There is nothing in the world more soft and weak than water,Water. It is a metaphor that is synonymous with Taoist thought. It's not hard to understand why. Without water, most life on this planet is not possible.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
Nothing in the world is softer or weaker than water
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
Nothing is softer or more yielding than water.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
Water has no shape of its own. Its shape is defined by what confines it. And yet, confine is not the best word because, in time, anything that seeks to confine water will lose!
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