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p. 183


When Lao-tze says, "words have an ancestor, deeds have a master," he personifies Reason which makes the conception of Tao resemble Christian theism; but we can not deny that in this atmosphere of abstract thought the expressions, "ancestor" and "master" may be regarded as intentional similes, just as in other chapters the Tao is compared to a "father" (Chapters 4 and 42), a "mother" (Chapter 20, also I and 52), "the Lord" (Chapter 4) and the "great carpenter" (Chapter 74). Nevertheless the fact remains that Lao-tze has repeatedly personified the Tao in spite of its abstract nature.

Next: Chapter 71