Up this week is Tao 9
From my favorite translation by Gia Fu Feng:
Better stop short than fill to the brim.
Oversharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt.
Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it.
Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow.
Retire when the work is done.
This is the way of heaven.
Another translation, DT Suzuki and Paul Carus 1913:
1. Grasp to the full, are you not likely foiled? Scheme too sharply, can you wear long? If gold and jewels fill the hall no one can protect it.
2. Rich and high but proud, brings about its own doom. To accomplish merit and acquire fame, then to withdraw, that is Heaven’s Way.
Suzuki and Carus called this chapter Practicing Placidity. Lao Tzu did not title the chapters originally.
Dictionary .com has placid defined as: pleasantly calm or peaceful; unruffled; tranquil; serenely quiet or undisturbed as in placid waters.
From the Latin placidus calm, quiet, akin to placēre to please.
Following Tao 9, self deprecation comes to my mind, as being modest, not boastful. Interesting that placidity is close to ‘to please’, because people are very pleased when others are self deprecating. When younger I found modesty difficult, it gets easier as I get older and find those who are much more accomplished than I. Please share any thoughts or comments. Have a great week!