Home

#31*

Powerful weapon: inauspicious instrument.
The person on the Way disapproves of such instruments.
Such are disgusting.

The worthy person in daily life respects the Left as place of honor.†
The person in time of war regards the right as place of honor.

Weapons are inauspicious instruments
not a tool of the worthy person.

When there remains no choice left but to use such tools,
be most calm.

Win the victory, but do not praise it.

The one who praises takes great delight in killing.
The one who takes great delight in killing
can never achieve his ambition under-heaven.

*Translation by LU Wenlong & Keith Wayne Brown, ©2013.
†Left hand/Right hand: This poem makes use of the standard practice in Chinese culture for seating at a banquet. The guest of honor always sits to the LEFT of the host. Here, Laozi uses a common trope to distinguish between the order of tranquil everyday life and the disorder that arises with war.

About these ads

8 thoughts on “Daodejing 31

  1. Pingback: Daodejing 33 | Reason & Existenz

  2. Pingback: Daodejing 32 | Reason & Existenz

  3. Pingback: Nothingness and Liberation | Reason & Existenz

  4. Pingback: PU or the uncarved block | Reason & Existenz

  5. Pingback: Daodejing 30 | Reason & Existenz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s