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Posts by Alice Lin
There was an old man who lives in the frontier fortress. One day, one of his beautiful horses ran away. All the people in the village came to express their sympathy for his misfortune. He laughed and said to them all, “Why can’t the loss of a horse be a blessing?”
A few months later, his stallion came home with a herd of barbarian’s horses. All the people in the village began to congratulate him. He smiled again and said to them, “Why can’t a new herd of horses be a disaster?”
Because the family has good horses, their son liked to ride. One day he fell from a horse and broke his leg. The villagers once again expressed their condolences to him, and he said to them with a smile, “Even though my son has broken his leg, why shouldn’t it be a blessing?”
About a year later, the barbarians invaded. All the men in the village were enlisted, and nine out of ten were killed. His son survived with him because of his broken leg.
So Lao Tzu said, “Good fortune follows upon disaster, disaster lurks within good fortune…” (Tao Te Ching 58)
When people no longer fear force
They bring about greater force
Do not limit their place
Do not reject their livelihood
Because the ruler does not reject them
Therefore they do not reject the ruler
Therefore the sages:
Know themselves but do not glorify themselves
Respect themselves but do not praise themselves
Thus they discard that and take this
(Translation by Derick Lin)
Kings and princes in general, after having power, usually show conspiracy or high pressure. People are often treated with severe punishments and harsh laws. If the people are forced to fear no authority by that policy of coercion, they will rise up and resist, and they will take risks and fight with the regime. This is how revolutions are made. The coups in history and the change of the dynasty are like this.
Thus the wise ruler would not attempt not to let the people live in peace. Nor would the wise ruler deny the people their means of livelihood. If the ruler does not oppress the people in these ways, the people also will not forsake the leadership.
Therefore, a sage is not only self-aware but also self-respect. A sage is neither self-praise nor self-glory. Consequently, we must abandon the latter (self-praise, self-glory) and keep the former (self-awareness, self-respect).
I see a cat. What about you?
Seemingly ordinary, but it hides a face.
Is it tiger or lion?
Painting with stone, I saw it for the first time, it was awesome.
The stone-stacked painting has a unique charm.
It is a simple flower, but it requires countless details to complete.
Such a stone painting is a rare sight in a hundred years.
It’s so vivid, I thought it is a painting.
It must have taken a lot of time to choose these stones to create such delicate artwork.
I almost thought it was a picture of a stone city!
The resemblance of seahorse is striking.
The arrangement of round stones makes people dazzled.
The artwork made of stone is so beautiful.
Let’s look at the details.
It’s like falling into an endless black hole.
beautiful lotus flowers
The piles of stones stack into vases.
It seems like a Tianshan snow lotus, beautiful!
Is this the eight diagrams in the legend? It’s unbelievable.
What beautiful scenes from the arrangement of small stones, leaves, and branches.
The balance was so striking that I can help to suspect it was glued together.
I’m afraid the glue won’t stick! How do you do it?
Wow, what a fantastic stone works.
I saw something strange about this, and almost thought the stone would float.
How do they do it? It looks rough but smooth.
Stones can be arranged into lobster!
Another look at the uncanny workmanship of nature, the stones pile into a thousand – story tower.
Such a neat stone block is really rare.
These incredible stones bring out humans extraordinary creativity.
This article is from https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/M_pslA7ONLCrA3WHr-MA. It is in Chinese. I translate the text into English so you can enjoy these astonishing stone artworks.
To know that you do not know is highest
To not know but think you know is flawed
Only when one recognizes the fault as a fault
Can one be without fault
The sages are without fault
Because they recognize the fault as a fault
That is why they are without fault
(Translation by Derick Lin)
Why the sage is the sage is that they know the things they don’t know and recognize how they’re flawed.
What makes the sages without fault is that they recognize the fault.
So the recognition is the key to being a sage. Being humble like sage makes it easy for anyone to find fault with oneself. Once we recognize our fault and take the step to correct it then we are no longer be bound by it and free from it.
The Chinese character bing (病) occurs eight times in this chapter. Many translators translate it as “disease” or “illness.” It does not fit in the context here. It makes this chapter seem strange. I believe bing ( 病) instead derives from mao bing (毛病) which means a fault, flaw, problem, etc. I included Derick Lin’s translation here because he uses flaw or fault instead of disease or illness. I think that it is perfect for the context and makes Lao Tzu’s idea crystal clear to the readers.
Live Every Moment speech: Muniba Mazari, lovingly referred to as the Iron Lady of Pakistan, openly talks about how her life changed after a car accident left her without the use of her legs and how this has changed her perspective on life. In her powerful speech, she expresses how important it is to accept yourself in order for the rest of the world to recognize you.