Tao Te Ching #55: “Knowing how to be balanced we endure, knowing how to endure we become wise”

The richness of subliminal virtue
is comparable to an infant:
poisonous creatures do not sting it,
wild beasts do not claw it,
predatory birds do not grab it.
Its tendons are flexible,
yet its grip is firm.
Even while it knows not the mating of male and female,
its genitals get aroused;
this is the epitome of vitality.
It can cry all day without choking or getting hoarse;
this is the epitome of harmony.
Knowing harmony is called constancy,
knowing constancy is called clarity;
enhancing life is called propitious,
the mind mastering energy is called strong.
When beings climax in power, they wane;
this is called being unguided.
The unguided die early.

– Thomas Cleary


He who possesses virtue in abundance
resembles a newborn child
wasps don’t sting him
beasts don’t claw him
birds of pretty don’t carry him off
his bones are weak and his tendons soft
yet his grip is firm
he hasn’t known the union of sexes
yet his penis is stiff
so full of essence is he
he cries all day
yet never gets hoarse
his breath is so perfectly balanced
knowing how to be balanced we endure
knowing how to endure we become wise
while those who lengthen their life tempt luck
and those who force their breath become strong
but once things mature they become old
this isn’t the Way
what isn’t the Way ends early

– Red Pine


Who holds within the fullest power
To a newborn may compare,
Which no insect stings,
No wild beast seizes,
No taloned bird snatches.
Though soft-boned and weak-limbed, its grip is firm.
Before it ever knows of intercourse,
Its standing phallus allows its full life force.
It cries all day without a loss of voice,
A sign of its perfect balance.
Knowing balance means constant norm;
Knowing the norm means inner vision;
Enhancing life means good fortune;
Mind controlling spirit means inner strength.
“Beware old age in pride of manly might,”
For that means working against the Way.
“Work against the Way, die before your day.”

– Moss Roberts