Dao De Jing 13
Favor & disgrace are feared equally,
Honor is a great misfortune, like the bodily self.
What does it mean to say “favor & disgrace are feared equally”?
Favor is joined with disgrace, obtaining it leads to fear of losing it, losing it leads to more fear—this is what is meant by saying “favor & disgrace are feared equally”.
What does it mean to say “honor is a great misfortune, like the bodily self”?
I am subject to great misfortune because I have a bodily self, & if I had no bodily self, what misfortune could come to me?
Thus, whoever would give his bodily self for the world’s honor, whoever would give the world the same love he gives his bodily self, may be entrusted with the world.
Translation by John Hayes
The translation is is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.Unlike with my original poetry & poetry translations, I don’t asset a copyright claim on my translation of the Dao De Jing. It may be freely used under the terms of the Creative Commons license.
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