Friday, February 28, 2014

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 72

Dao De Jing, Laozi
Chapter 72

"If the people do not fear the dreadful, the great dreadful will come, surely.  
Let them not deem their lives narrow.
Let them not deem their lot wearisome.
When it is not deemed wearisome, then it will not be wearisome. 
Therefore the holy man knows himself but does not display himself.
He holds himself dear but does not honor himself.
Thus he discards the latter and chooses the former."
-  Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 72   

"When the people do not fear what they ought to fear, that which is their great dread will come on them.
Let them not thoughtlessly indulge themselves in their ordinary life;
Let them not act as if weary of what that life depends on.
It is by avoiding such indulgence that such weariness does not arise.
Therefore the sage knows these things of himself, but does not parade his knowledge;
Loves, but does not appear to set a value on, himself.
And thus he puts the latter alternative away and makes choice of the former."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 72  

"When people lose their fear of power
Then great power has indeed arrived.
Do not intrude on the people's material living.
Do not despise their spiritual lives, either.
If you respect them, you will be respected.
Therefore the Sage knows himself,
But he is not opinionated.
He loves himself, but he is not arrogant.
He lets go of conceit and opinion, and embraces self-knowledge and love."
-  Translated by John R. Mabry, Chapter 72 

無狎其所居, 無厭其所生.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 72

min pu wei wei.
tsê ta wei chih.
wu hsia ch'i so chü, wu yen ch'i so shêng. 
fu wei pu yen.
shih yi pu yen.
shih yi shêng jên tzu chih pu tzu chien.
tzu ai pu tzu kuei. 
ku ch'ü pi ch'ü tz'u. 
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 72 

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English (includes a word by word key) from YellowBridge
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Hanyu Pinyin (1982) Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros. 
Laozi Daodejing: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin (tone#), German, French and English. 
Chinese and English Dictionary, MDGB
Google Translator
Chinese Character Dictionary
Dao De Jing Wade-Giles Concordance by Nina, Dao is Open
Dao De Jing English and Wade-Giles Concordance by Mike Garofalo
Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization with Chinese characters, WuWei Foundation
Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English
Tao Te Ching: English translation, Word by Word Chinese and English, and Commentary, Center Tao by Carl Abbott
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, English, Word by word analysis, Zhongwen
Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition  Chinese characters, Wade-Giles (1892) Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character by Jonathan Star 
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters: Big 5 Traditional and GB Simplified
Convert from Pinyin to Wade Giles to Yale Romanizations of Words and Terms: A Translation Tool from Qi Journal
Chinese Characters, Wade-Giles and Pinyin Romanizations, and 16 English Translations for Each Chapter of the Daodejing by Mike Garofalo. 
"When the people no longer fear your power,
It is a sign that a greater power is coming.
Interfere not lightly with their dwelling,
Nor lay heavy burdens upon their livelihood.
Only when you cease to weary them,
They will cease to be wearied of you.
Therefore, the Sage knows himself,
But makes no show of himself,
Loves himself,
But does not exalt himself.
He prefers what is within to what is without."
-  Translated by John C. H. Wu, Chapter 72  

"Cuando el pueblo no teme al poder,
es cuando ese poder mas los amenaza.
No condenarlos en casas estrechas,
No atosigarlos en sus trabajos.
No permitir la pena y así no habrá sufrimiento.
por eso, el sabio se conoce
pero no se exhibe.
Se respeta a sí mismo
pero no es arrogante.
Deja esto y sigue aquello."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 72

"If the people do not dread majesty,
Then great majesty will come to them.
Let them guard the innermost of their dwellings,
Let them press towards the innermost of their life.
The Master indeed is not bound,
That is why he is not bound.
That is how the self-controlled man knows the Self and perceives the not-Self.
He loves the Self, and honours the not-Self.
Therefore he passes away from the latter and takes hold of the former."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 72  

Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching

Taoism: A Selected Reading List


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Easy Going and Strenuous Paths

    "Well, a vast number of our moral perceptions also are certainly of this secondary and brain‑born kind. They deal with directly felt fitnesses between things, and often fly in the teeth of all the prepossessions of habit and presumptions of utility. The moment you get beyond the coarser and more commonplace moral maxims, the Decalogues and Poor Richard's Almanacs, you fall into schemes and positions which to the eye of common‑sense are fantastic and overstrained. The sense for abstract justice which some persons have is as eccentric a variation, from the natural-history point of view, as is the passion for music or for the higher philosophical consistencies which consumes the soul of others. The feeling of the inward dignity of certain spiritual attitudes, as peace, serenity, simplicity, veracity; and of the essential vulgarity of others, as querulousness, anxiety, egoistic fussiness, etc‑-are quite inexplicable except by an innate preference of the more ideal attitude for its own pure sake. The nobler thing tastes better, and that is all that we can say. “Experience” of consequences may truly teach us what things are wicked, but what have consequences to do with what is mean and vulgar?"  ....

