Thursday, December 13, 2018

can you

2nd century BC Ink-on-silk manuscript of the Tao Te Ching

Can you keep your soul in its body,
hold fast to the one,
and so learn to be whole?
Can you center your energy,
be soft, tender,
and so learn to be a baby?

Can you keep the deep water still and clear,
so it reflects without blurring?
Can you love people and run things,
and do so by not doing?

Opening, closing the Gate of Heaven,
can you be like a bird with her nestlings?
Piercing bright through the cosmos,
can you know by not knowing?

To give birth, to nourish,
to bear and not to own,
to act and not lay claim,
to lead and not to rule:
this is mysterious power.

~   Lao Tzu
 from Tao Te Ching
 version by Ursula K. Le Guin
with thanks to brain pickings


jacquin said...

Also a fascinating translation. I'd forgotten about this, was going to follow up when the brainpickings piece came out. Thanks for the reminder!