Dao de Jing: The Book of the Way

By Laozi; Moss Roberts | Go to book overview

STANZA 16
1. By reaching utmost receptivity
2. And keeping steadfast stability, 1
3. I, as myriads come forth in profusion,
4. Contemplate their circulation. 2
5. All multiply in fruitful growth,
6. Then bend homeward to their root. 3
7. This going home call equilibrium;
8. Equilibrium, returning life;
9. Returning life, call natural order;
10. To know this order, inner vision.
11. Not to know it is delusion.
12. Delusion will produce misfortune.
13. Knowing order means acceptance;
14. Acceptance, magnanimity;
15. Magnanimity, totality;
16. Totality, accord with heaven;
17. Accord with heaven, with the Way;
18. With the Way, long-lasting life;
19. The self submerged will not miscarry.

COMMENT The penultimate line of stanza 15, “Those who embrace the Way do not grow too great, ” leads to the word xu (empty, open, receptive) in line 1 of this stanza. Xu suggests heaven's space; while jing (stable, steady, in balance) in line 2 suggests earth's solidity. 4 The “emptiness” of the mind enables it to take in the objective world without distortion. Xu and jing, clear thought and physical balance, make possible guan, creative contemplation, in line 4.

By using the word xu Laozi opened the door to a complex rein

-64-

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Dao de Jing: The Book of the Way
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Dedication and Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Dao De Jing 25
  • Stanza 1 27
  • Stanza 2 30
  • Stanza 3 33
  • Stanza 4 36
  • Stanza 5 38
  • Stanza 6 41
  • Stanza 7 43
  • Stanza 8 45
  • Stanza 9 47
  • Stanza 10 48
  • Stanza 11 51
  • Stanza 12 53
  • Stanza 13 55
  • Stanza 14 59
  • Stanza 15 62
  • Stanza 16 64
  • Stanza 17 66
  • Stanza 18 68
  • Stanza 19 70
  • Stanza 20 72
  • Stanza 21 74
  • Stanza 22 76
  • Stanza 23 78
  • Stanza 24 80
  • Stanza 25 82
  • Stanza 26 84
  • Stanza 27 86
  • Stanza 28 88
  • Stanza 29 90
  • Stanza 30 91
  • Stanza 31 93
  • Stanza 32 95
  • Stanza 33 97
  • Stanza 34 98
  • Stanza 35 100
  • Stanza 36 101
  • Stanza 37 103
  • Stanza 38 106
  • Stanza 39 109
  • Stanza 40 112
  • Stanza 41 114
  • Stanza 42 116
  • Stanza 43 118
  • Stanza 44 121
  • Stanza 45 123
  • Stanza 46 125
  • Stanza 47 126
  • Stanza 48 128
  • Stanza 49 130
  • Stanza 50 132
  • Stanza 51 134
  • Stanza 52 136
  • Stanza 53 138
  • Stanza 54 139
  • Stanza 55 141
  • Stanza 56 143
  • Stanza 57 145
  • Stanza 58 147
  • Stanza 59 149
  • Stanza 60 151
  • Stanza 61 153
  • Stanza 62 155
  • Stanza 63 156
  • Stanza 64 158
  • Stanza 65 161
  • Stanza 66 163
  • Stanza 67 165
  • Stanza 68 168
  • Stanza 69 169
  • Stanza 70 171
  • Stanza 71 172
  • Stanza 72 174
  • Stanza 73 176
  • Stanza 74 177
  • Stanza 75 179
  • Stanza 76 180
  • Stanza 77 181
  • Stanza 78 183
  • Stanza 79 184
  • Stanza 80 186
  • Stanza 81 188
  • Notes 189
  • Selected Bibliography 223
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