THE FEMININE TAO 
CHAPTER SEVEN
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Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) (Intro) : 32 Nature Mystic Chapters :
gender-inclusive translations, calligraphy, commentary, seal scripts :

01, 04, 06, 07, 08    09, 10, 11, 15, 21, 22, 23    26, 28, 29, 32, 35,
40, 43, 45, 47    48, 49, 51, 52, 56, 63, 67    70, 73, 77, 79.
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Hymning the Tao Te Ching
(Literal 81 Chapter Chinese-English Study Version)
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Hyperlinked Bibliography: Women Authors on the Tao Te Ching
The Woman Crookback (Zhuangzi)
Picturing Tao (photo above): Crayon Master | Objectivity
Women's Prehistoric Jomon Pottery

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Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by Stephen Mitchell (1988)

The Tao is infinite, eternal.
Why is it eternal?
It was never born;
thus it can never die.
Why is it infinite?
It has no desires for itself;
thus it is present for all beings.

The Master stays behind;
that is why she is ahead. [*]
She is detached from all things;
that is why she is one with them.
Because she has let go of herself,
she is perfectly fulfilled.

---
[*] LORETA POSKAITE says:
"The ability of shengren [sages] to look in both directions
[high and low] actually implies the idea of reversibility
of Tao, later developed into the idea of 'returning to
the secular realm after transcending the
sacral realm.'"

Chinese Character 長 Long Lasting
LONG / LONG LASTING 長 = Chang
Duration, Strength


Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by J. H. McDonald (1996)

The Tao of Heaven is eternal,
and the earth is long enduring. [*]
Why are they long enduring?
They do not live for themselves;
thus they are present for all beings.

The Master puts herself last;
and finds herself in the place of authority.
She detaches herself from all things;
therefore she is united with all things.
She gives no thought to self.
She is perfectly fulfilled.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by Charles Muller (1997)

Heaven and Earth last forever.
The reason that Heaven and Earth are able to last forever
Is because they do not give birth to themselves.
Therefore, they are always alive.

Tao Te Ching Seal Script
(1) heaven (2) lasts long (3) earth (4) is enduring
(5) heaven (6) earth (7) the former (8) thus (9) able to be (10) long (11) also (12) enduring (13) things

Tao Te Ching Seal Script
(1) thusly (2) they (3) do not (4) for themselves (5) exist
(6) therefore (7) are able (8) long (9) to exist

Hence, the sage puts herself last and is first.
She is outside herself and therefore her self lasts.

Is it not through her selflessness [*]
That she is able to perfect herself?

---
[*] TAO TE CHING (Chapter 17) (tr. by Charles Muller) says:
"How careful she is in her precious words!
When her work is complete and her job is finished,
Everybody says, 'We did it!'"

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching / Chapter Seven in Seal Script
(Zhuanshu 篆文, with Wang Pi/Wang Bi Version)
TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT CHAPTER 7
Chapter 7 Seal Script & Interlinear English
Tao Te Ching Seal Script
(1) heaven (2) lasts long (3) earth (4) is enduring
(5) heaven (6) earth (7) the former (8) thus (9) able to be (10) long (11) also (12) enduring (13) things

Tao Te Ching Seal Script
(1) thusly (2) they (3) do not (4) for themselves (5) exist
(6) therefore (7) are able (8) long (9) to exist

Tao Te Ching Seal Script
(1) Yes (2) thusly (3) sagely (4) people
(5) put last (6) them (7) selves (8) and so (9) they (10) advance
(11) beyond (12) them (13) selves (14) and so (15) the self (16) lives on

Tao Te Ching Seal Script
(1) isn't it (2) because (3) they (4) are without (5) self-interest (6) perhaps
(7) that (8) they can (9) fulfill (10) their (11) self-interests

 
Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by Ursula K. Le Guin (1998)

Heaven will last,
earth will endure.
How can they last so long?
They don't exist for themselves
and so can go on and on.

So wise souls
leaving self behind
move forward

and setting self aside
stay centered.
Why let the self go?
To keep what the soul needs.

