Thursday, February 27, 2014

Inspired by Tao Te Ching - chapter 36


將欲歙之,必固張之;將欲弱之,必固強之;將欲廢之,必固興之;將欲奪之,必固與之。是謂微明。柔 弱勝剛強。魚不可脫於淵,國之利器不可以示人。

My rendition of chapter 36 of Tao Te Ching

To close something, it must first be opened
To weaken something, it must first be strengthened
To destroy something, it must first be prospered
To take away something, it must first be given
This is subtle wisdom
of the ultimate truth
Better be weak than strong now!
To survive fish must stay at ocean deep
Like don't show your armor to people.

Paul's comment: Keeping the lowest profile is a Chinese wisdom empirically learned from thousands of years of ruling under authoritarian regimes. But in all histories of China, there were always a small number of people who risked their lives (and lost or half-lost their lives in most cases) to promote a good cause in society. Having said that Lao Zi's wisdom still makes good sense: the first choice should always be promote a good cause and stay unharmed. There are however always second choices for the brave.

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