wise person hears Tao,
he practices it diligently. When an
average person hears Tao, he practices it
sometimes, and just as often ignores it.
When an inferior person hears Tao,
he roars with laughter.
If he didn’t laugh,
it wouldn’t be
the age old sayings:
The way to illumination appears dark.
The way that advances appears to retreat.
The way that is easy appears to be hard.
The highest virtue appears empty.
The purest goodness appears soiled.
The most profound creativity appears fallow.
The strongest power appears weak.
The most genuine seems unreal.
The greatest space has no corners.
The largest talent matures slowly.
The highest voice can’t be heard.
The most luminous image
can’t be seen.
Tao is hidden
and has no name.
Tao alone nourishes
and fulfills all
from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,
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