It is the Way of Heaven to diminish superabundance, and to supplement deficiency.I was watching a television program about deserts. Deserts don't get a lot of rain, but every now and then, the rains do come. It's not uncommon for the rain to fall in torrents. When this happens, flash flooding occurs.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
The Tao of heaven is to take from those who have too much and give to those who do not have enough.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
The Tao of heaven
Reduces the excessive
And adds to the lacking
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
[No corresponding line]
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
One way at looking at this phenomena is to say that, when the dryness becomes excessive, nature provides rainfall to rehydrate the area. As the rain itself becomes excessive, the clouds depart and dryness returns.
This process may not looked balanced to our human eyes -- there is far more dryness than wetness -- but it is balanced for that locale or region.
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