Tao Te Ching, Verse 41

An excerpt from the Tao Te Ching, Verse 41: The Observing and Nourishing Paradox

Great forms look shapeless.

Transcendent squareness has no corners.

The Great Integrity hides behind all forms,

stubbornly nourishing the paradoxes that can enlighten us.

-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching;  A New Translation & Commentary by Ralph Alan Dale, (2002)

A slightly different translation is available online at the following website, scroll down to “Chapter 41” to read the full verse that contains the lines:

“True substance appears inconstant
The great square has no corners”

-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Translation by Derek Lin – [taoism.net]

Square pegs may always have had a difficult time fitting in round holes [1] and thinking out of the box may have had roots as ancient as the Tao. Finding similar ideas from different times and countries around the world reminds me that we are all human whether well rounded or square pegs. Our differences can help make the group stronger with more diverse ideas and skills.

Another modern translation/reinterpretation is described and excerpted in this article:

A Small Dark Light: Ursula K. Le Guin on the Legacy of the Tao Te Ching and What It Continues to Teach Us About Personal and Political Power 2,500 Years Later, by Maria Popova, brainpickings.org.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

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Nature transcends square – beautifully.

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road, and celebrate the journey.” – Fitzhugh Mullan