-it may be named in the smallest things.When we speak of significance in everyday conversation, we generally refer to something that is prominent, bold, decisive or large in size. It is a factor that stands out and/or calls attention to itself.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
It has no aim; it is very small.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
Ever desiring nothing
It can be named insignificant
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
It wants for nothing. Think nothing of it.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
But as Derek Lin remarks,
The Tao seems insignificant because it remains in the background. Its workings are subtle, imperceptible, and easy for most people to overlook.And so, we are presented with another of the many paradoxes within philosophical Taoism. Because the mysterious Way does not call attention to itself, we deem the most significant element of life as not all that important.
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