---
[*] ELLEN M. CHEN comments:
"When the particular follows the universal
or when humans follow earth and heaven,
which in turn follow Tao, they are
as long lasting as Tao."

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
trans. by S. Addiss & S. Lombardo (1993)

Heaven is long, Earth enduring. [*]

Long and enduring
Because they do not exist for themselves.

Therefore the Sage
Steps back, but is always in front,      
Stays outside, but is always within.      

No self-interest?
Self is fulfilled?

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by Thomas Cleary (1998)

Heaven is eternal, earth is everlasting.

The reason they can be eternal and everlasting
is that they do not foster themselves,
that is why they can live forever.

For this reason sages put themselves last,
and they were first;
they excluded themselves,
and they survived.

Was it not by their very selflessness
that they managed to fulfill themselves?

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by Kari Hohne (2009)

The Yin and Yang are old and last forever.
It is because they are without distinction
that they endure.

The truly wise put the person last;
and find they are at the forefront.

What is not guarded will always be preserved.

One that is detached is one with all.

Without thought of the self,
one still accomplishes their private ends.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by Kwan-Yuk Claire Sit (2010)

Heaven lasts and Earth endures.
Why do Heaven last and Earth endure?
It is because they do not exist for themselves.
Therefore, they can be ever-living.
Hence, sages can remain behind yet lead.
They detach themselves from safety yet endure.
Is it not because they are selfless that they are self-realized?

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by Timothy Freke (1999)

Heaven and Earth go on forever.
Why?
Because they have no sense of self.

The Wise advance
by holding back.

They lose themselves,
and find the Whole. [*]

Fulfillment comes from selflessness.

---
[*] TS'AO TAO-CH'UNG
[Cao Daochong 道德經, Taoist nun] comments:
"What is not alive is the basis for life.
By equating life and death, we are no longer burdened
by life and death. By abandoning [dropping away]
bodily form, we are no longer hindered by bodily form."

---
[*] EMILY DICKINSON says:
"Touch Liberty –
then know no more,
but Noon, and Paradise –
---

Chinese Character 先 Advance
ADVANCE 先 = Xian)
First, Before, in Front

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by Tolbert McCarroll (1982)

Heaven and earth last forever.
The reason why heaven and earth last forever
      is that they do not live for themselves.
Hence, they last forever.

Therefore the True Person
      leaves self behind
      and thus is found in front,
      is not guarded and thus is preseved,
      is self-free and thus is able
      to find fulfillment.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by R. T. Ames & D. L. Hall (2003)

The heavens are lasting and the earth enduring.
The reason the world is able to be lasting and enduring
Is because it does not live for self.
Thus it is able to be long lived.

Tao Te Ching Seal Script
(1) Yes (2) thusly (3) sagely (4) people
(5) put last (6) them (7) selves (8) and so (9) they (10) advance
(11) beyond (12) them (13) selves (14) and so (15) are they (16) nurtured

It is on this model that the sages withdraw their persons
from contention yet find themselves out in front,
 Put their own persons out of mind yet find themselves taken care of. [*]
 Isn't it simply because they are unselfish 
that they can satisfy their own needs?

---
[*] AMES & HALL Commentary:
"[It] is because the sages take nature as their mentor that their persons
are preserved and all of their needs are satisfied."

Chinese Character Zi 自, Self, Personal
SELF / PERSONAL 自 = Zi)
(pictograph of a nose)

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 7
translated by Frank J. MacHovec (1962)

The heavens endure; the earth is very old. Why?

Because they do not exist for themselves, they therefore have long life.

The truly wise are content to be last; they are therefore first.
They are indifferent to themselves; they are therefore self-confident.

Perhaps it is because they do not exist for themselves
that they find complete fulfillment.

Tao Te Ching Seal Script
(1) isn't it (2) because (3) they (4) are without (5) self-interest (6) perhaps
(7) that (8) they can (9) fulfill (10) their (11) self-interests

---

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