The work is done, but how no one can see; 'Tis this that makes the power not cease to be.In way of explanation for the latter portion of Verse 2, I want to share what Wang An-Shih wrote in 11th century China:
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
Work is done, then forgotten. Therefore it lasts forever.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
It is because they do not dwell on success That it never goes away
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
When the job is finished, they move on to the next job. That's why their work is so damn good.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
The sage creates but does not possess what he creates. He acts but does not presume on what he does. He succeeds but does not claim success. These three things result from selflessness. Because the sage is selfless, he does not lose his self. Because he does not lose his self, he does not lose others.How can we achieve selflessness? The first step along the journey is to say goodbye to selfishness. When we can accomplish that, we find ourselves much farther along the road than we might ever have imagined.
~ from Lao-tzu's Taoteching: with Selected Commentaries of the Past 2000 Years by Red Pine ~
To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.