Wednesday, February 23, 2011

41: Laughing Out Loud


The superior student listens to the Way
And follows it closely.
The average student listens to the Way
And follows some and some not.
The lesser student listens to the Way
And laughs out loud.
If there were no laughter it would not be the Way.
So, it has been said:
The light of the Way seems dim.
The progress of the Way seems retreating.
The straightness of the Way seems curved.
The highest virtue seems as low as a valley.
The purest white seems stained.
The grandest virtue seems deficient.
The sturdiest virtue seems fragile.
The most fundamental seems fickle.
The perfect square lacks corners.
The greatest vessel takes long to complete.
The highest tone is hard to hear.
The great image lacks shape.
The Way is hidden and nameless.
Still only the Way nourishes and completes.

Laughing Out Loud

What Lao Tzu says about students is true for all mankind. Some listen and learn, others do it sporadically, and those with the least respect just laugh and call it absurd. If there were no people reacting like that, it would probably not be Tao, the Way. Tao is absurd to the thoughtless mind...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 41 Translation and Commentary

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, your interpretation of this chapter really helped me to be satisfied with my own efforts towards ethical conduct even when no one appreciates me for it; you really put the Tao into real, tangible terms. I am definitely buying your book and recommending it to others.