"The deepest difference, practically, in the moral life of man is the difference between the easy-going and the strenuous mood.  When in the easy-going mood the shrinking from present ill is our ruling consideration.  The strenuous mood, on the contrary, makes us quite indifferent to present ill, if only the greater ideal be attained.  The capacity for the strenuous mood probably lies slumbering in every man, but it has more difficulty in some than in others in waking up.  It needs the wilder passions to arouse it, the big fears, loves, and indignations; or else the deeply penetrating appeal of some one of the higher fidelities, like justice, truth or freedom.  Strong relief is a necessity of its vision; and a world where all the mountains are brought down and all the valleys are exalted is no congenial place for its habitation.  This is why in a solitary thinker this mood might slumber on forever without waking.  His various ideals, known to him to be mere preferences of his own, are too nearly of the same denominational value; he can play fast and loose with them at will.  This too is why, in a merely human world without a God, the appeal to our moral energy falls short of its maximal stimulating power.  Life, to be sure, is even in such a world a genuinely ethical symphony; but it is played in the compass of a couple of poor octaves, and the infinite scale of values fails to open up.  Many of us, indeed--like Sir James Stephen in those eloquent Essays by a Barrister--would openly laugh at the very idea of the strenuous mood being awakened in us by those claims of remote posterity which constitute the last appeal of the religion of humanity.  We do not love these men of the future keenly enough; and we love them perhaps the less the more we hear of their evolutionized perfection, their high average longevity and education, their freedom from war and crime, their relative immunity from pain and zymotic disease, and all their other negative superiorities.  This is all too finite, we say; we see too well the vacuum beyond.  It lacks the note of infinitude and mystery, and may all be dealt with in the don't-care mood.  No need of agonizing ourselves or making others agonize for these good creatures just at present.


When, however, we believe that a God is there, and that he is one of the claimants, the infinite perspective opens out.  The scale of the more imperative ideals now begin to speak with an altogether new objectivity and significance, and to utter the penetrating, shattering, tragically challenging note of appeal.  They ring out like the call of Victory Hugo's alpine eagle, "qui parle au précipice et que le gouffre entend," and the strenuous mood awakens at the sound.  It saith among the trumpets, ha, hat! it smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains and the shouting.  Its blood is up; and cruelty to the lesser claims, so far from being a deterrent element, does but add to the stern joy with which it leaps to answer to the greater.  All through history, in the periodical conflicts of puritanism with the don't care temper, we see the antagonism of the strenuous and genial moods, and the contrast between the ethics of infinite and mysterious obligation from on high, and those of prudence and the satisfaction of merely finite need.


The capacity of the strenuous mood lies so deep down among our natural human possibilities that even if there were no metaphysical or traditional grounds for believing in a God, men would postulate one simply as a pretext for living hard, and getting out of the game of existence its keenest possibilities of zest.  Our attitude towards concrete evils is entirely different in a world where we believe there are none but finite demanders, from what it is in one where we joyously face tragedy for an infinite demanders' sake.  Every sort of energy and endurance, of courage and capacity for handling life's evils, is set free in those who have religious faith.  For this reason the strenuous type of character will on the battle-field of human history always outwear the easy-going type, and religion will drive irreligion to the wall.


