Tao Te Ching

Verse Four – 4

The Tao is like an empty container:
it can never be emptied and can never be filled.
Infinitely deep, it is the source of all things.
It dulls the sharp, unties the knotted,
shades the lighted, and unites all of creation with dust.

It is hidden but always present.
I don’t know who gave birth to it .
It is older than the concept of God.

This verse is a description of the nature of the Tao, which is the fundamental principle of the universe according to Taoist philosophy. The verse emphasizes the emptiness and vastness of the Tao, which is paradoxically also the source of all things.

The imagery in the verse suggests that the Tao has a transformative effect on the world. The sharp edges become smooth and the twisted knots loosen, suggesting that the Tao has a calming influence that can resolve conflicts and ease tensions. The sun being softened by a cloud suggests that the Tao has a moderating effect on extremes, bringing balance to the world. Finally, the dust settling into place suggests that the Tao brings order and harmony to the chaos of the world.



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