Dao De Jing
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Verse Fifty Four


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008

Verse Fifty Four
Bradford Hatcher, 2005

What is well established is not uprooted
What is well embraced is not taken away
Children & grandchildren, accordingly,
make offerings & sacrifice without fail
Cultivate this in the person
Its character grows true
Cultivate this in the family
Its character grows ample
Cultivate this in the community
Its character grows enduring
Cultivate this in the country
Its character grows bountiful
Cultivate this in the world
Its character grows universal
And so, use person to examine the person
With family, examine the family
With community, examine the community
With country, examine the country
With the world, examine the world
So how are we to know that the world
is really like this?
Through This

Verse Fifty Four
Stephen Mitchell, 1988

Whoever is planted in the Tao
will not be rooted up.
Whoever embraces the Tao
will not slip away.
Her name will be held in honor
from generation to generation.

Let the Tao be present in your life
and you will become genuine.
Let it be present in your family
and your family will flourish.
Let it be present in your country
and your country will be an example
to all countries in the world.
Let it be present in the universe
and the universe will sing.

How do I know this is true?
By looking inside myself.

Verse Fifty Four
Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English, 1972

What is firmly established cannot be uprooted.
What is firmly grasped cannot slip away.
It will be honored from generation to generation.
Cultivate Virtue in your self,
And Virtue will be real.
Cultivate it in the family,
And Virtue will abound.
Cultivate it in the village,
And Virtue will grow.
Cultivate it in the nation,
And Virtue will be abundant.
Cultivate it in the universe,
And Virtue will be everywhere.

Therefore look at the body as body;
Look at the family as family;
Look at the village as village;
Look at the nation as nation;
Look at the universe as universe.

How do I know the universe is like this?
By looking!


From: simon
Location: France
Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008

There is a beautiful 'progression' in this verse: a sort of 'hierarchy' that reminds me of the different - can I sy - levels of being ?
Of course, to an "outside observer", I am just one among millions, small, limited and defined by my limitations and excentricities... nothing special.
And while this view is not false, it is not the whole story.
The question of truth does seem to be linked to "where one is" - everything needs to be understood at its own level:
Quote:
Therefore look at the body as body;
Look at the family as family;
Look at the village as village;
Look at the nation as nation;
Look at the universe as universe.

Quite simple; quite precise and just.
Subtle effortlessness
Quote:
Let the Tao be present in your life

Just present, no forcing... I love that!
Take everything at its own level...
What do others see?
love to all,
simon


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2008

So how are we to know that the world
is really like this?
Through This

How do I know this is true?
By looking inside myself.

How do I know the universe is like this?
By looking!

Hi Simon,

I hadn't noticed the "camera" experiment in the verse. Now that you have pointed it out so beautifully, it seems very clear.

I like the last lines in the verse too. How do we know? By looking for ourselves. How simple and convincing!

Jim


From: simon
Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2008

Hi Jim and All,
Yes, the last line is - in a sense - all that needs to be said:
Looking, and all is there...
This simplicity does stump some people (some of the time), just too obvious-ordinary... but the Truth, by definition, is what is left when everything else falls away, no?
And is it really "ordinary"? Far too big for that word, imo.
As in the Upanishad: everything is there, sun, moon, stars, whatever is and whatever is not,...
Of course, terms like "there" and "here" are disputable, they give an impression of 'place' which demands separation. Problem with that is that I get it all together! No "inner space" that is not filled with ... well, words fail me!
And no ownership - what a relief!


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