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Verse Fifty


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2008

Verse Fifty
Witter Bynner, 1944

Death might appear to be the issue of life,
Since for every three out of ten being born
Three out of ten are dying.
Then why
Should another three out of ten continue breeding death?
By use of sheer madness to multiply.
But there is one out of ten, they say, so sure of life
That tiger and wild bull keep clear of his inland path.
Weapons turn from him on the battle-field,
No bull-horn could tell where to gore him,
No tiger-claw where to tear him,
No weapon where to enter him.
And why?
Because he has no death to die.

Verse Fifty
Jeff Rasmussen, 2000

Those who have gross existence
clutching at life
disaffection for life
fear of death

Those who have Tao existence
swords cannot stab them
rhinoceroses cannot gore them
tigers cannot claw them

they have no room for death


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2008

We all know the place where death can't enter, where death doesn't apply.

Jim


From: Steve Palmer
Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008

Death and The Deathless :

Death to wake you up ( there's not long to go ! )
The deathless unchanging space which is the luminous back drop of existence and a mystery ( to notice )

Jerry O. Dalton's paraphrase of verse 50 follows:

Life and death are a natural duality. some people purse life, some purse death. Some purse life so relentlessly that they kill themselves in the effort.
But one who is balanced can walk into danger and through focus and clarity, walk out unscathed. Why is this so? It is because this person knows underlying process and thus has no concern with life and death.
The " no concern.... " end section seems unrealistic but Jerry O. Dalton's paraphrase's are an enjoyable read.

Steve


From: simon
Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008

Quote: We all know the place where death can't enter, where death doesn't apply.

Quite so, Jim!
I suspect that many take this more "literally", too...
Many arts of attention in movement, (Tai Chi, ki- Aikido etc) put this verse into practice quite physically.
Not just for playing "Tigers & Dragons" but for healing too...

I have seen demonstrations by Shaolin monks that are most curious. If I tried any of their stunts there would be blood everywhere!
Speaking just for "simon" - headlessness has such an 'instant' appeal that other practices tend to lose their urgency....
yet there are many ways to "BE"
Sneaking suspicion here that this verse might be quite as "matter-of-fact" as the others that can sound fantastical until "seen"
Any views/experiences?
best to one and all
simon


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2008

Hi Simon,

I haven't had any experience with body movement work, but I can see how it could apply here too. It"s a way to find your natural grace. I find that happens during my morning walk. It's a good way to start the day, when Seeing comes easily.

Jim


From: Janet
Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008

Quote: Verse Fifty, Witter Bynner, 1944

But there is one out of ten, they say, so sure of life
That tiger and wild bull keep clear of his inland path.
Weapons turn from him on the battle-field,
No bull-horn could tell where to gore him,
No tiger-claw where to tear him,
No weapon where to enter him.
And why?
Because he has no death to die.

as i read this more clearly,
it seems to me the ONE, who is no-one,
is the only ONE, that has no death to die.
everything else has it's time for passing.

thats how it appears to me. whatever you say
about everything else; living better, dying faster,
or whatever way you judge it, it matters not to
the ONE that has no death to die. its only purpose
is no purpose, but boundless open space for everything
with beginnings and ends, though it has no beginning or end
of itself.

i had another view but it seems too personal
that wouldn't be understood anyway.

love,
janet


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