Lin declares both Heaven and Earth everlasting (i.e. lasting forever or a very long time) while Dyer uses the term “eternal” to describe Heaven (i.e. without beginning or end) and the term “endure” to describe Earth (i.e. suffer, something painful or difficult, patiently).
Is there significance to these differences in terms? Eternal and everlasting connote the ethereal while endure inspires mortal fortitude. Although Dyer uses the word endure, it is Lin who emphasizes emulation by suggesting we discard selfish desires and self-centeredness and, instead, mirror Heaven and Earth functionally and somehow our service to others leads to longevity.
Both Lin and Dyer suggest that sages putting themselves last results in their coming in first. But, without reasoning, this seems to be merely an inspiration to an aspiration. Again, Dyer uses the term endure, which is, I think, the most important concept in this verse. Through prolonged and persevering purity, good things shall come. But when we pursue good things only, our motives are corrupt, and our ends fail to be satisfactory. Not very sagely.
Again, Lin’s commentary infuses his gossamer translation with linguistic tangibles. Using terms such as genuine, inspire, humility, memories and reverence – Lin fleshes out the sentiments the vague exhortation – to place oneself last in order to elevate oneself to first. Such a sagely practice surely elevates one above a community largely concerned and consumed by achievement and goals.
lines of each translation both address selflessness. Lin refers to achievement
and goals. Dyer talks of needs and fulfillment. Lin’s terms strike me as
artificial, manmade; while Dyer’s touching terms connect more viscerally. However,
Lin’s commentary on his translation again bring the verse to life. Noting that
the translation is a paradox, he emphasizes that the sacrifice referred to
means ego, not physical body. He does this by underscoring being a good
example, contenting with the humble and remaining unknown. When words become
knowledge and knowledge becomes a living example, a life becomes eternal
through intangible values. Miraculous in this day, indeed.