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Religion
See other Religion Articles

Title: Tao Te Ching
Source: CUNY
URL Source: http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/taote-ex.html
Published: Nov 8, 2017
Author: Lao-Tzu
Post Date: 2017-11-08 12:01:18 by A Pole
Keywords: China, Chinese, culture
Views: 134
Comments: 16

1. Tao
------
The Tao that can be known is not Tao.
The substance of the World is only a name for Tao.
Tao is all that exists and may exist;
The World is only a map of what exists and may exist.
One experiences without Self to sense the World,
And experiences with Self to understand the World.
The two experiences are the same within Tao;
They are distinct only within the World.
Neither experience conveys Tao
Which is infinitely greater and more subtle than the World.

2. Qualities ------------ When Beauty is recognized in the World Ugliness has been learned; When Good is recognized in the World Evil has been learned. In this way: Alive and dead are abstracted from growth; Difficult and easy are abstracted from progress; Far and near are abstracted from position; Strong and weak are abstracted from control; Song and speech are abstracted from harmony; After and before are abstracted from sequence. The sage controls without authority, And teaches without words; He lets all things rise and fall, Nurtures, but does not interfere, Gives without demanding, And is content.

3. Control ---------- Not praising the worthy prevents cheating Not esteeming the rare prevents theft Not flaunting beauty prevents lust So the sage controls people by: Emptying their hearts, Filling their bellies, Weakening their ambitions, And strengthening their bodies. If people lack knowledge and desire The crafty among them can not act; If no action is taken Then all live in peace.

4. Properties of Tao


Tao is a depth-less vessel; Used by the Self, it is not filled by the World; It cannot be cut, knotted, dimmed or stilled; Its depths are hidden, ubiquitous and eternal; I don't know where it came from; It came before Nature.

5. Nature --------- Nature is not kind; It treats all things impartially. The Sage is not kind, And treats all people impartially. Nature is like a bellows Empty, yet supplying all needs, The more it moves, the more it yields; The sage draws upon Tao in the same way And can not be exhausted.

6. The Heart ------------ Like a riverbed, the heart is never filled It is an ineffable female Whose entrance is the source of the World; Tao is ever present within it: Draw upon it and it will never fail.

7. Self ------- Nature is everlasting because it does not have a Self. In this way the sage: Serves his Self last and finds it served first; Sees his body as accidental and finds it endures. Because he does not serve his Self, he is content.

8. Intimacy ----------- The best of man is like water, Which benefits all things, and does not contend with them, Which flows in places that others disdain, Where it holds fast to Tao. So the sage: In dwelling holds fast to the land, In governing holds fast to order, In talking holds fast to truth, In dealing holds fast to men, In acting holds fast to opportunity, In crafting holds fast to competence, In feeling holds fast to the heart; He does not contend, and so is without blame.

9. Hubris --------- Stretch a bow to its limit and it is soon broken; Temper a blade to its sharpest and it is soon blunted; Amass the greatest treasure and it is soon stolen; Claim credit and honour and you will soon fall; Retire once your purpose is acheived - this is the way of Nature.

10. Love -------- Embracing Tao, you become embraced. Supple, breathing gently, you become reborn. Clearing your vision, you become clear. Nurturing your beloved, you become impartial. Opening your heart, you become accepted. Accepting the World, you embrace Tao. Bearing and nurturing, Creating but not owning, Giving without demanding, Controlling without authority, This is love.

11. Wealth and Worth


Thirty spokes meet at a nave; Because of the hole we may use the wheel. Clay is moulded into a vessel; Because of the hollow we may use the cup. Walls are built around a hearth Because of the doors we may use the house. Thus wealth comes from what is, But worth from what is not.

12. Distraction --------------- Too much color blinds the eye Too much tone deafens the ear Too much taste dulls the palate Too much play maddens the mind Too much desire tears the heart. The sage provides for the belly, not for the senses; He lets go of sensation and accepts substance.

13. Anxiety ----------- The saints said: "Praise and blame cause anxiety; The objects of hope and fear are within your Self." "Praise and blame cause anxiety" For you must hope and fear to receive or to lose them. "The objects of hope and fear are within your Self" For, without Self, neither fortune nor disaster can befall. Therefore: He who regards the World as the Self is able to control the World; He who loves the World as the Self is able to nurture the World.

