Friday, December 31, 2010

Line by Line - Verse 18, Lines 3-4

(Then) appeared wisdom and shrewdness, and there ensued great hypocrisy.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

When wisdom and intelligence are born,
The great pretense begins.

~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~

Intelligence comes forth
There is great deception

~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~

When they forget what's true,
they start talking about "self-evident truths".
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from, 2004 ~
In and of itself, intelligence isn't a bad thing. Intelligent people are more apt to look at all sides of an issue or situation before drawing conclusions. Intelligent people are more likely to work to insure they communicate ideas and concepts in a way that other people can understand. Many intelligent people work to nurture intelligence in others.

But far too many people place IQ -- an external measurement of one form of intelligence -- on a pedestal. They lord their brainpower over others. They utilize their intellectual powers to create disharmony through manipulation, half-truths, and flat out lying. Intelligence becomes nothing more than a tool to satisfy their own desires. (If truth be known, this describes most of us!!)

When we live in accord with Tao, we possess a natural intelligence that can't be measured. While to the outside world we may appear simple-minded, we do what needs doing simply because it needs doing. We don't have to "think" what needs to be done; we know.

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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