Dao De Jing 73 – Nature of heaven, like a giant net
Courage when applied to doing kills, when applied to not-doing saves.
-> In sentiments, courage could lead to hurting and killing. In stillness, courage to refrain from participating saves. E.g. when someone hits you, courage could be used to revenge (kill), or forgive (saves).
These two could benefit or harm. Who could know what the heaven dislike? Even saints have difficulty to tell.
-> When and what to act, or not act? When to be submissive, and when to stand up? Appropriate reaction will be depend on who you ask and in what context. E.g. should you always be submissive, or always stand up? Even saints in their selves have difficulties to tell.
Heaven, do not compete but good at winning, do not speak but good at responding, do not invoke but arrive itself, broad and wise.
-> In contrast to the limited self, the Heaven, which always move, respond, exist perfectly as it is, is alone wise enough to judge (what is best for all),
It is like a giant net, coarse but covers everywhere.
-> Despite of its can’t readily be seen/heard/touch/perceived, it is everywhere and therefore have the necessary knowing to judge what’s good for all.
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Chapter 73 Discussion:
In Chinese tradition, we believe everyone ultimately will be accountable to whatever one does. As the heaven is a giant net that covers all without exception. No running away is possible, it is just a matter of time and condition when what we does comes back to us. When one does good deed, one build up one’s karmic merit which attracts blessings in one’s life and vice versa. Heaven is the universal mechanism that administer this law of attraction to us as human. While criminals could get away from the human criminal justice system, there is no getting away from the universal/divine justice system. Therefore, all great masters and teachers suggested positive deeds, this is for our own benefit.
Bilingual version of Ch73: https://www.lisiming.net/chinese-philosophy/daoist/daoist-philosophy/dao-de-jing-core-33-chapters/ddj55-79/