Sacred Texts  Taoism  Index  Previous  Next 


40. 1. The movement of the Tâo
By contraries proceeds;
And weakness marks the course
Of Tâo's mighty deeds.

p. 84

2. All things under heaven sprang from It as existing (and named); that existence sprang from It as non-existent (and not named).

, 'Dispensing with the Use (of Means);'--with their use, that is, as it appears to us. The subject of the brief chapter is the action of the Tâo by contraries, leading to a result the opposite of what existed previously, and by means which might seem calculated to produce a contrary result.

In translating par. 2 1 have followed Ziâo Hung, who finds the key to it in ch. 1. Having a name, the Tâo is 'the Mother of all things;' having no name, it is 'the Originator of Heaven and Earth.' But here is the teaching of Lâo-dze:--'If Tâo seems to be before God,' Tâo itself sprang from nothing.

Next: Chapter 41