81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations

Chapter 07 – Heaven and earth are enduring.

Heaven and earth are enduring. The universe can live for ever, because it does not live for itself. And so both last – outliving themselves. The sage guides his people by putting himself last. Desiring nothing for himself. he knows how to... Read More

Chapter 08 – The highest goodness, water-like

The highest goodness, water-like, Does good to everything and goes Unmurmuring to places men despise; But so, is close in nature to the Way. If the good of the house is from land, Or the good of the mind is depth, Or love is the virtue of... Read More

Chapter 09 – Better stop short than fill to the brim.

Better stop short than fill to the brim. Over sharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt. Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it. Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow. Retire when the work is done. This is the... Read More

Chapter 09 – Filling to fullness is not as good as stopping at the right moment

Filling to fullness is not as good as stopping at the right moment. Oversharpening a blade causes its edge to be lost. Line your home with treasures and you won’t be able to defend it. Amass possessions, establish positions, display your... Read More

Chapter 10 – Can you center your energy, be soft tender, and so learn to be a baby?

Can you keep your soul in its body, hold fast to the one, and so learn to be whole? Can you center your energy, be soft, tender, and so learn to be a baby? Can you keep the deep water still and clear, so it reflects without blurring? Can you love... Read More

Chapter 11 – Thirty spokes join at a hub

  Thirty spokes join at a hub: their use for the cart is where they are not. When the potter’s wheel makes a pot, the use of the pot is precisely where there is nothing. When you open the doors and windows for a room, it is where there is... Read More

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