Book - Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
Stephen Mitchell Translation
We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.
Other translations I like
Thirty spokes meet in the hub.
Where the wheel isn’t is where it’s useful.
Hollowed out, clay makes a pot.
Where the pot’s not is where it’s useful.
Cut doors and windows to make a room.
Where the room isn’t, there’s room for you.
So the profit in what is, is in the use of what isn’t.
Ursula Le Guin
Thirty spokes join one hub.
The wheel’s use comes from emptiness.
Clay is fired to make a pot.
The pot’s use comes from emptiness.
Windows and doors are cut to make a room.
The room’s use comes from emptiness.
Therefore, Having leads to profit, Not having leads to use.
Stephen Addiss & Stanley Lombardo
Thirty spokes join in one hub
In its emptiness, there is the function of a vehicle
Mix clay to create a container
In its emptiness, there is the function of a container2
Cut open doors and windows to create a room
In its emptiness, there is the function of a room
Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit
That which is empty is used to create functionality