Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tao Te Ching #15: "Skilled Warriors of Old"



"Skilled Warriors of Old", Tao Te Ching - Thomas Cleary Edition

Skilled warriors of old were subtle,
mysteriously powerful,
so deep they were unknowable,
Just because they are unknowable,
I will try to describe them.

Their wariness was as that of one crossing a river in winter,
their caution was as that of one in fear of all around,
their gravity was that of a guest,
their relaxation was as that of ice at the melting point.

Simple as uncarved wood,
open as the valleys,
they were inscrutable as murky water.

Who can, in turbidity,
use the gradual clarification of stillness?
Who can, long at rest,
use the gradual enlivening of movement?

Those who preserve this Way do not want fullness,
Just because of not wanting fullness,
it is possible to use the full and not make anew.

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