|Lao Tzu (604 BC-517 BC)
Peace Verses from
I do my best to attain emptiness
and keep my mind in stillness.
The ten thousand things arise
and I watch their return.
The myriad creatures flourish
but each returns to its root.
Returning to the root is called stillness.
This is returning to one's destiny.
Returning to destiny is called the Tao.
Knowing the eternal is called enlightenment.
Not knowing the eternal leads to disaster.
Knowing the eternal, one is all-embracing.
Being all-embracing, one is impartial.
Being impartial, one becomes kingly.
Being kingly, one is at home in heaven.
Being in heaven, one is at one with the Tao.
Being at one with the Tao, one is everlasting
Even when you lose the body, you will not die.
Hold fast to the Great Image
and all the world will come.
They come and will meet no harm,
but enjoy comfort and Great Peace.
Fine food and music will bring
passing wayfarers to your inn.
Words spoken by the Tao
appear so subtle and plain.
The Tao cannot be seen,
neither can it be heard.
But the Tao's use is without end.
The Tao never acts
yet nothing is left undone.
If rulers can hold fast to it,
people will change naturally.
Having changed, if desires rise again,
I'll rid of them with the uncarved block.
The nameless uncarved block
is free of all desires.
Being desireless, it is tranquil,
and the whole world will be at peace.
Lao Tzu (604 BC-517 BC),
Translated by Peter Y. Chou for "Tao of Writing" Seminar
presented at Writers Connection, Cupertino, CA (April 23, 1988)
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