Tao Te Ching – Verse 15

Tao Te Ching – Verse 15

The one who was skilled at practicing the Way in antiquity,
Was subtle and profound, mysterious and penetratingly wise.
His depth cannot be known.
It is only because he cannot be known
That therefore were I forced to describe him I’d say:

Hesitant was he! Like someone crossing a river in winter.
Undecided was he! As though in fear of his neighbors on all four sides.
Solemn and polite was he! Like a guest.
Scattered and dispersed was he! Like ice as it melts.
Genuine, unformed was he! Like uncarved wood.
Merged, undifferentiated was he! Like muddy water.
Broad and expansive was he! Like a valley.

If you take muddy water and still it,
it gradually becomes clear.
If you bring something to rest in order to move it,
it gradually comes alive.
The one who preserves this Way does not desire to be full;
Therefore he can wear out with no need to be renewed.
Tao Te Ching
-Lao Tzu, Translated by Robert G. Henricks


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