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From a set of 37 musical reflections for small orchestra inspired by the ancient philosophical text by Lao Tzu: "Tao Te Ching".
This movement is inspired by verse 31:
Good weapons are instruments of fear; all creatures hate them. Therefore the old Taoist ignores them.
At home, honour the left: compassion. In war, the right is honoured: violence.
Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man's tools. When their use cannot be avoided, calm restraint is best.
Don't think weapons are beautiful. Those who think they are beautiful rejoice in killing people. Those who rejoice in killing people cannot achieve their purpose in this world.
Good omens honour the left. Bad omens honour the right. In war, the lieutenant stands on the left, the General on the right, just as at a funeral ceremony.
When many people are killed, we feel sorrow and grief.
Every great military victory is as lamentable as a funeral ceremony.