Tao Te Ching...
verse for today (*):
If you want to shrink something,
you must first allow it to expand.
If you want to get rid of something,
you must first allow it to flourish.
If you want to take something,
you must first allow it to be given.
This is called the subtle perception
of the way things are.
The soft overcomes the hard.
The slow overcomes the fast.
Let your workings remain a mystery.
Just show people the results.
(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
If one wishes to shrink it
One must first expand it
If one wishes to weaken it
One must first strengthen it
If one wishes to discard it
One must first promote it
If one wishes to seize it
One must first give it
This is called subtle clarity
The soft and weak overcomes the tough and strong (translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
Fish cannot leave the depths
The sharp instruments of the state
Cannot be shown to the people
After years of error, (translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)
One finds strength --
Find again weakness.
After years of error,
One finds beauty --
Find again ugliness.
After years of conquest --
One finds again, stillness.
Undo that which has no meaning.
A filthy man
Does not become clean,
Because he has bathed with soap.
Tao Te Ching
is a Chinese classic.
It was written around the 6th
century BC by the sage Lao Tzu
The short text consists of 81 brief chapters, or verses.
Every day we issue a "verse of the day" for contemplation
, in two leading English translations, that nevertheless differ substantially, and since December 8th
2013, we have a radically different third translation:
"Nothingness and Zero"
A Post New-Age Approach to Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, published by courtesy of the translator and interpreter.
© Copyright 2013 Jeremy M. Miller. All rights reserved.
Acknowledgments: The hundreds of prior translations, especially that by Arthur Waley.
To Pythagoras, who understood Zero and taught It; and to Chuang Tzu, the ideal poetic student.
The I Ching is based on the number 2, with its 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 (26
) = 64 hexagrams.
The Tao Te Ching is based on the number 3, with its 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 81 chapters.
We now offer it in three translations.
Perhaps, when reflecting on the three interpretations, the true meaning will emerge.
These 81 verses simply rotate; every day the next number, and after 81, number 1 will appear again.
This is done deliberately; if you want to read the complete text, you should purchase the resp. translations by Stephen Mitchell, Derek Lin or Jeremy M. Miller below.
(All three available in Kindle edition as well.)
If you missed yesterday's verse, you can still read it at I Ching Online.NET (version 3), which is always one day behind.