Robert Brookes’ translation
“The Tao is an empty bowl [value of emptiness: emptiness makes it inexhaustible to those who use it; you can “fill” that empty bowl anyway you want.]
inexhaustible to those who use it.
Indeed, in its depths lies the origin of all things.
It dulls the sharp edges
softens the glare.
Yet it remains a part of the physical world.
This hidden tranquility –
I do not know its origin –
it has existed forever
it will endure forever.”
The Tao, infinitely empty, and eternal. How does it act in our world? Robert Brookes insists it remains a part of the physical world. But, how can this be? How can the eternal interact with the temporal? How can it be a part of the temporal?
Hidden. Having existed forever. Enduring forever. Eternally tranquil.
道是虚无的，但它的作用却似乎无穷无尽。它是那样的幽深莫测，像是一切存在的本 源依归。它消磨了锋角，排解了纠纷，柔和了光芒，浑同于尘俗。它无形无迹呵，像 是很不确定的存在。我不知道在它之上还能有什么更本源的存在，只觉得它存在于天 帝之前。