Dao de Jing: The Book of the Way

By Laozi; Moss Roberts | Go to book overview
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STANZA 52
1. The world below has its gestation;
2. We hold there's a mother of all below.
3. The mother gained
4. The children known;
5. The children known,
6. The mother regained;
7. Then your life will not miscarry.
8. Interdict all interaction;
9. Seal and bar all gates and doors;
10. Thus prevent debility.
11. Open paths of interaction;
12. Busy furthering your ends;
13. Then never make recovery.
14. True vision marks the smallest signs;
15. Real strength keeps to the gentler way.
16. Apply your view,
17. But regain true vision's inner home.
18. Fall not into life's misfortunes;
19. Strive for the common lasting norm.

COMMENT The first thirteen lines of this stanza combine the theme of stanza 47—“No need to venture past the door / To know this world below the skies”—with the maternal aspect of the Way. The innumerable offspring—the effects—must be “known” and kept in perspective. But the original cause should never be forgotten. Hold fast to the source of things; then the relation of Dao to

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