Something formless yet complete


Something formless yet complete,
born before heaven and earth,
silent, without shape,
standing alone, unchanging,
regarded as the mother of all things.

I do not know how to name it;
I call it the way.
If forced to name it,
I would call it great.
Great means flowing onward,
flowing onward means going far,
going far means returning.

The way is great.
The heavens are great.
Earth is great.
And leadership is great.
In the world are four great things,
and leadership is one of them.

Man emulates earth.
Earth emulates the heavens.
The heavens emulate the way.
The way emulates what is natural.

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