The world was given a beginning
by that which could be called the world’s mother.
To know the mother is to know the son,
and in understanding the son you in turn keep close to the mother.
Until the end, you will be free from danger.
Block your senses, close the gates of desire,
and throughout your life you will have no trouble.
Open your mouth, meddle in the affairs of others,
and to the end there will be no saving you.
Perceiving the insignificant is called enlightenment,
abiding to the yielding is called strength,
employing brightness restores your insight,
without surrendering your life to misfortune.
This is called cultivating the eternal Tao.
-Lao-tzu- (Tao Te Ching, verse 52, interpretation by Robert Brookes)