Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Subtle insight

What is ultimately to be reduced
must first be expanded.
What is ultimately to be weakened
must first be made strong.
What is ultimately to be discarded
must first be embraced.
What is ultimately to be taken away
must first be given.
This is called subtle insight.

The soft overcomes the hard.
The weak overcomes the strong.
The Tao should never be abandoned.
Weapons should never be displayed.

***

Those who wish to use Tao to influence others
don't rely on force or weapons or
military strategies.
Force rebounds.
Weapons turn on their wielders.
Battles are inevitably followed by famines.

Just do what needs to be done, and then stop.
Attain your purpose, but don't press
your advantage.
Be resolute, but don't boast.
Succeed, but don't crow.
Accomplish, but don't overpower.

Overdoing things invites decay,
and this is against Tao.
Whatever is against Tao soon ceases to be.

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