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Tao Te Ching Chapter 4 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





The Tao is (like) the emptiness of a vessel; and in our

employment of it we must be on our guard against all fulness. How deep and unfathomable it is, as if it were the Honoured Ancestor of all things!


We should blunt our sharp points, and unravel the complications of things; we should attemper our brightness, and bring ourselves into agreement with the obscurity of others. How pure and still the Tao is, as if it would ever so continue!


I do not know whose son it is. It might appear to have been before God.

The Tao is like a well:

used but never used up.

It is like the eternal void:

filled with infinite possibilities.


It is hidden but always present.

I don't know who gave birth to it.

It is older than God.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell







 

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