The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedLao Tzu
Title QuotedTao Te Ching / Translated by John C.H. Wu
Date (Year/Month/Day)1961/05/19
Imprint[S.l.] : [s.n.]. 1961
QuotationPaul Sih sent me your translation of Lao Tzu, and this I like very much. I am hoping to write an article on this and the Hsien Ching, which is a beautiful little book. Your translation of the Tao Te Ching seems to me to be the best I know. I have two questions about it. In #23 the word "loss""”is it loss in a good sense, or in a bad sense? Would you enlighten me? And in #12, "The sage takes care of the belly not the eye." What is meant by "belly"? Does it by any chance correspond to the "bowels" in Scripture, i.e., the inmost heart? I enjoyed very much your last etymologies. It is very important to me to get the wonderful differences of nuance and meaning, which have tremendous importance. It is so easy for the English reader to slur over "Superior Man" and "Heavenly Man" as if they were synonymous"”especially in Taoism!!
JournalThe Hidden Ground of Love: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Experience and Social Concerns.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1985, p. 617
Link to Merton's Copy https://merton.bellarmine.edu/s/Merton/item/  [full text]