Sacrifice the part & save the whole.
Bend that to make this straight.
Hollow that to make this full.
That withers, this blooms.
Lose that, gain this.
Determined then, confused now.
Thus the sages insist on the one
as archetype of everything.
Don’t show off, and you will be seen.
Don’t be a wiseacre, and you will make good judgments.
Forego self-praise, and you will receive great merit.
Forego self-importance, and you will receive enduring advantage.
Not struggling, no one can be a rival.
What the ancients called “sacrifice the part & save the whole”:
This is not empty talk.
Indeed… this saying is most whole,
returning to the Great Way (DAO).
*Translation by Wenlong Lu & Keith Wayne Brown
- Daodejing 21 (keithwaynebrown.com)
- Daodejing 23 (keithwaynebrown.com)
- Mushroom on fallen trunk (sittinginthewoods.com)
- Mindfulness = Emptiness (keithwaynebrown.com)
- Leisure to be your own self (keithwaynebrown.com)
- Harmony in the Daodejing (道德經) (themyriadthoughts.wordpress.com)
- Chen Guangcheng, Mozi, and Daoism (uselesstree.typepad.com)
- Favorite Insightful Quotes By Lao Tzu (dshenai.wordpress.com)