Sunday, December 26, 2010

Line by Line - Verse 17, Line 3

In the next they feared them;
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

Then that which is feared,
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~

The next level, people fear them
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~

After that, there's the leader who is obeyed out of fear.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from, 2004 ~
When my wife and I adopted Heidi (now deceased) from the humane society, it readily was apparent that her previous human companion had ruled the roost via abuse. In those first few years, anytime one of us raised our voice or waved our arms in an animated manner, Heidi would cower and run for cover. It seemed that no amount of coaxing would convince her that we meant her no harm.

While using force to get what we want certainly DOES work, the price that those around us pay, is a heavy price indeed. It inhibits them from being in tune with their own internal nature. It blocks them from moving with the flow of life. It stifles creativity and erects a barrier of separation.

Not only do others pay a heavy toll, but we do as well. When others feel constrained from being themselves, we lose out on the opportunities to learn FROM them. More importantly, we lose the ability to form community and, where there is no community, balance and harmony cannot exist.

To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.

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