THE FEMININE TAO 
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO
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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
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Chinese Character for Sunken, Wa
SUNKEN / HOLLOW / EMPTY
(窪 = Wa)
Pictograph = Hole + pool of water
"If you want to become full,
first let yourself become empty."

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translated by J. H. McDonald (1996)

If you want to become whole,
first let yourself become broken.
If you want to become straight,
first let yourself become twisted.

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) bent (2) consequently (3) made whole
(4) twisted (5) consequently (6) ironed out

If you want to become full,
first let yourself become empty.
If you want to become new,
first let yourself become old.
Those whose desires are few get them,
those whose desires are great go astray.

For this reason the Master embraces the Tao,
as an example for the world to follow.
Because she isn't self centered,
people can see the light in her.
Because she does not boast of herself,
she becomes a shining example.
Because she does not glorify herself,
she becomes a person of merit.
Because she wants nothing from the world,
the world cannot overcome her.

When the ancient Masters said,
"If you want to become whole,
then first let yourself be broken,"
they weren't using empty words.
All who do this will be made complete.*

---
[*] ELLEN M. CHEN comments:
"The last line is an injunction to live out one's full
life span before one is called to return to one's source."


Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translated by Ursula K. Le Guin (1998)

Be broken to be whole.
Twist to be straight

Be empty to be full.
Wear out to be renewed.
Have little and gain much.
Have much and get confused.

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) sunken (2) consequently (3) becoming full
(4) grown old (5) consequently (6) renewed
(7) lessening (8) consequently (9) obtaining
(10) excessive (11) consequently (12) confused

So wise souls hold to the one,
and test all things against it.

Not showing themselves,
they shine forth.
Not justifying themselves
they're self-evident.
Not praising themselves,
They're accomplished.
Not competing,
they have in all the world no competitor.

What they used to say in the old days,
"Be broken to be whole,"
was this mistaken?
Truly, to be whole
is to return. [*]

---

Chinese Character for Whole, Quan
ALL / WHOLE / ENTIRE
(全 = Quan)
Perfect, Intact, Complete
Pictograph = Jade + Put away
(for Safe-keeping)

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching / Chapter Twenty-Two in Seal Script
(Zhuanshu 篆文, with Wang Pi / Wang Bi Version)
Seal script for Daodejing / Tao Te Ching Chapter 22
Chapter 22 Seal Script & Interlinear English
TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) bent (2) consequently (3) made whole
(4) twisted (5) consequently (6) ironed out

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) sunken (2) consequently (3) becoming full
(4) grown old (5) consequently (6) renewed
(7) lessening (8) consequently (9) obtaining
(10) excessive (11) consequently (12) confused

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) yes, this (2) is why (3) sagely (4) people (5) embrace (6) the one
(7) serving as (8) heaven (9) below's (10) model
(11) not (12) self (13) focusing on (14) therefore (15) enlightenment
(16) not (17) self (18) yes, exactly (19) therefore (20) realization

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) not (2) self (3) denial (4) therefore (5) having (6) achieved
(7) nor (8) self (9) promotion (10) but thusly (11) immortality
(12) assuredly (13) only (14) do not (15) contend

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) thus (2) in heaven (3) below (4) none (5) able (6) to hand (7) the same (8) a fight
(9) the ancients (10) the same (11) that (12) said
(13) bent (14) consequently (15) made whole (16) things are —

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) are these (2) empty (3) words (4) or not —
(5) in truth (6) made whole (7) thus (8) return to (9) the same

 
Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translated by Roger T. Ames & David L. Hall (2003)

Crimped then whole,
Warped then true,
Hollow then full,
Worn then new,
Modest then satisfied,
Demanding then bewildered.

It is for this reason that the sages grasp oneness
To be shepherds to the world.

Those who are not self-promoting are distinguished,
Those who don't show off shine,
Those who do not brag have lots to show,
Those who are not self-important are enduring.

It is only because they do not contend
That none are able to contend with them.

Isn't what the ancients called "giving up the crimped for the sake of the whole"
Getting close to what those words mean?
This expression indeed says it all.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translated by Charles Muller (1997)

The imperfect is completed.
The crooked is straightened.
The empty is filled.
The old is renewed.
With few there is attainment.
With much there is confusion.
Therefore the sage grasps the one and
becomes the model for all.      

She does not show herself, and therefore
is apparent.      
She does not affirm herself, and therefore
is acknowledged.      
She does not boast and therefore has merit.
She does not strive and is therefore successful.
It is exactly because she does not contend,
that nobody can contend with her.      

How could the ancient saying,
"The imperfect is completed"            
be regarded as empty talk?

