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Click on a sentence 1 2 3 4 5 Chapter 13 Chapter 15 Back to index

Ch. 14 Sentence 1
Beck We look at it, and do not see it; it is invisible. We listen to it, and do not hear it; it is inaudible. We touch it, and do not feel it; it is intangible.
Blackney They call it elusive, and say That one looks But it never appears. They say that indeed it is rare, Since one listens, But never a sound. Subtle, they call it, and say That one grasps it But never gets hold.
Bynner What we look for beyond seeing And call the unseen, Listen for beyond hearing, Grasp for beyond reaching and call the withheld,
Byrn Look for it, and it can't be seen. Listen for it, and it can't be heard. Grasp for it, and it can't be caught.
Chan We look at it and do not see it; Its name is The Invisible. We listen to it and do not hear it; Its name is The Inaudible. We touch it and do not find it; Its name is The Subtle (formless).
Cleary What you don't see when you look is called the unobtrusive. What you don't hear when you listen is called the rarefied. What you don't get when you grasp is called the subtle.
Crowley We look at it, and see it not, though it is Omnipresent; and we name it the Root-Balance. We listen for it, and hear it not, though it is Omniscient; and we name it the Silence. We feel for it, and touch it not, though it is Omnipotent; and we name it the Concealed.
Hansen Look at it and fail to see: its name is 'remote.' Listen to it and fail to hear: its name is 'diffuse.' Feel it and fail to get anything: its name is 'subtle.'
LaFargue "Look for It, you won't see It: It is called 'fleeting' Listen for It, you won't hear It: It is called 'thin'. Grasp at It, you can't get It: It is called 'subtle'."
Legge We look at it, and we do not see it, and we name it 'the Equable.' We listen to it, and we do not hear it, and we name it 'the Inaudible.' We try to grasp it, and do not get hold of it, and we name it 'the Subtle.'
Lindauer Being observed, lacking sight Say the name smooth Being listened to, lacking hearing Say the name rare Being pounced on, lacking obtainment Say the name small.
LinYutan Looked at, but cannot be seen - That is called the Invisible (yi). Listened to, but cannot be heard - That is called the Inaudible (hsi). Grasped at, but cannot be touched - That is called the Intangible (wei).
Mabry Look for it and it cannot be seen - it is beyond sight. Listen for it and it cannot be heard - it is beyond hearing. Grasp at it and it cannot be caught - it is beyond substance.
McDonald Look at it, it can't be seen, is called the invisible. Listen to it, it can't be heard, is called the inaudible. Grasp at it, it can't be touched, is called the fine formless.
Merel Looked at but cannot be seen - it is beneath form; Listened to but cannot be heard - it is beneath sound; Held but cannot be touched - it is beneath feeling;
Mitchell Look, and it can't be seen. Listen, and it can't be heard. Reach, and it can't be grasped.
Muller Look for it, it cannot be seen. It is called the distant. Listen for it, it cannot be heard. It is called the rare. Reach for it, it cannot be gotten. It is called the subtle.
Red Pine We look but don't see it and call it indistinct we listen but don't hear it and call it faint we reach but don't grasp it and call it ethereal
Ta-Kao That which we look at and cannot see is called plainness. That which we listen to and cannot hear is called rareness. That which we grope for and cannot get is called minuteness.
Walker Looked at but not seen, listened to but not heard, grasped for but not held, formless, soundless, intangible:
Wayism When you look at it but cannot see it. When you listen to it but cannot hear it. When you reach for it but cannot grasp it:
Wieger Looking, one does not see it, for it is invisible. Listening, one does not hear it, for it is silent. Touching, one does not feel it, for it is impalpable.
World Look and see the manifestations of the Infinite but not its essence. Listen and hear the manifestations of the Infinite but not its essence. Reach out and touch the manifestations of the Infinite but not its essence.
Wu Look at it but you cannot see it! Its name is Formless. Listen to it but you cannot hear it! Its name is Soundless. Grasp it but you cannot get it! Its name is Incorporeal.


Ch. 14 Sentence 2
Beck These three elude our inquiries, and hence merge into one.
Blackney These three complaints amount To only one, which is Beyond all resolution.
Bynner Merge beyond understanding In a oneness
Byrn These three cannot be further described, so we treat them as The One.
Chan These three cannot be further inquired into, And hence merge into one.
Cleary These three cannot be completely fathomed, so they merge into one;
Crowley These three Virtues has it, yet we cannot describe it as consisting of them; but, mingling them aright, we apprehend the One.
Hansen This threesome cannot be exhaustively probed for portents. Hence we blend them and deem them as one.
LaFargue These three lines are about something that evades scrutiny. Yes, in it everything blends and becomes one.
Legge With these three qualities, it cannot be made the subject of description; and hence we blend them together and obtain The One.
Lindauer That which these three describes cannot be resolved So they mingle yet act as one.
LinYutan These three elude our inquiries And hence blend and become One.
Mabry These three cannot be fully comprehended. They re fundamentally connected and somehow they are one.
McDonald These three elude all solid inquiries And merge and become one.
Merel These depthless things evade definition, And blend into a single mystery.
Mitchell -
Muller These three ultimately cannot be fathomed. Therefore they join to become one.
Red Pine three failed means to knowledge I weave into one
Ta-Kao These three cannot be closely examined; So they blend into One.
Walker the Tao resists analysis and defies comprehension.
Wayism The unfathomable is the One.
Wieger These three attributes must not be separated, for they designate one and the same being.
World These three are one in their inability to relate the essence of Infinity.
Wu These three attributes are unfathomable; Therefore they fuse into one.


