Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Dao De Jing, #74: If the People Don't Fear Death

The Dao De Jing is not only one of the world's great classics, it is one of the foundations of Philosophical Daoism. A free online version of the Dao De Jing may be found here. Today we have #74: If the People Don't Fear Death.

民不畏死、奈何以死懼之。若使民常畏死、而爲奇者、吾得執而殺之、執敢。常有司殺者殺。夫代司殺者殺、是謂代大匠 斵 。夫代大匠斷者、希有不傷其手矣。
If the people don't fear death
How will you scare them with death?
If you make the people continuously fear death
By seizing anybody who does something out of the ordinary
And killing them,
Who will dare to move?

There is always an official executioner to handle this.
If you play the role of the official executioner
It is like cutting wood in the capacity of Master Carpenter.

There are few who will not cut their hands.

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