Tao Te Ching 11 - Empitness and Non-Being
title: Tao Te Ching 11 - Empitness and Non-Being — 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 [[ Derek Lin ]]
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