Quiet Living with No Worldly Desire

This term was first used to mean to lead a quiet, peaceful life with few worldly desires. Daoism advocates blandness, believing that lack of flavor is the best possible flavor. It was highly influential in the creation of the aesthetic concept of blandness and quiet living. Beginning in the Wei and Jin dynasties, the term was used in aesthetics, referring to a peaceful and mild artistic beauty and style, as opposed to rich, loud and splendid beauty. The term does not mean insipid with no taste at all; what it refers to is a purified, refined, quiet and ethereal taste, a mild yet profound tone and flavor.


In conducting himself, a man of virtue should maintain inner peace to cultivate his moral character and be frugal to cultivate virtue. Unless he is indifferent to fame and fortune, he cannot have aspirations; unless he stays calm and quiet, he cannot reach afar.


Only Wei Yingwu and Liu Zongyuan far exceeded others, because in their poetry, rich delicacy dwells in vintage simplicity and nuanced profundity in serene composure.