Beyond the Rainbow

The thirty spokes converge at one hub,
But the utility of the cart is a function

of the nothingness inside the hub.

We throw clay to shape a pot,
But the utility of the clay pot is a function

of the nothingness inside it.

We bore out doors and windows to make a dwelling,
But the utility of the dwelling is a function

of the nothingness inside it.

Thus, it might be something that provides the value,
But it is nothing that provides the utility.

trans. by R. T. Ames & D. L. Hall (2003)

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 11 = Tools

Thirty spokes connect to the wheel’s hub;

yet, it is the centre hole that makes it useful.

Clay is shaped into a vessel;

yet, it is the emptiness within that makes it useful.

Doors and windows are cut for a room;

yet it is the space where there…

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