Friday, December 30, 2011

Line by Line - Verse 55, Line 4

birds of prey will not strike him.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

He will not be attacked by birds of prey.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~

Birds of prey do not attack them
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~

[No corresponding line]
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from, 2004 ~
Once again, turning to Derek Lin, we learn that "the birds of prey represent greed and envy." The point of this line and the previous two is that newborns are free of all the petty emotions that bedevil us for the rest of our lives.

And this is why Lao Tzu (as well as Jesus) holds the newborn in such high esteem. It is because newborns have such few, if any, expectations that they take life as it comes and are not upset when it doesn't go as they expect it should or might.

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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