The Dao De Jing
 PART TWO - DE (POWER)
11th page 41 - 44

a modern interpretation of lao tzu  perpetrated by Ron Hogan

41.

When a wise person hears about Dao,
he gets right with it.
When an ordinary person
hears about Dao,
he tries to get right with it,
but eventually gives up.
When a fool hears about Dao,
he just laughs and laughs.
If he didn't laugh, it wouldn't be Dao.

Here's what they find so funny:
The path to enlightenment
seems covered in shadows.
The way forward
feels like taking a step back.
The easiest path seems difficult.
Those with the most virtue
seem debased.
Those who are most pure
seem to be grubby and soiled.
The deepest thoughts appear shallow.
The greatest strength
looks like weakness.
What is most real
strikes us as imaginary.
The largest space has no boundaries.
The greatest talent
seems to produce nothing.
The greatest voice is unhearable.
The greatest beauty is invisible.

Dao is hidden to us
and it has no name.
It is the source and the strength of all things.

42.

Chapter 42 starts out
with some cosmic mumbo-jumbo
about Tao making one,
one making two,
two making three,
and three making everything else.

I don't know what it means,
and, frankly,
I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Let's get to the practical part:
Men hate to be called
powerless, insignificant, or unworthy,
but that's how
Masters describe themselves.

Because when we lose, we've won.
And when we succeed, we've failed.

Other people will tell you
what I'm telling you now:
"Live by the sword, die by the sword."
That's pretty much what Chapter 42
boils down to.
(See Chapter 46 for more details.)

43.

The softest force in the universe
can overcome the hardest of objects.
Something without substance
can pass through the space between atoms.

That's how I know
about the power of doing nothing.

The silent teachings
and the power of doing nothing
can only be understood
by a few people.

44.

What's more important,
fame or your well-being?
What's worth more,
your money or your life?
What is more dangerous,
winning or losing?

If you are too attached
to your possessions,
they will bring you misery.
If you hang on to your riches,
you will suffer substantial loss.
If you know when you have enough,
you will never be disgraced.
If you practice moderation,
you can stay out of trouble.

And that's the secret to lasting success.

 

 

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