14. The Continuity of Tao


Looked at but cannot be seen - it is beyond form; Listened to but cannot be heard - it is beyond sound; Grasped at but cannot be touched - it is beyond reach; These depthless things evade definition, And blend into a single mystery. In its rising there is no light, In its falling there is no darkness, A continuous thread beyond description, Lining what can not exist, Its form formless, Its image nothing, Its name mystery, Meet it, it has no face, Follow it, it has no back. Understand the past, but attend the present; In this way you know the continuity of Tao, Which is its essence.

15. The Saints -------------- The Saints had understanding So profound they can not be understood. Because they cannot be understood I can only describe their appearance: Cautious, like one crossing thin ice, Hesitant, like one who fears danger, Modest, like one who is a guest, Smooth, like melting ice, Genuine, like unshaped wood, Empty, like a riverbed, Opaque, like muddy water. He who can lie still while the mud settles, And remain still until the water flows Does not seek fulfillment And transcends Nature.

16. Transcending Nature


Empty the Self completely; Embrace perfect peace. The World will rise and move; Watch it return to rest. All the flourishing things Will return to their source. This return is peaceful; It is the way of Nature, An eternal decay and renewal. Understanding this brings enlightenment, Ignorance of this brings misery. Who understands Nature's way becomes all-cherishing; Being all-cherishing he becomes impartial; Being impartial he becomes magnanimous; Being magnanimous he becomes part of Nature; Being part of Nature he becomes one with Tao; Being one with Tao he becomes immortal: Though his body will decay, Tao will not.

17. Rulers ---------- The best rulers are scarcely known by their subjects; The next best are loved and praised; The next are feared; The next despised: They have no faith in their subjects, So their subjects become unfaithful to them. When the best rulers achieve their purpose Their subjects claim the achievement as their own.

18. Loss of Tao --------------- When Tao is forgotten Duty and justice arise; Then wisdom and sagacity are born Along with hypocrisy. When family relationships dissolve Then respect and devotion arise; When a nation falls to chaos Then loyalty and patriotism are born

[...]

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#1. To: A Pole (#0) (Edited)

And ooga-booga to you, too!

More 'wisdom' from cultures whose GDP consists of pushing dirt around with sticks, when not mooching loot from productive nations.

Hank Rearden  posted on  2017-11-08   13:36:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Hank Rearden (#1) (Edited)

And ooga-booga to you, too!

More 'wisdom' from cultures whose GDP consists of pushing dirt around with sticks, when not mooching loot from productive nations.

What a boorish and lowbred post.

China was the richest country in the world for several centuries until beginning of the XIX century when Anglos came and ruined Chinese, in part by forcing them to buy opium on mass scale and extracting wealth in exchange. Now China is coming back.

If USA remain rich for one tenth of this time, will be very lucky.

The above is above money, other aspects I will not mention, not to confuse you.

Tao Te Ching is 2500 years old. What YOUR ancestors wrote at that time? Something like this?

"Ooga-booga, ooga-booga. Get rid of poetry. Kill poetry. Kill kill kill kill. Ooga-booga"

A Pole  posted on  2017-11-08   15:39:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: A Pole (#2) (Edited)

Tao Te Ching is 2500 years old.

And what did it get them? Vicious, murdering, thieving Communism.
When they steal and copy our Constitution instead of our technology, I'll be impressed.

Hank Rearden  posted on  2017-11-08   15:47:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

A Pole  posted on  2017-11-08   15:54:03 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Hank Rearden (#3) (Edited)

When they steal and copy our Constitution instead of our technology, I'll be impressed.

You must love then the greatest constitutional federal republic in the world - India.

Communism lasted only 5% of their history, much less than slavery and Indian genocide that made 30% of US history.

And Communism was the only way the Chinese could freee themselves from the "vicious, murdering, thieving" Anglos.

A Pole  posted on  2017-11-08   15:57:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: A Pole (#4)

Who is that in the painting? Confucius?

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-11-08   16:08:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Vicomte13 (#6) (Edited)

Lao-Tzu. With the cranes.

I love the joy of mountains
Wandering free with no concerns
Every day I find food for this old body
There's leisure for thinking, nothing to do
Often I carry an ancient book
Sometimes I climb a rock pavilion
To look down a thousand foot precipice
Overhead are swirling clouds
A cold moon chilly cold
My body feels like a flying crane

A Pole  posted on  2017-11-08   16:18:33 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: A Pole (#0)

When Tao is forgotten

I've forgotten already

paraclete  posted on  2017-11-08   20:51:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: A Pole, tao lesson of the day (#2)

What a boorish and lowbred post.

Check your tao privilege!

