Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Witter Bynner

(Emanuel Morgan)

1881 – 1968 CE

Translator, poet, and scholar; Bynner traveled and lived in China, intensely studied Chinese culture, and worked for 11 years translating T'ang Dynasty poems. A student of George Santayana at Harvard, he was a conscientious objector during World War I, and championed the women’s suffrage movement. Writing more than 39 books himself, he also actively supported poets and artists becoming friends with D.H. Lawrence, Georgia O'Keeffe, Carl Sandburg, Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, Igor Stravinsky, Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, and Aldous Huxley. Sponsoring Kahlil Gibran, he helped him publish The Prophet.

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The Way of Life

The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu

Quotes by Witter Bynner (14 quotes)

“A sound leader's aim is to open people's hearts.”

from Way of Life According to Lao Tzu

Chapters: 3. Weak Wishes, Strong Bones

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“A sound man... by never being an end in himself... endlessly becomes himself.”

Chapters: 7. Lose Yourself, Gain Your Soul

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“The universe... is always emptying, always full; the more it yields, the more it holds.”

Chapters: 5. Christmas Trees

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“Man at his best, like water… loves living close to the earth, living clear down in his heart.”

Chapters: 8. Like Water

Themes: Virtue Water

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“Man at his best loves the pick of words that tell the truth, the fair profit of able dealings.”

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“Surrounded by treasure, you lie ill at ease; proud beyond measure, you come to your knees”

Chapters: 9. Know When to Stop

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“Be living, not dying.”

Themes: Death and Dying

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“When a person no longer confuses a personal body with self and recognizes all people as members of their own body, neither failure or success can bother them and they become safe to guide and guard others.”

Chapters: 13. Honor and Disgrace

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“[Taoism is] the straightest, most logical explanation as yet advanced for the continuance of life, the most logical use yet advised for enjoying it.”

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“the straightest, most logical explanation as yet advanced for the continuance of life, the most logical use yet advised for enjoying it.”

from The Way of Life

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“It is a fair guess that neither the great Indian nor the great Jew would have found anything unacceptable in Lao Tzu's mystical uses, which have been made no more mystical by the one, no more useful by the other.”

from The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu

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“Confucius had the wisdom to forbid that a religion be based on his personality or codes; and his injunction against graven images has fared better than a similar injunction in the Ten Commandment. Hence Confucius continues unchanged as a realistic philosopher, an early pragmatist, while Lao Tzu and Jesus, his ethical fellows, have been tampered with by prelates, have been more and more removed from human living and relegated as mystics to a supernatural world.”

from The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu

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“Lao Tzu knew that organization and institution interfere with man's responsibility to himself and therefore with his proper use of life... yet Taoism in China is a cult compounded of devils and derelicts, a priest-ridden clutter of superstitions founded on ignorance and fear... Lao Tzu's simple, delighted awareness of the way of life has been twisted into a quest for the philosopher's stone.”

from The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu

Themes: Taoism

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“Confucius so ritualized his ethical culture that conduct of life took on forms similar to those of religion, whereas Lao Tzu spurned both religious and civil ceremony as misleading and harmful, his faith and conduct depending upon no outward prop but upon inner accord with the conscience of the universe.”

from The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu

Themes: Confucianism

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Quotes about Witter Bynner (1 quotes)

“a good amount of first-class Chinese poetry has been translated into English, with much fidelity and spirit, by several distinguished people; Witter Bynner and Lionel Giles come most readily to mind.”

J. D. Salinger 1919 – 2010 CE
from Raise High the Roof Beams, Seymour an Introduction

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