81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations

Chapter 20 – Be done with rote learning

Be done with rote learning
And its attendant vexations; For is there distinction Of a “yes” from a “yea” Comparable now to the gulf Between evil and good?

What all men fear, I too must fear”- How barren and pointless a thought!
The reveling of multitudes At the feast of Great Sacrifice, Or up on the terrace At carnival in spring, Leave me, alas, unmoved, alone, Like a child that has never smiled. Lazily, I drift As though I had no home.

All others have enough to spare; I am the one left out. I have the mind of a fool, Muddled and confused!

When common people scintillate I alone make shadows. Vulgar folks are sharp and knowing: Only I am melancholy. Restless like the ocean, Blown about, I cannot stop.
Other men can find employment, But I am stubborn; I am mean. Alone I am and different, Because I prize and seek My sustenance from the Mother!

Support Author: R. B. Blakney
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The Way of Life: Tao Te Ching: The Classic Translation (Signet Classics) by Lao-Tzu

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