Wednesday, February 23, 2011

25: Four Greats


There was something that finished chaos,
Born before Heaven and Earth.
So silent and still!
So pure and deep!
It stands alone and immutable,
Ever-present and inexhaustible.
It can be called the mother of the whole world.
I do not know its name. I call it the Way.
For the lack of better words I call it great.
Great means constant flow.
Constant flow means far-reaching.
Far-reaching means returning.
That is how the Way is great.
Heaven is great,
Earth is great,
And the king is also great.
In the world there are four greats,
And the king is one of them.
Man is ruled by Earth.
Earth is ruled by Heaven.
Heaven is ruled by the Way.
The Way is ruled by itself.

Four Greats

Not once, but twice, Lao Tzu states that the king is one of the greats – as if he struggles to convince himself of it. He was obviously not unaware of possible doubts to this statement...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 25 Translation and Commentary

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