Translation: Tao Te King – Chapter 11. Usefulness of emptiness

Chapter 11. Usefulness of emptiness

The thirty spokes of the wheel that are joined in the center are made useful by the hollow in the middle where emptiness reigns.

Picture of an ancient chinese pottery for holding drink or food
Clay pot from Majiayao Culture, late Neolithic Period (3300 – 2200 B.C.). CC-BY 2.5 by photographer and uploader Editor at Large

Vessels made of clay are useful because of their hollowness.

Doors and windows are of use to the building because they are taken away from the wall.

Being is meritorious, but non-being is useful.


Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka ErvastĀ (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura ry.

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