When the simple student hears of the Way,
He can barely practice it.
When the average student hears of it,
It seems just out of sight.
When the clever student hears of it,
He laughs aloud.
Without laughter, how could it be true?
It is said:
The bright path seems dim,
The straight path seems crooked,
The easy path seems difficult.
Great power seems weak,
Great purity seems sullied,
Great abundance seems empty.
The great square has no corners,
The great vessel cannot be filled.
The greatest form is shapeless.
The Way is hidden and nameless,
Yet is nourishes and completes all things.