October 26th, 2009

Chapter forty-three: Water and stone

What's softest in the world
rushes and runs
over what's hardest in the world.

The immaterial
the impenetrable.

So I know the good in not doing

The wordless teaching,
the profit in not doing--
not many people understand it.

Lao Tsu, interpreted by Ursula Le Guin.
  • trevoke


The softest thing in the universe
Overcomes the hardest thing in the universe.
That without substance can enter where there is no room.
Hence I know the value of non-action.

Teaching without words and work without doing
Are understood by very few.
The softest force in the universe
can overcome the hardest of objects.
Something without substance
can pass through the space between atoms.

That's how I know
about the power of doing nothing.

The silent teachings
and the power of doing nothing
can only be understood
by a few people.

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.