THE FEMININE TAO 
CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE
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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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Tao Te Ching: Chapter 45
translated by Stephen Mitchell (1988)

True perfection seems imperfect,
yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty,
yet it is fully present. [*]

True straightness seems crooked. [**]
True art seems artless.

The Master allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
and lets the Tao speak for itself.

---
[*] ISABELLA MEARS [translator, 1922] says:
"Esteem lightly your greatest accomplishment,
your patience will not fail. Reckon your great
fullness to be emptiness, your strength will not
become exhausted."
---
[**] HO-SHANG-KUNG [an ancient commentator] says:
"Who seem bent, do not contend with the vulgar,
as if they were able to bend or to break."


Tao Te Ching: Chapter 45
translated by Ursula K. Le Guin (1998)

What's perfectly whole seems flawed,
but you can use it forever.

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) great (2) wholeness (3) appears (4) lacking
(5) it is (6) in use (7) in- (8) corruptible

What's perfectly full seems empty,
but you can't use it up.

True straightness looks crooked.
Great skill looks clumsy.
Real eloquence seems to stammer.

To be comfortable in the cold keep moving;
to be comfortable in the heat hold still;
to be comfortable in the world stay calm and clear.

---

Chinese Character for Imperfect, Que
IMPERFECT / LACKING /
CHIPPED (缺 = Que)
Pictograph = Pottery + Divided [broken, chipped]
"Great perfection will always appear chipped."

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 45
translated by Kari Hohne (2009)

Great perfection will always appear chipped,
but its usefulness will not wear it out.
Great fullness seems empty
but its usefulness is inexhaustible.

Great straightness seems bent.
Great skill seems clumsy.
Great eloquence seems inarticulate.

Restlessness always overcomes the cold
while stillness always overcomes the heat.
Without doing anything,
you can be the leader of the empire.

---

Chinese Character for Tongue-Tied, Na
TONGUE-TIED / STUTTER /
INARTICULATE (訥 = Na)
Pictograph = Words + Closed-in / Restricted
"The most profound words may seem as stuttering."

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 45
translated by Holly Roberts (2005)

Great achievements may seem imperfect.
Their effects, however, are enduring.
Great accomplishments may seem empty.
Their effects, however, are endless.

The upright path may seem crooked.
The greatest skills may seem awkward.
The most profound words may seem as stuttering.

Involvement overcomes dispassion.
Tranquility overcomes passion.
Remaining clear and calm,
one functions best in the world.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 45
translated by Isabella Mears (1916/1922)

Esteem lightly your greatest accomplishment
your patience will not fail.

Reckon your great fulness to be emptiness,
your strength will not become exhausted.

Count your rectitude as foolishness,

Know your cleverness to be stupidity,

Recognize your eloquence to be stammering words,

And you will find that

As movement overcomes cold, as stillness overcomes heat,
even so [s]he who knows the true secret of tranquility

Will become a pattern for all mankind.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 45
translated by Ellen M. Chen (1989)

Great perfection appears lacking,
Its use is unending.
Great fullness appears empty,
Its use is inexhaustible.

Great straightness appears bent,
Great ingenuity appears crude,
Great eloquence appears inarticulate.

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) great (2) stature (3) appears (4) humbled
(5) great (6) timing (7) appears (8) clumsy
(9) great (10) debate (11) appears (12) inarticulate

When agitation wins, the cold arrives,
When tranquillity wins, the hot arrives.
Clear and tranquil the world is in the right mode. [*]

---
[*] ELLEN M. CHEN comments:
"The first part [of this chapter] offers
a theology of the coincidence of opposites.
The second part gives a theology of the round
whose center is at rest."

Ward off Cold, Han
WARD OFF COLD (寒 = Han)
Pictograph = Person stuffing straw into shelter
"Movement overcomes the cold."

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 45
translated by J. H. McDonald (1996)

The greatest accomplishments seem imperfect,
yet their usefulness is not diminished.
The greatest fullness seems empty,
yet it will be inexhaustible.

The greatest straightness seems crooked.
The most valued skill seems like clumsiness.
The greatest speech seems full of stammers.

Movement overcomes the cold,
and stillness overcomes the heat.
That which is pure and still is the universal.

---

Chinese Character for Clear-Pure, Qing
CLEAR / PURE (清= Qing)
Pictograph = Water + Blue/Green
"Purity and stillness are the ideal for the world."

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 45
translated by Chao-Hsiu Chen (2004)

Great achievement seems imperfect, yet its usefulness is not diminished.

Great fullness seems empty, yet it is inexhaustible.

Great frankness seems to succumb.

Great discussion seems silent.

Activity overcomes coldness.

Stillness overcomes heat.

Purity and stillness are the ideal for the world.

---

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching / Chapter Forty-Five in Seal Script
(Zhuanshu 篆文, with Wang Pi / Wang Bi Version)
Seal script for Daodejing / Tao Te Ching Chapter 45
Chapter 45 Seal Script & Interlinear English
script
(1) great (2) wholeness (3) appears (4) lacking
(5) it is (6) in use (7) in- (8) corruptible

script
(1) great (2) fullness (3) appears (4) overflowing
(5) it is (6) in use (7) without (8) limit

script
(1) great (2) stature (3) appears (4) humbled
(5) great (6) timing (7) appears (8) clumsy
(9) great (10) debate (11) appears (12) inarticulate

script
(1) agitation (2) overcomes (3) the cold
(4) stillness (5) overcomes (6) heat
(7) clarity (8) [in] tranquility (9) the activity (10) [in] heaven
(11) below (12) to right things
Tao Te Ching: Chapter 45
trans. by Sandra A. Wawrytko & Charles Wei-Hsun Fu (2005)

The greatest perfection seems imperfect,
Yet its usefulness remains intact;
The greatest fullness seems empty,
Yet its usefulness remains inexhaustible.
The greatest straightness seems crooked;
The greatest skill seems inept;
The greatest eloquence seems to stammer.
Tranquility overcomes the impulsive.
Coldness overcomes heat.
Clear tranquility is the model for the world.

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
  (1) clarity (2) [in] tranquility (3) the activity (4) [in] heaven
(5) below (6) to right things  

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