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Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

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Chapter 43

The Universal Use (of the Action in Weakness of the Dao)

Its Universal Application / The Function of the Universal

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 The softest thing in the world dashes against and overcomes the
hardest;
The world's weakest overcomes the world's hardest. The most tender things of creation race over the hardest.
2 That which has no (substantial) existence enters where there
is no crevice.

Non-existence enters into the impenetrable.

A non-material existence enters into the most impenetrable.

3 I know hereby what advantage belongs to doing nothing (with a purpose). There are few in the world who attain to the teaching without words, and the advantage arising from non-action. Thereby I comprehend of non-assertion the advantage. There are few in the world who obtain of non-assertion the advantage and of silence the lesson. I therefore recognize an advantage in the doctrine of not doing (wu wei) and not speaking. But there are few in the world who obtain the advantage of non-assertion (wu wei) and silence.
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