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Chapter 27 Chapter 29 Index to All the Chapters Taoism Cloud Hands Blog
Simplicity, Keep to the Female, Embrace Opposites, Be a Model,
Returning to Simplicity, Tao, Model, Honorable,
Retaining Integrity, Harmony, Male, Female, Nature of Opposites and Change, Wood, Carving, Sculpture, White,
Black, Simplicity, Opposite, Complimentary, Yin, Yang, Possibilities, Open, Utensils 反樸
"Know the masculine,
but keep to the feminine:
and become a watershed to the world.
If you embrace the world,
the Tao will never leave you
and you become as a little child.
Know the white,
yet keep to the black:
be a model for the world.
If you are a model for the world,
the Tao inside you will strengthen
and you will return whole to your eternal beginning.
Know the honorable,
but do not shun the disgraced:
embracing the world as it is.
If you embrace the world with compassion,
then your virtue will return you to the uncarved block.
The block of wood is carved into utensils
by carving void into the wood.
The Master uses the utensils, yet prefers to keep to the block
because of its limitless possibilities.
Great works do not involve discarding substance."
- Translated by J. H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 28
"Who knows his manhood's strength,
Yet still his female feebleness maintains;
As to one channel flow the many drains,
All come to him, yea, all beneath the sky.
Thus he the constant excellence retains;
The simple child again, free from all stains.
Who knows how white attracts,
Yet always keeps himself within black's shade,
The pattern of humility displayed,
Displayed in view of all beneath the sky;
He in the unchanging excellence arrayed,
Endless return to man's first state has made.
Who knows how glory shines,
Yet loves disgrace, nor e'er for it is pale;
Behold his presence in a spacious vale,
To which men come from all beneath the sky.
The unchanging excellence completes its tale;
The simple infant man in him we hail.
The unwrought material, when divided and distributed, forms vessels.
The sage, when employed, becomes the Head of all the Officers of government.
In his greatest regulations he employs no violent measures."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 28
"Who his manhood shows
And his womanhood knows
Becomes the empire's river.
Is he the empire's river,
He will from virtue never deviate,
And home he turneth to a child's estate.
Who his brightness shows
And his blackness knows
Becomes the empire's model.
Is he the empire's model,
Of virtue ne'er shall he be destitute,
And home he turneth to the absolute.
Who knows his fame
And guards his shame
Becomes the empire's valley.
Is he the empire's valley,
For e'er his virtue will sufficient be,
And home he turneth to simplicity."
Simplicity, when scattered, becomes a vessel of usefulness.
The holy man, by using it, becomes the chief leader;
And truly, a great principle will never do harm."
- Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 28
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who is aware of the Male
But keeps to the Female
Becomes the ravine of the world.
Being the ravine of the world,
He has the original character (teh) which is not cut up.
And returns again to the (innocence of the) babe.
who is conscious of the white (bright)
But keeps to the black (dark)
Becomes the model for the world.
Being the model for the world,
He has the eternal power which never errs,
And returns again to the Primordial Nothingness.
who is familiar with honor and glory
But keeps to obscurity
Becomes the valley of the world.
Being the valley of the world,
He has an eternal power which always suffices,
And returns again to the natural integrity of uncarved wood.
up this uncarved wood
And it is shaped into vessel
In the hands of the Sage
They become the officials and magistrates.
Therefore the great ruler does not cut up."
- Translated by Lin Yutang, 1948, Chapter 28
"He who, conscious of manly strength, guards a womanly
weakness, becomes the channel of the whole Empire to which all minor streams
Being thus the channel of the whole Empire, the cardinal virtues will never depart from him, and he will revert to a condition of childlike innocence.
He who, conscious of light, keeps in obscurity, will become a model for the whole Empire.
Being a model for the whole Empire, the cardinal virtues will never fail him, and he will revert to the Unconditioned.
He who, conscious of his glory, guards humility, will become the valley of the whole Empire.
Being the valley of the Empire, he will revert to his original simplicity.
When this simplicity is distributed, the man becomes a thing of utility to the State.
The Sage employs men of this simplicity, and advances them to high rank; therefore his administration is on a grand scale, and never comes to an end."
- Translated by Frederick Balfour, 1884, Chapter 28
Tao Te Ching Translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo
Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching Translated by John C. WuLao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching Translated by Livia Kohn
Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way Translated by Moss Roberts
"The Nature of Opposites and Change ...
Be aware of your masculine nature;
But by keeping the feminine way,
You shall be to the world like a canyon,
Where the Virtue eternal abides,
And go back to become as a child.
Be aware of the white all around you;
But remembering the black that is there,
You shall be to the world like a tester,
Whom the Virtue eternal, unerring,
Redirects to the infinite past.
Be aware of your glory and honor;
But in never relinquishing shame,
You shall be to the world like a valley,
Where Virtue eternal, sufficient,
Sends you back to the Virginal Block.
When the Virginal Block is asunder,
And is made into several tools,
To the ends of the Wise Man directed,
They become then his chief officers:
For "The Master himself does not carve."
- Translated by Raymond Blackney, 1955, Chapter 28
"Whilst developing creativity, also cultivate receptivity. Retain the mind like that of a child, which flows like running water. When considering any thing, do not lose its opposite. When thinking of the finite, do not forget infinity; Act with honour, but retain humility. By acting according to the way of the Tao, set others an example. By retaining the integrity of the inner and external worlds, true selfhood is maintained, and the inner world made fertile." - Translated by Stan Rosenthal, 1984, Chapter 28
"Balance thy male strength with thy female weakness and thou shalt attract all things, as the ocean absorbeth all rivers; for thou shalt formulate the excellence of the Child eternal, simple, and perfect.
