March 24th, 2013



A brave and passionate man will kill or be killed.
A brave and calm man will always preserve life.
Of these two which is good and which is harmful?
Some things are not favored by heaven. Who knows why?
Even the sage is unsure of this.

The Tao of heaven does not strive, and yet it overcomes.
It does not speak, and yet is answered.
It does not ask, yet is supplied with all its needs.
It seems to have no aim and yet its purpose is fulfilled.

Heaven's net casts wide.
Though its meshes are course, nothing slips through.
Those who dare to be bold die.
Those who dare to be careful survive.
So--what do you want to do?

Why is life like that, you ask?
I don't know.

This is how Tao works:
It doesn't push itself,
and it always succeeds.
It acts silently, and it always reacts.
It can't be summoned;
it comes whenever it's ready.
It can't be rushed; it's always on time.

"Heaven casts a wide net,
with big holes,"
Lao Tzu used to say,
"but nothing ever gets by it."

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

Chapter 73

73.1 Boldness in daring means killing;
       boldness in not daring means life.
73.2 These two may help and may harm.
       Who knows the reason for what heaven dislikes?
       That is why even sages find it hard for them.
73.3 The Way of heaven wins well without contest,
       responds well without speech,
       comes of itself uncalled,
       relaxed yet very resourceful.
73.4 The net of heaven is vast;
       the holes are large but don't let slip.

Tao Teh Ching - Cleary Translation