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Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

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Chapter 23

Absolute Vacancy

Emptiness and Non-Existence / Emptiness and Not-Doing (Wu Wei)

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 Abstaining from speech marks him who is obeying the spontaneity of his nature. A violent wind does not last for a whole morning; a
sudden rain does not last for the whole day. To whom is it that these (two) things are owing? To Heaven and Earth. If Heaven and Earth
cannot make such (spasmodic) actings last long, how much less can man!
To be taciturn is the natural way. A hurricane: does not outlast the morning. A cloudburst does not outlast the day. Who causes these events but heaven and earth? If even heaven and earth cannot be unremitting, will not man be much less so? Taciturnity is natural to man. A whirlwind never outlasts the morning, nor a violent rain the day. What is the cause? It is heaven and earth. If even heaven and earth are not constant, much less can man be.
2

Therefore when one is making the Dao his business, those who are also pursuing it, agree with him in it, and those who are making the manifestation of its course their object agree with him in that; while even those who are failing in both these things agree with him where they fail.

Those who pursue their business in Reason, men of Reason, associate in Reason. Those who pursue their business in virtue associate in virtue. Those who pursue their business in ill luck associate in ill luck. When men associate in Reason, Reason makes them glad to find companions.

Therefore he who pursues his affairs in the spirit of Dao will become Dao-like. He who pursues his affairs with de [teh], will become de [teh]-like. He who pursues his affairs with loss, identifies himself with loss.

3 Hence, those with whom he agrees as to the Dao have the happiness of attaining to it; those with whom he agrees as to its manifestation
have the happiness of attaining to it; and those with whom he agrees in their failure have also the happiness of attaining (to the Dao). But when there is not faith sufficient (on his part), a want of faith (in him) ensues (on the part of the others).

When men associate in virtue, virtue makes them glad to find companions. When men associate in ill luck, ill luck makes them glad to find companions. "If your faith is insufficient, verily shall ye receive no faith."

He who identifies himself with Dao, Dao rejoices to guide. He who identifies himself with de [teh], de [teh] rejoices to reward. And he who identifies himself with loss, loss rejoices to ruin. If his faith fail, he will receive no reward of faith.

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