Chapter 25

Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing)
Classic of the Way and Virtue



By Lao Tzu (Laozi)


Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California

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Chapter 25

Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu

 

 

English and Chinese (Wade-Giles) Terms:  Giving it a Name, Wondrous and Complete, Heaven (t'ien), Earth (ti), Imaging the Mysterious, Being What It Is, Distant or Far Away (yüan), Region or Realm (), Unchanging, Mother (mu), Revolves or Operates (hsing), Law of Tao, Forced or Compelled (ch'iang), Alone or Solitary (tu), Greatness, Undefiled, Describing the Mysterious, Love or Protect (tzu), Confused or Chaotic or Nebulous (hun), Middle or Within (chung), Can or Able (k'o), Formless or Void (liao), Returning or Revert (fan), Flow, Eternal, Home, Great (ta), Reason, Natural (jan), Silent or Tranquil (chi), Boundless, Born or Birth (shéng), Powers, Tao, Whole or Complete (ch'êng), Life, Change or Alter (kai), Origin, Inherent Nature, Self-Existent, Become (wei), Know or Knowledge (chih), Indescribable, Dao, Tired or Weary (tai), Call or Say (yüeh), One or Unity (yi), Incomprehensible, Inscrutable, King or Royalty (wang), Inexhaustible, Follow or Imitate (fa), Name or Character (ming), Continuing or Receding (shih), Dwell or Occupy (chü), Everywhere or Surround (chou), Energy,  象元 


Términos en Español:  Maravillosa, Completa, el Cielo, la Tierra, Imágenes, Misteriosa, la Madre, la Ley del Tao, la grandeza, sin Mancha, Describiendo el Misterioso, sin Forma, Forzado, Vacío, Flujo, Eterno, Casa, Silencio, Tranquilo, Ilimitado, Caos, Desorden, Potestades, Tao, Todo, Entero, Total, Gran, Convertirse en, Vida, Medio, Origen, Nombre, Conocimiento, Gira, Cansado, Solitario, Cambio, Naturaleza Inherente, Nacido, Auto-Existente, Unidad, Imitar, Llamada, Indescriptible, Dao, Amor, Incomprensible, Capaz, Inescrutable, Inagotable, con Entradas, en Todos Partes, Natural, Distante, Rey, Retorno, Lejano, Energía.   

 

 

"There was something undefined and complete, coming into existence before Heaven and Earth.
How still it was and formless, standing alone, and undergoing no change, reaching everywhere and in no danger of being exhausted!
It may be regarded as the Mother of all things.
I do not know its name, and I give it the designation of the Tao. 
Making an effort to give it a name, I call it The Great.
Great, it passes on in constant flow.  
Passing on, it becomes remote.
Having become remote, it returns.
Therefore the Tao is great, Heaven is great, Earth is great, and the sage king is also great.
In the universe there are four that are great, and the sage king is one of them.
Man takes his law from the Earth.
Earth takes its law from Heaven.
Heaven takes its law from the Tao.
The law of the Tao is its being what it is."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 25 

 

 

"There was a chaotic something, yet lacking nothing born before Heaven and Earth.
Alone.
Still.
Standing alone, unchanging.
Revolving, endlessly.
It can be thought of as Mother of the World.
I do not know its name, one can call it 'Tao.'
The name of its powerful presence: One can call it 'The Great One.'
Great means going forth going forth means going far away going far away means turning back.
Yes: Tao is great Heaven is great Earth is great the king is also great in the universe
there are four great ones and the king takes his place as one of them.
Earth gives the rule for people Heaven gives the rule for Earth
Tao gives the rule for Heaven the rule for Tao: things as they are."
-  Translated by Michael LaFargue, 1992, Chapter 25   

 

 

"Before creation a prescience existed,
Self-contained, complete,
Formless, voiceless, mateless,
Changeless,
Which yet pervaded itself
With unending motherhood.
Though there can be no name for it,
I have called it 'the way of life.'
Perhaps I should have called it 'the fullness of life,'
Since fullness implies widening into space,
Implies still further widening,
Implies widening until the circle is whole.
In this sense
The way of life is fulfilled,
Heaven is fulfilled,
Earth fulfilled
And a fit man also is fulfilled:
These are the four amplitudes of the universe
And a fit man is one of them:
Man rounding the way of earth,
Earth rounding the way of heaven,
Heaven rounding the way of life
Till the circle is full."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 25 

 

 

"There is a Being wondrous and complete. Before heaven and earth, it was.
How calm it is! How spiritual! 
Alone it standeth, and it changeth not; around it moveth, and it suffereth not; yet therefore can it be the world's mother.  
Its name I know not, but its nature I call Reason.  
Constrained to give a name, I call it the great.
The great I call the departing, and the departing I call the beyond.
The beyond I call home.  
The saying goes: "Reason is great, heaven is great, earth is great, and royalty also is great.
There are four things in the world that are great, and royalty is one of them.  
Man's standard is the earth.
The earth's standard is heaven.
Heaven's standard is Reason.
Reason's standard is intrinsic." 
-  Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 25 

 

 

"Before the world was
And the sky was filled with stars . . .
There was a strange, unfathomable Body.
This Being, this Body is silent
and beyond all substance and sensing.

It stretches beyond everything spanning the empyrean.
It has always been here, and it always will be.

Everything comes from it, and then it is the Mother of Everything.
I do not know its name. So I call it Tao.

I am loath to call it 'greater than everything', but it is.
And being greater, it infuses all things moving far out and returning to the Source.

