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Receptive as a valley

15 -What kind of people were the Taoist sages?

In ancient times there were great Taoist Sages.
Their way of living was so deep, so subtle, it cannot be directly explained.
Instead, here is how they looked:
Cautious, as if crossing the ford of a stream in Winter
Alert, as if surrounded by danger
Polite, as if they were always a guest
Yielding, like ice that is on the verge of melting
Sincere, like an uncut block of wood
Receptive, like a valley
Opaque, like muddy water

(Q:)
Who can wait quietly for muddy water to slowly settle and become clear?
Who can continue to calmly live, and so experience nature's constant, slow growth?

(A:)
People who follow the Tao do not desire excess to be full.
People who do not desire excess have unseen energy that constantly invigorates.

Chinese Text

 

 

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