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Tao Te Ching Chapter 5 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





Heaven and earth do not act from (the impulse of) any wish to be benevolent; they deal with all things as the dogs of grass are dealt with. The sages do not act from (any wish to be) benevolent; they deal with the people as the dogs of grass are dealt with.


May not the space between heaven and earth be compared to a bellows?


'Tis emptied, yet it loses not its power;

'Tis moved again, and sends forth air the more.

Much speech to swift exhaustion lead we see;

Your inner being guard, and keep it free.

The Tao doesn't take sides;

it gives birth to both good and evil.

The Master doesn't take sides;

she welcomes both saints and sinners.


The Tao is like a bellows:

it is empty yet infinitely capable.

The more you use it, the more it produces;

the more you talk of it, the less you understand.


Hold on to the center.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell






 

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