Of greatest fulness, deemed a void,Think of a person who makes everyone around them better. This person -- a sage -- is so filled with love and compassion that the she exudes it with every breath.
Exhaustion ne'er shall stem the tide.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
Great fullness seems empty,
Yet cannot be exhausted.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
Great fullness seems empty
Its function is without exhaustion
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
The fullest reserves may seem empty,
but you will always be able
to draw upon them.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
It's really ironic that sages often are seen by the society at large as simple and nothing to get excited about, yet people want to be around this type of person. When asked why, it's not something you can put your finger on. You just know that you feel better about yourself and the world around you in their presence.
To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.