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Tao Te Ching





A Way you can call Way isn’t the perennial Way.

A name you can use to name isn’t the perennial name:


the named is mother to the ten thousand things,

but the unnamed is origin to all heaven and earth.


In perennial Absence you see mystery,

and in perennial Presence you see appearance.

Though the two are one and the same,

once they arise, they differ in name.


One and the same they’re called dark-enigma,

dark-enigma deep within dark-enigma,


gateway of all mystery.






The valley spirit never dies.


It’s called dark female-enigma,

and the gateway of dark female-enigma

is called the root of heaven and earth,


gossamer so unceasing it seems real.

Use it: it’s effortless.







There was something all murky shadow,

born before heaven and earth:


o such utter silence, utter emptiness.


Isolate and changeless,

it moves everywhere without fail:


picture the mother of all beneath heaven.


I don't know its name.

I'll call it Way,

and if I must name it, name it Vast.


Vast means it's passing beyond,

passing beyond means it's gone far away,

and gone far away means it's come back.


Because Way is vast

heaven is vast,

earth is vast,

and the true emperor too is vast.

In this realm, there are four vast things,

and the true emperor is one of them.


Human abides by earth.

Earth abides by heaven.

Heaven abides by Way.

Way abides by occurrence appearing of itself.






Return is the movement of Way,

and yielding the method of Way.


All beneath heaven, the ten thousand things: it's all born of Presence,

and Presence is born of Absence.

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