THE FEMININE TAO 
CHAPTER FIFTY-SIX
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Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) (Intro) : 32 Nature Mystic Chapters :
gender-inclusive translations, citations from 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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Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by Arthur Waley (1934)

Those who know do not speak;
Those who speak do not know. [*]


(1) knowing (2) the ones (3) not (4) speaking
(5) speaking (6) the ones (7) not (8) knowing

Block the passages,
Shut the doors,
Let all sharpness be blunted,
All tangles untied,
All glare tempered.
All dust smoothed.
This is called the mysterious leveling.
[S]he who has achieved it cannot either be
drawn into friendship or repelled,      
Cannot be benefited, cannot be harmed,
Cannot either be raised or humbled,
And for that very reason is highest of all
creatures under heaven.     

---
[*] HO-SHANG-KUNG (an ancient commentator) says:
"The knowing ones esteem walking in Tao,
they do not esteem words."


Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by John Chalmers (1868)

They that know don't speak;
and they that speak don't know.
To shut the lips, and close the portals,
to blunt the sharp angles,
to unravel disorder,
to soften the glare,
to share the dust, —
this I call being the same as deep heaven.

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) blunt (2) what is (3) sharp
(4) loosen (5) what is (6) tangled
(7) harmonize (8) what is (9) glaring
(10) become one with (11) what is (12) dust
(13) this (14) is called (15) dark (16) unity

Such a character as this
is equally incapable of familiarity and of distance,
of profit and of injury,
of honor and of meanness.
Therefore [s]he is the most honorable in the world.

---

Chinese Character for Dust, Chen
DUST (塵 = Chen)
Pictograph (zhongwen.org) =
Deer - early form shows group
of three - kicking up dirt
("Soften the light, join the dust")

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by Red Pine (1996)

Those who know don't talk
those who talk don't know
seal the opening
close the gate
dull the edge
untie the tangle
soften the light
join the dust
this is called the Dark Union [*]
it can't be embraced
it can't be abandoned [**]
it can't be helped
it can't be harmed
it can't be exalted
it can't be debased
thus does the world exalt it

---
[*] HO-SHANG-KUNG (an ancient commentator) says:
"This is called union with the dark one.
The dark one is heaven."
---
[**] WANG PI [an ancient commentator] says:
"If something can be embraced, it can be
abandoned. If something can be helped, it
can be harmed. If something can be exalted,
it can be debased."

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by Ellen M. Chen (1989)

One who knows does not speak.
One who speaks does not know.

Stop the apertures,
Close the door;
Blunt the sharp,
Untie the entangled;
Harmonize the bright,
Make identical the dust. [*]
This is called the mystical identity.

Therefore with this person you cannot
    get intimate.

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) therefore (2) not (3) able (4) to get
(5) and (6) be intimate

Cannot get distant,
Cannot benefit,
Cannot harm,
Cannot exalt,
Cannot humiliate.
Therefore such person is the exalted
    of the world.

---
[*] ELLEN M. CHEN comments:
"The ruler/mystic takes the world back to Tao."
---
"Like Tao, the ruler/mystic accepts all, blends
and harmonizes all."

Chinese Character for Mysterious, Xuan
OBSCURE / MYSTERIOUS
MYSTICAL (玄 = Xuan)
Pictograph (zhongwen.org) = Cover
what is already obscure
("This is called the mystical identity.")

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by Thomas Z. Zhang
and Jackie X. Zhang (2004)

Knowledgeable people rarely show off.
Boastful people are not truly knowledgeable.
Block up leakages;
Close doors;
Smooth out sharp edges;
Resolve conflicts;
Harmonize glares;
And blend into the base.
These are profound concords.
Do not become intimate when receiving
the desired.      
Do not become alienating when receiving
the undesired.      
Do not become greedy when obtaining profit.
Do not retaliate when receiving hostility.
Do not prize when obtaining the precious.
Do not debase when receiving humility.
Doing so can gain respect from others.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by Kari Hohne (2009)

Those who know do not speak.
Those who speak do not know.

Block the openings;
Shut the doors.
Blunt the sharpness;
Untangle the knots.
Soften the glare;
become one with the dusty world,
and let your wheels move along old ruts.

