August 26th, 2012

Chapter 25


There is something formlessly created
Born before Heaven and Earth
So silent! So ethereal!
Independent and changeless
Circulating and ceaseless
It can be regarded as the mother of the world

I do not know its name
Identifying it, I call it "Tao"
Forced to describe it, I call it great
Great means passing
Passing means receding
Receding means returning
Therefore the Tao is great
Heaven is great
Earth is great
The sovereign is also great
There are four greats in the universe
And the sovereign occupies one of them
Humans follow the laws of Earth
Earth follows the laws of Heaven
Heaven follows the laws of Tao
Tao follows the laws of nature 
 
     Translated by Derek Lin


Accurate Translation of the Tao Te Ching
goban
  • trevoke

25

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.
-
-
Something perfect
has existed forever,
even longer than the universe.
It's a vast, unchanging void.
There's nothing else like it.
It goes on forever and never stops,
and everything else came from it.

I don't know what else to call it
so I'll call it Tao.
What's it like?
I can tell you this much: it's great.

So great that it endures.
Something that endures
goes a long way.
And something that goes a long way
always comes back to the beginning.

Tao's great.
Heaven's great.
Earth's great.
And someone in touch with Tao
is great, too.
Those are the four greatest things
in the universe.

Someone who's in touch with Tao
is in touch with the earth.
The earth is in touch with heaven.
Heaven's in touch with Tao.
Tao's in touch with the way things are.
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.