Tao is Great,
Tao, the Great!

It is greater than Heaven,
Greater than the Earth -
Greater than the king.
These are the four great things, and the ruler is the least of them.

Humanity is schooled by the Earth;
Earth is taught by Heaven,
And Heaven is guided by the Tao.

And the Tao goes with what is absolutely natural."
-  Translated by Man Ho Kwok, Martin Palmer, and Jay Ramsay, 1993, Chapter 25  

 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

    

 

 

Revealing the Tao Te Ching: In-Depth Commentaries on an Ancient Classic  By Hu Xuzehi
Tao Te Ching  Annotated translation by Victor Mair  
Reading Lao Tzu: A Companion to the Tao Te Ching with a New Translation  By Ha Poong Kim
The Philosophy of the Daodejing  By Hans-Georg Moeller  

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices   By Mike Garofalo

Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation  By Roger T. Ames and David T. Hall
Tao Te Ching on The Art of Harmony   By Chad Hansen. 
The Way and Its Power: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching and Its Place in Chinese Thought   By Arthur Waley

 

                             

 

 

 

"There was Something formed from chaos, which came into being before Heaven and Earth.
Silent and boundless it stands alone, and never changes.
It pervades every place, and incurs no danger of being impaired.
It may be called the Mother of the Universe.
I know not its name; but its designation is Tao. 
If forced to call it something, I will call it great.
Being great, it moves ever onward; and thus I say that it is remote.
Being remote, I say that it returns. 
Therefore Tao is great; Heaven is great; Earth is great; and the King also is great.
In the Universe there are four things that are great, and the King is one of them.
Man regulates himself by the Earth; Earth regulates itself by Heaven.
Heaven regulates itself by Tao; and Tao regulates itself by its own inherent nature—or, spontaneously."
-  Translated by Frederic H. Balfour, 1884, Chapter 25   

 

 

Cloud Hands Blog

 

 

"Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and Earth.
In the silence and the void,
Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.
Being great, it flows
I flows far away.
Having gone far, it returns.
Therefore, "Tao is great;
Heaven is great;
Earth is great;
The king is also great."
These are the four great powers of the universe,
And the king is one of them.
Man follows Earth.
Earth follows heaven.
Heaven follows the Tao.
Tao follows what is natural."
-  Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English, 1989, Chapter 25

 

 

"Even before the earth and the sky existed,
there was already something
something not material, something silent.
Something free -- dependent on nothing, being nothing in itself,
empty and silent, everywhere yet unchanging and inexhaustible.
What was there before the Big Bang?
One can think of it as the pre-origin of the universe,
or god or goddess, or natural law, or physics.
Still, it really has no name.
The way, or the Dao, is simply the nickname I give it.
If I felt compelled to call it something else,
I'd call it "great" because it extends forever
and in going on forever,
it returns back to itself.

The Dao is great, so is the sky, the earth,
and also the human being.
In the universe there are four great things,
and humanity is one of them.

Humanity follows the nature of the earth,
earth follows the nature of the sky,
the sky follows the nature of the Dao,
and the Dao follows its own way -- naturally."
-  Translated by Tom Kunesh, Chapter 25  

 

 

 

Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living  Translated by Eva Wong
The Daodejing of Laozi   Translated by Philip Ivahoe 
Daoism: A Beginner's Guide   By James Miller
Early Daoist Scriptures  Translated by Stephen Bokencamp
Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons
Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance  By Alexander and Annellen Simpkins
Practical Taoism  Translated by Thomas Cleary
Daoism and Chinese Culture  By Livia Kohn

 

                                       

 

 

 

"Before the Heaven and Earth existed
There was something nebulous:
Silent, isolated,
Standing alone, changing not,
Eternally revolving without fail,
Worthy to be the Mother of All Things.
I do not know its name
And address it as Tao.
If forced to give it a name, I shall call it "Great."
Being great implies reaching out in space,
Reaching out in space implies far-reaching,
Far-reaching implies reversion to the original point.
Therefore:
Tao is Great,
The Heaven is great,
The Earth is great,
The King is also great.
There are the Great Four in the universe,
And the King is one of them.
Man models himself after the Earth;
The Earth models itself after Heaven;
The Heaven models itself after Tao;
Tao models itself after nature."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 25  

 

 

 

A Chinese Language Version of Chapter 25 of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
A note on my style of displaying the Chinese characters of the Tao Te Ching

 

 

有物混成.
先天地生.
寂兮.
兮獨立不改.
周行而不殆.
可以為天下母.
吾不知其名.
字之曰道.
強為之名曰大.
大曰逝.
逝曰遠.
遠曰反.
故道大, 天大, 地大, 王亦大.
域中有四大, 而王居其一焉.
人法地.
地法天天法道.
道法自然.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 25

 

 

yu wu hun ch'êng.
hsien t'ien ti shêng.
chi hsi.
liao hsi tu li pu kai.
chou hsing erh pu tai.
k'o yi wei t'ien hsia mu.
wu erh chuh ch'i ming.
tzu chih yüeh tao.
ch'iang wei chih ming yüeh ta.
ta yüeh shih.
shih yüeh yüan.
yüan yüeh fan
ku tao ta, t'ien ta, ti ta, wang yi ta.
yü chung yu ssu ta, erh wang chü ch'i yi yen.
jên fa ti.
ti fa t'ien t'ien fa tao.
tao fa tzu jan.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 25

 

Audio Version in Chinese of Chapter 25 of the Tao Te Ching

 

you wu hun cheng.
xian tian di sheng.
ji xi.
liao xi du li bu gai.
zhou xing er bu dai.
ke yi wei tian di mu.
wu bu zhi qi ming.
zi zhi yue dao.
qiang wei zhi ming yue da.
da yue shi.
shi yue yuan.
yuan yue fan.
gu dao da, tian da, di da, ren yi da.
yu zhong you si da, er ren ju qi yi yan.
ren fa di.
di fa tian tian fa dao.,
dao fa zi ran.
-  Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 25 
 
 
 

 

 

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English (includes a word by word key) from YellowBridge

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros. 

