Tao Te Ching

Verse Twenty Six – 26

The heavy is the root of the light.
The still is the master of unrest.

Therefore, the sage, traveling all day,
Does not lose sight of his baggage.
Though there are beautiful things to be seen,
He remains unattached and calm.

Why should the lord of ten thousand chariots
Act lightly in the empire?
If he acts lightly, he loses his roots.
If he is restless, he loses control.

In this verse, Lao Tzu emphasizes the importance of stability, balance, and staying grounded in life. The heavy and the still are considered the roots and masters, respectively, which maintain order and control over their opposites, the light and the unrest.

The sage, or wise person, is depicted as a traveler who remains mindful of his baggage (responsibilities and values) while appreciating the beauty of the world without becoming overly attached. This exemplifies the importance of staying grounded and maintaining inner balance.

The verse concludes by advising rulers (the lord of ten thousand chariots) not to act lightly or hastily. It cautions that losing touch with one’s roots or becoming restless can result in losing control over the empire. This message can be extended to individuals, emphasizing the significance of remaining rooted in one’s values and maintaining inner peace to achieve harmony in life.



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