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Verse Fifty Six


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Wed Dec 10, 2008

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

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.
Keep your mouth closed.
Guard your senses.
Temper your sharpness.
Simplify your problems.
Mask your brightness.
Be at one with the dust of the Earth.
This is primal union.

He who has achieved this state
Is unconcerned with friends and enemies,
With good and harm, with honor and disgrace.
This therefore is the highest state of man.

Verse Fifty Six
Arthur Waley, 1934

Those who know do not speak;
Those who speak do not know.
Black the passages,
Shut the doors,
Let all sharpness be blunted,
All tangles untied,
All glare tempered.
All dust smoothed.
This is called the mysterious leveling.
He who has achieved it cannot either be drawn into friendship or repelled,
Cannot be benefited, cannot be harmed,
Cannot either be raised or humbled,
And for that very reason is highest of all creatures under heaven.


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008

Those who know point!
This is primal union.

Those who know the location of the ground of seeing simply point it out to others. They point to the place where all sharpness is blunted, all tangles are untied, all glare is tempered, and all dust is smoothed.

Those who know don't just say. They demonstrate!

Jim


From: simon
Location: France
Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008

Quote:
Be at one with the dust of the Earth.
This is primal union.

This might sound seriously humble, a sort of hierarchy of humility., ultimate sacrifice..
and yet, to be simply honest, what can I exclude from "myself"? As Douglas put it "you are busted wide open ..."!
And, contazining all,
Quote:
good and harm, ... honor and disgrace

have no real impact... So, strange as it may seem, being the lowest is the highest state
All this in place of the meatball everyone affirms is stuck on my shoulders, once the sharpness is tempered...
I love the Feng-English version. When I first read it many years ago, the first line seemed almost critical, but - as ever - now just seems a simple observation.

Quote:
mysterious leveling

Indeed!
All one and all Here!
A beautiful verse, this one.


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