Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Line by Line - Verse 26, Lines 3-4

Therefore a wise prince, marching the whole day, does not go far from his baggage waggons.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

Therefore the sage, traveling all day,
Does not lose sight of his baggage.

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

Therefore the sages travel an entire day
Without leaving the heavy supplies

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

A Master can travel long distances
and still see all her possessions.

~ Ron Hogan rendition, from, 2004 ~
According to Derek Lin,
"Travel" here refers to the journey of life, and the heavy supplies are the essentials -- the most important stuff, the basics. Sages are the ones who traverse through life without ever losing track of the fundamental essence that makes us human.
John Lash makes a similar point.
On your journey to the Tao, do not lose sight of that which is important: tranquility, harmony, silence, compassion, and emptiness. These are the essentials you will need to reach your true destiny.
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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