verse for today (*):
The Tao is infinite, eternal.
Why is it eternal?
It was never born;
thus it can never die.
Why is it infinite?
It has no desires for itself;
thus it is present for all beings.
The Master stays behind;
that is why she is ahead.
She is detached from all things;
that is why she is one with them.
Because she has let go of herself,
she is perfectly fulfilled.
(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
Heaven and Earth are everlasting
The reason Heaven and Earth can last forever
Is that they do not exist for themselves
Thus they can last forever
Therefore the sages: (translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
Place themselves last but end up in front
Are outside of themselves and yet survive
Is it not due to their selflessness?
That is how they can achieve their own goals
Heaven and earth are nothing, eternally. (translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)
Watch; do not do.
Stay out, and learn what is in.
Want Nothing; obtain everything.
*) The 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 missed yesterday's verse, you can still read it at I Ching Online Original (version 2), which is always one day behind.
More books about Tao Te Ching: