Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Tao Te Ching - Ron Hogan Style

Ron Hogan's Updated Tao Te Ching is a great colloquialized, modernized version of the Tao creating such new classic translations like:

If you toss compliments around freely,
people will waste your time
trying to impress you.
If you give things too much value,
you're going to get ripped off.
If you try to please people,
you'll just make them pissed.
The Master leads
by clearing the crap
out of people's heads
and opening their hearts.
He lowers their aspirations
and makes them suck in their guts.
He shows you how to forget
what you know and what you want,
so nobody can push you around.
If you think you've got the answers,
he'll mess with your head.
Stop doing stuff all the time,
and watch what happens.

and my personal favorite:

Don't spend too much time
thinking about stupid shit.
Why should you care
if people agree or disagree with you?
Why should you care
if others find you attractive or not?
Why should you care
about things that worry others?
Call bullshit on all that.
Let other people
get worked up
and try to enjoy themselves.
I'm not going to give myself away.
A baby doesn't know how to smile,
but it's still happy.
Let other people
get excited about stuff.
I'm not going to hang on to anything.
I'm not going to fill my mind with ideas.
I'm not going to get stuck in a rut,
tied down to any one place.
Other people are clever;
I guess I must be stupid.
Other people have goals;
I guess I must be aimless.
Like the wind. Or the waves.
I'm not like other people.
I'm getting right with Tao.

1 comment:

Tao said...

Great, well done on finding a favourite, not sure if I could get it down to one.

I do like his version a lot as very roughly there are 4 versions of translations. 1) literal, so close to Chinese as to mean nothing. 2) religious, losing meaning by tainting with the authors prejudice. 3) Flowery, all lovely but lacking the direct bluntness of Lau Tzu. 4) This unique Tao of Tarantino, Pulp Ching, which is up there with the best.