Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Line by Line - Verse 26, Line 2

stillness, the ruler of movement.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

The still is the master of unrest.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~

Quietness is the master of restlessness
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~

If your body is active, your mind should be relaxed.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
From Red Pine's book, here is how this line is explained by three Taoist masters. (Note: Pine interprets this line as "still is the master of busy.")
Ch'eng Hsuan-Ying: "Still" means tranquil, and "busy" means excited. Excitement is subject to birth and death. Tranquility endures. Hence the still rule the busy.

Te-Ch'ing: "Still" refers to our nature, "busy" refers to our emotions. People forget their body and chase external things. They forget their nature and follow their emotions.

Ho-Shang Kung: A lord who is not still loses his power. A dragon is still, hence it is able to constantly transform itself. A tiger is busy, hence it dies young.
To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.

1 comment:

  1. Thomas Cleary says:

    "calm is the master of excitement"

    The tiger and dragon images are important symbols in Taoism: yin and yang, to be integrated in internal alchemy.


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