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When the highest type of men hear the Tao (truth),

they try hard to live in accordance with it.

When the mediocre type hear the Tao,

they seem to be aware and yet unaware of it.

When the lowest type hear the Tao,

They break into loud laughter -

If it were not laughed at, it would not be Tao.

Therefore there is the established saying:

'Who understands Tao seems dull of comprehension;

Who is advance in Tao seems to slip backwards;

Who moves on the even Tao (Path) seems to go up and down.'

Superior character appears like a hollow (valley);

Sheer white appears like tarnished;

Great character appears like infirm;

Pure worth appears like contaminated.

Great space has no corners;

Great talent takes long to mature;

Great music is faintly heard;

Great form has no contour;

And Tao is hidden without a name.

It is this Tao that is adept at lending (its power)

and bringing fulfillment.


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