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13 December 2011

Interpreting Poetry

My words are very easy to understand,
Very easy to practice.

No one under heaven can understand them,
No one can practice them.

Words have ancestors,
Deeds have masters.
If people don't understand this,
They don't understand me.

Few understand me,
And that's my value.

Therefore the Sage wears rough clothing
And carries jade inside.

Chapter 70 - Tao Te Ching

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Tao called Tao is not Tao.

Names can name no lasting name.

Nameless: the origin of heaven and earth.
Naming: the mother of ten thousand things.

Empty of desire, perceive mystery.
Filled with desire, perceive manifestations.

These have the same source, but different names.
Call them both deep--
Deep and again deep:

The gateway to all mystery.

Chapter 1 - Tao Te Ching

__


Great Te appears
Flowing from Tao.

Tao in action --
Only vague and intangible.

Intangible and vague,
But within it are images.

Vague and intangible;
Within are entities.

Shadowey and obscure;
Within it there is life,

Life so real,
That within it there is trust.

From the beginning its name is not lost
But reappears through multiple origins.

How do I know these origins?

Like this.

Chapter 21 - Tao Te Ching


Translation by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo

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