It would seem, too--and this is my final conclusion--that the stable and systematic moral universe for which the ethical philosopher asks is fully possible only in a world where there is a divine thinker with all-enveloping demands.  If such a thinker existed, his way of subordinating the demands to one another would be the finally valid casuistic scale; his claims would be the most appealing; his ideal universe would be the most inclusive realizable whole.  If he now exist, then actualized in his thought already must be that ethical philosophy which we seek as the pattern which our own must evermore approach.  In the  interest of our own ideal of systematically unified moral truth, therefore, we, as would-be philosophers, must postulate a divine thinker, and pray for the victory of the religious cause.  Meanwhile, exactly what the thought of the infinite thinker may be is hidden from us even were we sure of his existence; so that our postulation of him after all serves only to let loose in us the strenuous mood.  But this is what it does in all men, even those who have interest in philosophy.  The ethical philosopher, therefore, whenever he ventures to say which course of action is the best, is on no essentially different level from the common man.  "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; therefore choose life that thou and thy seed may live"--when this challenge comes to us, it is simply our total character and personal genius that are on trial; and if we invoke any so-called philosophy, our choice and use of that also are but revelations of our personal aptitude or incapacity for moral life.  From this unsparing practical ordeal no professor's lectures and no array of books can save us.  The solving word, for the learned and the unlearned man alike, lies in the last resort in the dumb willingnesses and unwillingnesses of their interior characters, and nowhere else.  It is not in heaven, neither is it beyond the sea; but the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy hear, that thou mayest do it."
-  William James, The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life, 1891

The Taliban jihadists are a more strenuous sort of men, determined to bring everyone under Allah's Thumb of Saria Law― whether others want to or not; just like the utopian communistic atheists under Lord Stalin's brutal thumb, or the Khmer Rouge liberators under Pot Pol in Cambodia, or the Maoist purists with their Red Book in hand.  Strenuous idealists too often yell a lot, and place their finger on a rifle's trigger.  

We philosophical Daoists, women and men, are more often the tender-minded and easy-going sorts of fellows.  We have a taste for dealing more peacefully, quietly, constructively, gently, and stoically with the ills of life.   


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Yoga Postures - A Likely History

Recently, I have been reading many books about yoga, exercise and spirituality.  The following book by Mark Singleton has influenced my understanding of the evolution of the practice of hatha yoga since 1880:

Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice  By Mark Singleton.  New York, Oxford University Press, 2012.  Index, bibliography, notes, 262 pages.  ISBN: 9780195395341.  VSCL.

Mr. Singleton's well argued and carefully documented thesis is that transnational yoga as we know it today, asana practices, emerged from physical culture practices from Europe, Indian nationalism, gymnastics, bodybuilding, medicine, health regimens, New Thought, a Hindu studies revival, fitness and gym business promoters, and the development and expansion of visual media.  This process began in the 1880's and continues to this day. 

"Consider the term Yoga as it refers to modern postural practice as a homonyn, and not a synonym, of the "yoga" associated with the philosophical system of Pantanjali, or the "yoga" that forms and integral component of the Saiva Tantras, or the "yoga" of the Bhagavad Gita, and so on.  In other words, although the word "yoga" as it is used popularly today is identical in spelling and pronunciation in each of these instances, it has quite different meanings and origins."  p.15

"As Joseph Alter has recently argued, a key methodological issue is therefore "how to exercise ethnographic relativism, historical perspectivity and intellectual skepticism all at the same time."  This means critically examining modern yoga's truth claims while seeking to understand under what circumstances and to what ends such claims are made." p.14

The esoteric, magical, religious, New Age, imaginary and spiritual dimensions of "yoga" are definitely part of the currents of contemporary yoga practice and trends in non-church spirituality since the 1880's; but, the bigger picture of its popularity is due to our enthusiasm for fitness, bodybuilding, stress reduction, sexuality, improved health, relaxation, and the "good life." 

Another book that points us in the right direction regarding contemporary yoga practices is:

The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards  By William J. Broad.  New York, Simon and Schuster, 2012.  Index, bibliography, notes, 298 pages.  ISBN;  9781451641424.  VSCL. 

This book is a must read for those who question the often outlandish claims for the benefits of yoga, are concerned about risky yoga postures, and favor a more scientific approach to yoga practice. 

Finally, I enjoyed reading:

Original Yoga: Rediscovering Traditional Practices of Hatha Yoga  By Richard Rosen.  Illustrations by Evan Yee.  Boston, Shambhala, 2012.  Index, bibliography, glossary, appendices, 286 pages.  ISBN: 9781590308134.  VSCL.  