Laozi Daodejing: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin (tone#), German, French and English. 

Chinese and English Dictionary, MDGB

Chinese Character Dictionary

Dao De Jing Wade-Giles Concordance by Nina, Dao is Open

Dao De Jing English and Wade-Giles Concordance by Mike Garofalo

Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization with Chinese characters, WuWei Foundation

Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English

Tao Te Ching: English translation, Word by Word Chinese and English, and Commentary, Center Tao by Carl Abbott

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, English, Word by word analysis, Zhongwen

Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition  Chinese characters, Wade-Giles Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character by Jonathan Star 

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters: Big 5 Traditional and GB Simplified

Convert from Pinyin to Wade Giles to Yale Romanizations of Words and Terms: A Translation Tool from Qi Journal

Chinese Characters, Wade-Giles and Pinyin Romanizations, and 16 English Translations for Each Chapter of the Daodejing by Mike Garofalo. 

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin and Wade Giles Romanization spellings, English; a word for word translation of the Guodian Laozi Dao De Jing Version. 

Lao Zi's Dao De Jing: A Matrix Translation with Chinese Text by Bradford Hatcher. 

 

 

"There is a thing inherent and natural,
Which existed before heaven and earth.
Motionless and fathomless,
It stands alone and never changes;
It pervades everywhere and never becomes exhausted.
It may be regarded as the Mother of the Universe.
I do not know its name.
If I am forced to give it a name,
I call it Tao, and name it as supreme.
Supreme means going on;
Going on means going far;
Going far means returning.
Therefore Tao is supreme; heaven is supreme; earth is supreme; and man is also supreme.
There are in the universe four things supreme, and man is one of them.
Man follows the laws of earth;
Earth follows the laws of heaven;
Heaven follows the laws of Tao;
Tao follows the laws of its intrinsic nature."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 25 

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching  Translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo  

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching  Translated by John C. Wu

Lao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching  Translated by Livia Kohn

Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way Translated by Moss Roberts

 

                             

 

 

 

"Before the Earth or Sky Began ...
Something there is, whose veiled creation was
Before the earth or sky began to be;
So silent, so aloof and so alone,
It changes not, nor fails, but touches all:
Conceive it as the mother of the world.
I do not know its name:
A name for it is "Way";
Pressed for designation,
I call it Great.
Great means outgoing,
Outgoing, far-reaching,
Far-reaching, return.
The Way is great,
The sky is great,
The earth is great,
The king also is great.
Within the realm
These four are great;
The king but stands
For one of them.
Man conforms to the earth;
The earth conforms to the sky;
The sky conforms to the Way;
The Way conforms to its own nature."
-  Translated by Raymond Blackney, 1955, Chapter 25 

 

 

"Before the creation of Heaven and Earth,
there was something complete and without purpose.
Silent and desolate. Standing alone and unchanging. Cyclic and untiring.
Able to be the Mother beneath Heaven.

I do not know its Name. Its character is 'Tao'.
Powerful and Great; its Greatness spreads,
spreads into the distance, and from the distance, returns.

Hence Tao is great. Heaven is great. Earth is great.
The King also is great.
The Middle Kingdom has four greats, and the King is one.

Man follows the ways of the Earth.
Earth follows the way of Heaven.
Heaven follows the way of Tao.
And Tao follows its own ways."
-  Translated by Karl Kromal, 2002, Chapter 25 

 

 

"Before the universe was born
there was something in the chaos of the heavens.
It stands alone and empty,
solitary and unchanging.
It is ever present and secure.
It may be regarded as the Mother of the universe.
Because I do not know its name,
I call it the Tao.
If forced to give it a name,
I would call it 'Great'.

Because it is Great means it is everywhere.
Being everywhere means it is eternal.
Being eternal means everything returns to it.

Tao is great.
Heaven is great.
Earth is great.
Humanity is great.
Within the universe, these are the four great things.

Humanity follows the earth.
Earth follows Heaven.
Heaven follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 25  

 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

 

 

Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance  By Alexander Simkins. 
The Tao of Daily Life: The Mysteries of the Orient Revealed  By Derek Lin. 
Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony   By Ming-Dao Deng. 
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices
The Tao of Pooh   By Benjamin Hoff. 
Scholar Warrior: An Introduction to the Tao in Everyday Life  By Ming-Dao Deng. 
Vitality, Energy, Spirit: A Taoist Sourcebook  Translated by Thomas Cleary. 

