06 March 2011

Transformation by Love – Beyond Conqueror .... DaoDeJing 49

Typical worldly wisdom is ‘an eye for an eye’ or ‘a tooth for a tooth’. Chinese Sword Fighting story books are full of taking revenge on one another. However, in Chinese Classics, we don’t find that teaching!  Confucius taught us to “repay injury with justice and to repay kindness for kindness”. (Original Chinese Text is 或曰‘以德報怨、何如’. 子曰‘何以報德、以直報怨、以德報德’.
That is not as effective as what Lao Zi’s taught in Dao De Jing verse 49 as follows:
聖人無常心。 以百姓心為心。
善者吾善之。 不善者吾亦善之 德善
信者吾信之。 不信者吾亦信之、 德信。
聖人在天下歙歙焉, 為天下渾其心。
百姓皆注其耳目, 聖人皆孩之。
The wise man has not the normal heart for oneself. His heart is for the hearts of the people.
Those that are kind, I am kind to them. Those that are unkind, I am also kind to them. Hence, kindness is gained (i.e. unkindness is transformed by kindness; a stronger translation could be ‘that is the virtue of kindness’)
Those that are faithful, I am faithful to them. Those that are unfaithful, I am still faithful to them. Faithfulness is obtained.

Wise man consider the society and restrict and muddied his own desire.(i.e. no desire of his own)
The people focus their eyes and ears to see and hear. Wise man guide and care for them as upbringing of children.
Lao Zi believed that the better way to conquer an enemy is by transformation of the heart by kindness and faithfulness from enemy to friends. This will have a long-lasting result and there will no need for use of force.  So, I have named it ‘Beyond Conqueror’. This is very much like the “Love your enemy’ teaching of Jesus.

We have a historical example of this. In the history of the Three Kingdom, Kong Ming captured and released the chief of the enemy of the South(present day Yun Nan) seven times and eventually gained the heart and support of the chief. This allows him to concentrate his forces to move north without worrying about the defense on the south.

See also Chapter 67 Love is the most Powerful and also Chapter 63.


For related topics of wisdom according to Ancient Chinese see Chinese Wisdom.

Lim Liat Copyrighted 2010
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