Tao Te Ching #28: “Know the male, keep the female”
Know the male, keep the female;
be humble toward the world.
But humble to the world,
and eternal power never leaves,
returning again to innocence.
Knowing the white, keep the black;
be an exemplar for the world.
Be an exemplar for the world,
and eternal power never goes awry,
returning again to infinity.
Knowing the glorious, keep the ignominious;
be open to the world.
Be open to the world,
and eternal power suffices,
returning again to simplicity.
Simplicity is lost to make instruments,
which sages employ as functionaries.
Therefore the great fashioner does no splitting.
– Thomas Cleary
Recognize the male
but hold on to the female
and be the world’s maid
being the world’s maid
don’t lost your Immortal Virtue
not losing your Immortal Virtue
be a newborn child again
recognize the pure
but hold on to the base
and be the world’s valley
being the world’s valley
be filled with Immortal Virtue
being filled with Immortal Virtue
be a block of wood again
recognize the white
but hold on to the black
and be the world’s guide
being the world’s guide
don’t stray from your Immortal Virtue
not straying from your Immortal Virtue
be without limits again
a block of wood can be split to make tools
sages make it their chief official
a master tailor doesn’t cut
– Red Pine
Acknowledge the male,
But retain the female:
Be a drain-way for the world below the sky.
As a drain-way for the world below the sky,
Your constant power will never depart,
Will lead back home to infancy.
Acknowledge the white
But remember the black:
Be a measure for the world below the sky.
As a measure for the world below the sky,
Your constant power will never decline,
Will lead back home to before duality.
But remember humility:
Be a valley for the world below the sky.
As a valley for the world below the sky,
Your constant power will suffice,
Will lead home to stark simplicity.
“As simplicity disintegrated useful things were forged”:
These were the words that wise men went by
When serving as officers and elders,
For fine cutters never harm the stone.
– Moss Roberts