 

                             

 

 

 

"There was something formless yet complete,
That existed before heaven and earth;
Without sound, without substance,
Dependent on nothing, unchanging,
All pervading, unfailing.
One may think of it as the mother of all things under heaven.
Its true name we do not know;
Were I forced to say to what class of things it belongs
I should call it Great (ta)
Now ta also means passing on,
And passing on means going Far Away,
And going far away means returning.
Thus just as Tao has “this greatness” and as earth has it and as heaven has it,
So may the ruler also have it.
Thus “within the realm there are four portions of greatness”,
And one belongs to the king.
The ways of men are conditioned by those of earth.
The ways of earth, by those of heaven.
The ways of heaven by those of Tao, and the ways of Tao by the Self-so."
-  Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 25 

 

 

"There is something formed of chaos,
Born before heaven and earth.
Silent and void, it is not renewed,
It goes on forever without failing
It can be seen as the World-Mother.
I don’t know its name.
So I have to call it the Way.
I have to label it as ‘the great’.
Being great implies a distancing
Distancing implies being far-off,
Being far-off implies returning.
So the Way is great: heaven is great:
Earth is great: the ruler is great.
Within the realm four things are great,
And the ruler is one.
The ruler reflects the earth
Earth reflects the heavens
The heavens reflect the Way
The Way reflects what is."
-  Translated by A. S. Kline, 2003, Chapter 25 

 

 

"There was a completed, amorphous something before the Heaven-Earth was born.
Tranquil! Boundless!
Abiding alone and changing not!
Extending everywhere without risk.
It may be styled he world-mother.
I do not know its name, but characterize it Tao.
Arbitrarily forcing a name upon it I call it the Great.
Great, it may be said to be transitory.
Transitory, it become remote.
Remote, it returns.
The Tao, then, is great; Heaven is great; Earth is Great; a king is also great.
In space there are four that are great, and the king dwells there as one of them.
Man standard is the earth.
Earth standard is the Heaven.
Heaven standard is the Tao.
The Tao standard is spontaneity."
-  Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 25 

 

 

 

 

 

There is Being that is all-inclusive and that existed before Heaven and Earth.
Calm, indeed, and incorporeal! It is alone and changeless! 
Everywhere it functions unhindered.
It thereby becomes the world’s mother.
I do not know its nature; if I try to characterize it, I will call it Tao. 
If forced to give it a name, I will call it the Great.
The Great is evasive, the evasive is the distant, the distant is ever coming near.
Tao is Great.
So is Heaven great, and so is Earth and so also is the representative of Heaven and Earth.
Man is derived from nature, nature is derived from Heaven, Heaven is derived from Tao.
Tao is self-derived."
-  Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 25 

 

 

 

The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh Ching & Hua Hu Ching   Translation and elucidation by Hua Ching Ni
The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu   Translated by Brian Walker
Tao Te Ching  Translated by Arthur Waley
Tao - The Way   Translated by Lionel and and Herbert Giles
Taoism: An Essential Guide   By Eva Wong

 

                             

 

 

 

"Before Heaven and Earth existed there was in Nature a primordial substance.
It was serene, it was fathomless.
It was self-existent, it was homogeneous.
It was omnipresent, nor suffered any limitation.
It is to be regarded as the universal mother.
I do not know its name, but I call it Tao.
If forced to qualify it, I call it the boundless.
Being boundless, I call it the inconceivable.
Being inscrutable, I call it the inaccessible.
Being inaccessible, I call it the omnipresent.
Tao is supreme, Heaven is supreme, Earth is supreme, the King is supreme.
There are in the universe four kinds of supremacy, and their rulership is one.
Man is ruled by the Earth, the Earth is ruled by Heaven, Heaven is ruled by Tao, and Tao is ruled by itself."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 25 

 

 

"There is something undifferentiated
That precedes the birth of Heaven and Earth.
Silent and still,
It stands by itself and never changes -
All-pervading and never in danger.
One may regard it as the mother of Heaven and Earth.
I don't know its proper name;
I address it as Tao.
Were I forced to name it, I would call it Great.
"Great" means "to go."
"To go" means "far away."
"Far away" means "to return."
Therefore Tao is great,
Heaven is great,
Earth is great,
The king is also great.
In the universe there are four greats.
King is one of them.
The measure for man is Earth;
The measure for Earth is Heaven;
The measure for Heaven is Tao;
The measure for Tao is tzu-jan."
-  Translated by Ha Poong Kim, Chapter 25 
 

 

 

"Before Heaven and Earth came into existence
There was That which though formless was complete.
Silent! Still! Unfathomable!
It stands alone, unchanging!
All-pervading, inexhaustible!
One may think of it as the Mother of the Universe.
What its real name is I do not know:
If I name it, I call it the Tao.
If I classify it, I call it Supreme.
Supreme means ever in flow;
Ever in flow means going far away;
Going far away means returning to the source.
Therefore we may say:
The Tao is supreme;
Heaven too is supreme;
The Earth is supreme.
A ruler of men may also be supreme.
There are four things that are supreme, and a ruler of men is one of them.
Man follows the standards of the Earth;
The Earth follows the standards of Heaven;
Heaven follows the standards of the Tao.
The Tao follows its own standard."
-  Translated by Herman Ould, 1946, Chapter 25

 

 

 

Walking the Way: 81 Zen Encounters with the Tao Te Ching by Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum

The Tao of Zen by Ray Grigg

Tao Te Ching: Zen Teachings on the Taoist Classic by Takuan Soho 

Buddhism and Taoism Face to Face: Scripture, Ritual, and Iconographic Exchange in Medieval China by Christine Mollier  

 

                                     

 

 

 

"There was a Being already perfect before the existence of Heaven and Earth.
It is calm! It is formless!
It stands alone and changes not!
Reaching everywhere and inexhaustible,
It may be regarded as Mother of the Universe.
I do not know its name.
For a title we call it the Tao.
If forced to give it a name we call it the Great.
Great, we call it the Flowing,
Flowing we call it distant,
Distant, we call it Coming again.
Therefore the Tao is Great, Heaven is Great,
The Earth is Great, the Ruler is also Great.
In the Universe four are Great,
And the Ruler is one of them.
Man finds his law in the Earth.
The Earth finds its law in Heaven,
Heaven finds its law in the Tao,
The Tao finds its law in the affirmation of Self."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 25 

