Lao Tzu and Alan Watts : Finding inner peace.
“Cut out cleverness and there are no anxieties.
People in general are so happy, as if enjoying a feast,
Or as going up a tower in spring.
I alone am tranquil, and have made no sign,
Like a baby who is yet unable to smile;
Forlorn as if I had no home to go to.
Others all have more than enough,
And I alone seem to be in want.
Possibly mine is the mind of the fool,
Which is so ignorant.
The vulgar are bright,
And I alone seem to be dull.
The vulgar are discriminative,
And I alone seem to be blunt.
I am negligent as if being obscure;
Drifting, as if being attached to nothing.
The people in general all have something to do,
And I alone seem to be impractical and awkward.
I alone am different from others,
But I value seeking sustenance from the Mother (Tao)
Become unaffected; 1
Belittle the personal;
1. “Unaffected” is an attempt to render ‘Su’, a character which refers originally to unbleached silk, or to the unpainted silk background of a picture.
The above is Alan Watts’ translation of a poem by Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, a branch of Chinese philosophy which believes in harmony stemming from spontaneity.