Sunday, February 20, 2005
Tao Te Ching Chapter 5
They exist without moralizing.
They act regardless of our wishes
within the ebb and flow
of every pregnant moment.
The space between yin and yang
is like a bellows--
empty, yet infinitely full.
The more it yields,
the more it fills.
than the silent balance
between yin and yang.
I'm just wondering what translation of the Daodejing you have. I have one by Philip J. Ivanhoe and Bryan W. van Nordern and it has chapter five translated somewhat differently.
I have 3 different versions of the Tao Te Ching! They are all translated differently and chapter five especially is very different within each translation. The one I ended up posting on the web was translated by Ralph Alan Dale ISBN 0-7607-4998-1
I also have one translated by David Hinton that I like a lot. ISBN 1-58243-182-5
The third one is the one my professor for eastern religions had us get is translated by D.C. Lau and it's a Penguin Classics so the translations pretty good. ISBN is 0-14-044131-X
The Tao Te Ching has been translated, and re-translated by soooooooo many people that it wouldn't surprise me that yours is different from my 3 versions. But if you look closely, and meditate on them, they all say the same thing, just in different words. The same goes for The Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, and any other ancient text. Even the Iliad and the Odyssey have different translations because Homeric Greek was never spoken. The best way to approach this would be to find two copies: 1 for scholarly use, maybe find a reputable translator who has many years of experience and has taken great care in the accuracy of the translation, and then 2) one that speaks to you. I chose to post that particular version of Chapter 5 because it was the one that would make the most sense to people without having to explain it if I posted something about myriad creatures and straw dogs!
Hope this helps and I didn't bore you to death or sound to preachy. It's just my thoughts.