Wednesday, February 23, 2011

11: The Necessity of Emptiness


Thirty spokes are joined in the wheel's hub.
The hole in the middle makes it useful.
Mold clay into a bowl.
The empty space makes it useful.
Cut out doors and windows for the house.
The holes make it useful.
Therefore, the value comes from what is there,
But the use comes from what is not there.

The Necessity of Emptiness

This chapter, with its focus on the essential role of emptiness, could just as well be a Zen saying. Surely, Lao Tzu made this observation with a smile on his face...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 11 Translation and Commentary

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