Dao De Jing
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Verse Thirty Seven


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2008

Verse Thirty Seven
Arthur Waley, 1934

Tao never does;
Yet through it all things are done.
If the barons and kings would but possess themselves of it,
The ten thousand creatures would at once be transformed.
And if having been transformed they should desire to act,
We must restrain them by the blankness of the Unnamed.
The blankness of the Unnamed
Brings dispassion;
To be dispassionate is to be still.
And so, of itself, the whole empire will be at rest.

Verse Thirty Seven
Yasuhiko Genku Kimura

The Tao does nothing,
Yet it leaves nothing undone.
If the leaders of the world abide by it,
All beings of their own accord will transform themselves.
If in the course of self-transformation discordant desires arise,
Calm them with the unnameable simplicity of the Tao.
If calmed with the nameless simplicity of the Tao,
Discordant desires of their own accord will disappear.
If discordant desires disappear and quietude is restored,
The world of its own accord will order itself.


From: simon
Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008

This is a fun one, and not a subject that seems to drop up often in (dare I say) "headless circles"?!)
Though Douglas used to talk about "clueless speaking"...

Quote:
Tao never does

No doer or "doing" no one who instigates action or reaction, a different kettle of fish to the "I know best doer" I used to suffer from (and those around me used to suffer from, I dare guess!)
Actions happen of their own, even the 'just enough pressure on the keyboard" that these fingers know how to do by themselves...
Arising out of space and carrying their own energy with them...

And being space for others
Quote:
leaves nothing undone

Isn't that funny?
How wonderful, how 'clean', how simple - just letting the void be without inventing a some'thing' here to interfere!
Quote:
If calmed with the nameless simplicity of the Tao,
Discordant desires of their own accord will disappear.

This is actually the case. And when I remember all the efforts to still a separate, willfull, confused, noisy mind... just because I didn't know where to look!
Thank you Douglas, for pointing out the obvious!


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2008

Hi Simon,

Tao does nothing, and all is done. This is certainly a famous line, and it's repeated once or twice in the Tao Te Ching verses. I like your interpretation of "doing nothing" as being space for others. I've thought of the meaning of this verse in terms of there not being a doer. No doer. No agent. No entity. But you've turned it into a positive. What's here? Space for others! That really does settle it and make it clear!

Thanks,
Jim

PS, This is the last verse of the Book of Tao. You've said you'd like to continue the discussion by going on to the Book of Te. There are some really nice verses coming up. I'll post the next one in a day or two.


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