Tao Te Ching

Verse Twenty Five – 25

There was something undifferentiated and yet complete,
Which existed before Heaven and Earth.
Soundless and formless, it depends on nothing and does not change.
It operates everywhere and is free from danger.
It may be considered the mother of the universe.
I do not know its name; I call it Tao.
If forced to give it a name, I shall call it Great.

Being great, it flows out;
Flowing out means far-reaching;
Being far-reaching, it is said to return.

It is greater than Heaven – the Great Tao.
It is greater than Earth – the source of all things.
Thus, Tao is great; Heaven is great;
Earth is great; the King is also great.
These are the four great powers of the universe,
And the King is one of them.

Man follows Earth.
Earth follows Heaven.
Heaven follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself.

In this verse, Lao Tzu describes the Tao as an eternal, undifferentiated, and complete force that existed before Heaven and Earth. He emphasizes its greatness and pervasive nature, which flows throughout the universe and returns to itself.

The verse also presents the idea of the four great powers: the Tao, Heaven, Earth, and the King (a symbol for humanity). Each follows the one above, with the Tao being the ultimate source that guides and influences all others. By understanding and embracing the Tao, one can harmonize with the natural order of the universe and find balance in life.



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