 

 

"There is a thing formed in chaos
Existing before Heaven and Earth.
Silent and solitary, it stands alone, unchanging.
It goes around without peril.
It may be the Mother of the world.
Not knowing its name, I can only style it Tao.
With reluctance, I would call it Great.
Great means out-going.
Out-going means far-reaching.
Far-reaching means returning.
Therefore, Tao is great.
Heaven is great.
Earth is great.
The king is great.
In the universe, there are four great things,
and the king is one of them.
Man abides by earth,
Earth abides by heaven,
Heaven abides by Tao,
Tao abides by nature."
-  Translated by Paul J. Lin, Chapter 25 

 

 

"There is a mystery, something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is tranquil. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of everything.
I don't know its name.
Hence, when forced to name it, I call it "Tao." (the Way).
When attempting to categorize it, I call it "great."
Being great it flows through all things,inside and outside.
And being limitless it returns to the origin of all things.
The Tao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.
These are the four great powers.
Man follows the laws of the earth.
Earth follows the laws of the universe.
The universe follows the laws of the Tao.
The law of the Tao is in being what it is."
-  Translated by John Dicus, 2002, Chapter 25  

 

 

 

Further Teachings of Lao-Tzu: Understanding the Mysteries (Wen Tzu)   By Thomas Cleary

The Lunar Tao: Meditations in Harmony with the Seasons   By Deng Ming-Dao

Awakening to the Tao   By Lui I-Ming (1780) and translated by Thomas Cleary

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices   By Mike Garofalo

Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings with Selections from Traditional Commentaries   Translation and commentary by Brook Ziporyn

The Inner Chapters of Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi)   Translated by A. C. Graham

 

                                  

 

 

 

"There was a Thing, all-holding, all-complete,

Which was before existed Heaven and Earth,

Changeless! Formless! Solitary! Calm!

All-pervading! Unlimited! the birth

Of all the mighty universe concealed

Within the Motherhood not yet revealed.

I do not know its name; the Way; the Course;

The Tao, I call it; if constrained to make

A name, I call it furthermore The Great!

And Great, it passes onward and away,

Tis afar, and from afar returning flows,

The ebb of that great tide which sourceless rose.
Now then the Tao is great, and Heaven is great,

And Earth is great, and greatness is of Kings;

Within the world the greatnesses are four,

And one is he who rules over men and things;

Man takes his law from Earth; from Heaven this:

Heaven from the Tao; the Tao from what it is."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 25 

 

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching
 Chapter Number Index


Standard Traditional Chapter Arrangement of the Daodejing
Chapter Order in Wang Bi's Daodejing Commentary in 246 CE
Chart by Mike Garofalo
Subject Index
 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
81                  

 

 

 

"Something formless yet complete,
existing before heaven and earth.
Silent and limitless,
it stands alone and does not change.
Reaching everywhere, it does not tire.
Perhaps it is the Mother of all things under heaven.
I do not know its name
so I call it "Tao."

When I have to describe it I call it "great."
Being great it flows.
It flows far away.
Having gone far away, it returns.

Therefore, the Tao is great.
Heaven is great.
Earth is great.
People are also great.
Thus, people constitute one of the
four great things of the universe.

People conform to the earth.
The earth conforms to heaven.
Heaven conforms to the Tao.
The Tao conforms to its own nature."
-  Translated by Tolbert McCarroll, 1982, Chapter 25  

 

 

"Es gibt ein Ding, das ist unterschiedslos vollendet.
Bevor der Himmel und die Erde waren, ist es schon da,
so still, so einsam.
Allein steht es und ändert sich nicht.
Im Kreis läuft es und gefährdet sich nicht.
Man kann es nennen die Mutter der Welt
Ich weiß nicht seinen Namen.
Ich bezeichne es als Sinn.
Mühsam einen Namen ihm gebend,
nenne ich es: groß.
Groß, das heißt immer bewegt.
Immer bewegt, das heißt ferne.
Ferne, das heißt zurückkehrend.
So ist der Sinn groß, der Himmel groß, die Erde groß,
und auch des Mensch ist groß.
Vier Große gibt es im Raume,
und der Mensch ist auch darunter.
Der Mensch richtet sich nach der Erde.
Die Erde richtet sich nach dem Himmel.
Der Himmel richtet sich nach dem SINN.
Der Sinn richtet sich nach sich selber."
-  Translated by Richard Wilhelm, 1911, Chapter 25 

 

 

"There is something that is overt and hidden,
That exists beyond heaven and earth.
Formless, motionless,
It stands alone, forever, it does not change,
It exists in every place, it never tires.
It can be called "Mother of the universe,"
Because I don't know its name.
If I am compelled to call it by a name,
I will call it Tao, "all-embracing."
"All-embracing" exists forever,
"All-embracing" is far-reaching,
"All-embracing" returns to every beginning.
Therefore Tao is "all-embracing,"
Heaven is "all-embracing,"
Earth is "all-embracing,"
Man is "all-embracing."
In the universe, four things are "all-embracing,"
And man is one of them.
Man adheres to the laws of earth,
Earth adheres to the laws of heaven,
Heaven adheres to the laws of Tao,
Tao adheres to the laws of its nature."
-  Translated by Chou-Wing Chohan, Chapter 25 

