2012-05-19

Saturdao 20

Dao De Jing, verse 13a

16 translations.

1. James Legge:
Favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared;
honour and great calamity, to be regarded as personal conditions (of the same kind).
What is meant by speaking thus of favour and disgrace? Disgrace is being in a low position (after the enjoyment of favour).
The getting that (favour) leads to the apprehension (of losing it), and the losing it leads to the fear of (still greater calamity):--
this is what is meant by saying that favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared.
2. Archie Bahm:
Pride and shame cause us much fearful anxiety.
But our inner peace and distress should be our primary concerns.
Why do pride and shame cause us so much fearful anxiety?
Because:
Pride attaches undue importance to the superiority of one’s status in the eyes of others;
And shame is fear of humiliation at one’s inferior status in the estimation of others.
When one sets his heart on being highly esteemed, and achieves such rating, then he is automatically involved in fear of losing his status.
Then protection of his status appears to be his most important need. And humiliation seems the worst of all evils.
This is the reason pride and shame cause us so much fearful anxiety.
3. Frank MacHovec:
It is said: “Both good fortune and misfortune cause tension. The creative and the destructive exist equally in the mind.
What is meant by “Good fortune and misfortune cause tension”? Those with good fortune are tense anticipating their gift; those with misfortune are tense lamenting their loss.
4. D.C. Lau:
Favor and disgrace are things that startle;
High rank is, like one's body, a source of great trouble.
What is meant by saying favor and disgrace are things that startle?
Favor when it is bestowed on a subject serves to startle as much as when it is withdrawn.
This is what is meant by saying that favor and disgrace are things that startle.
5. Gia-Fu Feng:
Accept disgrace willingly.
Accept misfortune as the human condition.
What do you mean by “Accept disgrace willingly”?
Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with loss or gain.
This is called “accepting disgrace willingly.”
6. Stan Rosenthal:
“Unmoved and Unmoving”
The ordinary man seeks honour, not dishonour, cherishing success and abominating failure, loving life, whilst fearing death. The sage does not recognise these things, so lives his life quite simply.
7. Jacob Trapp:
“Without Fear or Favor”
Failure dogs the footsteps of success:
Only the high in rank
Need fear demotion.
Disgrace haunts recipients of favors:
Only they who court gain
Need fear the shame of loss.
8. Stephen Mitchell:
Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.
What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
your position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.
9. Victor Mair:
“Being favored is so disgraceful that it startles,
Being honored is an affliction as great as one’s body,”
What is the meaning of “Being favored is so disgraceful that it startles”?
Favor is debasing;
To find it is startling,
To lose it is startling.
This is the meaning of “Being favored is so disgraceful that it startles.”
10. Michael LaFargue:
“Favor and disgrace: this means being upset
High rank does great damage to your self.”
What does it mean,
“favor and disgrace: this means being upset”?
Favor is degrading:
Gaining it you will be upset
Losing it you will be upset.
This is what it means,

“favor and disgrace: this means being upset.”
11. Peter Merel:
"Self"
Both praise and blame cause concern,
For they bring people hope and fear.
The object of hope and fear is the self -
For, without self, to whom may fortune and disaster occur?
12. Ursula LeGuin:
“Shameless”
To be in favor or disgrace
Is to live in fear.
To take the body seriously
Is to admit one can suffer.
What does that mean,
To be in favor or disgrace
Is to live in fear?
Favor debases:
We fear to lost it,
Fear to win it.
So to be in favor or disgrace is to live in fear.
13. Ron Hogan:
Winning can be just as bad as losing.
Confidence can mess you up
just as much as fear.
What does
"winning can be just as bad as losing" mean?
If you're down,
you might be able to get up.
But if you're up,
you can get knocked down real fast.
Don't worry about the score,
just do what you have to do.
14. Ames and Hall:
“Favor and disgrace are cause for alarm.”
“Value your gravest anxieties as you do your own person.”
What does it mean in saying “Favor and disgrace are both cause for alarm?”
It means that whenever favor is bestowed, both gaining it and losing it should be cause for alarm.
15. Yasuhiko Genku Kimura:
Honor and disgrace both startle people.
Undue significance is attached to such tribulations
as though they were matters of life and death.
Honor and disgrace both startle people,
Because honor means higher and disgrace means lower, in the opinion of others.
Hence, they become startled with pleasure when honor is given,
And they become startled with displeasure when honor is taken away.
16. Addiss and Lombardo:
Favor and disgrace are like fear.
Honor and distress are like the self.
What does this mean?
Favor debases us.
Afraid when we get it,
Afraid when we lose it.
* * *
The two calamites: (1) honor and admiration, (2) disgrace and insult.
How to steer between these two catastrophes, avoid them both?
Regard and respond to all things with the same seriousness and respect.
How to cope with them, should either, despite best efforts, occur?
Regard and respond to all things with the same seriousness and respect.

* * *
See: Saturdao Index