5. Nature
---------
Nature is not kind;
It treats all things impartially.
The Sage is not kind,
And treats all people impartially.
Nature is like a bellows
Empty, yet supplying all needs,
The more it moves, the more it yields;
The sage draws upon Tao in the same way
And can not be exhausted.

hondo68  posted on  2017-11-08   21:13:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: A Pole (#0)

Beauty behind me, 
With it I return. 
Beauty before me, 
With it I return. 
Beauty above me, 
With it I return. 
Beauty below me, 
With it I return. 
Beauty all around me, 
With it I return. 
Now in old age wandering, 
I return. 
Now on the trail of beauty, I am. 
There I return.  
http://www.sacred- texts.com/nam/por/por25.htm

 

VxH  posted on  2017-11-08   22:45:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: A Pole (#0)

Twisted up bull shit converted into poetry. To the undeveloped mind it appears to be an expression of arcane genius.

rlk  posted on  2017-11-09   0:20:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: rlk (#11)

Twisted up bull shit converted into poetry. To the undeveloped mind it appears to be an expression of arcane genius.

What about this painting and music?

A Pole  posted on  2017-11-09   1:45:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: A Pole (#2) (Edited)

If USA remain rich for one tenth of this time, will be very lucky.

You have a deeply-held animus for the United States and for the Anglo-Saxons in general. It seems almost quasi-religious in nature.

Now, you know me - I forgive everybody everything they will confess, but until they will confess their wrongdoing, I use it as a whip against them over and over again. Only with repentance and contritition can there be forgiveness.

In some ways you seem to think as I do. But I do wonder - are you as harsh on the Russian race as you are on the Anglo-Saxon? The Russians have been every bit as beastly as the Anglo-Saxons, and are equally worthy of contempt and hatred. So is the Greek race, for that matter.

All of the imperial races have grim and evil histories. None have been good, not one. Some of the fringe, non-imperial races have not been violent, but those same marginal, peaceful races have largely been pansexual - a different, less offensive (to me) set of weaknesses, but morally turpitudinous nonetheless.

So I wonder - are you like me? You detest the Anglo-Saxons for their history, as do I. But I also detest the Slavs for the theirs, the Celts for theirs, the Latins for theirs, the Amerindians for theirs, the Chinese and Japanese for theirs: I am an equal opportunity hater.

I find that the modern versions of some of these societies have checked the show of pride and behave presently with caution based on remorse for the past. The Anglo-Saxons are among these people. This gives them the prospect of being better, going forward, than their history. It constitutes progress.

I find that other races are as arrogant and self-righteous as ever, still pointing at the sins of others (the Anglo-Saxons, for instance) but not acknowledging their own evils, as a culture, have been every bit as bad (the Russians are a good example of this, as are Muslims across several races).

So I wonder - are you as hard on the Slavs as you are on the Anglo-Saxons. You should be, because they deserve it. But are you? That would put you with me. Or are you simply jealous, that the Anglo-Saxons were the most successful of the cultures in terms of their expansion and world-changing ways?

It's a sincere question, not an accusation.

I'm inclined to think that you see the evils of the Anglo-Saxons and Germanics and Latins quite clearly, that you see the Celts as having fewer evils only because they were conquered by the Germanics and Anglo-Saxons and Latins rather early, that you rather exalt the Greeks, and that you consider the evils of the Slavs to always be "necessary reactions" to the evils of the rest - that the Slavs are essentially innocent children who wanted to follow the good Greeks, but who have been tormented by the others and have had to do evils they would not have done, in order to preserve themselves. That's what I think you think.

If you don't, this is a good opportunity for you to explain yourself.

One of my points of reference are the Saami, who never fought wars with each other at all, who have been more peaceful than the other peoples...but have always all had sex with each other without much restriction until the Christian age, which came to Samiland very late, and didn't stay very long.

I myself don't think that a culture that turns every dinner party into a round-robin of sex over the reindeer steaks is as bad as a culture that kills people to enforce taxation and grab land, but Christ might disagree with me on that.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-11-09   9:01:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Vicomte13 (#13)

So I wonder - are you as hard on the Slavs as you are on the Anglo-Saxons.

It's a sincere question, not an accusation.

OK, sincere question, sincere answer.

I do not want to judge anyone. And I know that all people are imperfect. Only that I find repulsive when people hatefully deride other culture, and dehumanize people from that culture, list their supposed misdeeds, when the deriding side looks not better.

I found some beautiful things about Chinese thought, poetry and music and I shared it. What answers came? Like this one:

"AND OOGA-BOOGA TO YOU, TOO! MORE 'WISDOM' FROM CULTURES WHOSE GDP CONSISTS OF PUSHING DIRT AROUND WITH STICKS, WHEN NOT MOOCHING LOOT FROM PRODUCTIVE NATIONS."

