Tao Te Ching #50: “for them there’s no land of death”

Exiting life, we enter death.
The followers of life are three out of ten;
in the lives of the people,
the dying grounds on which they are agitated
are also three out of ten.
What is the reason?
Because of the seriousness
with which they take life as life.
It has been said
that those who maintain life well
do not meet rhinos or tigers on land
and do not arm themselves in war.
There is no way for rhinos to gore them;
there is no way for tigers to claw them;
there is no way for weapons to get at them.
Why? Because they have no dying ground.

– Thomas Cleary


Appearing means life
disappearing means death
thirteen are the followers of life
thirteen are the followers of death
but people living to live
move toward the land of death’s thirteen
and why is this so
because they live to live
it’s said that those who guard life well
aren’t injured by soldiers in battle
or harmed by rhinos or tigers in the wild
for rhinos find nowhere to stick their horns
tigers find nowhere to sink their claws
and soldiers find nowhere to thrust their spears
and why is this so
because for them there’s no land of death

– Red Pine


They come forth into life and they go to the dead:
The gateways of life are thirteen in all,
And the gateways of death the same thirteen.
But people in pursuit of life
Drive themselves to where death waits
At any of the thirteen mortal points.
And why is this?
A way of life too rich.
Men say those who secret themselves well
Will meet no gaur or tiger on the land,
Nor suffer weapon’s wound in war:
Present the gaur no place to gore them,
Nor the tiger place to claw them,
Nor the foe a place to stab them.
And why is this so?
Their mortal points are not exposed.

– Moss Roberts