Gravity is the root of lightness;While I could do this with any line in any verse, let's see how Jonathan Star parses this one out. For starters, the line reads in Chinese: Chung wei ch'ing ken. Each of these words can be translated different ways.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
The heavy is the root of the light.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
Heaviness is the root of lightness
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
To be light on your feet, you need a steady mind.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
- Chung: heavy, weighted or solid; genuine or real; gravity, substantial, important or serious; associated with the characteristics of generosity, stability and honesty.
- Wei: is, makes or acts.
- Ch'ing: lights[s], lightness, frivolous, easy, flimsy or "not taken seriously."
- Ken: root, origin, initial cause, foundation or support.
To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.