Ch. 24. Painful Graciousness. 苦恩

posted 8 Mar 2017, 12:32 by Jim Sheng
24. He who stands on his tiptoes does not stand firm; he who stretches his legs does not walk (easily). (So), he who displays himself does not shine; he who asserts his own views is not distinguished; he who vaunts himself does not find his merit acknowledged; he who is self-conceited has no superiority allowed to him. Such conditions, viewed from the standpoint of the Tâo, are like remnants of food, or a tumour on the body, which all dislike. Hence those who pursue (the course) of the Tâo do not adopt and allow them.


苦恩 , 'Painful Graciousness.' The chapter should be so designated. This concludes the subject of the two previous chapters,-pursuing the course, the course of the unemotional Tâo without vain effort or display.

The remnants of food were not used as sacrificial offerings;--see the Lî Kî (vol. xxvii, p. 82). In what I have rendered by 'a tumour attached to the body,' the 行 is probably, by a mistake, for  形;--see a quotation by Wû Khäng from Sze-mâ Khien. "Which all dislike' is, literally, 'Things are likely to dislike them,' the 'things' being 'spirits and men,' as Wû explains the term.