With all the intense oppositional conviction in the media about who’s right and what’s wrong this really resonated for me.
From a new translation of Tao Te Ching by Victor H. Mair based on the recently discovered Ma-Wang-Tui manuscripts.
Between “yes sir” and “certainly not!”
how much difference is there?
Between beauty and ugliness,
how great is the distinction?
He whom others fear,
likewise cannot but fear others.
there is no end to it all!
Joyful are the masses,
as though feasting after the great sacrifice of oxen,
or mounting a terrace in spring.
Motionless am I
without any sign,
as a baby that has yet to gurgle
as though having nowhere to return.
The masses all have more than enough;
I alone am bereft.
I have the heart of a fool.
The ordinary man is luminously clear,
I alone seem confused.
The ordinary man is searchingly exact,
I alone am vague and uncertain.
as the ocean;
as though without boundary.
The masses all have a purpose,
I alone am stubborn and uncouth.
I desire to be uniquely different from others
by honoring the mother who nourishes.