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Lao Tzu for Everyone

Students, Scholars

& Seekers

Peter Gilboy, Ph.D.



the Way

             第 三十

Line 1  執大象天下往


Line 2  往而不害安平大

Line 3  樂與餌 過格止



Line 4   故道之出言也




Line 5 用之不可既也





'Holding Fast'

to the Way

     As a reminder to us, Lao Tzu returns to two of his teachings:

         1) that our 'holding fast' to the Way has a transforming effect upon on oneself and the world, and

         2) that the Way is not at all discoverable through our senses.


      It may seem odd to hear that something exists and yet is not discoverable through our senses.  But qualities--those essential characteristics of a thing, are like that.  For example, no one has ever seen the quality we call 'goodness.' But we have seen good people, good works, and perhaps experienced a good night's sleep.  These expressions of goodness are palpable evidence that goodness exists.

       The Way is like this. It has no body or form in itself. It escapes all of our senses.  And yet it is here. And yet we may recognized the Way as we turn our attention to the world around us and the ways of all the things and people in it, including ourselves.  Each of these is palpable evidence of what Lao Calls the unmanifested, or "mystery of the Way."

Click on each line number

 for Chinese-English interlinear

& commentary


Hold fast to

the Great Form,

and the

whole world

is furthered.





















Yes, furthered

and unharmed,

with peace and

great tranquility.














The senses

overlook this

unchanging rule.





















Therefore, when it

comes to the 'words'

issuing forth

from the Way,

we might look for them

and listen for them,

but they are indiscernible

to our senses.






















Yet, when we

avail ourselves

of them,

we cannot

exhaust them.







​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.  .  .  .  .  .



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