Chapter Four of Daodejing

This chapter explores the qualities of Dao.


Commentary

If there were truly nothing, then not even nothing would exist. If there were truly nothing, then not even probability would exist. Even if there were a lack of existence, but only probability, that would be beyond comprehension as even probability is something astonishing and beyond comprehension. That there is anything at all is awe-inspiring even in the mildest of forms. When we truly open up to the intense wonder that Dao instills, its like having our brains erased. There is no thought that can do it justice, there is no emotion that can capture it. In fact, our nervous systems deliberately filter the true intensity of Dao from our awareness. This is important since to fully feel the power of Dao would result in our human minds being destroyed. We can be thankful for the human embodiment of Dao, that lets us consciously experience a facet of Dao, while still allowing us to exist as humble creatures.


Translation

Dao's abundance and usefulness are never exhausted.

(Dao) is deep, like the reservoir of everything.

(Dao) rounds edges, unties knots, dims brightness, and aligns itself with its humblest parts.

(Dao) is deep, appearing infinite.

I don't know whose son it is, it's like God's predecessor.


Simplified Chinese

道冲而用之或不盈。

渊兮似万物之宗。

挫其锐,解其纷,和其光,同其尘。

湛兮似或存。

吾不知其谁之子,象帝之先。


Pinyin

dào chōng ér yòng zhī huò bù yíng。

yuān xī sì wàn wù zhī zōng。

cuò qí ruì,jiě qí fēn,hé qí guāng,tóng qí chén。

zhàn xī sì huò cún。

wú bù zhī qí shuí zhī zǐ,xiàng dì zhī xiān。

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