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The Story of the Taoist Farmer
One of my favorite chapters, from one of my favorite books, is Chapter 49:


The sage has no mind of his own;
He is aware of the needs of others.

I am good to people who are good
I am also good to people who are not good.
Because Virtue is goodness.
I have faith in people who are faithful.
I also have faith in people who are not faithful.
Because Virtue is faithfulness.

The sage is shy and humble-to the world he seems confusing.
Men look to him and listen.
He behaves like a little child.

Quoted from the 1972 translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English, entitled "Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching," published by Random House/Knopf.

I especially like the last line. If someone asks why I sometimes act like a little kid, all I need to do is quote this verse!

In the translation by Ch'en Ku-ying, Rhett Y. W. Young and Roger T. Ames, "Lao Tzu, Text, Notes, and Comments," Chinese Materials Center, Inc. San Francisco, 1977, an important commentary is made on the above chapter:

"the ideal administrator suppresses his own will and desires, and does not establish a standard of right and wrong or good and evil based on his own subjective judgements. He rejects his egoism in order to understand the needs of the common people, and makes every effort to dissolve any barriers which may obstruct communication."
".......Lao Tzu simply explains that all value judgements are relative and subjective, and as such, should not be projected onto externals by the subjective mind."

There are now at least 42 translations of Lao_Tzu's work. Here are some available for downloading on the WWW:

Last updated 11 August 1995

Copyright © 1995 by Duen Hsi Yen, All rights reserved. E-mail: yen@noogenesis.com

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