Tao Te Ching...
verse for today (*):
As it acts in the world, the Tao
is like the bending of a bow.
The top is bent downward;
the bottom is bent up.
It adjusts excess and deficiency
so that there is perfect balance.
It takes from what is too much
and gives to what isn't enough.
Those who try to control,
who use force to protect their power,
go against the direction of the Tao.
They take from those who don't have enough
and give to those who have far too much.
The Master can keep giving
because there is no end to her wealth.
She acts without expectation,
succeeds without taking credit,
and doesn't think that she is better
than anyone else.
(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
The Tao of Heaven
Is like drawing a bow
Lower that which is high
Raise that which is low
Reduce that which has excess
Add to that which is lacking
The Tao of heaven
Reduces the excessive
And adds to the lacking
The Tao of people is not so
It reduces the lacking
In order to offer to the excessive
Who can offer their excess to the world? (translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
Only those who have the Tao
Therefore sages act without conceit
Achieve without claiming credit
They do not wish to display their virtue!
Charity you say? (translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)
I say greed.
Gifts you say?
I say destruction.
Heaven and the Sage live these truths.
Tao Te Ching
is a Chinese classic.
It was written around the 6th
century BC by the sage Lao Tzu
The short text consists of 81 brief chapters, or verses.
Every day we issue a "verse of the day" for contemplation
, in two leading English translations, that nevertheless differ substantially, and since December 8th
2013, we have a radically different third translation:
"Nothingness and Zero"
A Post New-Age Approach to Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, published by courtesy of the translator and interpreter.
© Copyright 2013 Jeremy M. Miller. All rights reserved.
Acknowledgments: The hundreds of prior translations, especially that by Arthur Waley.
To Pythagoras, who understood Zero and taught It; and to Chuang Tzu, the ideal poetic student.
The I Ching is based on the number 2, with its 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 (26
) = 64 hexagrams.
The Tao Te Ching is based on the number 3, with its 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 81 chapters.
We now offer it in three translations.
Perhaps, when reflecting on the three interpretations, the true meaning will emerge.
These 81 verses simply rotate; every day the next number, and after 81, number 1 will appear again.
This is done deliberately; if you want to read the complete text, you should purchase the resp. translations by Stephen Mitchell, Derek Lin or Jeremy M. Miller below.
(All three available in Kindle edition as well.)
If you want to have a peek at tomorrow's verse, you can read it at I Ching Online (version 4), which is always one day ahead.