mieum's gemini capsule @
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commit 1ddd024c5c38fc109612ab12447d78ed241f0cf2
parent 57921290c059f9cec63610bb3458616fe96cdfe2
Author: mieum <>
Date:   Fri, 23 Oct 2020 00:21:01 +0900

library: add dao de jing

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diff --git a/library/ddj/attribution.gmi b/library/ddj/attribution.gmi @@ -0,0 +1,5 @@ +# Attribution + +This translation of the Dao De Jing is reproduced here in Gemtext form with the gracious permission of Roger T. Ames. The original version, including extensive commentary, notes, and references, is available from Ballantine Books: + +Ames, Roger T. & David L. Hall. Dao De Jing, or, "Making This Life Significant": A Philosophical Translation. Ballantine Books: New York. 2003. ISBN: 0345444191 diff --git a/library/ddj/daodejing.gmi b/library/ddj/daodejing.gmi @@ -0,0 +1,1543 @@ +# Dao De Jing [道德經] +=> gemini:// Translated by Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall + +## 1 + +Way-making (dao) that can be put into words is not really way-making, +And naming (ming) that can assign fixed reference to things is not really naming. +The nameless (wuming) is the fetal beginnings of everything that is happening (wanwu), +While that which is named is their mother. +Thus, to be really objectless in one’s desires (wuyu) is how one observes the mysteries of all things, +While really having desires is how one observes their boundaries. +These two—the nameless and what is named—emerge from the same source yet are referred to differently. +Together they are called obscure. +The obscurest of the obscure, +They are the swinging gateway of the manifold mysteries. + +## 2 + +As soon as everyone in the world knows that the beautiful are beautiful, +There is already ugliness. +As soon as everyone knows the able, +There is ineptness. + +Determinacy (you) and indeterminacy (wu) give rise to each other, +Difficult and easy complement each other, +Long and short set each other off, +High and low complete each other, +Refined notes and raw sounds harmonize (he) with each other, +And before and after lend sequence to each other— +This is really how it all works. + +It is for this reason that sages keep to service that does not entail coercion (wuwei) +And disseminate teachings that go beyond what can be said. + +In all that happens (wanwu), +The sages develop things but do not initiate them, +They act on behalf of things but do not lay any claim to them, +They see things through to fruition but do not take credit for them. +It is only because they do not take credit for them that things do not take their leave. + +## 3 + +Not promoting those of superior character +Will save the common people from becoming contentious. +Not prizing property that is hard to come by +Will save them from becoming thieves. +Not making a show of what might be desired +Will save them from becoming disgruntled. + +It is for this reason that in the proper governing by the sages: +They empty the hearts-and-minds of the people and fill their stomachs, + +They weaken their aspirations and strengthen their bones, +Ever teaching the common people to be unprincipled in their knowing (wuzhi) +And objectless in their desires (wuyu), +They keep the hawkers of knowledge at bay. +It is simply in doing things noncoercively (wuwei) +That everything is governed properly. + +## 4 + +Way-making being empty, +You make use of it But do not fill it up. + +So abysmally deep— +It seems the predecessor of everything that is happening (wanwu). + +It blunts the sharp edges +And untangles the knots; +It softens (he) the glare +And brings things together on the same track. + +So cavernously deep— +It only seems to persist. + +I do not know whose progeny it is; +It prefigures the ancestral gods. + +## 5 + +The heavens and the earth are not partial to institutionalized morality. +They take things (wanwu) and treat them all as straw dogs. +Sages too are not partial to institutionalized morality. +They treat the common people as straw dogs. + +The space between the heavens and the earth— +Isn’t it just like a bellows! +Even though empty it is not vacuous. +Pump it and more and more comes out. + +It is better to safeguard what you have within +Than to learn a great deal that so often goes nowhere. + +## 6 + +The life-force of the valley never dies— +This is called the dark female. +The gateway of the dark female— +This is called the root of the world. +Wispy and delicate, it only seems to be there, +Yet its productivity is bottomless. + +## 7 + +The heavens are lasting and the earth enduring. +The reason the world is able to be lasting and enduring +Is because it does not live for itself. +Thus it is able to be long-lived. + +It is on this model that the sages withdraw their persons from contention yet find themselves out in front, +Put their own persons out of mind yet find themselves taken care of. Isn’t it simply because they are unselfish that they can satisfy their own needs? + +## 8 + +The highest efficacy is like water. +It is because water benefits everything (wanwu) +Yet vies to dwell in places loathed by the crowd +That it comes nearest to proper way-making. + +In dwelling, the question is where is the right place. +In thinking and feeling, it is how deeply. +In giving, it is how much like nature’s bounty. +In speaking, it is how credibly. +In governing, it is how effectively. +In serving, it is how capably. +In acting, it is how timely. + +It is only because there is no contentiousness in proper way-making That it incurs no blame. + +## 9 + +It is better to desist +Than to try to hold it upright and fill it to the brim. +Pounded out to a point +Its sharpness cannot be long maintained. + +When treasure fills the hall, +No one is able to keep it safe. +Those who are arrogant because of station and wealth +Bring calamity upon themselves. + +To retire when the deed is done +Is the way (dao) that tian works. + +## 10 + +In carrying about your more spiritual and more physical aspects and embracing their oneness, +Are you able to keep them from separating? +In concentrating your qi and making it pliant, +Are you able to become the newborn babe? +In scrubbing and cleansing your profound mirror, +Are you able to rid it of all imperfections? +In loving the common people and breathing life into the state, +Are you able to do it without recourse to wisdom? +With nature’s gates swinging open and closed, +Are you able to remain the female? +With your insight penetrating the four quarters, +Are you able to do it without recourse to wisdom? + +It gives life to things and nurtures them. +Giving life without managing them +And raising them without lording it over them— +This is called the profoundest efficacy (de). + +## 11 + +The thirty spokes converge at one hub, +But the utility of the cart is a function of the nothingness (wn) inside the hub. +We throw clay to shape a pot, +But the utility of the clay pot is a function of the nothingness inside it. +We bore out doors and windows to make a dwelling, +But the utility of the dwelling is a function of the nothingness inside