Dao De Jing
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Verse Fifty Three


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2008

Verse Fifty Three
Witter Bynner, 1944

If I had any learning
Of a highway wide and fit,
Would I lose it at each turning?
Yet look at people spurning
Natural use of it!
See how fine the palaces
And see how poor the farms,
How bare the peasants' granaries
While gentry wear embroideries
Hiding sharpened arms,
And the more they have the more they seize,
How can there be such men as these
Who never hunger, never thirst,
Yet eat and drink until they burst!
There are other brigands, but these are the worst
Of all the highway's harms.

Verse Fifty Three
Jerry O. Dalton, 1994

If I had a little knowledge, I would follow the greatTao,
And fear only that I would deviate from it.
The great Tao is broad and plain,
But people prefer the side tracks.

The courts are magnificient.
The fields are barren,
And the granarise are empty.
Officials wear embroidered clothes,
Carry double edged swords,
Ans satiate themselves on food and drink.
They accumulate excessive wealth.
This is called thievery.
It is far from the Tao.

Verse Fifty Three
Ron Hogan, Ron Hogan, ~2000

If I had any sense,
I'd be trying to get right with Tao,
and the only thing I'd worry about
would be messing up.
It's not that hard to get right with Tao,
but people are easily distracted.

"When the king's palace is full of treasure,"
Lao Tzu said,
"ordinary people's fields
are smothered with weeds,
and the food supplies run out."

Today, you see sharply dressed people
carrying flashy weapons
and living the high life.

They own more
than they could ever use,
let alone need.

They're nothing
but gangsters and crooks.
That's not what Tao's about.


From: simon
Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008

Quote:
They own more
than they could ever use,
let alone need.

Now, despite the modernity and morality in this verse, I must admit that this line sounds exactly like what is seen here!
Just being, I own more than I could ever use - though not exclusively, everyone does in truth...
However, let alone need - there i wonder...
What do I really need to BE...?
There is an experiment for that...

This verse is still very topical on a political front, and as members of "society", albeit sometimes unwillingly, the constat is valid.
Quote:
The great Tao is broad and plain,
But people prefer the side tracks.

Isn't this the case?
Bynner's version rings true:
Quote:
...a highway wide and fit,
Would I lose it at each turning?

Can seeing really be lost?
Yours
Simon


From: Steve Palmer
Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008

Quote:
The great Tao is broad and plain,
But people prefer the side tracks.

When listening to a Douglas talk today the section quoted above came to mind.
Does the broad and plain way mean surrendering to life,
right now , just " As It Is "

looking freshly, with attention.
The feel of the body, the breath, the mind state,
the openess filled with sensations and your surroundings above your shoulders.

but it's a habit to" prefer the side tracks "
thoughts of the past or the future.
Instead of noticing they are occuring in
the broad and plain Openess of Now.

Douglas was saying on the cd talk " How simple this Is " Which seemed an antidote to how complicated we can make it !

Steve


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008

If I had any learning
Of a highway wide and fit,
Would I lose it at each turning?
Yet look at people spurning
Natural use of it!

Headless Seeing is too simple for some people. I recall Douglas saying that more than once. The "one metre path" is a highway wide and fit. Yet people prefer the bypaths. They are more scenic with all their doctrines and stories. With seeing the way is the destination.

See how fine the palaces
And see how poor the farms,
How bare the peasants' granaries
While gentry wear embroideries
Hiding sharpened arms,
And the more they have the more they seize,
How can there be such men as these
Who never hunger, never thirst,
Yet eat and drink until they burst!
There are other brigands, but these are the worst
Of all the highway's harms.

Has this ever been truer than it is today? Has the pendulum swung far enough in this direction? Is it ready to fall the other way?

The more they have the more they seize. Isn't that fact what got the world into the economic mess it's in today?

Jim


From: Janet
Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2008

jimclatfelter wrote:
Has this ever been truer than it is today? Has the pendulum swung far enough in this direction? Is it ready to fall the other way?

The more they have the more they seize. Isn't that fact what got the world into the economic mess it's in today?

sadly jim, yes, it seems so.
thats what came to me after reading this verse.
maybe there will be change and a return to simpler times.

love,
janet


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