stillness, the ruler of movement.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.")
~ 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 ~
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.To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.
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.