Something to Think About – May 2013

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Two translations of the same text, Chapter 11 of the Tao Te Ching.

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being
but non-being is what we use.
(translation by Stephen Mitchell (1988))

clay-jar2

Thirty spokes share a hub;
The usefulness of the cart
lies in the space where there is nothing.

Clay is kneaded into a vessel;
The usefulness of the vessel
lies in the space where there is nothing.

A room is created by cutting out doors and windows;
The usefulness of the room
lies in the space where there is nothing.

Therefore,
The benefit of things lies in the usefulness of nothing.
(translation by Yasuhiko Genku Kimura (2004))

Resources:
http://www.earlywomenmasters.net/tao/ch_11.html
Image:
http://www.google.ca/imgres?um=1&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=826&tbm=isch&tbnid=JI1iDY9Y8UI5mM:&imgrefurl=http://hollysdevos.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/gods-jars-of-clay/&docid=rYQj7qA1XDxzYM&imgurl=http://hollysdevos.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/clay-jar2.jpg&w=1100&h=731&ei=K29wUfrKCIq6igL5uoGgAQ&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:12,s:0,i:116&iact=rc&dur=1982&page=1&tbnh=179&tbnw=270&start=0&ndsp=27&tx=133&ty=73

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