 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching: An Illustrated Journey   Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Tao Te Ching   Translated by David Hinton

The Book of Tao: Tao Te Ching - The Tao and Its Characteristics   Translated by James Legge

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: Growth of a Religion   By Isabelle Robinet

Zhuangzi (Chuang Tsu), Daoist Scripture: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes

Zhuangzi: Basic Writings   Translated by Burton Watson

Zhuangzi Speaks: The Music of Nature   An illustrated comic by Chih-chung Ts'ai

Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons

 

                                              

 

 

 

"What's behind it all?
There is a thing-kind made up of a mix.
It emerges before the cosmos.
Solitary! Inchoate!
Self grounded and unchanging.
Permeating all processes without extremity.
We can deem it the mother of the social world.
I don't know its name. When put in characters we say dao.
Forced to deem it as named, we say 'great.'
Being great, we say 'comprehensive.'
Being comprehensive, we say 'far reaching.'
Being far reaching, we say 'reverting.'
So our dao is great;
Nature (heaven) is great,
Earth is great,
and kings are also great.
Within a region are four 'greats.'
And the King occupies one of those [lofty] statuses.
Humans treat earth as a standard.
Earth treats constant nature as a standard.
Constant nature treats dao as a standard.
Dao treats being so of itself as a standard."
-  Translated by Chad Hansen, Chapter 25 

 

 

"There was something in a state of fusion before heaven and earth were formed.
How tranquil, how void it is; it stands alone and changes not, it permeates universally and never tires.
It may be regarded as the mother of All-under-heaven.
Its proper name I know not, but I call it by the by-name "Way", and, to the best of my ability, inventing a term for it, I should call it "great".
"Great" means "to pass on", "to pass on" means "to go far", "to go far" means "to revert" (t0 the contrary).
Thus: the Way is great, heaven is great, earth is great and the king is great.
There are in the world four great ones and the king is one thereof.
The king patterns himself on earth, earth patterns itself on heaven, heaven patterns itself on the Way, and the Way patterns itself on the Natural."
-  Translated by Jan J. L. Duyvendak, 1954, Chapter 25

 

 

"Something unformed and complete Before heaven and Earth were born,
Solitary and silent,
Stands alone and unchanging.
Pervading all things without limit.
It is like the mother of all things under heaven,
But I don't know its name - Better call it Tao.
Better call it great.
Great means passing on.
Passing on means going far.
Going far means returning.
Therefore Tao is great,
And heaven, And earth, And humans.
Four great things in the world.
Aren't humans one of them?
Humans follow earth
Earth follows heaven
Heaven follows Tao.
Tao follows its own nature."
-  Translated by Stephen Addis and Stanley Lombardo, 1993, Chapter 25 

 

 

"Il est un être confus qui existait avant le ciel et la terre.
Ô qu'il est calme!
Ô qu'il est immatériel!
Il subsiste seul et ne change point.
Il circule partout et ne périclite point.
Il peut être regardé comme la mère de l'univers.
Moi, je ne sais pas son nom.
Pour lui donner un titre, je l'appelle Voie Tao.
En m'efforçant de lui faire un nom, je l'appelle grand.
De grand, je l'appelle fugace.
De fugace, je l'appelle éloigné.
D'éloigné, je l'appelle l'être qui revient.
C'est pourquoi le Tao est grand, le ciel est grand, la terre est grande, le roi aussi est grand.
Dans le monde, il y a quatre grandes choses, et le roi en est une.
L'homme imite la terre; la terre imite le ciel, le ciel imite le Tao; le Tao imite sa nature."
-  Translated by Stanislas Julien, 1842, Chapter 25

 

 

 

Spanish Language Versions of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing)
Tao Te Ching en Español

 

Lao Tsé Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por Anton Teplyy

Tao Te Ching   Traducido por Stephen Mitchell, versión española  

Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por el Padre Carmelo Elorduy

Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons   Consejos de Estilo de Vida de Sabios

Tao Te Ching en Español

Lao Tzu-The Eternal Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por Yuanxiang Xu y Yongjian Yin 

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices   By Mike Garofalo    Maduración Duraznos: Estudios y Prácticas Taoístas por Mike Garofalo

Tao Te Ching - Wikisource

Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por William Scott Wilson. 

Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por Javier Cruz

Tao te king   Translated by John C. H. Wu, , versión española  

Daodejing   Español, Inglés, y Chino Versiones Lingüísticas de la Daodejing


 

                                      

 

 

"Aún antes que el Cielo y la Tierra, existía algo
indefinido pero completo en sí mismo; este Caos inagotable
era único e ilimitado: sin sonido, sin forma,
de nada depende y permanece inalterado,
se lo puede considerar el origen del Universo.
No sé su nombre,
pero lo llamo Tao.
Si me esfuerzo en darle otro nombre
lo llamo grande
Es grande porque se extiende.
Su expansión le lleva lejos.
La lejanía le hace retornar.
El Tao, pues, es grande y el Cielo es grande.
La Tierra es grande y también lo es el Hombre.
En el Universo hay cuatro cosas grandes,
y el Hombre es una de ellas.
El Hombre fluye de la Tierra.
La Tierra fluye del Cielo.
El Cielo fluye del Tao.
El Tao fluye por si mismo."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013,
Capítulo 25   

 

 

