called TAO is not TAO.
Names can name no lasting name.
the origin of heaven and earth.
Naming: the mother of ten thousand things.
of desire, perceive mystery.
Filled with desire, perceive manifestations.
have the same source, but different names.
Call them both deep-
Deep and deep again deep:
The gateway to all mystery.
are ways but the Way is uncharted;
There are names but not nature in words;
Nameless indeed is the source of creation
But things have a mother and she has a name.
secret waits for the insight
Of eyes unclouded by longing;
Those who are bound by desire
See only the outward container.
two come paired but distinct
By their names.
Of all things profound,
Say that their pairing is deepest,
The gate to the root of the world.
"The Way of Life" - R. B. Blakney..New
American Library, 1955
way can be a guide, but not a fixed path;
names can be given, but not permanent labels.
is called the beginning of heaven and earth;
being is called the mother of all things.
passionless, thereby observe the subtle;
ever intent, thereby observe the apparent.
two come from the same source but differ in name;
both are considered mysteries.
mystery of mysteries is the gateway of marvels.
the subtleties of Tao are always apprehended through
The limits of things are always seen through their
two (the form and the formless) have the same source
but different names.
of them can be called deep and profound,
The deepest and the most profound, the door of all
way that can be spoken of
Is not the constant way;
The name that can be named
Is not the constant name.
nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth;
The named was the mother of the myriad creatures.
always rid yourself of desires
in order to observe its secrets;
But always allow yourself to have desires,
in order to observe its manifestations.
two are the same
But diverge in name as they issue forth.
Being the same they are called mysteries,
Mystery upon mystery -
The gateway of the manifold secrets.
Tao which can be expressed is not the unchanging Tao;
the name which can be named is not the unchanging
nameless is the beginning of the Heaven
Earth; the mother of all things is the nameable.
Thus, while the eternal not-being leads toward the
the eternal being conducts to the boundary.
these two have been differently named they come from
the same they may be described as the abysmal.
The abyss of the abysmal is the gate of all mystery.
DAO that can be expressed is not the eternal DAO.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.'Non-existence'
I call the beginning of Heaven and Earth.
'Existence' I call the mother of individual beings.
does the direction towards nonexistence lead to the
sight of the miraculous essence,
the direction towards existence to the sight of spatial
are one in origin and different only in name.
In its unity it is called the secret.
The secret's still deeper secret is the gateway through
which all miracles emerge.
Way that can be told of is not an Unvarying Way;
The names that can be named are not unvarying names.
was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang;
The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand
creatures, each after its kind.
'Only he that rids himself forever of desire can see
the Secret Essences';
he that has never rid himself of desire can see only
two things issued from the same mould, but nevertheless
are different in name.
This 'same mould' we can but call the Mystery,
Or rather the 'Darker than any Mystery',
The Doorway whence issued all Secret Essences.
Translations of Chapter 1)