81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations

Chapter 50 – On leaving life, to enter death


On leaving life, to enter death:
Thirteen members form a living body;
A corpse has thirteen, too:
Thirteen spots by which a man may pass
From life to death. Why so?
Because his way of life
Is much too gross.

As I have heard, the man who knows
On land how best to be at peace
Will never meet a tiger or a buffalo;
In battle, weapons do not touch his skin.
There is no place the tiger’s claws can grip;
Or with his horn, the buffalo can jab;
Or where the soldier can insert his sword.
Why so? In him there is no place of death.


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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