Thursday, February 24, 2011

58: What to Trust?


When the government is quite unobtrusive,
People are indeed pure.
When the government is quite prying,
People are indeed conniving.
Misery is what happiness rests upon.
Happiness is what misery lurks beneath.
Who knows where it ends?
Is there nothing correct?
Correct becomes defect.
Good becomes ominous.
People's delusions have certainly lasted long.
Therefore the sage is sharp but does not cut,
Pointed but does not pierce,
Forthright but does not offend,
Bright but does not dazzle.

What to Trust?

We are never closer to misery than when we are happy. The one so easily turns into the other. They are strongly linked, and mutually dependent. Were it not for happiness, misery would not exist, and the other way around. So, it's not always evident which is which...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 58 Translation and Commentary

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