Wednesday, February 23, 2011

21: The Clarity of Obscurity


The greatest virtue is to follow the Way utterly.
Its nature is utterly vague and evasive.
How evasive and vague!
Yet its center has form.
How vague and evasive!
Yet its center has substance.
How deep and obscure!
Yet its center has essence.
This essence is real,
So, its center can be trusted.
From now back to antiquity,
Its name has not been lost.
Thereby, see the origin of all.
How do I know it is the origin of all?
By this.

The Clarity of Obscurity

This is an outburst of the poet in Lao Tzu. Here and in many other chapters of the book, he suddenly marvels at the magnificent mystery of it all. But it's not a mystery in which he is lost or blinded. Quite the opposite...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 21 Translation and Commentary

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