Friday, November 03, 2017

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 2

Dao De Jing, Laozi   
Chapter 2

"When the world speaks of beauty as being beautiful, ugliness is at once defined.
When goodness is seen to be good, evil is at once apparent.
So do existence and non-existence mutually give rise to one another,
As that which is difficult and that which is easy, distant and near, high and low,
shrill and bass, preceding and following.
The Sage therefore is occupied only with that which is without prejudice.
He teaches without verbosity; he acts without effort; he produces with possessing,
he acts without regard to the fruit of action; he brings his work to perfection without assuming credit;
and claiming nothing as his own, he cannot at any time be said to lose."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 2  

"When all the people of the world know beauty as beauty,
There arises the recognition of ugliness.
When they all know the good as good,
There arises the recognition of evil.
Therefore: Being and non-being produce each other;
Difficult and easy complete each other;
Long and short contrast each other;
High and low distinguish each other;
Sound and voice harmonize each other;
Front and behind accompany each other.
Therefore the sage manages affairs without action
And spreads doctrines without words.
All things arise, and he does not turn away from them.
He produces them but does not take possession of them.
He acts but does not rely on his own ability.
He accomplishes his task but does not claim credit for it.
It is precisely because he does not claim credit that his accomplishment remains with him."
-  Translated by Wang Tsit Chan, 1963, Chapter 2 

"Recognize beauty and ugliness is born.
Recognize good and evil is born.
Is and Isn't produce each other.
Hard depends on easy,
Long is tested by short,
High is determined by low,
Sound is harmonized by voice,
After is followed by before.
Therefore the sage is devoted to non action,
Moves without teaching,
Creates ten thousand things without instruction,
Lives but does not own,
Acts but does not presume,
Accomplishes without taking credit.
When no credit is taken,
Accomplishment endures."
-  Translated by Stephen Addis, 1993, Chapter 2   

"When all in the world understand beauty to be beautiful, then ugliness exists.
When all understand goodness to be good, then evil exists.
Thus existence suggests non-existence;
Easy gives rise to difficult;
Short is derived from long by comparsion;
Low is derived from high by position;
Resonance harmonises sound;
After follows before.
Therefore the sage carries on his business without action, and gives his teaching without words."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 2 

"It is the world of man that defines ugly by comparing it with that which man calls beautiful.
Skillful is considered such by comparison to that which is called 'without skill'.
Alive and non-alive are delineated by nature.
Difficult and easy are abstracted by our perception.
Long and short are defined by the one against the other.
High and low are reckoned so by the contrast of the one with the other.
Music is seen as pleasing if the notes and tones are recognized as being harmonious with each other.
One in front, and one behind are recognized as one following the other.
It is for this reason that the sage lives in the condition of wu-wei (unattached action, or; doing-not doing),
And teaches without words.
He knows that names and images are fleeting, and all things will transform.
One who seems to follow tonight might lead another time.
He sees all that is done as neither large nor small.
All things are neither grand nor miniscule.
Actions are neither difficult, nor done with ease. He acts without expectation.
Things spring up around him, and he accepts them, but does not possess them.
Things go away, and he recognizes their departure without grief or joy.
When the work is done he leaves it be.
Because he does not dwell in it, it will last."
-  Translated by Rivenrock, Chapter 2  

"Beauty becomes recognized as beauty,
As its difference from ugliness is seen.
Goodness and love become recognized,
As their difference from evil and hatred is felt.

The Relationship of:
- Being and non-being is known through life and growth.
- Difficult and easy is known through achievement and completion.
- Long and short is known through form and contrast.
- High and low is known through relationship and position.
- Sound and voice is known through amplitude and harmony.
- Front and behind is known through position and sequence.

Wu-Wei graces the affairs of the Sage -
Teaching gracefully, Without words.
Receiving all happening as natural,
Without needing to judge or control.
Giving life and animation to all experience
Without needing to dominate.
Accomplishing, Without expecting reward.

