Tao Te Ching #26: “Gravity is the root of lightness”

Gravity is the root of lightness;
calm is the master of excitement.
Thereby do exemplary people travel all day
without leaving their equipment.
Though they have a look of prosperity,
their resting place is transcendent.
What can be done about heads of state
who take the world lightly in their own self-interest?
Lack of gravity loses servants of state;
instability loses heads of state.

– Thomas Cleary


Heavy is the root of light
still is the master of restless
thus a lord might travel all day
but never far from his supplies
even in a guarded camp
his manner is calm and aloof
why would the lord of ten thousand chariots
treat himself lighter than his kingdom
too light he loses his base
too restless he loses his command

– Red Pine


As weight anchors lightness
And calm governs impulse,
The wise leader, all day on the march,
Stays by his stockage train
Within his guarded cordon,
Safely positioned, beyond harm’s reach.
Could the lord of ten thousand wagons of war
Risk his own self for the sake of the world?
Let such lightness lose him his anchoring base?
Such impulse his rule?

– Moss Roberts