it. +Thus, it might be something (you) that provides the value, +But it is nothing that provides the utility. + +## 12 + +The five colors blind the eye, +The hard riding of the hunt addles both heart and mind, +Property hard to come by subverts proper conduct, +The five flavors destroy the palate, +And the five notes impair the ear. + +It is for this reason that in the proper governing by the sages: +``` + They exert their efforts on behalf of the abdomen rather than the eye. + Thus, eschewing one they take the other. +``` + +## 13 + +“Favor and disgrace are cause for alarm.” +“Value your gravest anxieties as you do your own person.” +What does it mean in saying “Favor and disgrace are both cause for alarm?” +It means that whenever favor is bestowed, both gaining it and losing it should be cause for alarm. + +What does it mean in saying “Value your gravest anxieties as you do your own person?” The reason we have grave anxieties is because we are embodied persons. If we were not such persons, what anxieties would we have? Thus those who value the care of their own persons more than running the world can be entrusted with the world. And those who begrudge their persons as though they were the world can be put in charge of the world. + +## 14 + +Looking and yet not seeing it +We thus call it “elusive.” +Listening and yet not hearing it +We thus call it “inaudible.” +Groping and yet not getting it +We thus call it “intangible.” +Because in sight, sound, and touch it is beyond determination +We construe it as inseparably one. + +As for this “one”— +Its surface is not dazzling +Nor is its underside dark. +Ever so tangled, it defies discrimination +And reverts again to indeterminacy. +This is what is called the form of the formless +And the image of indeterminacy. +This is what is called the vague and the indefinite. + +Following behind you will not see its rear; +Encountering it you will not see its head. + +Hold tightly onto way-making in the present +To manage what is happening right now +And to understand where it began in the distant past. +This is what is called the drawstring of way-making. + +## 15 + +Those of old who were good at forging their way (dao) in the world: + +``` + Subtle and mysterious, dark and penetrating, + Their profundity was beyond comprehension. + It is because they were beyond comprehension + That were I forced to describe them, I would say: + So reluctant, as though crossing a winter stream; + So vigilant, as though in fear of the surrounding neighbors; + So dignified, like an invited guest; + So yielding, like ice about to thaw; + So solid, like unworked wood; + So murky, like muddy water; + So vast and vacant, like a mountain gorge. +``` + +Muddy water, when stilled, slowly becomes clear; +Something settled, when agitated, slowly comes to life. + +Those who prize way-making do not seek fullness; +It is only because they do not want to be full +That they are able to remain hidden and unfinished. + +## 16 + +Extend your utmost emptiness as far as you can +And do your best to preserve your equilibrium (jing). + +In the process of all things emerging together (wanwu) +We can witness their reversion. +Things proliferate, +And each again returns to its root. +Returning to the root is called equilibrium. +Now as for equilibrium—this is called returning to the propensity of things, +And returning to the propensity of things is common sense. + +Using common sense is acuity, +While failing to use it is to lose control. +And to try to do anything while out of control is to court disaster. +Using common sense is to be accommodating, +Being accommodating is tolerance, +Being tolerant is kingliness, +Being kingly is tian-like, +Being tian-like is to be way-making, +And the way-made is enduring. +To the end of one’s days one will be free of danger. + +## 17 + +With the most excellent rulers, their subjects only know that they are there, +The next best are the rulers they love and praise, +Next are the rulers they hold in awe, + +And the worst are the rulers they disparage. +Where there is a lack of credibility, +There is a lack of trust. +Vigilant, they are careful in what they say. + +With all things accomplished and the work complete +The common people say, “We are spontaneously like this.” + +## 18 + +It is when grand way-making is abandoned +That authoritative conduct (ren) and appropriateness (yi) appear. +It is when wisdom (zhi) and erudition arise +That great duplicity appears. +It is when the six family relationships are disharmonious +That filiality (xiao) and parental affection (ci) appear. +It is when the state has fallen into troubled times +That upright ministers appear. + +## 19 + +Cut off sagacity (sheng) and get rid of wisdom (zhi) +And the benefit to the common people will be a hundredfold. +Cut off authoritative conduct (ren) and get rid of appropriateness (yi) +And the common people will return to filiality (xiao) and parental affection (ci). +Cut off cleverness and get rid of personal profit +And there will be no more brigands and thieves. +But these three sayings as they stand are still lacking +And need to be supplemented by the following: +``` +Display a genuineness like raw silk and embrace a simplicity like unworked wood, +Lessen your concern for yourself and reduce your desires. +``` + +## 20 + +Cut off learning and there will be nothing more to worry about. +How much difference is there really between a polite “yes” and an emphatic “no!”? +How much difference is there between what is deemed beautiful and ugly? + +Those whom people fear +Cannot but also fear others. + +So indefinite! Does this humbuggery ever come to an end! +Most people are happy, happy, +As though feasting at the Tailao banquet +Or climbing some sightseeing tower in the springtime. +I alone am so impassive, revealing nothing at all, +Like a babe that has yet to smile; +So listless, as though nowhere to go. + +Most people have more than enough, +While I alone have lost out. +I have the heart-and-mind of a fool—so vacant and dull! + +The common lot see things so clearly, +While I alone seem to be in the dark. +The common lot are so discriminating, +While I alone am so obtuse. +So vague and hazy, like the rolling seas; +So indeterminate, as though virtually endless. + +The common lot all have their purposes +While I alone am a dull-witted yokel. + +My needs alone are different from other people, +Cherishing my mother’s milk. + +## 21 + +Those of magnificent character (de) +Are committed to way-making (dao) alone. +As for the process of way-making, +It is ever so indefinite and vague. +Though vague and indefinite, +There are images within it. +Though indefinite and vague, +There are events within it. +Though nebulous and dark, +There are seminal concentrations of qi within it. +These concentrations of qi are authentic, +And have within them true credibility. + +From the present moment back into antiquity, +Praise for way-making has never ceased, +And it is through way-making that we can act in accordance with the sire of the many. +How do I know that the sire of the many is so? By this. + +## 22 + +Crimped then whole, +Warped then true, +Hollow then full, +Worn then new, +Modest then satisfied, +Demanding then bewildered. + +It is for this reason that the sages grasp oneness +To be shepherds to the world. + +Those who are not self-promoting are distinguished, +Those who do not show off shine, +Those who do not brag have lots to show, +Those who are not self-important are enduring. + +It is only because they do not contend +That none are able to contend with them. + +Isn’t what the ancients called “giving up the crimped for the sake of the whole.” +Getting close to what these words mean! +This expression indeed says it all. + +## 23 + +It is natural to speak only rarely. +Violent winds do not last a whole morning +And torrential rains do not last a whole day. +What is behind these occurrences? +[It is the heavens and the earth.] +And if the heavens and the earth cannot sustain things for long, +How much less the human being. + +Thus, those who are committed to way-making (dao) in what they do +Are on their way. +Those who are committed to character (de) in what they do +Achieve this character; +While those who lose it +Are themselves lost. +Way-making is moreover enhanced by those who express character, +Just as it is diminished by those who themselves have lost it. + +## 24 + +Blowhards have no standing, +The self-promoting are not distinguished, +Show-offs do not shine, +Braggarts have nothing to show, +The self-important are here and gone. + +As these attitudes pertain to way-making (dao), +They are called indulgence and unseemliness. +Such excess is so generally despised +That even those who want things +Cannot abide it. + +## 25 + +There was some process that formed spontaneously +Emerging before the heavens and the earth. +Silent and empty, +Standing alone as all that is, it does not suffer alteration. +[All pervading, it does not pause.] +It can be thought of as the mother of the heavens and the earth. +I do not yet know its name (ming). +If I were to style it, +I would call it way-making (dao). +And if forced to give it a name, +I would call it grand. +Being grand, it is called passing, +Passing, it is called distancing. +Distancing, it is called returning. + +Way-making is grand, +The heavens (tian) are grand, +The earth is grand, +And the king is also grand. +Within our territories +There are four “grandees” +And the king occupies one of them. + +Human beings emulate the earth, +The earth emulates the heavens, +The heavens emulate way-making, +And way-making emulates what is spontaneously so (ziran). + +## 26 + +vy is the root of the light; +Equilibrium (jing) is the lord of agitation. + +It is for this reason that the ruler in traveling the entire day +Will not take leave of his heavy wagons. +It is only when he is ensconced in familiar chambers encircled by watchtowers +That he rises above such concerns. + +How could someone be the king of a huge state +And treat his own person as less important than the world? + +If he treats his person lightly, he loses the root; +If he becomes agitated, he loses his throne. + +## 27 +Able travelers leave no ruts or tracks along the way; +Able speakers make no gaffes that might occasion reproach; +Able reckoners have no use for tallies or counting sticks; +Able sealers make no use of bolts or latches yet what they close off cannot be opened. +Able cinchers make no use of ropes or cords yet their knots cannot be undone. + +It is for this reason that the sages in being really good at turning others to account +Have no need to reject anyone, +And in dealing with property, +Have no need to reject anything. +This is what is called following their natural acuity (ming). + +Thus able persons are teachers of the able +While the inept provide them with raw materials. + +While perhaps wise enough, +Those who fail to honor their teachers and to be sparing with their raw materials +Have gotten themselves utterly lost. +This is what is called being subtle and getting to the essentials. + +## 28 + +Know the male +Yet safeguard the female +And be a river gorge to the world. +As a river gorge to the world, +You will not lose your real potency (de), +And not losing your real potency, +You return to the state of the newborn babe. + +Know the clean +Yet safeguard the soiled +And be a valley to the world. +As a valley to the world +Your real potency will be ample, +And with ample potency, +You return to the state of unworked wood. + +Know the white +Yet safeguard the black +And be a model for the world. +As a model for the world, +Your real potency will not be wanting, +And with your potency not wanting, +You return to the state of the limitless. + +When unworked wood is split, +It is made into utensils. +When the sages are employed, +They are made into head officials. + +There is no cutting, however, in the very best tailoring. + +## 29 + +If someone wants to rule the world, and goes about trying to do so, +I foresee that they simply will not succeed. +The world is a sacred vessel, +And is not something that can be ruled. +Those who would rule it ruin it; +Those who would control it lose it. + +In the way of things: +``` + Some move ahead while others follow behind; + Some breathe to warm themselves while others breathe to cool themselves down; + Some are strong while others are disadvantaged; + Some accumulate while others collapse. +``` +It is for this reason that the sages eschew the excessive, the superlative, and the extravagant. + +## 30 + +Those who use way-making (dao) to minister to the ruler +Do not seek to make him the strongest in the world by force of arms. +Such a business would likely come back to haunt them. +Wherever armies bivouac +Brambles and thistles will grow. +[In the wake of great armies +Lean years are sure to follow.] + +Able commanders look only to achieve the right results +Without seeing victory as a source of empowerment. +They get their results without arrogance, +They get their results without becoming self-important, +They get their results without bragging about them, +They get these results and accommodate them only as a last resort. +This is called getting the right results without forcing them, +And creates a situation that is likely to endure. + +For something to be old while in its prime +Is called a departure from the way of things. +And whatever departs from the way of things will come to an untimely end. + +## 31 + +Military weapons are inauspicious instruments, +And are so generally despised +That even those who want things +Cannot abide them. + +Rulers under normal circumstances take the left side as the seat of honor, +But when they go to war, they honor the right. +Thus, military weapons are not the instruments of true rulers. + +Military weapons are inauspicious instruments, +And so when you have no choice but to use them, +It is best to do so coolly and without enthusiasm. +Do not glorify weapons, +For to do so is to delight in killing people, +And anyone who delights in killing people +Will come up short in the world. + +It is for this reason that on auspicious occasions we honor the left side, +While at funerals we honor the right. +Analogously, the lieutenant commander stands to the left +And the supreme commander takes up his position on the right. +This means that they are positioned as they would be at a funeral. + +When the casualties are high, +Inspect the battleground with grief and remorse; +When the war is won, +Treat it as you would a funeral. + +## 32 + +Way-making (dao) is really nameless (wuming). +Although in this unworked state it is of little consequence, +No one in the world would dare to condescend to it. +Were the nobles and kings able to respect this, +All things (wanwu) would defer of their own accord. +The heavens and the earth would come together +To send down their sweet honey, +And without being so ordered, +The common people would see that it is distributed equitably. +When we start to regulate the world we introduce names. +But once names have been assigned, +We must also know when to stop. +Knowing when to stop is how to avoid danger. + +As an analogy to describe way-making in the world: +The small creeks flow into the rivers and seas. + +## 33 + +To know others is wisdom; +To know oneself is acuity (ming). +To conquer others is power, +To conquer oneself is strength. +To know contentment is to have wealth. + +To act resolutely is to have purpose. +To stay one’s ground is to be enduring. +To die and yet not be forgotten is to be long-lived. + +## 34 + +Way-making (dao) is an easy-flowing stream +Which can run in any direction. + +With all things accomplished and the work complete, +It does not assume any proprietary claim. + +Since all things (wanwu) offer it allegiance +And yet it does not act as master, +It can be counted among things of the most minor significance. + +And since all things offer it allegiance +And yet it does not act as master, +It can also be counted among things of the greatest significance. + +It is thus that the capacity of the sages to become great +Is simply because they do not try to do great things. +This is why they are indeed able to be great. + +## 35 + +Seize the great image +And the world will flock to you. +Flocking to you they come to no harm, +And peace and security prevails. + +Passing travelers will interrupt their journey +For music and fine fare. +But were way-making (dao) to be put into words: +It could be said to be so bland and insipid that it has no taste. + +Look for it and there is nothing to see, +Listen for it and there is nothing to hear, +And yet in availing oneself of it, it is inexhaustible. + +## 36 + +Whatever is gathered in +Must first be stretched out; +Whatever is weakened +Must first be made strong; +Whatever is abandoned +Must first be joined; +Whatever is taken away +Must first be given. +This is what is called the subtle within what is evident. + +The soft and weak vanquish the hard and strong. +Fishes should not relinquish the depths. +The sharpest instruments of state should not be revealed to others. + + +## 37 + +Way-making (dao) is really nameless (wuming). +Were the nobles and kings able to respect this, +All things (wanwu) would be able to develop along their own lines. + +Having developed along their own lines, were they to desire to depart from this, +I would realign them +With a nameless scrap of unworked wood. + +Realigned with this nameless scrap of unworked wood, +They would leave off desiring. +In not desiring, they would achieve equilibrium, +And all the world would be properly ordered of its own accord. + +## 38 + +It is because the most excellent (de) do not strive to excel (de) +That they are of the highest efficacy (de). +And it is because the least excellent do not leave off striving to excel +That they have no efficacy. +Persons of the highest efficacy neither do things coercively +Nor would they have any motivation for doing so. +Persons who are most authoritative (ren) do things coercively +And yet are not motivated in doing so. +Persons who are most appropriate (yi) do things coercively +And indeed do have a motive for doing so. +Persons who are exemplars of ritual propriety (li) do things coercively +And when no one pays them any heed, +They yank up their sleeves and drag others along with them. +Thus, only when we have lost sight of way-making (dao) is there excellence, +Only when we have lost sight of excellence is there authoritative conduct, +Only when we have lost sight of authoritative conduct is there appropriateness, +And only when we have lost sight of appropriateness is there ritual propriety. +As for ritual propriety, it is the thinnest veneer of doing one’s best and making good on one’s word, +And it is the first sign of trouble. +“Foreknowledge” is tinsel decorating the way, +And is the first sign of ignorance. + +It is for this reason that persons of consequence: +``` + Set store by the substance rather than the veneer + And by the fruit rather than the flower. + Hence, eschewing one they take the other. +``` + +## 39 + +Of old there were certain things that realized oneness: +``` + The heavens in realizing oneness became clear; + The earth in realizing oneness became stable; + The numinous in realizing oneness became animated; + The river valleys in realizing oneness became full; + The lords and kings in realizing oneness brought proper order to the world. +``` + +Following this line of thinking, +We could say that if the heavens had not become clear +They may well have fallen to pieces; +We could say that if the earth had not become stable +It may well have collapsed; +We could say that if the numinous had not become animated +It may well have faded away; +We could say that if the river valleys had not become full +They may well have dried up; +We could say that if the lords and kings had not brought proper order to the world +They may well have stumbled and fallen from power. +Thus for something to be noble it must take the humble as its root; +For something to be high it must take the low as its foundation. + +It is for this reason that the lords and kings use “friendless,” “unworthy,” and “inept” as terms to refer to themselves. +This is a clear case of taking the humble as the root, is it not? + +The highest renown is to be without renown. +They do not want to be precious like jade, +But common like stone. + +## 40 + +“Returning” is how way-making (dao) moves, +And “weakening” is how it functions. +The events of the world arise from the determinate (you), +And the determinate arises from the indeterminate (wu). + +## 41 + +When the very best students learn of way-making (dao) +They are just barely able to keep to its center. +When mediocre students learn of way-making +They are sporadically on it and off it. +When the very worst students learn of way-making +They guffaw at the very idea. +Were they not to guffaw at it +It would be something less than way-making. +It is for this reason that in the Established Sayings we find it said: +``` + Radiant way-making seems obscured, + Advancing way-making seems to be receding, + Smooth way-making seems to have bumps, + The highest character (de) seems like a deep gorge, + The most brilliant white seems sullied, + The most broadminded character seems deficient, + The most steadfast character seems dubious, + The most pristine and authentic seems defiled. + The greatest square has no corners, + The greatest vessel is last to be attended to, + The greatest sound is ever so faint, + The greatest image has no shape. +``` +Way-making is so profuse as to be nameless (wuming). +It is only way-making that is as efficacious in the beginnings of things as it is in their completion. + +## 42 + +Way-making (dao) gives rise to continuity, +Continuity gives rise to difference, +Difference gives rise to plurality, +And plurality gives rise to the manifold of everything that is happening (wanwu). +Everything carries yin on its shoulders and yang in its arms +And blends these vital energies (qi) together to make them harmonious (he). + +There is nothing in the world disliked more +Than the thought of being friendless, unworthy, and inept, +And yet kings and dukes use just such terms to refer to themselves. +For things, sometimes less is more, +And sometimes, more is less. + +Thus, as for what other people are teaching, +I will think about what they have to say, and then teach it to others. + +For example: “Those who are coercive and violent do not meet their natural end”— +I am going to take this statement as my precept. + +## 43 + +The softest things in the world ride roughshod over the hardest things. +Only the least substantial thing can penetrate the seamless. +This is how we know that doing things noncoercively (wuwei) is beneficial. +Rare are those in the world who reach an understanding of the benefits of teachings that go beyond what can be said, and of doing things noncoercively. + +## 44 + +Your reputation or your person—which is dearer to you? +Your person or your property—which is worth more? +Gaining or losing—which is the greater scourge? + +Miserliness is certain to come at a huge cost; +The hoarding of wealth is certain to lead to heavy losses. +Therefore, those who know contentment avoid disgrace, +And those who know where to stop avoid danger. +They will be long-enduring. + +## 45 + +What is most consummate seems defective, +Yet using it does not wear it out. +What is fullest seems empty, +Yet using it does not use it up. + +What is truest seems crooked; +What is most skillful seems bungling; +What is most prosperous seems wanting. +What is most eloquent seems halting. + +Staying active beats the cold, +Keeping still beats the heat. +Purity and stillness can bring proper order to the world. + +## 46 + +When way-making (dao) prevails in the world, +The finest racing steeds are used to provide manure for the fields; +But when way-making does not prevail in the world, +Warhorses are bred just outside the city walls. + +There is no crime more onerous than greed, +No misfortune more devastating than avarice. +And no calamity that brings with it more grief than insatiability. + +Thus, knowing when enough is enough +Is really satisfying. + +## 47 + +Venture not beyond your doors to know the world; +Peer not outside your window to know the way-making (dao) of tian. +The farther one goes +The less one knows. + +It is for this reason that sages know without going anywhere out of the ordinary, +Understand clearly without seeing anything out of the ordinary, +And get things done without doing anything out of the ordinary. + +## 48 + +In studying, there is a daily increase, +While in learning of way-making (dao), there is a daily decrease: +One loses and again loses +To the point that one does everything noncoercively (wuwei). +One does things noncoercively +And yet nothing goes undone. + +In wanting to rule the world +Be always non-interfering in going about its business (wushi); +For in being interfering +You make yourself unworthy of ruling the world. + +## 49 + +Sages really think and feel immediately. +They take the thoughts and feelings of the common people as their own. + +To not only treat the able as able +But to treat the inept as able too +Is a quantum gain in ability. +To not only treat the credible as credible +But to treat those you do not trust as credible too +Is a quantum gain in credibility. + +As for the presence of sages in the world, in their efforts to draw things together: +``` + They make of the world one muddled mind. + The common people all fix their eyes and ears on the sages, + And the sages treat them as so many children. +``` + +## 50 + +In the cycle of life and death, +One third are the companions of life, +One third are the companions of death, +And one third again are people who, because of their preoccupation with staying alive, +Move toward the execution ground with each and every step. +Now why do they do this? +Simply because of their preoccupation with staying alive. + +I have heard it said that those who are good at holding on to life +Do not steer clear of rhinos and tigers when traveling in the hills, +And do not hide behind armor and shields when entering the fray. +For the rhino finds nowhere to gore, +The tiger nothing to sink its claws into, +And the soldier nothing into which he can lodge his blade. +How can this be so? +Because there is not a whiff of the execution ground about them. + +## 51 + +Way-making (dao) gives things their life, +And their particular efficacy (de) is what nurtures them. +Events shape them, +And having a function consummates them. +It is for this reason that all things (wanwu) honor way-making +And esteem efficacy. +As for the honor directed at way-making +And the esteem directed at efficacy, +It is really something that just happens spontaneously (ziran) +Without anyone having ennobled them. + +Way-making gives them life and nurtures them, +Rears and develops them. +It brings them to fruition and maturation, +Nourishes and guards over them. + +Way-making gives things life +Yet does not manage them. +It assists them +Yet makes no claim upon them. +It rears them +Yet does not lord it over them. +It is this that is called profound efficacy. + +## 52 + +The world has its fetal beginning +That can be considered the mother of the world. +You have to have gotten to this mother, +Before you can understand her progeny. +And once you have understood her progeny, +If you go back and safeguard the mother, +You will live to the end of your days without danger. + +Block up the openings +And shut the gateways, +And to the end of your days your energies will not be used up. + +But if you vent the openings +And multiply your responsibilities, +To the end of your days you will be incurable. + +Making out the small is real acuity (ming), +Safeguarding the weak is real strength. +Taking into account the way things reveal themselves, +If you go back again and rely upon your acuity, +You will stay clear of calamities. + +This is what is called according with common sense. + +## 53 + +With the least modicum of wit, +The only things we have to fear in traveling the grand thoroughfare (dao) +Are the turn-offs. +The grand thoroughfare is perfectly level and straight +Yet people have a great fondness for mountain trails. +Their court is impeccably clean +Yet the fields are overgrown with weeds +And the granaries stand empty. +Their clothing is embroidered and colorful +And sharp swords hang at their sides; +They are stuffed with food +And have wealth and property to throw away. +This is called highway robbery (dao), +Which ought not to be confused with way-making (dao). + +## 54 + +What has been well-planted cannot be uprooted; +What is embraced tightly will not escape one’s grasp; +And with one’s children and grandchildren performing the customary rites +The autumnal sacrifice will never be interrupted. +Cultivate it in your person, +And the character you develop will be genuine; +Cultivate it in your family, +And its character will be abundant; +Cultivate it in your village, +And its character will be enduring; +Cultivate it in the state, +And its character will flourish; +Cultivate it in the world, +And its character will be all-pervading. + +Thus you can use your person to survey other persons, +Your family to survey other families, +Your village to survey other villages, +Your state to survey other states, +And your world to survey worlds past and yet to come. +How do I know that the world is really so? +From this. + +## 55 + +One who is vital in character (de) +Can be compared with a newborn baby. + +Wasps and scorpions will not sting a baby, +Snakes and vipers will not bite him, +And birds of prey and ferocious beasts will not snatch him up. +Though his bones are soft and his sinews supple +His grip is firm. + +As yet oblivious to the copulation of male and female +His member still stands erect: +Such is the height of potency. + +He screams through the entire day +And yet his voice does not get hoarse: +Such is the height of harmony (he). + +Understanding harmony is common sense, +And using common sense is acuity (ming). +On the other hand, trying to increase one’s quantum of life is certainly a bad omen, +While allowing the heart-mind to use up the qi one has, is to overdo things. + +For something to be old while in its prime +Is called a departure from the way of things (dao). +And whatever departs from the way of things will come to an untimely end. + +## 56 + +Those who really understand it do not talk about it, +And those who really talk about it do not understand it. + +Block up the openings, +Shut the gateways, +Soften the glare, +Bring things together on the same track, +Blunt the sharp edges, +Untangle the knots. +This is what is called the profoundest consonance. + +Thus, there is no getting too intimate +Or staying aloof from it; +There is no benefiting +Or causing it harm; +There is no ennobling +Or debasing it. +It is thus the most precious thing in the world. + +## 57 + +Bring proper order to the state by being straightforward +And deploy the military with strategies that take the enemy by surprise, + +But in ruling the world be non-interfering in going about its business (wushi). +How do I know that this is really so? +From the following. + +The more prohibitions and taboos there are in the world, +The poorer the people will be. +The more sharp instruments in the hands of the common people, +The darker the days for the state. +The more wisdom hawked among the people, +The more that perverse things will proliferate. +The more prominently the laws and statutes are displayed, +The more widespread will be the brigands and thieves. + +Hence in the words of the sages: +``` + We do things noncoercively (wuwei) + And the common people develop along their own lines; + We cherish equilibrium (jing) + And the common people order themselves; + We are non-interfering in our governance (wushi) + And the common people prosper themselves; + We are objectless in our desires (wuyu) + And the common people are of themselves like unworked wood. +``` + +## 58 + +When the government is at sixes and sevens, +The common people sail right along, +But when the government is everywhere vigilant +These same people are always at fault. + +It is upon misfortune that good fortune leans, +It is within good fortune itself that misfortune crouches in ambush, +And where does it all end? + +There is no straightforward maneuver +Because the straightforward reverts to surprise +And what is going well again becomes dark and ominous. +It has been a long time now that we human beings have lost the way. + +Hence be square but do not cut anyone; +Be pointed but do not pierce anyone; +Be true but do not act willfully and without restraint; +Shine forth but do not be dazzling. + +## 59 + +For bringing proper order to the people and in serving tian, +Nothing is as good as husbandry. +It is only through husbandry that you come early to accept the way, +And coming early to accept the way is what is called redoubling your accumulation of character (de). +If you redouble your accumulation of character, all obstacles can be overcome, +And if all obstacles can be overcome, none can discern your limit. +Where none can discern your limit, +You can preside over the realm. +In presiding over the mother of the realm +You can be long-enduring. +This is what is called the way (dao) of setting deep roots and a secure base, +And of gaining long life and an enduring vision. + +## 60 + +Bringing proper order to a great state is like cooking a small fish. +When way-making (dao) is used in overseeing the world, +The ghosts of the departed will not have spiritual potency. +In fact, it is not that the ghosts will not have spiritual potency, +But rather that they will not use this potency to harm people. +Not only will the ghosts not use their potency to harm people, +But the sages will not harm people either. +It is because the ghosts and sages do no harm +That their powers (de) combine to promote order in the world. + +## 61 + +A great state is like the lower reaches of water’s downward flow. +It is the female of the world. + +In the intercourse of the world, +The female is always able to use her equilibrium (jing) to best the male. +It is this equilibrium that places her properly underneath. + +Hence if the great state is able to get underneath the small state, +It can rule the small state; +If the small state is able to get underneath the large state, +It can get to be ruled by the large state. +Hence some get underneath in order to rule +And some get underneath in order to be ruled. + +Now, the great state wants no more than to win over the other state and tend to it, +While the small state wants no more than to offer the other state its services. +If they are both getting what they want in the relationship, +Then it is fitting for the great state to take the lower position. + +## 62 + +Way-making (dao) is the flowing together of all things (wanwu). + +It is prized by those who are able +While safeguarding those who are inept. + +Certainly fine words can be used in negotiations +And noble behavior can enable one to surpass others. +But why would we want to get rid of those who are inept? + +At the coronation of the Son of tian +And at the inauguration of the three high ministers, +Better to respectfully present them with the tribute of this way-making +Than to offer up discs of jade followed by teams of horses. +Why was it that this way-making was so revered in antiquity? +Is it not said that way-making enables those who seek to get what they want, +And those who have done wrong to avoid retribution? +Thus it is the most valuable thing in the world. + +## 63 + +Do things noncoercively (wuwei), +Be non-interfering in going about your business (wushi), +And savor the flavor of the unadulterated in what you eat. + +Treat the small as great +And the few as many. + +Requite enmity with character (de). + +Take account of the difficult while it is still easy, +And deal with the large while it is still tiny. +The most difficult things in the world originate with the easy, +And the largest issues originate with the tiny. + +Thus, it is because the sages never try to do great things +That they are indeed able to be great. + +One who makes promises lightly is sure to have little credibility; +One who finds everything easy is certain to have lots of difficulties. + +Thus, it is because even the sages pay careful attention to such things +That they are always free of difficulties. + +## 64 + +It is easy to keep one’s grip when things are stable, +It is easy to plan for a situation that has yet to happen, +It is easy to snap something that is brittle, +It is easy to break something up that is just beginning. + +Deal with a situation before it happens; +Bring it under control before it gets out of hand. + +A tree with the girth of a person’s embrace +Grows from the tiniest shoot. +A pavilion nine stories high +Rises from one basketful of earth. +A thousand foot wall +Begins from the soil under one’s feet. + +Those who would do things ruin them; +Those who would control things lose them. +Hence because the sages do things noncoercively (wuwei) +They do not ruin them, +And because they do not try to control things +They do not lose them. + +The common people always ruin the things they do +Just on the very brink of success. +Thus it is said: +``` + If you are as careful at the end as you are at the start, + You will be free of failure. +``` + +It is for this reason the sages in leaving off desiring +Do not prize property that is hard to come by, +And in studying not to study +Return to what most people have passed over. +Although they are quite capable of helping all things (wanwu) follow their own course (ziran), +They would not think of doing so. + +## 65 + +Those of ancient times who engaged in way-making (dao) +Did not use it to edify the common people, +But rather to keep them foolish. +What makes it difficult to bring proper order to the people +Is that they already know too much. + +Thus to use knowledge in governing the state +Is to be a bane to that state; +To use a lack of knowledge in governing the state +Is to be its benefactor. + +Those who really know the distinction between using knowledge or a lack of it in governing the state will moreover become its model. +And those who really know this model are said to be profoundly efficacious (de). + +Profound efficacy runs so deep and distant +Only to turn back along with other things to reach the great flow. + +## 66 + +What enables the rivers and seas to be king over all the valleys +Is that they are good at staying lower than them. +It is this that enables them to be the king of all the valleys. + +This is the reason that the sages in wanting to172 stand above the common people +Must put themselves below them in what they have to say; +In wanting to stand before the common people +They must put themselves behind them in their personal concerns. +Hence, they dwell above them yet the people do not find them a heavy burden, +They dwell in front of them yet the people do not find that they block the way. +The entire world delights in promoting them, and never tires of doing so. +Is it not because they strive without contentiousness (wuzheng) that no one in the world is able to contend with them? + +## 67 + +The entire world knows me as “great.” +I am great, and yet bear a resemblance to nothing at all. +Indeed, it is only because I resemble nothing at all that I am able to be great. +If I did bear a resemblance to something else, +For a long time now I would have been of little consequence. +I really have three prized possessions that I cling to and treasure: +The first of these is compassion, +The second, frugality, +And the third is my reluctance to try to become preeminent in the world. + +It is because of my compassion that I can be courageous; +It is because of my frugality that I can be generous; +It is because of my reluctance to try to become preeminent in the world that I am able to become chief among all things. + +To be courageous without compassion, +To be generous without being frugal, +And to take the lead without holding back— +This is courting death. + +Compassion will give you victory in waging war, +And security in defending your ground. + +When nature sets anything up +It is as if it fortifies it with a wall of compassion. + +## 68 + +Those who are good as students are not militant; +Those who are good at waging war are not belligerent; +Those who are good at vanquishing their enemies do not join issue; +Those who are good at employing others place themselves beneath them. + +This is what is called having noncontentious efficacy (de). +It is what is called making use of others. +It is what is called an axis that is as old as the heavens. + +## 69 + +There is a saying about using the military: +``` +I would not think of taking the offensive +But only of defending my ground; +I would not think of taking an inch +But only of giving up a foot. +``` + +This is what is called +Deploying forward without bringing the troops, +Throwing a punch without raising a hand, +Grasping tightly without having a weapon in hand, +Launching an assault without confronting an enemy. +There is no calamity greater than underestimating the enemy, + +For underestimating the enemy is tantamount to losing your treasures. +Hence, when two armies, evenly matched, cross swords in combat, +It is the side that laments the need to do so that wins the day. + +## 70 + +What I have to say is very easy to understand +And is very easy to carry out, +Yet there is no one in the world who is able to understand it +And no one who is able to put it into practice. + +Now what is said has its lineage +And what is done has its lord. +It is only because it requires unprincipled knowing (wuzhi) +That they do not understand me. + +But if those who understand me are rare, +I am to be highly prized. +Thus the sages dress in burlap +Yet conceal jade in their bosom. + +## 71 + +Knowing that one does not know is knowing at its best, +But not knowing that one knows is suffering from a disease. +Thus, the reason the sages are free of disease +Is because they recognize the disease as a disease. +This is why they are not afflicted. + +## 72 + +If the common people do not hold your authority in awe, +Then some greater authority is on its way. + +Do not reduce the size of their places of residence +And do not lower their standard of living. +It is only because you do not lower their standard of living +That they do not become disaffected. + +It is for this reason that sages know