Dao De Jing
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Verse Seventy Eight


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun May 31, 2009

Verse Seventy Eight
Brian Browne Walker, 1996

Nothing under heaven is as
soft and yielding as water.
Yet for attacking the hard and strong,
nothing can compare with it.

The weak overcomes the strong.
The soft overcomes the hard.
Everyone knows this, but none
have the ability to practice it.

Therefore the sage says:
One who accepts the dung of the nation
becomes the master of soil and sustenance.
One who deals with the evils of the nation
becomes king under heaven.

True words seem paradoxical.

Verse Seventy Eight
Stephen Mitchell, 1988

Nothing in the world
is as soft and yielding as water.
Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
nothing can surpass it.

The soft overcomes the hard;
the gentle overcomes the rigid.
Everyone knows this is true,
but few can put it into practice.

Therefore the Master remains
serene in the midst of sorrow.
Evil cannot enter his heart.
Because he has given up helping,
he is people's greatest help.

True words seem paradoxical.

Verse Seventy Eight
Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English, 1972

Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.
Under heaven everyone knows this,
Yet no one puts it into practice.
Therefore the sage says:
He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people is fit to rulethem.
He who takes upon himself the country's disasters deserves to be kingof the universe.
The truth often sounds paradoxical.


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun May 31, 2009

True words seem paradoxical.

Words about headless space seem paradoxical to anyone who refuses to look. Sometimes even people who do look say they don't see the headless design. Some see and say So what? Some see and say What's next? Words about headless seeing seem paradoxical unless you are seeing as you speak them. But once you see, the words make perfect sense. Doing the experiments and then living them is the only way to get beyond paradox and seeming contradiction.

Any one of the seeing experiments will show you your original face. It isn't such a puzzle as it's made out to be. It's doesn't take years to see. Inside the tube it takes minutes at most. Yet words about it seem paradoxical until you consciously see what you see.

Nothing under heaven is as
soft and yielding as water.
Yet for attacking the hard and strong,
nothing can compare with it.

What is softer and more yielding than aware space? Nothing! And Nothing is precisely It. Water is a good symbol for aware space. Water is clear. It receives and reflects whatever is in front of it.

How does aware space attack the hard and strong? By yielding to and making way for whatever is happening. It attacks by absorbing.

Therefore the Master remains
serene in the midst of sorrow.

In the midst of sorrow, the Seer remains in touch with serenity. When serenity adds to the mix, sorrow is diluted and less powerful. It's still there, but it's in it's proper place. It's located!

Everyone knows this, but none
have the ability to practice it.

I wonder if everyone knows this. What do you think?

Jim


From: Steve Palmer
Posted: Sun May 31, 2009

Quote:
Everyone knows this, but none
have the ability to practice it.

Maybe this is a statement of fact.

RE: headlessness
You can not practice or become what you always are
but you can give attention to it.
Continuous attention or practice is also impossible.

Does everyone know this -The weak overcomes the strong.
The soft overcomes the hard.

The word weak is it a good translation ?
The creative, open, spacious, unconditioned, intuitive, aware, harmonious might work.

or could you change it to The unchanging space allows the changing scenery Everybody knows this but few notice or value it.
Quote:
Water is a good symbol for aware space

I like this idea : )

Steve


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun May 31, 2009

Hi Steve,

Weak could also be translated as gentle, soft, tender, flexible, or yielding.

I like gentle. Aware space is absolutely gentle. There is no force here at all. Isn't judo translated as the gentle way?

Does everyone know that the gentle overcomes the strong? Good question. Maybe most of us know that forcing our way never works out. It's never very satisfying. It disturbs the peace, our peace. It gives us shallow victory, that is, if we win at all.

Quote:
The unchanging space allows the changing scenery.
Everybody knows this but few notice or value it.

I think you've got it! That says just what we want to say. A really creative headless interpretation of the Tao Te Ching woul be full of lines like these.

Jim


From: Steve Palmer
Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009

Quote:
Weak could also be translated as gentle, soft, tender, flexible, or yielding.

I like gentle. Aware space is absolutely gentle. There is no force here at all. Isn't judo translated as the gentle way?

I'm not sure about judo but tai chi could be translated as yielding.Using others strength.

soft and yielding as water.
Yet for attacking the hard and strong,
nothing can compare with it.

Quote:
I like gentle. Aware space is absolutely gentle. There is no force here at all.

I like the translation gentle and your definition of it.

On a side issue.
Recently I discovered Monty Roberts in a book about happiness,
which recommended his book " Horse Sense for People"
Interviews with him are on you tube
He's a horse trainer well know for his gentle and successful training of wild horses.
He seems to be a good practical example of some of the qualities in this verse.


From: simon
Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009

Quote:
One who accepts the dung of the nation
becomes the master of soil and sustenance.

Well; mucking out the sheep pen is a good activity for the nose-less and certainly the compost helps soil fertility... but I dare say this can be taken other than literally!
Aware space does accept whatever is in it, and this awareness is certainly fertile - look at all the diversity that grows and fades in it!
Quote:
The unchanging space allows the changing scenery Everybody knows this but few notice or value it.

confirms here, too.
As regards the question
Quote:
Does everyone know that the gentle overcomes the strong?

I think knows, yes: does everyone admit ... well, there is a doubt about that.
Admitting the evident is the point, or should I say the door!
Enjoying this discussion and the variety of views that all lead home.
best to all,
simon
PS do I sniff the whiff of surrender (to link with another thread) here?


Headless on Youtube
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Click here for information on online hangouts
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The Youniverse Explorer is now available
Click here for our online shop
Click here to get the free Headless iPhone app
Click here for downloadable videos of Douglas Harding
Click here for the Latest News
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