This is called Mysterious sameness.
To be like this:
Others can neither be intimate nor indifferent
      to you.
Others can neither benefit nor harm you.
No one can honor or disgrace you.
Therefore, you are honored by the way.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
D. C. Lau & Sarah Allan (1982)
Ma Wang Tui Manuscripts

One who knows does not say it, one who says does not know it.
Block the openings,
Shut the doors,
Soften the glare,
Follow along old wheel tracks;
Blunt the point,
Untangle the knots.
This is known as dark identity.
Thus you cannot get close to it, nor can you keep it at arm's
length; you cannot bestow benefit on it, nor can you do it
harm; you cannot ennoble it, nor can you debase it.
Hence it is the most valued in the empire.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by Stephen Mitchell (1988)

Those who know don't talk.
Those who talk don't know. [*]

Close your mouth,
block off your senses,
blunt your sharpness,
untie your knots,
soften your glare,
settle your dust.
This is the primal identity.

Be like the Tao.
It can't be approached or withdrawn from,
benefited or harmed,
honored or brought into disgrace.
It gives itself up continually
This is why it endures.

---
[*] TS'AO TAO-CH'UNG [Taoist nun] comments:
"Those who grasp [in themselves] the truth forget about words. Those who don't practice what they talk about are the same as those who don't know."
___
[*] EMILY DICKINSON says:
"Touch Liberty – then know no more, but
Noon, and Paradise –" (see again at Ch. 7)

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by J. H. McDonald (1996)

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know. [*]

Stop talking,
meditate in silence,
blunt your sharpness,
release your worries,
harmonize your inner light,
and become one with the dust. [*]
Doing this is called the dark and
      mysterious identity.

Those who have achieved the mysterious identity
Cannot be approached, and they cannot
      be alienated.
They cannot be benefited nor harmed.
They cannot be made noble nor to suffer disgrace.
This makes them the most noble of all
      under the heavens.

---
[*] RALPH WALDO EMERSON says:
"Good is discourse, silence is better and shames it."

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by Frank J. MacHovec (1962)

Whoever knows does not speak; whoever speaks does not know.
So, stop the senses. Close their doors. Ignore their riddles.
Subdue their light. Be one with humble dust.
This is the mystic unity.

It is beyond love and hate,
beyond profit and loss, beyond honor and dishonor.

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) not (2) able (3) to get (4) and (5) neglect
(6) not (7) able (8) to get (9) and (10) benefit
(11) not (12) able (13) to get (14) and (15) harm
(16) not (17) able (18) to get (19) and (20) esteem
(21) not (22) able (23) to get (24) and (25) demean

Thus, it is the most valuable treasure in all the world.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by Derek Lin (2006)

Those who know do not talk
Those who talk do not know
Close the mouth
Shut the doors
Blunt the sharpness
Unravel the knots
Dim the glare
Mix the dust
This is called mystic oneness
They cannot obtain this and be closer
They cannot obtain this and be distant
They cannot obtain this and be benefited
They cannot obtain this and be harmed
They cannot obtain this and be valued
They cannot obtain this and be degraded
Therefore, they become honored by the world

---

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching / Chapter Fifty-Six in Seal Script
(Zhuanshu 篆文, with Wang Pi / Wang Bi Version)
Chapter 56 Seal Script & Interlinear English

(1) knowing (2) the ones (3) not (4) speaking
(5) speaking (6) the ones (7) not (8) knowing

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) blunt (2) what is (3) sharp
(4) loosen (5) what is (6) tangled
(7) harmonize (8) what is (9) glaring
(10) become one with (11) what is (12) dust
(13) this (14) is called (15) dark (16) unity

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) therefore (2) not (3) able (4) to get (5) and (6) be intimate
TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) not (2) able (3) to get (4) and (5) neglect
(6) not (7) able (8) to get (9) and (10) benefit
(11) not (12) able (13) to get (14) and (15) harm
(16) not (17) able (18) to get (19) and (20) esteem
(21) not (22) able (23) to get (24) and (25) demean

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) therefore (2) serving as (3) in heaven (4) below (5) [what is] most precious
 
Tao Te Ching: Chapter 56
translated by Roger T. Ames & David L. Hall (2003)

Those who really understand it do not talk about it,
And those who really talk about it do not understand it.

Block up the openings,
Shut the gateways,
Soften the glare,
Bring things together on the same track,
Blunt the sharp edges,
Untangle the knots.
This is what is called profoundest consonance.

Thus, there is no getting too intimate
Or staying aloof from it;
There is no benefiting
Or causing it harm;
There is no ennobling
Or debasing it.
It is thus the most precious thing in the world.

TAO TE CHING SEAL SCRIPT
(1) therefore (2) serving as (3) in heaven (4) below (5) [what is] most precious

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