themselves +But do not show off; +They love themselves +But are not precious. +Hence, eschewing one they take the other. + +## 73 + +Those who are courageous in feats of daring will die because of it; +While those whose courage is tempered by prudence will preserve their lives. +In these two cases, courage can either put one in harm’s way, or be beneficial. +Who can understand why tian despises the things that it does? + +Tian’s way (dao) is winning the war without going to battle, +Is answering effectively without saying a word, +Is coming of its own accord without being summoned, +And is laying plans skillfully while remaining free and easy. +Tian’s net is cast wide, +And although coarse in its mesh, nothing slips through it. + +## 74 + +If the common people are really not afraid of dying +How can one frighten them by threatening to kill them? + +But if the people are really afraid of dying +And know that we will arrest and kill those who do perverse things, +Who among them would dare to do them? + +If the people are really afraid of dying +Then there will always be an executioner. + +To stand in for the executioner in killing people +Is to stand in for the master carpenter in cutting his lumber. +Of those who would thus stand in for the master carpenter, +Few get away without injuring their own hands. + +## 75 + +The people’s hunger is because those above are eating too much in taxes— +This is why they are hungry. +The people’s lack of order is because those above manipulate them— +This is why they are not properly ordered. +And the people’s scoffing at death is because those above are exacting so much from life— +This is why they scoff at death. +It is precisely those who do not kill themselves in living +Who are more enlightened than those who treasure life. + +## 76 + +While living, people are supple and soft, +But once dead, they become hard and rigid cadavers. +While living, the things of this world and its grasses and trees are pliant and fragile, +But once dead, they become withered and dry. + +Thus it is said: Things that are hard and rigid are the companions of death; +Things that are supple and soft are the companions of life. + +For this reason, +If a weapon is rigid it will not prevail; +If a tree is rigid it will snap. + +Thus, the rigid and great dwell below, +While the supple and soft abide above. + +## 77 + +The way of tian is like archers drawing their bows. +To hit something high in the air, they pull the string downward; +To hit something lower, they pull the string upward. +When they have drawn the string too far back, they let some go, +And when they have not drawn it far enough, they pull harder. + +The way of tian is also to let some go where there is excess And to augment where there is not enough. + +The way of human beings on the other hand is not like this at all. It is instead to take away from those who do not have enough In order to give more to those who already have too much. + +Who then in having too much is able to draw on this excess to make an offering to the world? +Perhaps only those who are way-making (dao). + +It is thus that sages act on behalf of things but do make any claim on them, +They see things through to fruition but do not take credit for them. +It is in such a way that they refrain from making a display of their worth. + +## 78 + +Nothing in the world is as soft and weak as water +And yet in attacking what is hard and strong, +There is nothing that can surpass it. +This is because there is nothing that can be used in its stead. +There is no one in the world that does not know +That the soft prevails over the hard +And the weak prevails over the strong, +And yet none are able to act accordingly. +This is the reason that the words of the sages say: +``` + Only the person who accepts invective against the state + Is to be called its legitimate ruler; + Only the person who accepts the misfortunes of the state + Is to be called its true king. +``` +Appropriate language seems contradictory. + +## 79 + +In bringing harmony (he) to a situation of intense enmity, +There is sure to be some animosity remaining. +How can such reconciliation be considered a success? + +The sages, holding on to the left half of the tally, +Do not demand payment from others. + +Persons of character (de) take charge of the tally +While persons who are lacking in character look to calling it due. + +The way of tian shows no partiality; +It is really on the side of people who are good in their relationships. + +## 80 + +You want a small state with a minimal population. + +Have ready to hand weaponry for a sufficient number of military units Yet have no recourse to use them. + +Make sure that the common people take dying seriously +So that they have no taste for venturing far from home. + +Though you have ships and chariots enough +Have no reason to man them; +Though you have armor and weapons enough +Have no reason to parade them. + +Bring the common people back to keeping their records with knotted string, +To relishing their food, +To finding beauty in their garments, +To enjoying their customs, +And to finding security in their homes. + +Although your neighboring states are within eyesight +And the sounds of their dogs and cocks are within earshot, +Your people will grow old and die without having anything to do with them. + +Credible words are not eloquent; +Eloquent words are not credible. + +The wise are not erudite; +The erudite are not wise. + +The adept are not all-around; +The all-around are not adept. +The sages do not accumulate things. +Yet the more they have done for others, +The more they have gained themselves; +The more they have given to others, +The more they have gotten themselves. + +Thus, the way of tian is to benefit without harming; +The way of the sages is to do without contending. + +_____ +=> gemini:// ../ Dao De Jing +=> gemini:// Library diff --git a/library/ddj/index.gmi b/library/ddj/index.gmi @@ -0,0 +1,12 @@ +# Dao De Jing (道德經) + +=> gemini:// English Translation by Ames and Hall + +Coming soon: +* Original Chinese version +* Browse-by-chapter version +* Glossary of romanized key terms +* Brief introduction about the version of the text reconstructed and translated by Ames and Hall + +_____ +=> gemini:// ../ Library diff --git a/library/index.gmi b/library/index.gmi @@ -1,8 +1,5 @@ # Library -Edgar Allan Poe: -=> gemini:// The Fall of the House of Usher -=> gemini:// The Black Cat -=> gemini:// The Tell-Tale Heart -=> gemini:// The Raven +=> gemini:// Edgar Allan Poe +=> gemini:// Dao De Jing (道德經) diff --git a/library/poe-house_of_usher.gmi b/library/poe/house_of_usher.gmi diff --git a/library/poe/index.gmi b/library/poe/index.gmi @@ -0,0 +1,11 @@ +# Edgar Allan Poe + +=> gemini:// The Fall of the House of Usher +=> gemini:// The Black Cat +=> gemini:// The Tell-Tale Heart +=> gemini:// The Raven + + +_____ +=> gemini:// ../ Library + diff --git a/library/poe-tell-tale_heart.gmi b/library/poe/tell-tale_heart.gmi diff --git a/library/poe-the_black_cat.gmi b/library/poe/the_black_cat.gmi diff --git a/library/poe-the_raven.gmi b/library/poe/the_raven.gmi