Daodejing 33


Knowing others: lucidity.
Knowing self: brilliance.†

Defeating others: strength.
Defeating self: discipline.

Contentedness: wealth.
Perseverance: will.

Never losing self: endurance.
Dead yet unforgotten: longevity.

The characters translated in these two lines both contain the glyph for sun. Lucidity is the combination of “know” and “sun”. Brilliance is the combination of moon and sun. Common translations for the two might be “intelligence” and “wisdom” respectively. Wenlong and I discussed the import of the sun being in each character. For that reason, we decided to use English terms that actually are rooted in words of light. 

*Translation by LU Wenlong & Keith Wayne Brown, ©2013.


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