"The changes the traditional practice went through over the centuries might be considered organic, common to any living organism’s natural evolution. What happened to Hatha Yoga in the early years of the twentieth century, by contrast, happened virtually overnight and was totally "person-made," or artificial. The full story is too long to tell here and has already been masterfully recounted from slightly different perspectives by British researchers Elizabeth de Michelis in A History of Modern Yoga (Continuum, 2004) and Mark Singleton in Yoga Body (Oxford University Press, 2010. Suffice it to say that by the end of the nineteenth century in India, Hatha had fallen on hard times and was on its last trembling leg. Several Indian teachers set out to save Hatha from oblivion; among them was Tirumular Krishnamacharya, whose work provided the impetus for three of our most popular and influential modern teachers: T. K. V. Desikachar (whose teaching was once known as Viniyoga, a term that has since been abandoned); the late K. Pattabhi Jois (who taught Ashtanga-Vinyasa Yoga); and B. K. S. Iyengar, who (though he often adamantly insists there’s no such thing) created Iyengar Yoga. And save Hatha the teachers did. You may have heard or read somewhere that yoga is five thousand years old, a number that’s continually cited by people who should know better, since there’s not a shred of concrete evidence to back it up. What we do know for certain is that the yoga we practice in the West is no more than one hundred years old. Our Indian teachers took what was once the province of a relatively small, loose-knit, mostly male ascetic community that was resolutely living on the fringes of respectable Indian society and transformed it into a worldwide mass movement open to anyone of any age, gender, or physical condition. This is the second meaning of original yoga, the yoga that’s "original" to the twentieth century, or what we call modern Hatha Yoga."  Original Yoga by Richard Rosen

This book includes instructions on some practices for "energizing" aspects of the esoteric body that are typical in Qigong and Yoga.  Those interested in organic energy, Prana, Chi, and nadis/meridians will find it interesting.  

After you set aside the preaching about worshipping Krishna, Shiva, or other Tantric dieties; strange chakras, gunas, and pranic realms; divine grace or higher consciousness; the power of meditation, mudras, and mantras; and Hindu pride ... just stick with the physical practices of yoga to effect significant transformation of your body and mind.  

Consider the situation and determination of the following fellow:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Strive Wisely

"It is exercise alone that supports the spirit, and keeps the mind in vigor."
-  Cicero, 65 BCE

"So many older people, they just sit around all day long and they don't get any exercise. Their muscles atrophy, and they lose their strength, their energy and vitality by inactivity."
-  Jack LaLanne

"Vigor (viriya) is the state of a hero (vira). Its characteristic is exertion. Its function is to support or consolidate related mental qualities. It is manifested as non-collapse. Because of the saying, "Stirred, one strives wisely," its proximate cause is what stirs the heart. When initiated properly, it should be seen as the root of all attainments."
Visuddhimagga XIV, 137, A Buddhist Scripture 

"The chief condition on which, life, health and vigor depend on, is action.  It is by action that an organism develops its faculties, increases its energy, and attains the fulfillment of its destiny."
-   Pierre Joseph Proudhon  


Strength Training for Persons Over 50 


Monday, February 24, 2014

In Any Balm or Beauty of the Earth

"What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul."   
-  Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning, 1915 

"Even before I could speak, I remember crawling through blueberry patches in the wild meadows on our hillsides.  I quickly discovered Nature was filled with Spirit; I never saw any separation between Spirit and Nature.  Much later I discovered our culture taught there was supposed to be some kind of separation - that God, Spirit and Nature were supposed to be divided and different.  However, at my early age it seemed absolutely obvious that the church of the Earth was the greatest church of all; that the temple of the forest was the supreme temple.  When I went to the sanctuary of the mountain, I found Earth's natural altar - Great Spirit's real shrine.  Years later I discovered that this path of going into Nature, bonding deeply with it, and seeing Spirit within Nature - God, Goddess, and Great Spirit - was humanity's most ancient, most primordial path of spiritual cultivation and realization."
-  John P. Milton, Sky Above, Earth Below

"In all things of nature there is something marvelous."  
-  Aristotle  

"The first act of awe, when man was struck with the beauty or wonder of Nature, was the first spiritual experience."
-  Henryk Skolimowski  

"When the healthy nature of man acts as a whole, when he feels himself to be in the world as in a great, beautiful, noble, and valued whole, when harmonious ease affords him a pure and free delight, then the universe, if it could experience itself, would exult, as having attained its goal, and admire the climax of its own becoming and essence."
-  Goethe 

Spirituality and Nature

Awe and Wonder

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Taijiquan Fan: Tai Chi Kung Fu 52 Movements Fan Form

There are many T'ai Chi Ch'uan exercise forms which make use of a fan.   Most are shorter forms, under 25 movements, but some, like the famous Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Form have over 50 movements.  Most are done slowly and softly, but some include vigorous and fast movements.  The majority favor the Yang Style of Tai Chi Chuan.  

