ePub: Download Lao Tzu Ching about Power eBook (KINDLE, PDF, MOBI) + Audio Version


  • File Size: 843 KB
  • Print Length: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; New edition edition (October 20, 1998)
  • Publication Date: October 20, 1998
  • Language: English

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I will be now reading, concurrently, section by chapter, three versions of the Tao Lo Ching: Feng/English's, Stephen Mitchell's, and Ursula Le Guin's, which is my without doubt favorite. I've owned the Gia-fu Feng/Jane English version for many years and I still love their clear and concise vocabulary, it's simple and immediate style. Stephen Mitchell's version, in my side by side comparison, is seen to be a more interpretative rendition based on his own understanding of Lao Tzu's meaning. Rather than stay with Lao Tzu's images and metaphor, he plans everything up into a kind of exposition of the meaning he derives from those images. This approach may appeal to those wishing for a more conceptual understanding of this great work, but for me personally, it diminishes so much of the subtlety and a deeper intuitive conveyance of meaning that is merely possibly through poetry. This is where Le Guin's version outshines and makes a quantum leap beyond the other two. She keeps all the imagery, couleur and flavor of the poetry while capturing a feeling of playfulness and spontaneity. But beyond even that, I find that her ability to hold the paradox and enigma of Lao Tzu's mystical understanding allows for a further, more inspired reading than the other two.

To demonstrate spinning program so well, please bear with me ?nternet site compare one stanza. This is certainly Stanza 30 in three versions:

Mitchell:
Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men
doesn't try to force issues
or defeat enemies by force of arms.
For every force there is a counterforce.
Violence even well intentioned,
always rebounds upon oneself.

Typically the Master does his job
and then stops.
He or she understands that the world
is forever out of control,
and that trying to dominate events
goes against the current of the Tao.
Because he feels in himself,
he doesn't try to convince others.
Because he is at ease with himself
He or she doesn't need others' approval.
Because this individual accepts himself,
depends upon accepts him.

Feng/English:
Whenever you advise a ruler in the way of Tao,
Counsel him not to use force to conquer the universe.
For this would only cause resistance.
Thorn bushes early spring up wherever the army has passed.
Lean years follow in the wake of a great war.
Simply do what needs to be done.
Never take advantage of energy.

Achieve results, but never glory in them.
Achieve results, but never boast.
Achieve results, but never be proud.
Achieve results, because this is the natural way.
Achieve results, but not through physical violence.

Force is followed by lack of strength.
This is not the way of Tao.
Of which which goes against the Tao comes to an early end.

Le Guin:
A Taoist wouldn't advise a ruler
to utilize force of arms for cure;
that technique backfires.
Where the army marched
grow thorns and thistles.
Following your war
come the bad harvests.

Good leaders prosper, that's all,
not supposing on victory.
They prosper without boasting,
or domineering, or arrogance,
prosper because they cannot help it,
prosper without violence.

Things flourish then perish.
Not the way in which.
What's not the Way
soon ends.

Le Guin adds a note at the ending of this stanza. She says, " Typically the last verse is enigmatic: 'Things flourish then expire. '—How can this very natural sequence not be the way in which? " She then directs the reader to another note within later stanza where she recommendations up on Lao Tzu's use of a " baby" metaphor to identify how one following the Way acts in the world. The girl writes: " What is eternal is forever young, never grows old. But we are not eternal. It really is in this sense i understand how the natural, inevitable cycle of youngsters, growth, mature vigor, age group, and decay can be " not the Way. " The Way is more than the cycle of any individual life. We all rise, flourish, fail. The Way never fails. We are waves. It is the sea. "

So, rather than change the actual words to make the meaning more intelligible to our conceptual understanding, as in Feng/English, or simply avoid the entire issue by presenting a loose rendition that does not follow the original so strongly, as in Mitchell, Le Guin presents the enigma as it is and then ponders and digs further to try to grasp what Lao Tzu was truly saying. She will go beyond a facile, universal understanding and comes upwards with something exquisitely serious. The Way isn't about how we're supposed to take action in the world. It’s not about us as individuals at all. The Way is beyond all the flourishings and perishings of the temporal associated with form. To are now living in the way in which is to live rooted in the timeless, unchanging essence of our Being which simply is, always. Feng/English's and Mitchell's versions don't come close to penetrating into this understanding. This is an example of why I consider Le Guin's version to be superior to the mediocre.

One minor quibble: Le Guin tells us that the Chinese word " Te" is usually translated as Virtue. She converts it as Power throughout the book because she can feel that the term Virtue in modern consumption has lost its previous sense of " inherent quality and strength of a thing or person. " I me personally still prefer Virtue, maybe because I'm old fashioned and still think of Virtue in the old way, like the way Plato used it. Another phrase choice i believe would convey the same which means would be the " All-Good. " That has both a feeling of Power and Virtue in it. As I said, it's a minor sidestep., I love this publication! The wit and wisdom. They have lasted throughout the centuries. Will keep this with me for several years., I actually loved this book and took my time reading it. Coming to it from time to time and let it speak to me. I actually hope it speaks to you as well., He published this a long, long time ago in a world seemingly far, far away. The force? Might be, but definitely a way to balance body, mind, and spirit. Very useful., Thoughtful comments and offered well. Still very relevant among chaotic times., Merely what I needed and a good reference for future use...., Stunning as is anything associated with Ursula K. Leslie Guin
and a book to explore as often as possible., Deep convinced that shines a light on your soul and day to living.

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