"Había una vez un ser nebuloso.
Nació antes que el cielo y la tierra.
Tranquilo y aislado, solitario y sin cambios.
Girando perpetuamente, sin peligros, como madre de todas las cosas.
Desconozco su nombre y lo llamo Tao.
Para poder nombrarlo lo Ilamo grande.
Grande significa que está en movimiento.
En movimiento, significa que tiene largo alcance, y si va lejos vuelve al lugar de origen.
Por lo tanto: El Tao es grande.
El cielo es grande.
La tierra es grande.
El rey es grande.
Estas son las cuatro grandezas que existen
en el espacio cósmico y la que reina es una de el las.
La ley del hombre es la tierra.
La ley de la tierra es el cielo.
La ley del cielo es el Tao.
La ley del Tao es sí mismo."
Translation from Logia Medio Dia, 2015,
Capítulo 25 

 

 

"Antes aún que el cielo y la tierra ya existía un ser inexpresable.
Es un ser vacío y silencioso, libre, inmutable y solitario.
Se encuentra en todas partes y es inagotable.
Puede que sea la Madre del universo.
No sé su nombre, pero lo llamo Tao.
Si me esfuerzo en nombrarlo lo llamo grande.
Es grande porque se extiende.
Su expansión le lleva lejos.
La lejanía le hace retornar.
El Tao, pues, es grande y el cielo es grande.
La tierra es grande y también lo es el hombre.
En el universo hay cuatro cosas grandes, y el hombre del reino es una de ellas.
El hombre sigue la ley de la tierra.
La tierra sigue la ley del cielo.
El cielo sigue la ley del Tao.
El Tao sigue su propia ley."
-  Spanish Version Online at RatMachines, Capitulo 25 

 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

 

 

Commentary, Notes, Related Information

 

Ziran    自然

"so of its own"; spontaneous, spontaneity

As an adjective, the term ziran means "spontaneous," "natural," "so of its own," "so of itself." As a noun, it denotes spontaneity, naturalness, the things as they are. It is a synonym of zizai (self-existent) and ziyou (self-produced), and is very close in meaning to zide (self-attaining) and ziwei (working by itself, doing spontaneously).

 

Ziran implies a free working; it is the positive side of the Dao, whose negative side is wu (no-thing). On the other hand, wu is the indeterminant and unknowable Dao, which is lost if it is given a name or an attribute: it is the Origin of life as it cannot be grasped and has no beginning. On the other hand, ziran is the Dao as producing life, its de(virtue), and is sometimes equated with the Original Pneuma (yuanqi). In this sense, ziran is like the water of a spring that never ceases to flow anew, and is a synonym of Origin (yuan) and Chaos (hundun). It is the permanence of the Dao and its de, the rule of Heaven and Earth that has no beginning and penetrates to the utmost of existence beyond the Void (Zongxuan xiansheng xuangang lun; CT 1052, 1a-b). Hence, ziran, as a quality ascribed to something, means "true" and "primal," and denotes transcendence.

 

On the cosmological level, ziran defines the way the world goes on by itself without anyone "doing" it, and expresses the faith in a world well-ordered and self-regulated in a natural way. Epistemologically, it means that we do not know what is producing life or how life is achieved. Ziran is then the ultimate word, not in the sense of an explication but as an expression of human ignorance and respect of the secret of life. As Daode jing 25 says, "The Dao models itself onziran," which means that it "models itself on what is so of its own," which is a tautology. Ziran can therefore also be an expression of agnosticism, as in Guo Xiang's commentary to the Zhuangzi. Under Buddhist influence, ziran also took on the meaning of "non-substantial," "fundamentally having no nature of its own," as opposed to what has cause and effect. In this sense, it is a synonym of "real emptiness" (zhenkong; see for instance Daojiao yishu, 8.4a, and Zhonghe ji, 3.14a).

 

In human beings, ziran means being free from dependence on some other thing or substance (wudai, as the Zhuangzisays), being natural (tian, the contrary of "made by man" or wei, which is the artificial in Zhuangzi's terms), and being creative. It means that each being has its own spring of life within itself. So to be ziran is to be natural in the highest sense, to nourish within oneself one's own nature that is one's own profound and true sprout of life.

 

To respect ziran one should not interfere (wuwei), and gently let life act and speak through oneself rather than acting and speaking individually. In that sense, ziran is the principle of handling affairs that guides the saint (shengren) or the sage king who respects the workings of the Dao in the world and in human affairs. To act spontaneously is to have no intention of one's own, to let the natural force that is within everything work freely. This is not the same as giving free rein to one's own fantasy (as the term has been misunderstood by some Xuanxue thinkers), because this fantasy is a only superficial desire to satisfy one's immediate wishes, and not the profound naturalness without desires that is ziran."
Encyclopedia of Taoism

 

 

 

 

Lao Tzu, Laozi

 

 

Next Chapter of the Tao Te Ching #26

Previous Chapter of the Tao Te Ching #24

Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching 

 

 

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching
Commentary, Interpretations, Research Tools, Resources
Chapter 25

 

Tao Te Ching, Translations into English: Terebess Asia Online (TAO).  124 nicely formatted complete English language translations, on separate webpages, of the Daodejing.  Alphabetical index by translators.  Each webpage has all 81 chapters of the Tao Te Ching translated into English.  An outstanding collection─ the Best on the Internet. 


Daodejing by Laozi: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin (tone#), German, French and English.  This is an outstanding resource for serious students of the Tao Te Ching


Yellow Bridge Dao De Jing Comparison Table   Provides side by side comparisons of translations of the Tao Te Ching by James Legge, D. T. Suzuki, and Dwight Goddard.  Chinese characters for each paragraph in the Chapter are on the left; place your cursor over the Chinese characters to see the Pinyin Romanization of the Chinese character and a list of meanings. 