Tai Chi Fan: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Notes, Lore, Quotations. Research by Mike Garofalo.  I welcome any comments, suggestions, additions, or ideas regarding this webpage.

One of the most popular Tai Chi Fan forms was created by Professor Li Deyin (1938-).  It has 52 movements.  I includes slow and gentle movements in the first half of the form, then the second half is much more vigorous.  This Tai Chi Fan form is for athletic and intermediate Tai Chi students. 

Here are some instructional resources for learning the Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Form.  

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan. Routine 1, created by Grandmaster Li Deyin (1938-). Instructional DVD, 65 minutes, by Master Jesse Tsao. Tai Chi Healthways, San Diego, California. "The most popular Tai Chi Fan form ever practiced in China. The routine was created by Grandmaster Li Deyin, Jesse Tsao's teacher since 1978. There are 52 movements in the whole routine based on the characteristic Tai Chi posture with the fan's artistic and martial functions. Master Tsao presents demonstrations at the beginning and end. He teaches step-by-step in slow motion, in English. There are plenty of repetitions of movements in both front and back view. It is a good reference for home study, or a resource for instructor's teaching preparation." Cost: 35.00 US. Demonstration.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Instructional DVD by Professor Li Deyin. Narration in English. "A fan routine, created by Professor Li, which combines the gracefulness, centrality and continuity of Taiji with the power, speed and fierceness of Wushu. It is designed as an addition to the exercises for health, and has received massive interest and support throughout the world. In this DVD, Professor Li provides in-depth teaching with Mrs. Fang Mishou performing detail demonstration." Vendor 1. Cost: $35.00 US.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan List, Routine 1.  A list of the 52 movement names in four languages.  

Tai Chi Kung Fun Fan List, Routine 1.  A list of the 52 movement names in English.   

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan List, Routine 1, Movements 1-26.  A list of 26 movement names in English.   

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Walk Steadily With a Purpose

"The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy, walk and be healthy. "The best of all ways to lengthen our days" is not, as Mr. Thomas Moore has it, "to steal a few hours from night, my love;" but, with leave be it spoken, to walk steadily and with a purpose. The wandering man knows of certain ancients, far gone in years, who have staved off infirmities and dissolution by earnest walking,--hale fellows close upon eighty and ninety, but brisk as boys."
-  Charles Dickens  

The Ways of Walking

"It’s all still there in heart and soul. The walk, the hills, the sky, the solitary pain and pleasure–they will grow larger, sweeter, lovelier in the days and years to come." 
-   Edward Abbey  

When I am not scheduled to work at my part-time job for an elementary school district, I get outdoors and start walking at 6 am in the Spring.  In between each lap of my walking track (.6 miles round trip [pictured below]) I practice Taijiquan forms [e.g., Sun Style Single Whip Left pictured below].  

Deciduous trees in our area are still without leaves now in February.  However, by May, it will look like the photographs shown below.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dao De Jing by Laozi, Chapter 73

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 73 

"He whose boldness appears in his daring to do wrong, in defiance of the laws is put to death;
He whose boldness appears in his not daring to do so lives on.
Of these two cases the one appears to be advantageous, and the other to be injurious.
When Heaven's anger smites a man,
Who the cause shall truly scan?
On this account the sage feels a difficulty as to what to do in the former case.
It is the way of Heaven not to strive, and yet it skillfully overcomes;
Not to speak, and yet it is skilful in obtaining a reply;
Does not call, and yet men come to it of themselves.
Its demonstrations are quiet, and yet its plans are skilful and effective.
The meshes of the net of Heaven are large; far apart, but letting nothing escape."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 73  

"Courage carried to daring leads to death.
Courage restrained by caution leads to life.
These two things, courage and caution, are sometimes beneficial and sometimes harmful.
Some things are rejected by heaven, who can tell the reason?
Therefore the wise man deems all acting difficult. 
The Tao of heaven does not quarrel, yet it conquers.
It speaks not, yet its response is good.
It issues no summons but things come to it naturally because its devices are good.
Heaven's net is vast, indeed! its meshes are wide but it loses nothing."
-  Translated by Dwight Goddard, 1919, Chapter 73 

