Saturday, March 16, 2013

Translating Lao Tzu

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 42

Lao Tzu:
The "parent of all teachings"
is that "the violent man will come to a violent end."

First Cause, or "parent of all teachings"
is that what you put out is what you get back.

The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the ten thousand things.

Zero begot one, One begot Two, Two gave birth to Three.
Infinity and individuality, synthesized,
brought forth exponentially increasing expressions.
From this trinity came all else in existence.

The ten thousand things carry yin and embrace yang.
They achieve harmony by combining these forces.

We and our world are a blend of opposing forces.
We find resolution and peace, inner and outer,
through balance and synthesis.

Men hate to be "orphaned," "widowed," or "worthless,"
But this is how kings and lords describe themselves.

We have mastered ourselves and our world
when we understand the true riches are within.

For one gains by losing
And loses by gaining.

We gain by losing our identification
with things of the world,
and lose the real treasure
by increasing that identification.

What others teach, I also teach; that is:
"A violent man will die a violent death!"
This will be the essence of my teaching.

As many sources have said
in different ways:
What we put out is what we get back.
This is the ultimate teaching.