Know the masculine; cleave to the feminine.
Be the valley for the world.
To be the valley for the world,
do not swerve from your innate nature
and return to the state of infancy.
Know the bright; keep to the dull.
Be a guide for the world.
To be a guide for for the world,
follow your innate nature without changing
and return to the pre-conceptual.
Understand glory; keep to humility.
Be the valley for the world.
Innate nature completed, return to original uniqueness.
When original uniqueness is divided,
It then becomes the instrumentalities.
The Sage employs them,
They then become the officers.
Thus, subtle governance shapes not."
- Translated by Cheng Man-Ch'ing and Tam Gibbs, 1981, Chapter 28
"One keeps weakness while knowing what strength is,
And serves as the humblest brook for the world.
Being the humblest, one can receive best
Until one returns to be the weakest infant.
One keeps black while knowing what white is,
And serves as a basic model for the world.
Being the basic model, one can receive properly
Until one returns to the oneness without polar opposition.
One keeps disgrace while knowing what glory is,
And serves as the lowest valley for the world.
Being the lowest, one can receive enough
To return to the most original simplicity.
Followed by people, this simplicity can shape the world
The wise use it as the example for the government.
The big system is, therefore, an indivisible simple whole.
- Translated by Liu Qixuan, Chapter 28
"Know the male, but keep to the female and be thus a valley to the world.
When one is a valley to the world, the constant virtue will not desert one and one will return to the state of being an infant.
Know the white but keep to the black and be thus a model to the world.
If one is a model to the world, then the constant virtue will not decline and you will return to the limitless.
Know glory but keep to disgrace and so be a valley to the world.
If one is a valley to the world then constant virtue will be sufficient and you will return to the Uncarved Block.
When the Uncarved Block is cut asunder it then becomes utensils.
But should a Sage use such a man, that person would become a senior official.
Truly great fabrication does not involve cutting."
- Translated by Patrick E. Moran, Chapter 28
"Know the masculine,
but keep to the feminine:
and become a watershed to the world.
If you embrace the world,
the Tao will never leave you
and you become as a little child.
Know the white,
yet keep to the black:
be a model for the world.
If you are a model for the world,
the Tao inside you will strengthen
and you will return whole to your eternal beginning.
Know the honorable,
but do not shun the disgraced:
embracing the world as it is.
If you embrace the world with compassion,
then your virtue will return you to the uncarved block.
The block of wood is carved into utensils
by carving void into the wood.
The Master uses the utensils, yet prefers to keep to the block
because of its limitless possibilities.
Great works do not involve discarding substance."
- Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 28
知其雄, 守其雌, 為天下谿.
為天下谿, 常德不離, 復歸於嬰兒.
為天下式, 常德不忒, 復歸於無極.
知其榮, 守其辱, 為天下谷.
為天下谷, 常德乃足, 復歸於樸.
- Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 28
zhi qi xiong, shou qi ci, wei tian xia xi. wei tian xia xi, chang de bu li, fu gui yu ying er. zhi qi bai shou qi hei, wei tian xia shi. wei tian xia shi, chang de bu te, fu gui yu wu ji. zhi qi rong, shou qi ru, wei tian xia gu. wei tian xia gu, chang de nai zu, fu gui yu pu. pu san ze wei qi. sheng ren yong zhi, ze wei guan zhang. gu da zhi bu ko.- Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 28
and be a ravine for all under heaven.
By being a ravine for all under heaven,
Eternal integrity will never desert you.
If eternal integrity never deserts you,
You will return to the state of infancy.
Know you are innocent,
Remain steadfast when insulted,
and be a valley for all under heaven.
By being a valley for all under heaven,
Eternal integrity will suffice.
If eternal integrity suffices,
You will return to the simplicity of the unhewn log.
and be a model for all under heaven.
By being a model for all under heaven,
Eternal integrity will not err.
If eternal integrity does not err,
You will return to infinity.
When the unhewn log is sawn apart,
it is made into tools;
When the sage is put to use,
he becomes the chief of officials.
For great carving does no cutting."
- Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990, Chapter 28
"He who knows the masculine, and yet retains the feminine,
Will be the whole world's channel, being so,
Eternal virtue will with him remain forevermore,
And infant innocency to him go.
He who knows the spotless white, yet keeps the darkness of the night,
Will be the whole world's model, and the sage
Will hold eternal virtue in his hands forevermore,
And go home again to greet the golden age.
He who knows how glory shines, yet degradation never declines,
Will be the whole world' s valley, him alone
Will the spirit of eternal virtue fill forevermore,
And simplicity will claim him as her own.
This unwrought simplicity, when scattered comes to be
The universal vessels, and the sage
May use them as the rulers of the realm forevermore,
And every hurt and injury assuage."- Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 28
"Conociendo lo masculino, y convirtiendose en lo femenino,
Se llega a ser la vía a través de la cual se mueve el Mundo,
Estar unido a la virtud,
Y renacer de nuevo.
Conociendo la luz y convirtiendose en la oscuridad,
Uno se convierte en el Mundo,
Llegando a ser la virtud,
Y volviendo al Tao.
Conociendo el honor y siendo humilde,
Uno se convierte en el valle del Mundo,
Llenandose de la virtud,
Y siendo como un tronco no cortado.
Cuando el tronco es cortado se convierte en herramientas.
Usadas por el sabio, son poderosas;
Así pues, un buen carpintero no desperdicia madera."
- Translated by Antonio Rivas Gonzálvez, 1998, Capítulo 28
"Whilst developing creativity, also cultivate receptivity. Retain the mind like that of a child, which flows like running water. When considering any thing, do not lose its opposite. When thinking of the finite, do not forget infinity; Act with honour, but retain humility. By acting according to the way of the Tao, set others an example. By retaining the integrity of the inner and external worlds, true selfhood is maintained, and the inner world made fertile."- Translated by Stan Rosenthal, 1984, Chapter 28
"The Nature of Opposites and Change ...
Be aware of your masculine nature;
But by keeping the feminine way,
You shall be to the world like a canyon,
Where the Virtue eternal abides,
And go back to become as a child.
Be aware of the white all around you;
But remembering the black that is there,
You shall be to the world like a tester,
Whom the Virtue eternal, unerring,
Redirects to the infinite past.
Be aware of your glory and honor;
But in never relinquishing shame,
You shall be to the world like a valley,
Where Virtue eternal, sufficient,
Sends you back to the Virginal Block.
When the Virginal Block is asunder,
And is made into several tools,
To the ends of the Wise Man directed,
They become then his chief officers:
For "The Master himself does not carve."
- Translated by Raymond Blackney, 1955, Chapter 28
A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes over 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter. Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization. Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.
Chapter 28, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index
Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices
Taoism: A Selected Reading List
One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey