Archive for August, 2018

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 52

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天下有始,以為天下母。
既得其母,以知其子,既知其子,復守其母,沒身不殆。
塞其兌,閉其門,終身不勤。
開其兌,濟其事,終身不救。
見小曰明,守柔曰強。
用其光,復歸其明,無遺身殃;是為習常。
The beginning of the universe
Is the mother of all things.
Knowing the mother, one also knows the sons.
Knowing the sons, yet remaining in touch with the mother,
Brings freedom from the fear of death.
Keep your mouth shut,
Guard the senses,
And life is ever full.
Open your mouth,
Always be busy,
And live a life beyond hope.
Seeing the inferior is insight;
Yielding to force is a strength.
Using the outer light, return to insight,
And in this way be saved from harm.
This is learning constantly.
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

Tao is the beginning of the universe, the mother of all things. Since the mother who knows all things is the Tao, it naturally follows that all things in the world are children of the Tao. Since we know that all things in the world are children of the Tao, we must look back and guard our mothers and abide by this principle of keeping the roots forever. Then there will be no great danger.

Plug your senses, close the door to craving, and there will be no scourge of it in its lifetime. If the opposite path is chosen, it opens the aperture to put your life in danger. Those who can see the small are people who understand the Tao. Those who can keep and hold the weak will gain strength and are the real winners. When practicing to use light to gain enlightenment, you will be led to eternity.

Wisdom in Calmness(1)

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A museum was broken into by thieves, and ten valuable pieces were lost. However, a precious diamond ring was not stolen. After many attempts by the police to find clues, the curator of the museum, who had been very calm at the time, proposed to let the television station interview him. The reporter asked him: “How many cultural relics were lost?” The curator answered: “A total of 11 artifacts were lost.” The reporter asked: “Are these artifacts precious?” The curator replied: “Yes, they are valuable, especially a priceless diamond ring that was taken!”

Shortly after this time, the police managed to find the thieves who had stolen from the museum. The reason why was very simple. Several thieves were caught by the police during a fight. They fought because each of them was suspicious of whoever secretly kept the eleventh artifact – the diamond ring.

 

This is the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction: the 8.41 carat gem sold for $17.8 million

The image is from https://www.gemobsessed.com/jewelry-trends/the-most-expensive-diamond-sets-record/.

The original Chinese text is from online and the name of author is unknown. The following is the Chinese version-

鎮靜中的智慧
轉載網路文章
有一個博物館被盜了,丟失了十件珍貴的文物,好在一枚珍貴的鑽戒沒有被盜。警方經過多次努力也找不到線索,這時一直很冷靜的博物館館長卻提議讓電視台採訪他。於是電視上播出記者採訪博物館館長的鏡頭。記者問:請問這次失盜共丟失了多少件文物?館長答:共丟失了十一件文物。記者問:這些文物都很珍貴嗎?館長答:是的,都很珍貴,特別是一枚鑽戒價值連城!
時隔不久,警方就查到了線索順利地破了案。線索來源很簡單,幾個盜賊在毆鬥時被警方抓獲,而他們毆鬥的原因竟然是互相猜疑究竟是誰私藏了第十一件文物那枚鑽戒。

 

 

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 51

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道生之,德畜之,物形之,勢成之。
是以萬物莫不尊道而貴德。
道之尊,德之貴,夫莫之命常自然。
故道生之,德畜之;長之育之;亭之毒之;養之覆之。
生而不有,為而不恃,長而不宰,是謂玄德。
All things arise from Tao.
They are nourished by Virtue (Te).
They are formed from matter.
They are shaped by environment.
Thus all things respect Tao and honor Virtue (Te).
Respect of Tao and honor of Virtue (Te) are not demanded,
But it is natural to do so.
Therefore all things arise from Tao.
By Te they are nourished,
Developed, cared for,
Sheltered, comforted,
Grown, and protected.
Creating without claiming,
Doing without taking credit,
Guiding without interfering,
This is Primal Virtue.
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

The Tao Te Ching consists of Tao and Te. They are equally important. Tao generates all things while Te nourishes them, even though all things have various shapes and the environment help them grow. Both Tao and Te are respected and honored by them. Why? Though Tao generates all things it never interferes, and Te nourishes all things, it never dominates, letting them grow naturally. Tao begets them and does not take their possessions, while Te sustains them but does not bear the credits. Guiding them without dominating them, this is called the profound Te.

