Be still

Why scurry about looking for the truth?
It vibrates in every thing and every not-thing, right off the tip of your nose.

Can you be still and see it in the mountain? the pine tree? yourself?
Don’t imagine that you’ll discover it by accumulating more knowledge.
Knowledge creates doubt, and doubt makes you ravenous for more knowledge.

The wise person dines on something more subtle:
He finds this subtle truth inside his own self,
and becomes completely content.
So who can be still and watch the chess game of the world?
The foolish are always making impulsive moves,
but the wise know that victory and defeat are decided by something more subtle.
They see that something perfect exists before any move is made.

Remain quiet. Discover the harmony in your own being.
Embrace it.
If you can do this, you will gain everything,
and the world will become healthy again.
If you can’t, you will be lost in the shadows forever.

The Huahujing, traditionally attributed to Lao Tzu, translation Brian Walker 

2 thoughts on “Be still

  1. Karl, thank you!
    I read your posts each morning.
    Today’s quote is so powerful – I loved the concept of overriding that search for knowledge and the self-doubt it often creates, and tuning instead into ourselves. Coming ‘home’.
    Thank you for all your efforts to bring these words of wisdom to us each day.
    With gratitude,

    1. Thanks Jennifer for your words and for reading each morning. Yes, a lot of wisdom in this ancient quote, and in stilling the mind away from the thoughts that disturb us. I like the notion of a plan or order before any moves are made – very Taoist yes, but lets us know we are not always in control. Best wishes, Karl

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