"A man with outward courage dares to die,
A man with inward courage dares to live;
But either of these men
Has a better and a worse side than the other.
And who can tell exactly to which qualities heaven objects?
Heaven does nothing to win the day,
Says nothing-Is echoed,
Orders nothing-Is obeyed,
Advises nothing-Is right:
And which of us, seeing that nothing is outside the vast
Wide-meshed net of heaven, knows just how it is cast?"
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 73  


-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 73   

yong yu gan ze sha.
yong yu bu gan ze huo.
ci liang zhe huo li huo hai.
tian zhi suo wu shu zhi qi gu.
shi yi sheng ren you nan zhi.
tian zhi dao bu zheng er shan sheng.
bu yan er shan ying.
bu zhao er zi lai.
chan ran er shan mou.
tian wang hui hui,
shu er bu shi.
-  Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 73 

"He who is brave in daring will be killed.
He who is brave in not daring will live.
Of these two, one is advantageous and one is harmful.
Who knows why Heaven dislikes what it dislikes?
Even the sage considers it a difficult question.
The Way of Heaven does not compete, and yet is skillfully achieves victory.
It does not speak, and yet it skillfully responds to things.
It comes to you without your invitation.
It is not anxious about things and yet it plans well.
Heaven's net is indeed vast.
Though its meshes are wide, it misses nothing."
-  Translated by Chan Wing-Tsit, 1963, Chapter 73 

"El valor del osado le conduce a la muerte.
El valor del prudente le conserva la vida.
Uno es el perjudicado
y el otro el beneficiado.
No todos son favorecidos por el Cielo.
Incluso el sabio se desconcierta ante tal cuestión.
Por eso, el Tao del Cielo es
saber vencer sin batallar,
saber responder sin palabras,
saber acudir sin haber sido llamado,
saber establecer planes sin presura.
Amplia es la red del Cielo
y de anchas mallas,
pero nada se le escapa."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 73

"Whose courage makes him dare is slain,
He lives whom courage makes refrain,
And harm or profit each will gain;
But Heaven's hate, what could compel
That it on this or that one fell,
T'is even hard for sage to tell.
Not to strive is Heaven's way,
And yet it conquers; naught to say,
Yet answers; will uncalled obey;
Its perfect plans in s1owness hide,
The net of Heaven has meshes wide,
But through its meshes none can glide."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 73  


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Returning Home

We enjoyed visiting with Alicia, Sean, Katelyn and Makenna on Tuesday and Wednesday.  It rained both days. 

Today, Thursday, we drove from Portland to Red Bluff.  This is a drive of 460 miles.  We drive south on Interstate 5.  It was raining from Portland to Roseberg.  Light traffic all day.  Little snow in California. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

On Sunday we drove north from Burns, Oregon, on US 395 to John Day.  Then we drove west to Madras, Oregon on US 26.  We stayed on Sunday and Monday night in Madras.  On Tuesday we drove to Portland.  On Thursday we drove on Interstate 5 south from Portland, Oregon, to Red Bluff, California. 

We (Karen, April, Mick, and I) explored the John Day and Madras areas for two days.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

High Desert Travel

On Friday, we drove from Red Bluff to Sacramento, and then from Sacramento to Reno, Nevada.  It was cloudy and cool all day, but no rain.  Donner Pass and the Sierra were shockingly devoid of snow.  It is 270 miles from Red Bluff to Sacramento to Reno. 

We stayed at the Peppermill Hotel in Reno.  It was very busy with Valentine's Day visitors.  A lovely room, a beautiful casino atmosphere, sumptious dining, and all at a considerable expense.

We left on Saturday morning and drove east on Interstate 84 to Winnemucca, Nevada.  They we drove north on U.S. 95 to Burns Junction, and then northwest on Oregon Route 78 to Burns, Oregon.  We stayed Saturday night in Burns.  It is 391 miles from Reno to Burns. 

Clear skies, dry, and dramatic high desert views in all directions.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 74

Dao De Jing, Laozi
Chapter 74 

"The people do not fear death,
Why threaten them with death?
Suppose the people always fear death,
One who does strange things,
I shall seize and kill,
Then who dares to do strange things?
Killing is carried out by the executioner.
To replace the executioner and kill,
Is like chopping wood in place of the master carpenter.
To chop wood in place of the master carpenter,
Rarely one does not hurt one's own hand."
-  Translation by Ellen M. Chen, Chapter 74