Knowing the light, remain in the Dark. Manifest not thy Glory, but thine obscurity. Clothed in this Child-excellence eternal, thou hast attained the Return of the First State. Knowing splendour of Fame, cling to Obloquy and Infamy; then shalt thou remain as in the Valley to which flow all waters, the lodestone to fascinate all men. Yea, they shall hail in thee this Excellence, eternal, simple and perfect, of the Child.
The raw material, wrought into form, produceth vessels. So the sage King
formulateth his Wholeness in divers Offices; and his Law is without violence
- Translated by Aleister Crowley, 1918, Chapter 28
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"He who knows the male (active force), yet
keeps to the female (the passive
force or receptive element), becomes like a ravine, receiving all sort of
Being the all-encompassing ravine he knows a power that he never calls upon in
vain. This is returning to the state of infancy.
He who knows the white, yet keeps and cleaves to the black becomes the standard
by which all things are tested, he becomes the model for the world.
As such he has all the time the eternal power that never errs; and he returns to
the limitless, a primordial nothingness.
He who knows glory, yet keeps to obscurity or even cleaves to ignominy,
turns into the valley that receives into it all kind of things. And being such a
valley he has all the time a power that suffices. So he returns again to some
pristine simplicity, returns to the state of simplicity: its the raw, uncarved
Break up simple awareness and it becomes shaped. Next it becomes someone's tool
in the hands of the wise man. For when a block is sawed up it's made into
subordinates or implements.
When the wise man uses it, it becomes chief.
So the greatest carver does the least cutting, as they say. The great ruler
doesn't cut up."
- Translated by T.J. Byrn, 1996, Chapter 28
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
"To know manly strength, to guard womanly gentleness,
Is to be the central channel of the kingdom.
To be the central channel of the kingdom, always manifesting life, never guilty, is to return to the innocence of childhood.
To know light, to guard the darkness,
Is to be the model of the kingdom.
To be the model of the kingdom, always manifesting life, never at fault, is to return to the bounds of the Inner Kingdom.
To know glory, to guard humility,
Is to be the valley of the kingdom.
To be the valley of the kingdom, always manifesting life becoming perfect, is to return to a condition like undressed wood.
Undressed wood, being made into many utensils,
The self-controlled man uses them,
Then he becomes Ruler for a long time,
Thus he achieves greatness without hurt to anyone."
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 28
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-DaoAwakening to the Tao By Lui I-Ming (1780) and translated by Thomas Cleary
Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings with Selections from Traditional Commentaries Translation and commentary by Brook ZiporynThe Inner Chapters of Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi) Translated by A. C. Graham
"He who knows the masculine, and yet retains the feminine,
Will be the whole world's channel, being so,
Eternal virtue will with him remain forevermore,
And infant innocency to him go.
He who knows the spotless white, yet keeps the darkness of the night,
Will be the whole world's model, and the sage
Will hold eternal virtue in his hands forevermore,
And go home again to greet the golden age.
He who knows how glory shines, yet degradation never declines,
Will be the whole world' s valley, him alone
Will the spirit of eternal virtue fill forevermore,
And simplicity will claim him as her own.
This unwrought simplicity, when scattered comes to be
The universal vessels, and the sage
May use them as the rulers of the realm forevermore,
And every hurt and injury assuage."
- Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 28
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
Taoism: Growth of a Religion By Isabelle Robinet
Zhuangzi: Basic Writings Translated by Burton Watson
Zhuangzi Speaks: The Music of Nature An illustrated comic by Chih-chung Ts'ai
"Know the male
But keep to the role of the female
And be a ravine to the empire.
If you are a ravine to the empire,
Then the constant virtue will not desert you
And you will again return to being a babe.
But keep to the role of the sullied
And be a model to the empire.
If you are a model to the empire,
Then the constant virtue will not be wanting
And you will return to the infinite,
But keep to the role of the disgraced
And be a valley to the empire.
If you are a valley to the empire,
Then the constant virtue will be sufficient
And you will return to being the uncarved block.
the uncarved block shatters it becomes vessels.
The sage makes use of these and becomes the lord over the officials.
the greatest cutting does not sever."
- Translated by D. C. Lau, 1963, Chapter 28
"He who, being a man, remains a woman, will become an universal channel.
As an universal channel the eternal virtue will never forsake him. He will re-become a child.
He who, being in the light, remains in obscurity, will become an universal model.
As an universal model the eternal virtue will not pass him by. He will go back to the all-perfect.
He who, being glorious, continues in humility, will become an universal valley.
As an universal valley the eternal virtue will fill him. He will revert to the first essence.
This first essence is that which, being differentiated, gives rise to innumerable vessels of life.
A wise man, by embracing it, becomes the wisest of governors.
A liberal government is that which neither disregards not hurts anyone."
- Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 28
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Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching
Tao Te Ching
Commentary, Interpretations, Research Tools, Resources
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 reference tool!
Yellow Bridge Dao De Jing Comparison Table, Chapter 28 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 commentary on each Chapter.
The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh Ching & Hua Hu Ching Translation and elucidation by Hua Ching Ni.
Tao Te Ching Commentaries - Google Search
Translators' Index, Tao Te Ching Translators Sorted Alphabetically by Translator, Links to Books and Online Versions
Tao Te Ching: A Bibliography and Index of Translations on the Web
Chapter 28 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith. The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley.
Valley Spirit, Gu Shen, Concept, Chapter 6
Das Tao Te King von Lao Tse The largest collection of very nicely formatted complete versions of the Tao Te Ching. The collection includes 209 complete versions in 27 languages, plus 28 Chinese versions. There are 112 English language versions of the Tao Te Ching available at this website. A variety of search methods and comparison methods are provided, as well a a detailed index.
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 28, 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.
Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching
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