Center Tao.  Includes a brief commentary on each Chapter.  A keyword glossary for each chapter is provided. 


Tao Te Ching Commentaries - Google Search 


Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros. 


Translators' Index, Tao Te Ching Translators Sorted Alphabetically by Translator, Links to Books and Online Versions


Taoism and the Tao Te Ching: Bibliography, Resources, Links


Spanish Language Translations of the Tao Te Ching


Concordance to the Daodejing


Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition  By Jonathan Star.  Translation, commentary and research tools.  New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin, 2001.  Concordance, tables, appendices, 349 pages.  A new rendition of the Tao Te Ching is provided, then a verbatim translation with extensive notes.  Detailed tables for each verse provide line number, all the Chinese characters, Wade-Giles Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character.  An excellent print reference tool! 


Two Visions of the Way: A Study of the Wang Pi and the Ho-Shang Kung Commentaries on the Lao-Tzu.  By Professor by Alan Kam-Leung Chan.   SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture.  State University of New York Press, 1991.  Index, bibliography, glossary, notes, 314 pages.  ISBN: 0791404560.     


Chinese Reading of the Daodejing  Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation.  By Professor Rudolf G. Wagner.  A SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture.  English and Mandarin Chinese Edition.  State University of New York Press; Bilingual edition (October 2003).  540 pages.  ISBN: 978-0791451823.  Wang Bi (Wang Pi, Fusi), 226-249 CE, Commentary on the Tao Te Ching.


Chapter 25 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith.  The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley. 


The Philosophy of the Daodejing  By Hans-Georg Moeller.  Columbia University Press, 2006, 176 pages.  


Valley Spirit, Gu Shen, Concept, Chapter 6 


Tao Te Ching English Translations from Terebess Asia Online.  Over 30 translations. 


Lao-tzu's Taoteching
 Translated by Red Pine (Bill Porter).  Includes many brief selected commentaries for each Chapter draw from commentaries in the past 2,000 years.  Provides a verbatim translation and shows the text in Chinese characters.  San Francisco, Mercury House, 1996, Second Edition, 184 pages.  An invaluable resource for commentaries.   


Reading Lao Tzu: A Companion to the Tao Te Ching with a New Translation  By Ha Poong Kim.  Xlibris, 2003, 198 pages. 


Chapter 25, Line by Line Comparisons of 27 Translations of the Tao Te Ching Compiled by the St. Xenophon Wayist Seminary 


Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices


Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation  By Roger T. Ames and David T. Hall.  Ballantine, 2003, 256 pages. 


Thematic Index to the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching


Lao Tzu: Te-Tao Ching - A New Translation Based on the Recently Discovered Ma-wang-tui Texts (Classics of Ancient China) Translated with and introduction and detailed exposition and commentary by Professor Robert G. Henricks.  New York, Ballantine Books, 1992.  Includes Chinese characters for each chapter.  Bibliography, detailed notes, 282 pages. 


Revealing the Tao Te Ching: In Depth Commentaries on an Ancient Classic.  By Hu Huezhi.  Edited by Jesse Lee Parker.  Seven Star Communications, 2006.  240 pages. 


Cloud Hands Blog   Mike Garofalo writes about Taoism, Gardening, Taijiquan, Walking, Mysticism, Qigong, and the Eight Ways.


Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary.  By Ellen Chen.  Paragon House, 1998.  274 pages. 


The Tao and Method: A Reasoned Approach to the Tao Te Ching.  By Michael Lafargue.  New York, SUNY Press, 1994.  660 pages. 


The Whole Heart of Tao: The Complete Teachings from the Oral Tradition of Lao-Tzu.  By John Bright-Fey.  Crane Hill Publishers, 2006.  376 pages.

 

 

                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Laozi, Dao De Jing

 

 

Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching

Research and Indexing by
Michael P. Garofalo

Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
Green Way Research, 2010-2015. 
Indexed and Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo


This webpage was last modified or updated on August 3, 2015. 

This webpage was first distributed online on March 21, 2010. 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0


 

 

Michael P. Garofalo's E-mail

Brief Biography of Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.

Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California

Study Chi Kung or Tai Chi with Mike Garofalo

 

 

 


Ripening Peaches: Daoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: Resources and Guides

Cloud Hands Blog

Valley Spirit Qigong

Ways of Walking

The Spirit of Gardening

Months: Cycles of the Seasons

Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu, Zhuang Zhou, Master Chuang)  369—286 BCE

Chan (Zen) and Taoist Poetry

Yang Style Taijiquan

Chen Style Taijiquan

Taoist Perspectives: My Reading List

Meditation 

Bodymind Theory and Practices, Somaesthetics

The Five Senses

How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

Grandmaster Chang San Feng

Virtues

Qigong (Chi Kung) Health Practices

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey: Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Index to Cloud Hands and Valley Spirit Websites

 

Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching 

Introduction

Bibliography  

Index to English Language Translators of the Tao Te Ching

Thematic Index 1-81  

Chapter Index 1-81    

Concordance to the Daodejing

The Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) circa 500 BCE

 

 

Cloud Hands Blog

 

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Tao Te Ching
 Chapter Number Index


Standard Traditional Chapter Arrangement of the Daodejing
Chapter Order in Wang Bi's Daodejing Commentary in 246 CE
Chart by Mike Garofalo
Subject Index
 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
81