When people with pure thinking habits hear the Tao,
They practice it diligently.
When people with the average type of thinking habits hear the Tao,
They seem to understand, yet they soon forget.
When people with vulgar thinking habits hear the Tao,
They find it to be ridiculous.
If vulgar people did not ridicule it,
It would be a less useful Tao.
Know these sayings:
“He who is enlightened with Tao seems dark.
He who is advancing with Tao seems to be slipping back.
The straight and smooth Tao seems crooked and rugged.
The fullest virtue seems empty.
The purest virtue appears unjustly shamed.
The greatest virtue appears in need.
The strongest virtue appears weak.
The purest chastity appears coquettish.
The finest stage is an empty field.
The finest painting is in the implied brush strokes.
The finest music is in the moments between the notes.
The finest method is in the emptiness between the actions.”
The way of Tao is invisible, and
Tao may only be alluded to, yet
It is Tao which creates things and brings things to an end.