June 17th, 2010

Chapter 34

The magnificent Tao is all-pervading.
It may penetrate to either this side or that side.
All creatures abide with it and grow, none are excluded from it.
When its work is done it does not demand merit.
It nurtures all things, but does not rule them.
When all things return to it, yet it does not possess them, it may be called greater.
Therefore, the wise does not endeavor to be great.
Hence, his attainment is great.

              Translated by Chang Chung-yuan, 1975.


The great Tao flows everywhere, both to the left and to the right.
The ten thousand things depend upon it; it holds nothing back.
It fulfills its purpose silently and makes no claim.
It nourishes the ten thousand things,
And yet is not their lord.
It has no aim; it is very small.
The ten thousand things return to it,
Yet it is not their lord.
It is very great.

It does not show greatness,
And is therefore truly great.
Tao flows in all directions.
It's in everything,
but nothing can contain it.
Everything needs Tao,
so Tao provides,
and never expects anything in return.

Everything comes from Tao,
but Tao doesn't call attention to itself.
It wants for nothing.
Think nothing of it.

Everything leads to Tao,
but Tao doesn't call attention to itself.
Pretty impressive, huh?

It doesn't strive for success.
That's why it succeeds.

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.