The "Western Inscription"
of Song China's Neo-Confucian philosopher
Zhāng Zǎi  /  Chang Tsai   張載   (1020-1077)

(severely edited by Prof. David A. Mason)
Heaven is my Father
and Earth is my Mother,
and even such small creatures as we
find intimate shelter in their embrace.

Therefore that which fills the universe
I regard as my own body,

and that which directs the universe
I consider as my own nature.

All people are my brothers and sisters,
and all things are my companions.


Wealth, honor, blessing and benefits
are meant for the enrichment of my life;
while poverty, humble status, worries and sorrows
are meant to help me find fulfillment.

In life I follow and serve Heaven and Earth;
In death I will be at peace.