Thursday, July 28, 2011

Line by Line - Verse 38, Line 16

and when righteousness was lost, the proprieties appeared.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

When justice is lost, there ritual.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~

Righteousness is lost, and then etiquette
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~

If you don't have justice,
all you have left is righteousness.

~ Ron Hogan rendition, from, 2004 ~
For me, this line is an indictment on institutionalized religion. The religious have all sorts of rituals that they are supposed to abide by. Much of the time they get so caught up on the letter of the law that they lose sight of the spirit of it.

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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