Zeno’s Circle

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Legend has it that a student once asked Zeno: “Teacher, your knowledge is many times more than ours. The question you answered is correct, but why are you so humble? ”

Zeno drew one small and one big circle on the blackboard and said: “Our knowledge is like a circle. Inside the circle are things you know about, and outside the circle are things you don’t know. The area of the big circle is my knowledge, the area of the small circle is your knowledge, so my knowledge is more than yours.

But outside these two circles are things you and I don’t know. The circumference of the big circle is larger than that of the small circle so that I may have more knowledge, but I also realize that there is still more I do not know. This is why I am humble. ”

Socrates said, “All I know is that I know nothing.”He implies that the more people know, the more they understand their ignorance. Even the largest circles still cannot compare with the blank space outside. The more knowledge they accumulate, the more aware they become. Space is infinite even though the circles are big. So the more knowledgeable people are, the more they know that they do not know enough.

Image result for Zeno of greek
Zeno of Elea is from http://www.massline.org/PhilosDog/Z/Zeno.htm.

 

In another word, a person with a large circle knows a lot but also knows there are still things they don’t know, so they have to be humble. A person with a small circle knows only a little, so they think the whole world is in their hands.

Note:

Zeno of Elea was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of Magna Graecia and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. Aristotle called him the inventor of dialectic. He is best known for his paradoxes, which Bertrand Russell has described as “immeasurably subtle and profound.”

Zeno of Elea – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno_of_Elea

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 50

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出生入死。生之徒,十有三;死之徒,十有三;人之生,動之死地,十有三。
夫何故?以其生,生之厚。
蓋聞善攝生者,陸行不遇兕虎,入軍不被甲兵;兕無所投其角,虎無所措其爪,兵
無所容其刃。
夫何故?以其無死地。
We go from birth to death.
Three out of ten follow life.
Three out of ten follow death.
People who rush from birth to death
Are also three out of ten.

Why is that so?
Because they want to make too much of life.
I have heard that the one who knows how to live
Can wander through the land
Without encountering the rhinoceros or the tiger.
He passes the battlefield
Without being struck by weapons.
In him, the rhinoceros finds no opening for its horn.
The tiger finds no opening for its claws.
The soldiers find no opening for their blades.

Why is that so?
Death has no place in him.
(Translation by Stefan Stenudd.)

People first born out of the world eventually died and buried on the ground. Three- tenths of those who belong to longevity; three-tenths belong to short-lived people; some could have lived longer, but they made their way to death, also making them three-tenths. Why is this so? Because they overdid everything (such as overcaring, over struggling, over rushing, overindulging…).

There is the remaining one-tenth of people who are good at protecting their lives and who live naturally. It is said they walk on land without encountering vicious rhinos and tigers, and they can not be harmed by weapons during the war. The rhinoceros does not appear to back them into a corner, the tiger is nowhere to claw at them, and the weapons have no space to attack with their blades. Why is this so? Because these people follow nature, appreciate life, and accept death when their time has come.

 

Image result for image of Lao Tzu
Image from Artnet.

 

This content reminds me the story of Lao Tzu and His Friend (an article I posted on my blog before-http://loveneverending.com/lao-tzu-and-his-friend/). Here, his friend commented on him, saying “When it was suitable to come into the world, the Master came at the right time. When it was suitable to depart the world, the Master left naturally. If one can calmly wait for the right moment and go with the natural flow, sadness and joy cannot enter the heart. The ancients would call that being released by the Emperor from hanging upside down.” No wonder the legend says that Lao Tzu lived up to one hundred and sixty years old.

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