Sunday, September 08, 2013

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 14

Dao De Jing, Laozi
Chapter 14

"Looking at it, you do not see it, you call it Invisible.
Listening to it, you do not hear it, you call it Inaudible.
Touching it, you do not grasp it, you call it Intangible.
These three cannot be described, but they blend, and are One.
Above, it is not bright;
Below, it is not dim;
Unceasingly, unceasingly,
It cannot be called by a Name,
It enters into Form, and returns into Spirit.
That is why it is called Spiritual Form of Form, Spiritual Image of Image.
That is why it is called vague and indeterminate.
Meet it, you cannot see its beginning;
Follow it, and you cannot see its end.
Consider the Tao of Old in order to arrange affairs of Now.
To be able to know the Life-Spring of Old is to give expression to the Thread of the Tao."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 14   

"It cannot be seen, so we name it unclear;
It cannot be heard, so we name it indistinct;
It cannot be grasped, so we name it insubstantial.
Incomprehensive: warp and weft of the One.
Beyond light and dark, beyond up and down,
beyond here and there, neither formless or formed,
it cannot be named.
Waxing and waning, re-turning itself,
its empty vast no-thing original face.
Endless beginning!
Not before nor behind, every where it greets us,
every when meeting it,
we meet ourselves meeting,
thread the tread of this Way."
-  Translated by Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum, 2013, Chapter 14 

"What we cannot see by looking is the evenness of things,
What we cannot hear by listening the rare,
What we cannot seize by grasping is the subtleness that springs
When we try to scrutinize them and compare.
Blended into Unity, above it is not bright,
Below it is not buried in obscurity,
Ceaseless in its action, nameless in its flight,
It returns again to formless immaturity;
The form of formlessness, the shape of the unseen,
Abstruse and indeterminate as shadows on a screen
We meet it front to front and we do not see its face,
We follow it and do not see its back,
But who holds its ancient way
Is the master of to-day,
And its far-away beginning in the olden time can trace,
T'is the thread of Tao that lies along its track."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 14
"We look at Reason and do not see it; its name is Colorless.
We listen to Reason and do not hear it; its name is Soundless.
We grope for Reason and do not grasp it; its name is Bodiless. 
These three things cannot further be analyzed.
Thus they are combined and conceived as a unity which on its surface is not clear and in its depth not obscure.
Forever and aye Reason remains unnamable, and again and again it returns home to non-existence.
This is called the form of the formless, the image of the imageless.
This is called the transcendentally abstruse.
In front its beginning is not seen.
In the rear its end is not seen. 
By holding fast to the Reason of the ancients, the present is mastered and the origin of the past understood.
This is called Reason's clue." 
-  Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 14 

"That which may be looked for, but proves invisible, is called the Distant.
That which may be listened for, but proves inaudible, is called Vacancy.
That which may be clutched at, but proves intangible, is called the Subtle.
Words are inadequate thoroughly to examine these three properties; therefore they blend together and become One.
Above, it is not bright; below, it is not dim.
Continuous in endurance, it cannot be named.
In reverting to vacuity it may be called the Form of Formlessness, the Image of the Non-existent; for which reasons it is unsearchable. 
Standing opposite to it, one cannot see its head; following it, one cannot perceive its back.
Obtaining the Tao of ancient times, and applying it as an aid to the methods in vogue at the present day, so that one is able to arrive at a knowledge of its long-past origin, may be called 'Getting the Germ, or Clue, of Tao' "
-  Translated by Frederick Henry Balfour, 1884, Chapter 14 

Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching

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