Sorry, I cannot stomach such vile stuff. So I answered

"What a boorish and lowbred post. China was the richest country in the world for several centuries until beginning of the XIX century when Anglos came and ruined Chinese, in part by forcing them to buy opium on mass scale and extracting wealth in exchange. Now China is coming back. [...] Tao Te Ching is 2500 years old. What YOUR ancestors wrote at that time?"

I AM NOT CHINESE, mind you. I want to love and cherish ALL people alike, including Chinese, Arabs, English, Americans, Jews, everyone. And to appreciate the best in them.

If you demand that in order to justify my reaction in defense of China, I should diss and denigrate my fellows, Slavs, then sorry. I won't do that (unless to their face, if really necessary). Rather I might post something that I admire in them (as I did before). Or perhaps I should leave this forum for good, if I find that I have no kindred souls here.

Just to remind you again. I posted some wise sayings, ancient poetry and music from China. This was mine original "offence"

A Pole  posted on  2017-11-09   9:42:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: A Pole (#14)

Just to remind you again. I posted some wise sayings, ancient poetry and music from China. This was mine original "offence"

There were some of those sayings regarding the Tao that seemed wise.

It's not an offense, in my book, to look to see the wisdom of sages across the world and through the ages.

This is true even when I disagree with what the sages have to say.

And yes, it is true: once an attack comes in on some vector, one turns and counterattacks the enemy on that vector, so it's not unreasonable to be always counterattacking, say, the Anglo-Saxons if the Anglo-Saxons are the ones always attacking you.

All fair points.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-11-09   10:36:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: Vicomte13 (#15)

There were some of those sayings regarding the Tao that seemed wise.

What I posted is only an echo of the original ancient Chinese text. It is amazingly hard to translate. It helps to listen to the music which an universal language.

My purpose is to encourage the interested to look deeper. I will give the method I use, I show various translations of the EASIEST passage (I picked Merel for the first post, but sometimes I synthesize/modify several according to my grasp of the idea).

I posted:

(Merel)

Stretch a bow to its limit and it is soon broken;
Temper a blade to its sharpest and it is soon blunted;
Amass the greatest treasure and it is soon stolen;
Claim credit and honour and you will soon fall;
Retire once your purpose is achieved - this is the way of Nature.

(Legge)

It is better to leave a vessel unfilled, than to attempt to
carry it when it is full. If you keep feeling a point that has been
sharpened, the point cannot long preserve its sharpness.

When gold and jade fill the hall, their possessor cannot keep them safe. When wealth and honours lead to arrogancy, this brings its evil on itself. When the work is done, and one's name is becoming distinguished, to withdraw into obscurity is the way of Heaven.

(Rosenthal)

The cup is easier to hold
when not filled to overflowing.

The blade is more effective if not tempered beyond its mettle.

Gold and jade are easier to protect if possessed in moderation.

He who seeks titles, invites his own downfall.

The sage works quietly, seeking neither praise nor fame; completing what he does with natural ease, and then retiring. This is the way and nature of Tao.

(GNL)

Fill a cup to its brim and it is easily spilled;
Temper a sword to its hardest and it is easily broken;
Amass the greatest treasure and it is easily stolen;
Claim credit and honour and you easily fall;
Retire once your purpose is achieved - this is natural.

(McDonald)

It is easier to carry and empty cup
than one that is filled to the brim.

The sharper the knife the easier it is to dull. The more wealth you possess the harder it is to protect. Pride brings its own trouble.

When you have accomplished your goal simply walk away. This is the pathway to Heaven.

The starting passage is harder:

(Hansen)

To Guide with Names
To guide what can be guided is not constant guiding.
To name what can be named is not constant naming.
'Not-exist' names the beginning (boundary) of the cosmos (Heaven and earth)
'Exists' names the mother of the ten-thousand natural kinds . 

(Merel posted above)

The Tao that can be known is not Tao.
The substance of the World is only a name for Tao.
Tao is all that exists and may exist;
The World is only a map of what exists and may exist.

(Merel2 !)

The Way
The Way that can be experienced is not true;
The world that can be constructed is not true.
The Way manifests all that happens and may happen;
The world represents all that exists and may exist.

(Feng, more literal)

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth.
The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.

{Muller)

The Tao that can be followed is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the origin of heaven and earth
While naming is the origin of the myriad things.

If you are interested, here is the link to play :)

A Pole  posted on  2017-11-09   11:40:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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