"The Great "


There is something, formless yet complete

That existed before heaven and earth.

How still!  How empty! 

Dependent on nothing, unchanging,

All pervading, unfailing.

One may think of it as mother of all things under heaven

I do not know its name

But I call it “Meaning.”

If I had to give it a name, I should call it “The Great.”  


Because the eye gazes but can catch no glimpse of it,

It is called elusive.

Because the ear listens but cannot hear it,

it is called rarefied.

Because the hand feels for it but cannot find it,

it is called “The Infinitesimal…..”

These are called the shapeless shapes

Forms without form

Vague semblances.

Go towards them, and you can see no front;

Go after them, and you see no rear.