Tao Te Ching – Verse 42 – The Tao gives birth to One

42
The Tao gives birth to One.
One gives birth to Two.
Two gives birth to Three.
Three gives birth to all things.
All things have their backs to the female
and stand facing the male.
When male and female combine,
all things achieve harmony.
Ordinary men hate solitude.
But the Master makes use of it,
embracing his aloneness, realizing
he is one with the whole universe.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
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Tao produces one
One produces two
Two produce three
Three produce myriad things
Myriad things, backed by yin and embracing yang
Achieve harmony by integrating their energy
What the people dislike
Are alone, bereft, and unworthy
But the rulers call themselves with these terms

So with all things
Appear to take loss but benefit
Or receive benefit but lose
What the ancients taught
I will also teach
The violent one cannot have a natural death
I will use this as the principal of all teachings

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
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Nothingness can be said to be Zero.
Zero births One.
One created Two.
Two births Three.
After that, only Zero can count what it Is.
But all breathe the Air of Nothingness.
All bathe in its Light.
Worldly success is a shade of illusion,
Painful in its Game.
Being an orphan is lonely,
Painful, too, in its Game.
Conquest is a step backward.
Begin counting again, but commence from Infinity.

(translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)
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from I Ching Online

 

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