Believe in the complete and return to it.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translated by Tolbert McCarroll (1982)

Yield and overcome;
      bend and be straight.
Empty out and be full;
      wear out and be renewed.
Have little and gain;
      have much and be confused.

Therefore, the True Person embraces the One
      and becomes a model for all.

Do not look only at yourself,
      and you will see much.
Do not justify yourself,
      and you will be distinguished.
Do not brag,
      and you will have merit.
Do not be prideful,
      and your work will endure.

It is because you do not strive
      that no one under heaven can strive with you.

The saying of the Old Ones,"Yield and Overcome,"
      is not an empty phrase.
True wholeness is achieved
      by blending with life.

---

Chinese Character for Sincere, Cheng
SINCERELY / HONESTLY / In Truth (誠 = Cheng)
Pictograph: Words that become reality
"Bend sincerely and wholeness will return to you."

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translated by John R. Mabry (1994)

If you don"t want to be broken, bend.
If you want to be straight, allow some crookedness.
If you want to be filled, become empty.
If you want to be made new, let yourself be used.
If you want to be rich, desire little.
Wanting more and more is craziness!
Therefore the sage embraces oneness and becomes a mode for the world.
Not self-centered, she is enlightened.
Not self-righteous, she is a shining example.
Not self-glorifying, she accomplishes glorious things.
Not boastful, she grows large inside.
She alone does not compete,
And so the world can never overcome her.
When the ancients said, "If you don't want to be broken, bend,"
Were they just uttering empty words?
Bend sincerely and wholeness will return to you.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translated by Frank J. MacHovec (1962)

Be humble; you will remain yourself.
Be flexible, bend, and you will be straight.
Be ever receptive and you will be satisfied.
Become tired and weary and you will
be renewed.      
Have little, you will have enough;
to have abundance is to be troubled.

Thus, the truly wise seek Unity, they
embrace oneness,      
and become examples for all the world.
Not revealing themselves, they shine;
not self-righteous, they are distinguished;
not self-centered, they are famous;
not seeking glory, they are leaders.

Because they are not quarrelsome no one
quarrels with them.      

Thus it is as the ancients said: "To yield
is to retain Unity."      
The truly wise have Unity, and the world
respects them.      

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translated by Kari Hohne (2009)

Bowed down, you are preserved.
Sometimes bent, you are made straight.
When you are empty, you are made full.
When you are worn, you can be newly made.
When you have little, contentment is simple.
When you have too much, you are perplexed.

Therefore the wise embrace the One
and become an example to all.
They do not display themselves and are
    therefore visible.
They do not justify themselves and are
    therefore great.
They do not make claims and are
    therefore given merit.
They do not seek glory and can
    therefore endure.

Because they do not contend,
nothing contends with them.

Is not the ancient saying true?
When you bow down, you are preserved.
Turning back, you are preserved to the end.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translation by Timothy Freke (1995)

Give up, and you will succeed.
Bow, and you will stand tall.
Be empty, and you will be filled.
Let go of the old, and you will be new.
Have little, and there is room to receive more.

The wise stand out,
because they see themselves
as part of the Whole.
They shine,
because they don't want to impress.
They achieve great things,
because they don't look for recognition.
Their wisdom is contained in what they are,
not their opinions.
They refuse to argue,
so no one argues with them.
The Ancients said:
'Give up and you will succeed.'
Is this empty nonsense?
Try it.
If you are sincere, you will find fulfillment.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translated by Sanderson Beck (2002)

To yield is to preserve unity.
To bend is to become straight.
To empty oneself is to become full.
To wear oneself out is to be renewed.
To have little is to be content.
To have abundance is to be troubled.

Therefore the wise embrace the One
and become examples for the world.
They do not display themselves
and are therefore illumined.
They do not justify themselves
and are distinguished.
They do not make claims
and are therefore given credit.
They do not seek glory
and therefore are leaders.

Because they do not compete,
the world cannot compete with them.
Is not the ancient saying true,
"To yield is to preserve unity?"
for true wholeness comes from turning within.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 22
translated by Thomas Cleary (1998)

Be tactful and you remain whole; bend and you remain straight.
The hollow is filled, the old is renewed.
Economy is gain, excess is confusion.

Therefore sages embrace unity as model for the world.
Not seeing themselves, they are therefore clear.
Not asserting themselves, they are therefore outstanding.
Not congratulating themselves, they are therefore meritorious.
Not taking pride in themselves, they last long.

It is just because they do not contend
that no one in the world can contend with them.

Is it empty talk, the old saying that tact keeps you whole?
When truthfulness is complete, it still resorts to this.

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