All things return (to their root and disappear), and do not know that it is it which presides over their doing so;When we think of a master, king or lord, we think of how this type of person is over or above others. The underlings owe their allegiance to these "superiors" who kind of, sort of serve as their protector. I say "kind of, sort of" because the master tends to protect those under him ONLY when it serves his interests.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
The ten thousand things return to it,
Yet it is not their lord.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
Myriad things return to it but it does not rule over them
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
Everything leads to Tao,
but Tao still doesn't call attention to itself.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
Tao is different. While life could not exist without the Way, Tao asks for no allegiances. In fact, Tao asks for nothing.
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