Saturday, August 04, 2012

Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu, Chapter 55

Dao De Jing, Laozi
Chapter 55

"He whom life fulfills,
Though he remains a child,
Is immune to the poisonous sting
Of insects, to the ravening
Of wild beasts or to vultures' bills.
He needs no more bone or muscle than a baby's for sure hold.
Without thought of joined organs, he is gender
Which grows firm, unfaltering.
Though his voice should cry out at full pitch all day, it would not rasp but would stay tender
Through the perfect balancing
Of a man at endless ease with everything
Because of the true life that he has led.
To try for more than this bodes ill.
It is said, 'there's a way where there's a will;'
But let life ripen and then fall.
Will is not the way at all:
Deny the way of life and you are dead."
-   Translated by Witter Bynner, Chapter 55 

"He who embodies the fullness of integrity is like a ruddy infant.
Wasps, spiders, scorpions, and snakes will not sting or bite him;
Rapacious birds and fierce beasts will not seize him.
His bones are weak and his sinews soft, yet his grip is tight.
He knows not the joining of male and female, yet his penis is aroused.
His essence has reached a peak.
He screams the whole day without becoming hoarse;
His harmony has reached perfection.
Harmony implies constancy;
Constancy requires insight.
Striving to increase one's life is ominous;
To control the vital breath with one's mind entails force.
Something that grows old while still in its prime is said to be not in accord with the Way;
Not being in accord with the Way leads to an early demise."
-   Translated by Victor H. Mair, Chapter 55

"Measure the fullness of one's virtue against an infants:
Neither scorpion nor snake will attack it.
Nor does the tiger maul it.
Nor do the birds of prey clutch it.
Its bones and sinews soft,
Yet its grip is firm.
It does not know the union of male and female,
Yet its reproductive organ is fully formed:
Its essence is whole.
It can cry all day without getting hoarse;
This is total harmony.
To know harmony is constancy.
To know constancy is enlightening.
That which is beneficial to life is auspicious.
To direct ch'i by heart is steadfastness.
Things mature and then decay.
This is contra-Tao.
That which runs counter to the Tao is soon finished."
-   Translated by Tam Gibbs, Chapter 55  

"Who holds within the fullest power
To a newborn may compare,
Which no insects stings,
No wild beast seizes,
No taloned bird snatches.
Though soft-boned and weak-limbed, its grip is firm.
Before it ever knows of intercourse,
Its standing phallus knows its full life force.
It cries all day without a loss of voice,
A sign of its perfect balance.
Knowing balance means constant norm;
Knowing the norm means inner vision;
Enhancing life means good fortune;
Mind controlling spirit means inner strength.
“Beware old age in pride of manly might,”
For that means working against the Way.
“Work against the Way, die before your day.”"
-   Translated by Moss Roberts, Chapter 55 

"One who possesses the fullness of De can be compared to a newborn baby.
Bees, scorpions and poisonous snakes will not sting him.
Hunting birds and ferocious animals will not grab him.
His bones are weak, his muscles are soft, yet he can grasp objects with great strength.
He has no knowledge of sexual intercourse, yet his penis becomes enlarged: so extreme is his life force.
He can yell all day, yet he doesn't get hoarse.
There is ultimate harmony in his expressiveness.
This harmony of expressiveness is said to be constant;
Knowing this harmony is said to be obvious.
Increasing life is said to be lucky.
Using the mind to control the natural energy of life is said to show strength.
A living creature who who pretends to be stronger than they are will quickly age.
This may be described as one who doesn't follow Dao.
Don't follow Dao and you'll come to an early end."
-   Translated by Nina Correa, 2005, Chapter 55   

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