Ch. 14 Sentence 3
Beck Not by its rising, is it bright, nor by its sinking, is it dark. Infinite and eternal, it cannot be defined. It returns to nothingness.
Blackney At rising, it does not illumine; At setting, no darkness ensues; It stretches far back To that nameless estate Which existed before the creation.
Bynner Which does not merely rise and give light, Does not merely set and leave darkness, But forever sends forth a succession of living things as mysterious As the unbegotten existence to which they return.
Byrn Its highest is not bright. Its depths are not dark. Unending, unnamable, it returns to nothingness.
Chan Going up high, it is not bright, and coming down low, it is not dark. Infinite and boundless, it cannot be given any name; It reverts to nothingness.
Cleary above is not bright, below is not dark. Continuous, unnameable, it returns again to nothing.
Crowley Above it shines not; below, it is not dark. It moves all continuously, without Expression, returning into Naught.
Hansen Its height is not sparkling. Its depth is not murky. Stringlike, it cannot be named. It reverts to being no natural kind.
LaFargue Its top is not bright Its underside is not dim. Always unnameable, It turns back to nothingness.
Legge Its upper part is not bright, and its lower part is not obscure. Ceaseless in its action, it yet cannot be named, and then it again returns and becomes nothing.
Lindauer What is high lacks brightness What is low lacks darkness Restrictions and restraints cannot be named Return, merge with, relate to the absence of things.
LinYutan Not by its rising, is there light, Nor by its sinking, is there darkness. Unceasing, continuous, It cannot be defined, And reverts again to the realm of nothingness.
Mabry Its highest is not bright. Its lowest isn't dark. It is infinite! Continually emerging, completely beyond description, It returns again and again to nothingness.
McDonald Its rising brings no light; its sinking, no darkness. Unceasing, continuous, it can't be defined, on the way back to where there's nothing.
Merel In its rising there is no light, In its falling there is no darkness, A continuous thread beyond description, Lining what does not exist;
Mitchell Seamless, unnameable, it returns to the realm of nothing. Above, it isn't bright. Below, it isn't dark.
Muller Its top is not bright; Its bottom is not dark; Existing continuously, it cannot be named and it returns to no-thingness.
Red Pine with no light above and no shade below too fine to be named returning to nothing
Ta-Kao Revealed, it is not dazzling; Hidden, it is not dark. Infinite, it cannot be defined. It goes back to non-existence.
Walker Its rising is not about light, its setting not a matter of darkness. Unnameable, unending, emerging continually, and continually pouring back into nothingness,
Wayism It is neither bright on appearing or dark on disappearing, it merely is. It flows from the void and returns again to it.
Wieger This being, the Principle, is not light above and dark below, as are opaque material bodies. Like a slender thread, it unwinds itself (as continuous existence and action). It has no name of its own. It goes back as far as the time when there were no other beings but itself.
World Above it is not light. Below it is not dark. It is neither light nor dark. Infinity is the potential manifestation of all things and the essence into which all manifestations disintegrate. Yet it is inconceivable and indescribable; intangible but the essence of all manifestations.
Wu Its upper side is not bright: Its under side not dim. Continually the Unnameable moves on, Until it returns beyond the realm of things.


Ch. 14 Sentence 4
Beck This is the form of the formless, being in non-being. It is nebulous and elusive. Meet it, and you do not see its beginning. Follow it, and you do not see its end.
Blackney Describe it as form yet unformed; As shape that is still without shape; Or say it is vagueness confused: One meets it and it has no front; One follows and there is no rear.
Bynner That is why men have called them empty phenomena, Meaningless images, In a mirage With no face to meet, No back to follow.
Byrn Formless forms, and imageless images, subtle, beyond all understanding. Approach it and you will not see a beginning; follow it and there will be no end.
Chan This is called shape without shape, Form without objects. It is the Vague and Elusive. Meet it and you will not see its head. Follow it and you will not see its back.
Cleary This is called the stateless state, the image of no thing; this is called mental abstraction. When you face it you do not see its head, and when you follow it you do not see its back.
Crowley It is the Form of That which is beyond Form; it is the Image of the Invisible; it is Change, and Without Limit. We confront it, and see not its Face; we pursue it, and its Back is hidden from us.
Hansen This we call the condition of being in no condition; the sign of no natural kind. This we call 'confused' and 'indistinct.' Facing it you cannot see its head; Following it you cannot see its rear
LaFargue This is the shape of something shapeless the form of a nothing this is elusive and evasive. Encountering It, you won't see the front following It, you won't see Its back.
Legge This is called the Form of the Formless, and the Semblance of the Invisible; this is called the Fleeting and Indeterminable. We meet it and do not see its Front; we follow it, and do not see its Back.
Lindauer It is an appropriate action to call it The absence of being shape's shape The absence of being thing's form. It is appropriately called ungraspable, elusive Moving toward it there is no seeing a head Following it there is no seeing a tail.
LinYutan That is why it is called the Form of the Formless, The Image of Nothingness. That is why it is called the Elusive: Meet it and you do not see its face; Follow it and you do not see its back.
Mabry And this is what nothingness looks like: It is the image of the absence of being. (It sounds vague and elusive to me!) Approach it and you will not see its beginning Follow it and you will not see its end.
McDonald It's called shape free from shapes; forms without form; the image of nothingness. That's why it's called the elusive; Go towards them, and you can see no physical front; go after them, and you see no rear.
Merel Its form formless, Its image nothing, Its name silence; Follow it, it has no back, Meet it, it has no face.
Mitchell Form that includes all forms, image without an image, subtle, beyond all conception. Approach it and there is no beginning; follow it and there is no end.
Muller Thus, it is called the formless form, The image of no-thing. This is called the most obscure. Go to meet it, you cannot see its face. Follow it, you cannot see its back.
Red Pine this is the formless form the immaterial image this is the waxing waning we meet without seeing its face we follow without seeing its back
Ta-Kao It is called the form of the formless, And the image of non~existence. it is called mystery. Meet it, you cannot see its face; Follow it, you cannot see its back.
Walker It is formless form, unseeable image, elusive, evasive unimaginable mystery. Confront it, and you won't see its face. Follow it and you can't find an end.
Wayism Approach it and there is no beginning; follow it and there is no end. You can not know it, but you can be in it.
Wieger It has no parts; from in front one sees no head, from behind no rear.
World You cannot confront what has no head and you cannot follow what has no tail.
Wu We call it the formless Form, the imageless Image. We call it the indefinable and unimaginable. Confront it and you do not see its face! Follow it and you do not see its back!


Ch. 14 Sentence 5
Beck Stay with the ancient Way in order to master what is present. Knowing the primeval beginning is the essence of the Way.
Blackney If you hold ever fast To that most ancient Way, You may govern today. Call truly that knowledge Of primal beginnings The clue to the Way.
Bynner Yet one who is anciently aware of existence Is master of every moment, Feels no break since time beyond time In the way life flows.
Byrn When we grasp the Tao of the ancient ones, we can use it to direct our life today. To know the ancient origin of Tao: this is the beginning of wisdom.
Chan Hold on to the Tao of old in order to master the things of the present. From this one may know the primeval beginning (of the universe). This is called the bond of Tao.
Cleary Hold to the ancient Way so as to direct present existence: only when you know the ancient can this be called the basic cycle of the Way.
Crowley Ah! But apply the Dao as in old Time to the work of the present: Know it as it was known in the beginning; follow fervently the Thread of the Dao.
Hansen If you grasp guiding discourse from ancient times in dealing with today's reality you can know the ancient beginnings. This is called a guiding discourse's record.
LaFargue Keep to the Tao of the ancients and so manage things happening today. The ability to know the ancient sources, this is the main thread of Tao.
Legge When we can lay hold of the Tao of old to direct the things of the present day, and are able to know it as it was of old in the beginning, this is called (unwinding) the clue of Tao.
Lindauer Holding the tao of the ancients Warding off presence of the now happens The ability to know the ancient beginnings Is appropriately called a bond to tao.
LinYutan -
Mabry If you cling to the Tao of ancient times the present will be no problem. To know the ancient origin is to follow the Tao.
McDonald Hold on to the dao of old to master the things of the present. Master what once was, at the start, It's the essence of rarefied, pearl-stringed dao.
Merel Attend the present to deal with the past; Thus you grasp the continuity of the Way, Which is its essence.
Mitchell You can't know it, but you can be it, at ease in your own life. Just realize where you come from: this is the essence of wisdom.
Muller By holding to the ancient Tao You can manage present existence And know the primordial beginning. This is called the very beginning thread of the Tao.
Red Pine holding onto this very Way we rule this very realm and discover its ancient past this is the thread of the Way
Ta-Kao By adhering to the Tao of the past You will master the existence of the present And be able to know the origin of the past. This is called the clue of Tao.
Walker Perceive its ancient subtle heart, however, and you become master of the moment. Know what came before time, and the beginning of wisdom is yours.
Wayism Taking hold of the One from ever past uproots the problems of the present. Knowing the ancient origins of self; is the essence of wisdom.37
Wieger It is this primordial Principle that has ruled, and rules, all beings right up to the present. Everything that has been, or is, since the ancient origin, is from the unwinding of the Principle.
World Remember your oneness, flow in the peace and harmony of Infinity, live in the now, changing and flowing with change. There was no beginning. This is the mystery of Infinity.
Wu Yet, equipped with this timeless Tao, You can harness present realities. To know the origins is initiation into the Tao.