There was something formless yet complete,
That existed before heaven and earth;
Without sound, without substance,
Dependent on nothing, unchanging,
All pervading, unfailing.
One may think of it as the mother of all things under heaven.
formless yet complete：无形但完整。这译文看得眼前一亮。以之译
pervading：(especially of a smell) spread through and be perceived in every part of. 弥漫，以之译
Its true name we do not know;
Were I forced to say to what class of things it belongs
I should call it Great (ta)
Now ta also means passing on,
And passing on means going Far Away,
And going far away means returning.
Thus just as Tao has “this greatness” and as earth has it and as heaven has it, so may the ruler also have it.
Thus “within the realm there are four portions of greatness”, and one belongs to the king.
The ways of men are conditioned by those of earth.
The ways of earth, by those of heaven.
The ways of heaven by those of Tao, and the ways of Tao by the Self-so.
As the heavy must be the foundation of the light,
So quietness is lord and master of activity.
Truly, “A man of consequence though he travels all day
Will not let himself be separated from his baggage-wagon,
However magnificent the view, he sits quiet and dispassionate”.
How much less, then, must be the lord of ten thousand chariots
Allow himself to be lighter than these he rules!
If he is light, the foundation is lost;
If he is active, the lord and master is lost.
A man of consequence：一个有重要意义的人，以之译
magnificent：impressively beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant; striking.华丽的。以之译
dispassionate：not influenced by strong emotion, and so able to be rational and impartial.冷静，以之译超然
Perfect activity leaves no track behind it;
Perfect speech is like a jade-worker whose tool leaves no mark.
The perfect reckoner needs no counting-slips;
The perfect door has neither bolt nor bar,
Yet cannot be opened.
The perfect knot needs neither rope nor twine,
Yet cannot be united.
Therefore the Sage
Is all the time in the most perfect way helping men,
He certainly does not turn his back on men;
Is all the time in the most perfect way helping creatures,
He certainly does not turn his back on creatures.
This is called resorting to the Light.
reckoner：a table or device designed to assist with calculation.
resort：turn to and adopt (a strategy or course of action, especially a disagreeable or undesirable one) so as to resolve a difficult situation.
Truly, “the perfect man is the teacher of the imperfect;
But the imperfect is the stock-in-trade of the perfect man”.
He who does not respect his teacher,
He who does not take care of his stock-in-trade,
Much learning through he may possess, is far astray.
This is the essential secret.
far astray：away from the correct path or direction. 误入歧途。以之译