When the man of highest capacities hears Tao
He does his best to put it into practice.
When the man of middling capacity hears Tao
He is in two minds about it.
When the man of low capacity hears Tao
He laughs loudly at it.
If he did not laugh, it would not be worth the name of Tao.
Therefore the proverb has it:
‘The way(Tao) out into the light often looks dark,
The way that goes ahead often looks as if it went back.’
The way that is least hilly often looks as if it went up and down,
The ‘power’ that is rally loftiest looks like an abyss,
What is sheerest white looks blurred.
The ‘power’ that is most sufficing looks inadequate,
The ‘power’ that stands firmest looks flimsy.
What is in its natural, pure state looks faded;
The largest square has no corners,
The greatest vessel takes the longest to finish,(Metaphorical meaning. ‘The greatest capacities develop latest’.)
Great music has the faintest(‘most rarified.’) notes,
The Great Form is without shape.
For Tao is hidden and nameless.
Yet Tao is hidden and nameless.
Yet Tao alone supports(a commercial metaphor. Literally ‘backs financially’.) all things and brings them to fulfillment.