Tao Te Ching #45: “Clear stillness is right for the world”

Great completeness seems incomplete;
its use is never exhausted.
Great fullness seems empty;
its use is never ended.
Great directness seems restrained,
great skill seems inept,
great eloquence seems inarticulate.
Movement overcomes cold,
stillness overcomes heat.
Clear stillness is right for the world.

– Thomas Cleary


Perfectly complete it seems deficient
yet it never wears out
perfectly full it seems empty
yet it never runs dry
perfectly straight it seems crooked
perfectly clever it seems clumsy
perfectly abundant it seems impoverished
active it overcomes cold
still it overcomes heat
those who know how to be perfectly still
are able to govern the world

– Red Pine


Great successes may seem flawed,
But their benefits injure no one.
Great abundance may seem spent,
But its supply is endless.
Great honesty may seem unfair,
Great eloquence like reticence,
Great artistry like clumsiness,
But they stand the trial of use.
Keen cold yields to excitation,
And heat of passions to repose:
On reflection and repose rely
To rightly rule the world below the sky.

– Moss Roberts