Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching Chapter 13

Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 13

J Legge

Favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared; honour and great calamity, to be regarded as personal conditions (of the same kind).

What is meant by speaking thus of favour and disgrace? Disgrace is being in a low position (after the enjoyment of favour). The getting that (favour) leads to the apprehension (of losing it), and the losing it leads to the fear of (still greater calamity):–this is what is meant by saying that favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared.

And what is meant by saying that honour and great calamity are to be (similarly) regarded as personal conditions? What makes me liable to great calamity is my having the body (which I call myself); if I had not the body, what great calamity could come to me?

Therefore he who would administer the kingdom, honouring it as he honours his own person, may be employed to govern it, and he who would administer it with the love which he bears to his own person may be entrusted with it.

Back to Top    Back to Main Index

 

 Tao Te Ching Chapter 13

J H McDonald

Success is as dangerous as failure,
and we are often our own worst enemy.

What does it mean that success is as dangerous as failure?
He who is superior is also someone’s subordinate.
Receiving favor and loosing it both cause alarm.
That is what is meant by success is as dangerous as failure.
What does it mean that we are often our own worst enemy?
The reason I have an enemy is because I have “self”.
If I no longer had a “self”, I would no longer have an enemy.

Love the whole world as if it were your self;
then you will truly care for all things.

Back to Top  Back to Main Index

 

 Tao Te Ching Chapter 13

Lin Yutang

Favor and disgrace cause one dismay;
What we value and what we fear are within our Self.”

What does this mean:
“Favor and disgrace cause one dismay?”
Those who receive a favor from above
Are dismayed when they receive it,
And dismayed when they lose it.

What does this mean:
“What we value and what we fear are within our Self?”
We have fears because we have a self.
When we do not regard that self as self,
What have we to fear?

Therefore he who values the world as his self
May then be entrusted with the government of the world;
And he who loves the world as his self –
The world may then be entrusted to his care.

Back to Top  Back to Main Index