Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 16

Dao De Jing, Laozi
Chapter 16

"I do my utmost to attain emptiness;
I hold firmly to stillness.
The myriad creatures all rise together
And I watch their return.
The teaming creatures
All return to their separate roots.
Returning to one’s roots is known as stillness.
This is what is meant by returning to one’s destiny.
Returning to one’s destiny is known as the constant.
Knowledge of the constant is known as discernment.

Woe to him who wilfully innovates
While ignorant of the constant,
But should one act from knowledge of the constant
One’s action will lead to impartiality,
Impartiality to kingliness,
Kingliness to heaven,
Heaven to the way,
The way to perpetuity,
And to the end of one’s days one will meet with no danger."
-  Translated by D. C. Lau, Chapter 16  

"By attaining the height of abstraction we gain fullness of rest.  
All the ten thousand things arise, and I see them return.
Now they bloom in bloom but each one homeward returneth to its root.
Returning to the root means rest.
It signifies the return according to destiny.
Return according to destiny means the eternal.
Knowing the eternal means enlightenment.
Not knowing the eternal causes passions to rise; and that is evil.
Knowing the eternal renders comprehensive.
Breadth renders royal.
Royalty renders heavenly.
Heaven renders Reason-like.
Reason renders lasting.
Thus the decay of the body implies no danger."
-  Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 16 

"Make emptiness in yourself complete and achieve the full calm!
Let everything around move by itself.
Let everyone bloom spiritually and advance to cognition of their true Essence.
Those who cognized their true Essence — achieve full calm.
Thus they attain the common Abode of All Who Attained.
One’s being in this Abode has to become constant.
He, who fulfilled this, is called Enlightened, Perfect, possessing the Higher Wisdom.
Those Who attained that Abode represent the United “We” which is the Highest Ruler.
That Abode is also called the Sky.
This is the Abode of the Eternal Tao.
Tao is non-corporeal.
It cannot be caught by anyone.
Thus, It is invincible."
-  Translated by Mikhail Nikolenko, Chapter 16 

"Seek to attain to absolute emptiness;
Maintain a state of perfect stillness.
See how all things come into being,
And see how they return!
They come to flower and fullness
And then go back to the roots whence they came.
To go home to the root is to achieve perfect stillness.
Thus, in attaining stillness, do they fulfil their destiny;
And thus, in turning back, they join the Never-changing.
To be aware of the Never-changing is to be enlightened.
Not to know the Never-changing is to stumble blindly into miseries.
He who knows the Never-changing embraces all;
Embracing all, shall he not accept all impartially?
To be impartial is an attribute of kingship,
And kingship is of Heaven.
He who is of Heaven can attain to the Tao.
He who is of the Tao endures forever,
And though his body decay, he never dies."
-  Translated by Herman Ould, 1946, Chapter 16  

"Attain the climax of emptiness, preserve the utmost quiet:
as myriad things act in concert, I thereby observe the return.
Things flourish, then each returns to its root.
Returning to the root is called stillness;
stillness is called return to Life, return to Life is called the constant;
knowing the constant is called enlightenment.
Acts at random, in ignorance of the constant, bode ill.
Knowing the constant gives perspective; this perspective is impartial.
Impartiality is the highest nobility; the highest nobility is divine, and the divine is the Way.
This Way is everlasting, not endangered by physical death."
-  Translated by Thomas Cleary, 1991, Chapter 16 

Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching



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