Saturday, April 11, 2009

6: The Womb


The valley spirit never dies.
It is called the mystical female.
The entrance to the mystical female
Is called the root of Heaven and Earth.
Though gossamer,
As if barely existing,
It is used but never spent.

The Womb

Lao Tzu allows himself some play with words here. The Chinese word for valley, ku, can be translated gorge, and the word for female (of any species) also refers to a deep gorge. The word for mystical, hsüan, can be translated dark or deep. So, Lao Tzu describes a dark depth, from the entrance of which the whole world springs, like a child does from its mother's womb...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 6 Translation and Commentary


  1. And from another swedish writer we have learned that female is the first gender ;)

  2. Thanks for the thought provoking post.