XXV. Yin and Yang

Adam and Eve by Albrecht Durer (1507)

Adam and Eve by Albrecht Durer (1507)


Being and beingless generate each other;

Difficult and easy form each other;

Long and short shape each other;

High and low complete each other.


Only by bending can you be whole;

Only by twisting can you be straight.

Only by hollowing our can you be full;

Only by being used up can you be new.


He does not reveal himself;

Therefore he shines brightly;

He does not affirm himself;

Therefore he radiates out.


He does not appropriate to himself;

Therefore he achieves.

He does not magnify himself;

Therefore he increases.


Welcoming her you do not see her head;

Following her you do not see her tail.

The puffed up do not stand upright;

The overleaping do not walk ahead;


The self-revealing do not shine brightly;

The self-affirming do not radiate out;

The self-appropriating do not achieve;

The self-magnifying do not increase.

Some go ahead; some follow behind;

Some blow hot; some blow cold;

Some are strong; some are conquered;

Some file down; some are filed down.

If you want to shrink something,

you must definitely stretch it;

If you want to weaken something,

you must definitely strengthen it.


If you want to abolish something,

You must definitely elevate it.

If you want to snatch something,

You must definitely donate it.


Source: Extracts from the Tao dejing

3 Responses to “XXV. Yin and Yang”
  1. I do enjoy this painting from Durer and this post fits it perfectly. thanks.

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