1. James Legge (1891):
The valley spirit dies not, aye the same;2. Archie Bahm (1958):
The female mystery thus do we name.
Its gate, from which at first they issued forth,
Is called the root from which grew heaven and earth.
Long and unbroken does its power remain,
Used gently, and without the touch of pain.
The tendency toward opposition is ever-present.3. Frank MacHoven (1962):
Opposition is the source of all growth.
And the principle of opposition is the source of all opposites.
The principle of opposition is inherent in Nature, so oppositeness will continue forever, no matter how many opposites may come and go.
The concept of Yin is ever present. It is the Mystic Female from whom the heavens and the earth originate.4. D.C. Lau
Constantly, continuously, enduring always.
The spirit of the valley never dies.5. Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English (1972):
This is called the mysterious female.
The gateway of the mysterious female
Is called the root of heaven and earth.
Dimly visible, it seems as if it were there,
Yet use will never drain it.
The valley spirit never dies;6. Stan Rosenthal (1984):
It is the woman, primal mother.
Her gateway is the root of heaven and earth.
It is like a veil barely seen.
Use it; it will never fail.
Like the sheltered, fertile valley, the meditative mind is still, yet retains its energy.7. Jacob Trapp (1987):
Since both energy and stillness, of themselves, do not have form,
it is not through the senses that they may be found,
nor understood by intellect alone, although, in nature, both abound.
In the meditative state, the mind ceases to differentiate between existences,
and that which may or may not be.
It leaves them well alone, for they exist,
not differentiated, but as one,
within the meditative mind.
“The Mother”8. Stephen Mitchell (1988):
The deathless valley
Of the Abyss is yin,
The Mystic Mother of all.
At the door of yin,
The Mystic Female,
Is the threshold of earth and heaven.
This is the ever-renewing
Source upon which men may draw:
The more they take, the more is given.
The Tao is called the Great Mother:9. Victor Mair (1990):
empty yet inexhaustible,
it gives birth to infinite worlds.
It is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.
The valley spirit never dies –10. Michael LaFargue (1992):
it is called “the mysterious female”;
The gate of the mysterious female
is called “the root of heaven and earth.”
Gossamer it is, seemingly insubstantial,
yet never consumed through use.
“The Valley Spirit is undying.”11. Peter Merel (1995):
This is mysterious Femininity.
The Abode of mysterious Femininity:
This is the Root of Heaven and Earth.
It seems to endure on and on.
One who uses It never wears out.
Experience is a riverbed,
Its source hidden, forever flowing:
Its entrance, the root of the world,
The Way moves within it:
Draw upon it; it will not run dry.
“What is complete”13. Ron Hogan (2002):
The valley spirit never dies.
Call it the mystery, the woman.
the Door of the Woman
is the root
of earth and heaven.
Forever this endures, forever.
And all its uses are easy.
Tao is an eternal mystery,14. Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall (2003):
and everything starts with Tao.
Everybody has Tao in them.
They just have to use it.
The life-force of the valley never dies –15. Yasuhiko Genku Kimura (2004):
This is called the dark female.
The gateway of the dark female –
This is called the root of the world.
Wispy and delicate, it only seems to be there,
Yet its productivity is bottomless.
The Tao, the Spirit of the Valley, is immortal.16. Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo (2007)
It is called the Primordial Female.
The Gate of the Primordial Female,
Through its opening and closing
Performs the kosmic intercourse,
And is called the origin of Heaven and Earth,
The Valley Spirit never dies.
It is called the Mysterious Female.
The entrance to the Mysterious Female
Is called the root of Heaven and Earth,
Of inexhaustible energy.
The Valley Spirit is inexhaustible, infinitely useful and productive. How do you use Valley Spirit?
What do you make of Bahm's "opposition" as the name for the fecund vacuum?
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See: Saturdao Index