Saturdao 13

Dao De Jing, verse 8b

16 translations

1. James Legge:
The excellence of a residence is in (the suitability of) the place;
that of the mind is in abysmal stillness; that of associations is in
their being with the virtuous; that of government is in its securing
good order; that of (the conduct of) affairs is in its ability; and
that of (the initiation of) any movement is in its timeliness.
And when (one with the highest excellence) does not wrangle (about
his low position), no one finds fault with him.
2. Archie Bahm:
If experience teaches that houses should be build close to the ground,
That friendship should be based upon sympathy and good will,
That good government employs peaceful means of regulation,
That business is more successful if it employs efficient methods,
That wise behavior adapts itself appropriately to the particular circumstances,
All this is because these are the easiest ways.
If one proceeds naturally, without ambition or envy, everything works out for the best.
3. Frank MacHovec:
In the home the truly wise love the humble earth, the foundation on which the home it built; in the heart they love what is genuine; in friendship they are compassionate; in words they are sincere; in government they foster peace and good will; in business they work with quiet efficiency.
Serenity is the goal of Tao; through it nothing is lost.
4. D.C. Lau
In a home it is the site that matters;
In quality of mind it is depth that matters;
In an ally it is benevolence that matters;
In speech it is good faith that matters;
In government it is order that matters;
In affairs it is ability that matters;
In action it is timeliness that matters.
It is because it does not contend that it is never at fault.
5. Gia-Fu Feng:
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In business, be competent.
In action, watch the timing.
No fight: No blame.
6. Stan Rosenthal:
“The Way of Water”
Like water, the sage abides in a humble place;
in meditation, without desire; in thoughtfulness, he is profound, and in his dealings, kind.
In speech, sincerity guides the man of Tao, and as a leader, he is just.
In management, competence is his aim, and he ensures the pacing is correct.
Because he does not act for his own ends, nor cause unnecessary conflict,
he is held to be correct in his actions towards his fellow man.
7. Jacob Trapp:
“Like Water”
The Sage in his heart loves what is lowly;
in his thought he loves what is profound;
In relations with others he loves kindness;
He himself abides by the good order
He would have others observe.
Neither slothful nor strenuous,
He so times his actions and engagements
As not to be wasteful of energy or opportunity.
His words convey confidence.
He does not contend with others,
And thus lives peacefully with them.
8. Stephen Mitchell:
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.
9. Victor Mair
The quality of an abode is in its location,
The quality of the heart is in its depths,
The quality of giving lies in trust,
The quality of correct governance lies in orderly rule,
The quality of an enterprise depends on ability,
The quality of movement depends on timing.
It is precisely because one does not compete that there is no blame.
10. Michael LaFargue:
Excellence in a house: the ground
“Excellence in a mind: depth
Excellence in companions: Goodness
Excellence in speaking: sincerity
Excellence in setting things right: good management
Excellence on the job: ability
Excellence in making a move: good timing.”
Simply do not contend
then there will be no fault.
11. Peter Merel:
So the sage:
Lives within nature,
Thinks within the deep,
Gives within impartiality,
Speaks within trust,
Governs within order,
Crafts within ability,
Acts within opportunity.
He does not contend, and none contend against him.
12. Ursula LeGuin:
“Easy by nature”
For a house,
the good thing is level ground.
In thinking,
depth is good.
The good of giving is magnanimity;
of speaking, honesty;
of government, order.
The good of work is skill,
and of action, timing.
No competition,
so no blame.
13. Ron Hogan:
Keep your feet on the ground.
Remember what's important.
Be there when people need you.
Say what you mean.
Be prepared for anything.
Do whatever you can,
whenever it needs doing.
If you don't
compare yourself to others,
nobody can compare to you.
14. Ames and Hall:
In dwelling, the question is where is the right place.
In thinking and feeling, it is how deeply.
In giving, it is how much like nature's bounty.
In speaking, it is how credibly.
In governing, it is how effectively.
In serving, it is how capably.
In acting, it is how timely.
It is only because there is no contentiousness in proper way-making
That it incurs no blame.
15. Yasuhiko Genku Kimura:
In dwelling, be grounded,
In thinking, be deep,
In giving, be balanced,
In speaking, be truthful,
In governing, be orderly,
In working, be competent,
In action, be timely,
In following the virtues of water,
The Sage contends with no one,
And therefore he invites no troubles in life.
16. Addiss and Lombardo:
Live in a good place.
Keep your mind deep.
Treat others well.
Stand by your word.
Keep good order.
Do the right thing.
Work when it’s time.
Only do not contend, And you will not go wrong.
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Our lives:
A place to live;
thoughts and feelings;
friends, giving;
reflecting upon the policies that govern us;
work, business, affairs;
making one-time decisions (as distinct from policy-making and routine work).
That's pretty much it, isn't it?
"If one proceeds naturally, without ambition or envy, everything works out for the best."

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See: Saturdao Index