"If the people do not stand in awe of death,
What is the point of threatening them with the death penalty?
But even suppose the people were in constant fear of death,
Who would dare to seize the evil-doers and slaughter them?
Leave killing to the Great Slayer.
He who usurps the place of the Great Slayer
Is like one who seeks to assist a master joiner with an axe.
Now he who assists a master joiner with an axe
Rarely fails to injure his own hands."
-  Translated by Herman Ould, 1946, Chapter 74  

"If the people do not fear death, how can one frighten them with death?
If we teach people to fear death, then when one rebels he can be seized and executed; after that who will dare to rebel?
There is always an officer to execute a murderer, but if one takes the place of the executioner, it is like taking the place of a skilled carpenter at his hewing.
If one takes the place of the skilled carpenter he is liable to cut himself.
Therefore do not interfere with Tao."
-  Translated by Dwight Goddard, 1919, Chapter 74 

若使民常畏死, 而為奇者, 吾得執而殺之, 孰敢.
夫代大匠斲者, 希有不傷其手矣.
- Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 74

min pu wei ssu.
nai ho yi ssu chü chih.
jo shih min ch'ang wei ssu, erh wei ch'i chê, wu tê chih erh sha chih, shu kan.
ch'ang yu ssu sha chê sha.
fu tai ssu sha chê sha.
shi wei tai ta chiang cho.
fu tai ta chiang cho chê, hsi yu pu shang ch'i shou yi.
-  Wade-Giles (1892) Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 74

"If the people are not afraid to die,
How can you threaten them with death?
If the people are kept in constant fear of death,
And if it were possible to arrest and put to death the law-breakers,
Who would dare do this?
It is the master executioner who does the killing.
To assume the role of the master executioner and do the killing for oneself
Is like carving wood for oneself
Instead of leaving it to the master carpenter.
Those who carve wood for themselves
Instead of leaving it to the master carpenter
Rarely escape without cutting their own hands."
-  Translated by Keith H. Seddon, Chapter 74   

"Sí los hombres no temen a la muerte,
¿Cómo atemorizarlos con la muerte?
Pero si temen a la muerte,
como siempre temen,
y el que viola la ley puede ser apresado y ejecutado,
¿quién se atreverá entonces a violar la ley?
Existe siempre un funcionario Ejecutor.
Matar, para el Gran Ejecutor,
es como cortar madera para el maestro carpintero;
será afortunado si no se hiere su propia mano."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 74

"When the people do not fear death, of what use is it to overawe them with it as a penalty?
And if they were always held in fear of death, and I could lay my hand upon all evil doers and slay them, would I dare to do it?
There is always the Great Executioner!
For one to usurp that office is like a novice cutting out the work of a great architect.
Such a one rarely fails to cut his own hands!"
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 74

"Why use death as a deterrent, when the people have no fear of death?
Even supposing they shrank from death as from a monster, and by playing on their terror I could slay them, should I dare?
There is one who inflicts sentence of death.
To usurp his functions and to kill would be to assume the role of Master-Carpenter.
There are few who can act as Master-Carpenter without cutting their hands."
-  Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 74 

I also suggest reading: "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" by Oscar Wilde. 

Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching

Taoism: A Selected Reading List 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Is Humor a Virtue?

I thoroughly enjoy books about virtues, virtue ethics, the good life, happiness, excellence, character, and the right way for human beings to live.  

For a wonderfully lucid, insightful, witty, sophisticated, and, at times, brilliant account of eighteen virtues, read Professor André Comte-Sponville's 1996 bestseller, A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues: The Uses of Philosophy in Everyday LifeThe virtues discussed in these stylish and penetrating essays are:  Politeness, Fidelity, Prudence, Temperance, Courage, Justice, Generosity, Compassion, Mercy, Gratitude, Humility, Simplicity, Tolerance, Purity, Gentleness, Good Faith, Humor, and Love.  The ideas of many great thinkers about these virtues are are analyzed and discussed in this fine book.  

"I don't believe any more than Spinoza did in the utility of denouncing vice, evil, and sin.  Why always accuse, why always condemn?  That's a sad ethics indeed, for sad people."  The study of virtues shows us at our best, where we succeed in doing good, where we are noble, how we might use practical reasoning, and our highest aspirations as human beings.  

Is humor a virtue?  Think about it.    

A kindly theologian is apt to ask those three traditional and perplexing questions:  "Who are we?  Where do we come from?  Where are we going?"  To which a witty practical man, like Pierre Dac, might reply, "As for me personally, well, I'm me, I've come from home, and that's where I'm headed."
Sometimes, it is best to keep it simple, and have a sense of humor.