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Lao Tzu
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Published: 20 years ago
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Lao Tzu

“Great power, not clinging to power,
has true power.
Lesser power, clinging to power,
lacks true power.
Great power, doing nothing,
has nothing to do.
Lesser power, doing nothing,
has an end in view.
The good the truly good do
has no end in view.
The right the very righteous do
has an end in view.
And those who act in true obedience to law
roll up their sleeves
and make the disobedient obey.
So: when we lose the Way we find power;
losing power we find goodness;
losing goodness we find righteousness;
losing righteousness we're left with obedience.
Obedience to law is the dry husk
of loyalty and good faith.
Opinion is the barren flower of the Way,
the beginning of ignorance.
So great minded people
abide in the kernel not the husk,
in the fruit not the flower
letting the one go and keeping the other."

"Even the best weapon
is an unhappy tool,
hateful to living things.
So the follower of the Way
stays away from it.
Weapons are unhappy tools,
not chosen by thoughtful people,
to be used only when there is no choice,
and with a calm, still mind,
without enjoyment.
To enjoy using weeapons
is to enjoy killing people,
and to enjoy killing people
is to lose your share in the common good.
It is right that the murder of many people
by mourned and lamented.
It is right that a victor in war
be received with funeral ceremonies."

Lao Tzu - as rendered by Ursula K. Lenguin, published by Shambhala, Boston, 1997

...this written during the Warring States period of China's antiquity, nearly 2500 years ago...

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