Thursday, February 24, 2011

67: Battle with Compassion


The whole world says that my Way is great like nothing else.
It is great because it is like nothing else.
If it were like everything else,
It would long ago have become insignificant.
I have three treasures that I cherish.
The first is compassion.
The second is moderation.
The third is not claiming to be first in the world.
By compassion one can be brave.
By moderation one can be generous.
By not claiming to be first in the world one can rule.
But to be brave without compassion,
Generous without moderation,
And rule without refraining from being first in the world
Are certain deaths.
So, those who have compassion when they do battle
Will be victorious.
Those who likewise defend themselves
Will be safe.
Heaven will rescue and protect them with compassion.

Battle with Compassion

In the beginning of this chapter, Lao Tzu plays with the word hsiao, which means both `like' and `small.' The latter I dared to translate as `insignificant,' to clarify what kind of small Lao Tzu refers to here. The two words have different pictograms, but they are pronounced the same...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 67 Translation and Commentary

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