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This is a kind of complex ten-character proverb composed by Zhuge Liang about 1800 years ago.
This Chinese proverb means "Leading a simple life will yield a clear mind, and having inner peace will help you see far (into the world)".
What I have translated as "simple life" means NOT being materialistic and NOT competing in the rat race.
The last word means "far" but the deeper meaning is that you will surpass what you can currently see or understand. Perhaps even the idea of opening up vast knowledge and understanding of complex ideas.
The whole phrase has a theme that suggests if you are NOT an aggressive cut-throat person who fights his way to the top no matter how many people he crushes on the way, and instead seek inner peace, you will have a happier existence and be more likely to understand the meaning of life.
See Also: Serenity
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|A Life of Serenity Yields Understanding||淡泊以明志寧靜而致遠|
|dàn bó yǐ míng zhì, níng jìng ér zhì yuǎn|
dan4 bo2 yi3 ming2 zhi4, ning2 jing4 er2 zhi4 yuan3
dan bo yi ming zhi, ning jing er zhi yuan
|tan po i ming chih, ning ching erh chih yüan|
|Life of Serenity||悠悠閑閑||yuu yuu kan kan|
yu yu kan kan
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
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Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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