81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations

Chapter 28 – Know masculinity, Maintain femininity

Know masculinity,
Maintain femininity,
and be a ravine for all under heaven.

By being a ravine for all under heaven,
Eternal integrity will never desert you.
If eternal integrity never deserts you,
You will return to the state of infancy.

Know you are innocent,
Remain steadfast when insulted,
and be a valley for all under heaven.
By being a valley for all under heaven,
Eternal integrity will suffice.
If eternal integrity suffices,
You will return to the simplicity of the unhewn log.

Know whiteness,
Maintain blackness,
and be a model for all under heaven.
By being a model for all under heaven,
Eternal integrity will not err.
If eternal integrity does not err,
You will return to infinity.

When the unhewn log is sawn apart,
it is made into tools;
When the sage is put to use,
he becomes the chief of officials.
For Great carving does no cutting.

Support Author: Victor H. Mair
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Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu

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