The unwrought material, when divided and distributed, forms vessels.It would be unrealistic to expect any of us to stay in a pure primordial state. We have lives to lead, people to relate to, work to perform and leisure to enjoy. Just like an uncarved block of wood (or jade, Baroness) that is turned into a tool, we progress from infancy to the life of an adult.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
When the block is carved, it becomes useful.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
Plain wood splits, then becomes tools
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
(No corresponding line)
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
I think it is important to remember, however, that our lives can be molded more than one time. This becomes possible if we always leave a part of ourselves in the uncarved block state.
To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.