Dao De Jing
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Verse Thirty Five


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008

Verse Thirty Five
Arthur Waley, 1934

He who holding the Great Form goes about his work in the empire
Can go about his, yet do no harm.
All is peace, quietness and security.
Sound of music, smell of good dishes
Will make the passing stranger pause.
How difference the words that Tao gives forth!
So thin, so flavourless!
If one looks for Tao, there is nothing solid to see;
If one listens for it, there is nothing loud enough to hear.
Yet if one uses it, it is inexhaustible.

Verse Thirty Five
Witter Bynner, 1944

If the sign of life is in your face
He who responds to it
Will feel secure and fit
As when, in a friendly place,
Sure of hearty care,
A traveler gladly waits.
Though it may not taste like food
And he may not see the fare
Or hear a sound of plates,
How endless it is and how good!


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008

I looked at several versions of this verse, and I found that what Waley calls the "Great Form" and Bynner calls the "sign of life" has also been called the "great pattern" and the "great symbol" and the "great image." It's also been called the "big picture." I think it's safe to say that this is what Douglas called the "Grand Design" that is revealed by the experiments.

This verse contrasts the thin and flavorless "qualities" of the inner view with the attractions of good music and good food of the "outer" view or world. The outer view is one of excitement and enjoyment. But the inner view has its attractions too -- peace, security, quietness. These latter qualities may not have the power to "make the passing stranger pause," but their power or use is "inexhaustible." As Douglas would say, there is no situation where Seeing is not appropriate, effective, and satisfying.

That's my reading of this verse.

Jim

Verse thirty seven is the last verse of the Book of Tao. We are almost there. I'd like to continue with the Book of Te, which contains some of my favorite verses. Let me know whether you want to continue the discussions or prefer to end with the Book of Tao.


From: simon
Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008

Quote:
Sound of music, smell of good dishes
Will make the passing stranger pause.
How difference the words that Tao gives forth!
So thin, so flavourless!
If one looks for Tao, there is nothing solid to see;

And this is why it (is/can be) overlooked?
I like this description of Seeing

Quote:
If one looks for Tao, there is nothing solid to see;
If one listens for it, there is nothing loud enough to hear.
Yet if one uses it, it is inexhaustible.

And inexhaustible" is no exaggeration !
What is there to run out?

Enjoy the move, I wish you well with it!
Please continue with the Book of Te, if you are up for it.
Very interesting to have other views...
Lift the boxes carefully!
Best
simon


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008

Hi Simon,

I like the way you put it. This verse does mesh well with inward Seeing. Nothing here to run out or exhaust. And easy to overlook. Hard for some people to see that this is really IT.

The move is this weekend, and the new Internet connection will be put in on Monday if all goes as planned. Yes, I will be careful lifting the boxes. It will be quite a change from the cool Pacific coast to the hot Coachella Valley. But I won't be working at a job any longer, so I'm going to enjoy the sunshine and the heat.

I think it is worthwhile continuing with the Book of Te. There aren't many of us left in the discussion, but it seems like quite a few are reading the comments. I hope others will consider participating in the Book of Te discussions. There are many interesting "Seeing" verses in it.

Signing off until next week,
Jim


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2008

Greetings from Palm Springs, California

The move went well. I'll post verse thirty six in a day or two.

It's a cool 105 degrees today. That's 40.5 in Celsius. I haven't been in the swimming pool yet, but it sure looks inviting.

Jim


From: Janet
Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008

hi jim,

good to hear your move to palm springs went well. enjoy everything!
take a swim for me!

lots of love to you!

janet


From: Steve Palmer
Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008

Hi Jim

Glad to have you back online so quickly.I thought you'ed be unpacking box's longer......

Here's Timothy Freke's 1995 verse 35 ofThe Tao Te Ching
to add to the A. Waley and W Bynner translations

"Everyone is attracted to a person who knows Tao,
because they are peaceful and happy.

A traveller may stop for nice food and good music,
but a desciption of Tao seems bland and tasteless.
It looks like nothing special.
It sounds like nothing special.
But live by it , and you will never tire of it. "

I particularly like the last 3 lines.

To your question re: the Te book. I would like to carry on.

I recently put it to a good friend that Richards book,
" Open To The Source " The selected teachings of Douglas Harding
,would be a good book to go through as a group.

May be when we reach verse 81 of the TTC we could consider that too.

Regards,
Steve


From: simon
Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008

Hi All

Timothy Freke's version is interesting, another slant on it: they are all interesting!

Funny how each version points to - but is not - the "whole truth"
- just like the first verse says....

I hadn't thought of scripture as an 'ink & paper finger' before, but the idea brings a smile with it!

Anyway, love to all
simon


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sat Jun 14, 2008

Hi Steve,

I agree. Open To The Source would be a good book to discuss as a group. The format is a lot like the Tao Te Ching, and the content is pure Douglas Harding. We might get more people to join the discussion.

Jim


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