I had put aside a particular translation of the *Tao Te Ching* to let it “rest” for a couple of years.  The collection of parables works that way for me.  I sometimes consult the more conventional translations to ground my thinking when I become more airy fairy thus less than practical.

The version of the “Tao” based upon the Ma-Wang-Tu manuscripts has a slightly different twist.  In as much as the Tao can’t be defined, the Ma-Wang-Tu version has a more contemporary, pragmatic feel to it.

The *Tao Te Ching* is not a specifically religious text, but is a collection of verses that help a person to uncover their own innate personal wisdom.  You can belong to any religion, or be attached to no religion.  In any case, the reader will hopefully become more sensitive to their own inner balance.

With the onset of the year 2012 and its promise of much turmoil and political strife, I decided it was time to fetch my copy of the Ma -Wang-Tu based *Tao* out of storage to consult.

For today’s post, I offer up the chapter #55 in the Ma-Wang-Tu which is normally chapter #11 in other versions of the book.

“Thirty spokes converge on a single hub,
   but it is in the space where there is nothing
      that the usefulness of the cart lies.
Clay is molded to make a pot,
   but it is in the space where there is nothing
      that the usefulness of the clay pot lies.
Cut out doors and windows to make a room,
   but it is in the spaces where there is nothing
      that the usefulness of the room lies.

   Benefit may be derived from something,
      but it is in nothing that we find usefulness.”

My commentary about this chapter contains next to nothing.  In as much as you care, re-read the verse.  Do you see how it may have or  may still apply to your own life?


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes this famous passage:
“Understanding others is knowledge,
Understanding oneself is enlightenment:
Conquering others is power,
Conquering oneself is strength….”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Meanderings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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