Tao Teh Ching

Eastern 'stuff' has always resonated with me more than western.  I think that so much of it has to do with the broader scope of the philosophy, the centeredness on the seeker, and right action, right mindset over right belief.  I don't believe in a 'right belief'.  Too often I have seen 'right belief' become wrong action.  I believe in the mathematics of the polarization of belief and action, so a right and a wrong cannot possible have a positive consequence.

In my excavation of my office, I came across one of my favorite books, The Complete Works of Lao Tzu; Tao Teh Ching and Hua Hu Ching, translation and elucidation by Hua-Ching Ni.  It is easy to forget that cultural overtones that are captured in the way that we express ourselves in language are not easily translatable.  I've read several different translations of Rumi's works.  While I believe the essence is captured, the nuances are flavored differently.  It is a reminder of our own unique way of representing our understanding.  We read.  Comprehend.  Integrate.  Translate. Write.  Anything after the first written word becomes part of the translator's internal world.

I write this as if I've ever translated anything.  I have not.  But being on the other end...a reader of  translated works, I see that this is so.  Observation, not critique.

One of the lovely things over books v. digital media is that they have a physical presence in our lives.  I've books all over my home--picked up in a fancy to read this or that, or fancied because I spied it.  I spied this translation under the printer stand (1).  I t must have fallen off the shelf underneath.  I have many turned over pages in my books.  This one no exception.

As I thumbed through a few of the passages that I marked, the ideals of harmony, balance, compassion, humility were featured. However this could be said of all passages in the book.  I'm glad the book fell from the shelf.

That there are such books as these written 2500+ years ago, is a reminder that the same ideals are as important today as they were then.  And dismally, that we've not progressed very far in embracing these ideals.


(1)  A nice wooden printer stand with an interior shelf from which the paper wood feed from a box underneath.  The LARGE printer (on which I have my two monitors and keyboard now) would sit on top.  Because of the feeder slot, this works perfectly for my computer set up.


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