The great Tao flows everywhere, both to the left and to the right.
All things depend upon it; it holds nothing back.
It fulfills its purpose and makes no claim.
It nourishes all things,
And yet does not dominate them.
It has no desire; you can name it small.
All things return to it,
Yet it does not master them,
you can name it great.
It does not show its greatness,
And it is therefore great.
This chapter of Lao Tzu emphasizes the greatness of Tao. How great is Tao?
1. Tao fills the whole universe, and it moves freely in all directions.
2. Everything relies on “Tao” to raise and nourish them. “Tao” never ceases to exist and does not exist for itself.
3. “Tao” nurtures all things, rather than dominating all things so that all things can survive and develop; it can be said to be small.
4. All things are thankful and return to the “Tao,” while the “Tao” still does not control them, and it gives them the freedom to live to develop, thus “Tao” can be called great.
5. “Tao” never thinks of itself as great, so that it can achieve the greatness of “Tao.”