In never assuming importance,
When the Sage's work is complete,
It remains, everlastingly."
-  Translated by Alan B. Taplow, 1982, Chapter 2  

天下皆知美之為美, 斯惡已.
皆知善之為善, 斯不善已.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 2 

t'ien hsia chieh chih mei chih wei mei, ssu wu yi.
chieh chih shan chih wei shan, ssu pu shan yi.
ku yu wu hsiang shêng.
nan yi hsiang ch'êng.
ch'ang tuan hsiang chiao.
kao hsia hsiang ch'ing.
yin shêng hsiang ho.
ch'ien hou hsiang sui.
shih yi shêng jen ch'u wu wei chih shih.
hsing pu yen chih chiao.
wan wu tso yen erh pu tz'u.
shêng erh pu yu.
wei erh pu shih.
kung ch'eng erh fu chü.
fu wei fu ch'u.
shih yi pu ch'ü
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 2 

"When everyone knows what beauty is,
There must also be ugliness.
When everybody knows what goodness is,
Then evil must also exist.
Therefore, the haves and the have-nots coexist.
Easy and hard become complementary.
Long and short differ in length.
High and low contrast in height.
Tone and pitch harmonise with each other.
The past is followed by the present.
Hence, the sage manages his affairs with non-action,
Teaches without utterance,
And lets everything develop without any interference.
Dao procreates but does not possess.
It facilitates development but does not gloat.
When it accomplishes his task, it does not claim credit.
As the sage does not claim credit for his success,
The credit cannot be taken away from him."
-  Translated by Han Hiong Tan, Chapter 2  

"Cuando se reconoce la Belleza en el Mundo
Se aprende lo que es la Fealdad;
Cuando se reconoce la Bondad en el Mundo
Se aprende lo que es la Maldad.

De este modo:
Vida y muerte son abstracciones del crecimiento;
Dificultad y facilidad son abstracciones del progreso;
Cerca y lejos son abstracciones de la posición;
Fuerza y debilidad son abstracciones del control;
Música y habla son abstracciones de la armonía;
Antes y después son abstracciones de la secuencia.

El sabio controla sin autoridad,
Y enseña sin palabras;
Él deja que todas las cosas asciendan y caigan,
Nutre, pero no interfiere,
Dá sin pedirle,
Y está satisfecho."
-  Translated by Antonio Rivas Gonzálvez, 2004, Capítulo 2

"The whole world knows: when beauty tries to be beautiful it changes into ugliness by that very fact.
The whole world knows: when kindness tries to appear kind it changes into unkindness by that very fact.
So close are Being and Non-Being that one arises from the other.
So suddenly easy becomes difficult short becomes long high becomes low loud becomes soundless the first becomes the last.
That is why the Sage strives to act without action to teach without speaking.
He lets things happen and does not try to stay them.
He labors and is not greedy.
He acts and does not demand anything.
He receives and does not retain anything."
-  Translated by K.O. Schmidt, 1975, Chapter 2  

"Because the world recognized beauty as beauty, ugliness is known to be ugly.
Everyone knows goodness to be goodness, and to know this is to know what is not good.
Similarly, existence implies non-existence;
The hard and the easy complement each other; We recognize what is long by comparison with what is short;
High by comparison with low;
The shrill by comparison with the sonorous.
Before and after, earlier and later, back and front -
All these complement one another.
Therefore the Sage, the self-controlled man, dwells in action-less activity, poised between contraries.
He teaches without employing words.
He beholds al things that have been made - he does not turn his back on them.
He achieves, but does not claim merit;
He does not call attention to what he does, not claim success.
Regarding nothing as his own, he loses nothing that is his."
-  Translated by Herman Ould, 1946, Chapter 2 

"When people see things as beautiful,
ugliness is created.
When people see things as good,
evil is created.

Being and non-being produce each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low oppose each other.
Fore and aft follow each other.

Therefore the Master
can act without doing anything
and teach without saying a word.
Things come her way and she does not stop them;
things leave and she lets them go.
She has without possessing,
and acts without any expectations.
When her work is done, she take no credit.
hat is why it will last forever."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 2   

A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.  These are hypertext documents, and available online under Creative Commons 4.


Chapter 2, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.  Compiled and indexed by Mike Garofalo.  

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

English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Selected Reading List



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