The Dao De Jing
 PART TWO - DE (POWER)
17th page Chapters 71 - 78

a modern interpretation of lao tzu  perpetrated by Ron Hogan

 

71.
If you know
what you don't know,
you're doing great.
If you don't know
what you don't know,
you're sick.

The only way
to get rid of that sickness
is to be sick of it.

The Masters aren't sick,
because they got sick of being sick.

72.
When you show no fear at all,
the universe gives you something
to really be afraid of.

Don't try to fence people in
or grind them down.
Just let them be,
and they'll always be on your side.

The Masters know themselves,
but they don't reveal themselves.
They love themselves,
but they know
what their lives are worth.
They let go of all that
to concentrate on this.

73.
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 Dao 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."

74.
If people's lives suck,
and they look forward to death,
what good does it do
to threaten to kill them?

If people are afraid to die,
and the wicked are condemned to death,
then who would dare to commit evil?

But that doesn't mean you or I
can just take life and death
into our own hands.
That'd be like walking up
to an industrial buzzsaw
and trying to use it
without any training.
We'd only end up hurting ourselves.

75.
People starve
because the government
taxes them to death.
People rebel
because the government
tries to run their lives.
People act like life is meaningless
because the government
takes everything they have.

People who know how to enjoy life
are wiser than people who value their lives.

76.
A baby's body is soft and gentle.
A corpse is hard and stiff.
Plants and trees are tender
and full of sap.
Dead leaves are brittle and dry.

If you are rigid and unyielding,
you might as well be dead.
If you are soft and flexible,
you are truly alive.

Soldiers trained to fight to the death will die.
A tree that cannot bend with the wind
will snap.

Here's a useful saying:
The harder they come,
the harder they fall.

Here's another:
The meek shall inherit the earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

77.
Lao Tzu said using Dao
was like pulling on a bowstring:
The top bends down,
the bottom bends up,
and all the energy
is focused in the middle.

Dao takes energy from where it is,
and sends it where it needs to be.
But most people take from those
who don't have enough,
so those who have too much already
can have more.

So who in this world
is truly generous to others?
People who are in touch with Tao.
They do their work
without taking credit.
They get the job done and move on.
They aren't interested in showing off.

78.
Nothing is softer
or more yielding
than water.
Yet, given time,
it can erode even the hardest stone.
That's how the weak
can defeat the strong,
and the supple
can win out over the stiff.

Everybody knows it.
So why don't we apply it to our own lives?

Lao Tzu used to say:
"Take on people's problems,
and you can be their leader.
Deal with the world's problems,
and you'll be a Master."

Sometimes the truth makes no sense.78.

Nothing is softer
or more yielding
than water.
Yet, given time,
it can erode even the hardest stone.
That's how the weak
can defeat the strong,
and the supple
can win out over the stiff.

Everybody knows it.
So why don't we apply it to our own lives?

Lao Tzu used to say:
"Take on people's problems,
and you can be their leader.
Deal with the world's problems,
and you'll be a Master."

Sometimes the truth makes no se

 

Dao De Jing Page 18 Chapters 79 - 81
  

  Dao De Jin