility is all about?

Be strong,
but pay no attention to hollow praise.
Don't call attention to yourself.
Don't make a scene.
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

Chapter 39

39.1 When unity was attained of old,
       heaven became clear by attaining unity,
       earth became steady by attaining unity,
       spirit was quickened by attaining unity,
39.2 valley streams were filled by attaining unity,
       all beings were born by attaining unity;
       and by attaining unity lords acted rightly for the sake of the world.
       What brought this about was unity:
39.3 without means of clarity, heaven may burst;
       without means of steadiness, earth may erupt;
       without means of quickening, spirit may be exhausted;
       without means of filling,
39.4 valley streams may dry up;
       without means of birth, all beings may perish;
       without means of acting rightly, lords may stumble.
39.5 Therefore nobility is rooted in humility,
       loftiness is based on lowliness.
39.6 Thais is why noble people refer to themselves as alone, lacking, and unworthy.
       Is this not being rooted in humility? .
39.7 So there is no praise in repeated praise;
39.8 they don't want to be like jewels or like stones.

Tao Teh Ching - Thomas Cleary Translation