The Tao Te Ching, Chapter 1
Feng and English:

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The namelessness is the beginning of heaven and earth.

The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
   this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.

Le Guin:


The way you can go
isn't the real way
The name you can say
isn't the real name

Heaven and earth
begin in the unnamed:
name's the mother
of the ten thousand things.

So the unwanting soul
sees what's hidden,
and the ever-wanting soul
sees only what it wants.

Two things, one origin,
but different in name,
whose identity is mystery.
Mystery of all mysteries!
The door to the hidden.

Peter Merel:
1. The Way

The Way that can be experienced is not true;
The world that can be constructed is not real.
The Way manifests all that happens and may happen;
The world represents all that exists and may exist.

To experience without abstraction is to sense the world;
To experience with abstraction is to know the world.
These two experiences are indistinguishable;
Their construction differs but their effect is the same.

Beyond the gate of experience flows the Way,
Which is ever greater and more subtle than the world.

Tao Te Ching (Nowhere to go back to) Next

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.