Never Exhausting Emptiness “Tao Te Ching” verse 5 For Artists

by | Apr 16, 2014 | 0 comments

Never Exhausting Emptiness "Tao Te Ching" verse 5 For Artists blog illustration of sumi-e painting of yellow flower

Verse 5*

Heaven and Earth are impartial
They regard myriad things as straw dogs
The sages are impartial
They regard people as straw dogs
The space between Heaven and Earth
Is it not like a bellows?
Empty, and yet never exhausted
It moves, and produces more
Too many words hasten failure
Cannot compare to keeping to the void
The natural way to create, is to be open-minded. It is to regard everything as temporary, transitory and to be objective. There are limitless ways of seeing profoundly and creating, and when the artist understands this, he/she will never exhaust the possibilities of creation, will never run out of ideas…..




In the process of learning new ways of expression, ideas, techniques, one can lose the connection with the quiet place within, the “Empty, and yet never exhausted” space.




It is applying all the knowledge and skills, but yet staying connected with the stillness (the Tao) of inside and outside, without words and judgement that the true art comes from.




My artistic understanding of this verse is that to create, one is to while applying all the knowledge and skills acquired, stay constantly connected with the stillness (the Tao), the unlimited wisdom of within and without and let go of expectations.




As always, this is just my interpretation…..there are unlimited possibilities ….what’s yours?


* From
**Art and creating are interchangeable with life and living.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *