Laozi quote

"Look, and it can't be seen. Listen, and it can't be heard. Reach, and it can't be grasped. Above, it isn't bright. Below, it isn't dark. Seamless, unnamable, it returns to the realm of nothing. Form that includes all forms, image without an image, subtle, beyond all conception. Approach it and there is no beginning; follow it and there is no end. You can't know it, but you can be it, at ease in your own life. Just realize where you come from: this is the essence of wisdom."

Laozi

Born: 604 BC

Die: 531 BC

Occupation: Philosopher

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The Master keeps her mind always at one with the Tao; that is what gives her her radiance. The Tao is ungraspable. How can her mind be at one with it? Because she doesn't cling to ideas. The Tao is dark...

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Worlds and particles, bodies and beings, time and space: All are transient expressions of the Tao.

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By following this simple path, you become extraordinary, unfathomable, a being of profound cosmic subtlety. You outlive time and space by realizing the subtle truth of the universe.

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Some help others in order to receive blessings and admiration. This is simply meaningless. Some cultivate themselves in part to serve others, in part to serve their own pride. They will understand, at...

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Does one scent appeal more than another? Do you prefer this flavor, or that feeling? Is your practice sacred and your work profane? Then your mind is separated: from itself, from oneness, from the Tao.

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The truth often sounds paradoxical.

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Don't imagine that you'll discover {the truth} by accumulating more knowledge. Knowledge creates doubt, and doubt makes you ravenous for more knowledge. You can't get full eating this way.

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The mystical techniques for achieving immortality are revealed only to those who have dissolved all ties to the gross worldly realm of duality, conflict, and dogma. As long as your shallow worldly ambitions...

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In the Universe the difficult things are done as if they were easy.

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Loving, hating, having expectations: all these are attachments. Attachment prevents the growth of one's true being.

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Most of the world's religions serve only to strengthen attachments to false concepts such as self and other, life and death, heaven and earth, and so on. Those who become entangled in these false ideas...

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To manage your mind, know that there is nothing, and then relinquish all attachment to nothingness.

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A great nation is like a great man:When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.Having realized it, he admits it.Having admitted it, he corrects it.He considers those who point out his faultsas his most benevolent...

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The feminine values are the fountain of bliss. Know the masculine, Keep to the feminine.

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The subtlest of subtleties, this is the gateway to all mysteries.

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Purity and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven.

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Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations. These two spring from the same source but differ in name; this appears as darkness. Darkness within darkness. The...

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The further one goes, the less (he realizes he) one knows.

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Who can enjoy enlightenment and remain indifferent to suffering in the world? This is not in keeping with the Way. Only those who increase their service along with their understanding can be called men...

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It is wisdom to know others. It is enlightenment to know oneself.

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To consider this desirable would be to delight in the slaughter of men; and he who delights in the slaughter of men cannot get his will in the kingdom.

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Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream.

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The sense organs, which are limited in scope and ability, randomly gather information. This partial information is arranged into judgments, which are based on previous judgments, which are usually based...

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A foolish man is always doing, Yet much remains to be done.

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The Tao is unpredictable to those that live according to plans. Only those who have no agenda are in harmony with the Tao.

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First, we must do our own personal work, then we tend the necessary work of our family, then our community, then the world.

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The wise leader settles for good work and then lets others have the floor.

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The Master acts without doing, and everything gets done.

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In work, do what you enjoy.

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If you would take, you must first give.

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Perfect kindness acts without thinking of kindness.

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Of the best rulers, The people only know that they exist; the next best they love and praise the next they fear; and the next they revile. When they do not command the people's faith, some will lose faith...

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The world is a sacred vessel. It should not be meddled with. It should not be owned. If you try to meddle with it you will ruin it. If you try to own it you will lose it

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The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem.

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Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.

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Clay is moulded to make a vessel, but the utility of the vessel lies in the space where there is nothing. . . . Thus, taking advantage of what is, we recognize the utility of what is not.

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When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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Though tightly the net of words forms, how surely truth slips out.

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For one gains by losing And loses by gaining.

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These possessions of a simpleton being the three I choose and cherish: to care, to be fair, to be humble.

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The (method of) correction shall by a turn become distortion, and the good in it shall by a turn become evil.

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Tao is beyond words and beyond understanding. Words may be used to speak of it, but they cannot contain it. Tao existed before words and names, before heaven and earth, before the ten thousand things....

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Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

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He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.

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Because every portion of the body, mind, and spirit yearns for the integration of yin and yang, angelic intercourse is led by the spirit rather than the sexual organs. . . . Where ordinary intercourse...

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Practice not-doing and everything will fall into place.

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Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is to say 'I don't want to.'

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Pain and happiness are simply conditions of the ego. Forget the ego.

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Favor and disgrace are like fear. Favor is in a higher place, and disgrace in a lower place. When you win them you are like being in fear, and when you lose them you are also like being in fear. So favor...

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The good man is the teacher of the bad, And the bad is the material from which the good may learn. He who does not value the teacher, Or greatly care for the material, Is greatly deluded although he...

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. . . learn to value what is important today in the subtle realm rather than what appears desirable tomorrow in the worldly realm.

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Appetite for food and sex is nature.

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If you never assume importance, you never lose it.

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By steadily disciplining the animal nature, until it becomes one pointed, it is possible to establish conscious awareness of The Eternal.

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A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth.

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The most powerful weapon known is the weapon of blessing. Therefore, a clever person relies on it. He wins with peace, not with war.

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There is no calamity greater than lavish desires. There is no greater guilt than discontent. And there is no greater disaster than greed.

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Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.

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If you wish to be out front, then act as if you were behind.

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Mastering others is strength. Mastering oneself makes you fearless.

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Be the chief but never the lord.

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Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.

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I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

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All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.

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If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish. When relatives fall out with one another there will be filial duty and love. When states...

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Why not simply honor your parents, love your children, help your brothers and sisters, be faithful to your friends, care for your mate with devotion, complete your work cooperatively and joyfully, assume...

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In order to contract, It is necessary first to expand. In order to weaken, It is necessary first to strengthen. In order to destroy, It is first necessary to promote. In order to grasp, It is necessary...

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A skillful commander is not overbearing. A skillful fighter does not become angry. A skillful conqueror does not compete with people. One who is skillful in using men puts himself below them. This is called...

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Prepare for the difficult while it is still easy. Deal with the big while it is still small. Difficult undertakings have always started with what easy. Great undertakings always started with what is small....

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The men who are great live with that which is substantial, they do not stay with that which is superficial: they abide with realities, they remain not with what is showy. The one they discard, the other...

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An integral being knows without going, sees without looking, and accomplishes without doing.

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The way is light and fluid for the man with no preferences.

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An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.

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Though (the Tao) is uncreated itself, it creates all things. Because it has no substance, it can enter into where there is no space. Exercising by returning to itself, winning victories by remaining gentle...

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Make your heart like a lake, with calm, still surface, and great depths of kindness.

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Its name-what passes not away;

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People in their handlings of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed. If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning, there will be no failure.

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Great, it passes on (in constant flow).

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. . . the integral being is attached to nothing and can relate to everyone with an unstructured attitude. Because of this, her very existence benefits all things.

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A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

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The words of truth are always paradoxical.

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There is no illusion great than fear.

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In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.

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He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.

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A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.

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For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.

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The Way of the Sage is to act but not to compete.

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If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

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Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.

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Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.

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Have patience. Wait until the mud settles and the water is clear. Remain unmoving until right action arises by itself.

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Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil.

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Knowing others is to be clever. Knowing yourself is to be enlightened. Overcoming others requires force. Overcoming yourself requires strength.

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The value of actions lies in their timing.

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Conquering others requires force. Conquering oneself requires strength

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Geese are white, crows are black. No argument will change this.

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Justice has long arm.

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That which is achieved the most, still has the whole of its future yet to be achieved.

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To attain knowledge, add things every day To attain wisdom, remove things every day

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Do nothing, and leave nothing undone. ["Doing nothing" is what happens when the doer disappears, it isn't something that one does or chooses not to do.]

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Those who of old were good practicers of Tao did not use it to make people bright, but rather used it to make them simple.

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Through return to simple living comes control of desires. In control of desires stillness is attained. In stillness the world is restored.

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Stop leaving and you will arrive, Stop searching and you will see, Stop running away and you will be found.

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Act without striving. Work without interfering. Find the flavour in what is flavourless.

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Do not look only at yourself, and you will see much. Do not justify yourself, and you will be distinguished. Do not brag, and you will have merit. Do not be prideful, and your work will endure.

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Few things under heaven bring more benefit than the lessons learned from silence and the actions taken without striving.

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Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.

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He who knows himself is enlightened.

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Surrender your self-interest. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven.

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The True Person governs by emptying the heart of desire and filling the belly with food, weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.

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The True Person avoids extremes, self-indulgence, and extravagance.

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The True Person benefits yet expects no reward, does the work and moves on. There is no desire to be considered better than others.

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There is no greater offence than harbouring desires. There is no greater disaster than discontent. There is no greater misfortune than wanting more.

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The ten thousand things flourish and then each returns to the root from which it came. Returning to the root is stillness. Through stillness each fulfils its destiny.

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Weapons are not proper instruments for gentle people; they use them only when they have no other choice. Peace and quiet are what they value. They do not glory in victory.

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What is well rooted cannot be pulled up. What is firmly grasped will not slip loose. It will be honoured from generation to generation.

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How can a man's life keep it's course If he will not let it flow, Those who flow as life flows know They need no other force: They feel no wear, they feel no tear, They need no mending, no repair.

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How do I know about the world? By what is within me.

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Who is there who can make muddy waters clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually clear itself.

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The truly wise are content to be last. They are, therefore, first. They are indifferent to themselves. They are, therefore self-confident.

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Therefore: In dwelling, choose modest quarters, in thinking, value stillness, in dealing with others, be kind, in choosing words, be sincere, in leading, be just, in working, be competent, in acting, choose...

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The people starve because those above them eat too much tax-grain. That is the only reason why they starve.

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I will be fond of keeping still, and the people will of themselves become correct.

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Tao invariably takes no action, and yet there is nothing left undone.

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Those who know do not talk. Those who talk do not know.

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To see things in the seed, that is genius.

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To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.

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He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.

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Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Be still and allow the mud to settle.

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Before healing others, heal yourself

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To lead people, walk behind them.

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To lead people, walk beside them ... As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate...

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Superior leaders get things done with very little motion. They impart instruction not through many words, but through a few deeds. They keep informed about everything but interfere hardly at all. They...

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To lead, one must follow.

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Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.

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Whatever is flexible and living will tend to grow; whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die.

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To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.

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He who knows much about others may be learned, but he who understands himself is more intelligent. He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.

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There is a big misunderstanding about the idea of naturalness. Most people who come to us believing in some freedom or naturalness, but their understanding is what we call [heretical naturalness] ... a...

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Can you deal with the most vital matters by letting events take their course? Can you step back from you own mind and thus understand all things? Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing,...

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A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants. A good scientist has freed himself of concepts and keeps his mind open to...

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Going on means going far, going far means returning.

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Life is going forth; death is returning home.

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Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.

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The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering.

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Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

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Empty yourself of everything. Let the mind become still. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. They grow and flourish and then return to the source. Returning to...

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Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the...

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The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.

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The more prohibitions there are, the poorer the people will be. The more laws are promulgated, the more thieves and bandits there will be.

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Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant,...

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He who gains a victory over other men is strong; but he who gains a victory over himself is all powerful.

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When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

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The ruler attains wholeness in the correct governance of the people.

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Who can wait quietly until the mud settles? Who can remain still until the moment of action?

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Ordinary men hate solitude. But the Master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe.

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Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.

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To know and not to do is not yet to know.

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The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.

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Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity

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Take care with the end as you do with the beginning

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He who stands on tiptoe doesn't stand firm. He who rushes ahead doesn't go far. He who tries to shine dims his own light. He who defines himself can't know who he really is. He who has...

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In the end, The treasure of life is missed by those who hold on and gained by those who let go

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Not-knowing is true knowledge. Presuming to know is a disease. First realize that you are sick; then you can move toward health.

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Some lose yet gain, others gain and yet lose

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The real art of governing consists, so far as possible, in doing nothing.

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When there is no desire, all things are at peace

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Shape clay into a vessel; It is the space within that makes it useful. Cut doors and windows for a room; It is the holes which make it useful. Therefore benefit comes from what is there; Usefulness...

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Become totally empty Quiet the restlessness of the mind Only then will you witness everything unfolding from emptiness

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What is firmly rooted cannot be pulled out

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To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something

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Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear.

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The softest of stuff in the world, penetrates quickly the hardest, insubstantial, it enters where there is no room...

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Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.

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Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.

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He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.

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The highest truth cannot be put into words.

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Those who know are wise. Those who know themselves are enlightened.

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Because of a great love, one is courageous.

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Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

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From caring comes courage.

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He who is contented is rich.

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The cords of passion and desire weave a binding net around you. Worldly confrontation makes you stiff and inflexible. The trap of duality is tenacious. Bound, rigid, and trapped, you cannot experience...

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Do not attempt to conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance.

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Let your workings remain a mystery. Just show people the results.

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Understand this if nothing else: spiritual freedom and oneness with the Tao are not randomly bestowed gifts, but the rewards of conscious self-transformation and self-evolution.

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If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve

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The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.

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Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.

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At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

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Knowing others is wisdom; Knowing the self is enlightenment; Mastering others requires force; Mastering the self needs strength.

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A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.

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If you want to know me, look inside your heart.

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Do not imagine that an integral being has the ambition of enlightening the unaware or raising worldly people to the divine realm. To her, there is no self and other, and hence no one to be raised; no heaven...

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Why is the sea king of a hundred streams? Because it lies below them... If the sage would guide the people, he must serve with humility. If he would lead them, he must follow behind. In this way when the...

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If I have even just a little sense, I will walk on the main road and my only fear will be of straying from it. Keeping to the main road is easy, But people love to be sidetracked.

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Those who have hardened, have a covenant with Death. Those who remain gentle are conjoined with Life.

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The best fighter is never angry.

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Great talents ripen late; the highest notes are hard to hear.

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Give up learning, and put an end to your troubles.

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Greed for enlightenment and immortality is no different than greed for material wealth. It is self-centered and dualistic, and thus an obstacle to true attainment. Therefore these states are never achieved...

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Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people's approval and you will...

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Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate...

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Without going outside, you may know the whole world, without looking through the window, you may see the ways of heaven. The farther you go, the less you know. Thus the sage knows without traveling; he...

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Laozi

The leader is a teacher who succeeds without taking credit. And, because credit is not taken, credit is received.

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Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another...

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Yet mystery and imagination arise from the same source. This source is called darkness ... Darkness within darkness, the gateway to all understanding.

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Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.

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If you fail to honor your people, They will fail to honor you; It is said of a good leader that When the work is done, the aim fulfilled, The people will say, "We did this ourselves."

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The tree which needs two arms to span its girth sprang from the tiniest shoot. Yon tower, nine stories high, rose from a little mound of earth. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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When you realize where you come from, you naturally become tolerant, amused, kindhearted as a grandmother, and dignified as a king. Immersed in wonder, you can deal with whatever life brings you, and when...

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True words aren't eloquent; eloquent words aren't true. Wise men don't need to prove their point; men who need to prove their point aren't wise. The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others,...

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All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power. If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must...

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Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking. Center your country in the Tao and evil will have no power. Not that it isn't there, but you'll be able to step...

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Things flourish, then each returns to its root. Returning to the root is called stillness: Stillness is called return to life, return to life is called the constant; knowing the constant is called enlightenment.

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A brave and passionate man will kill or be killed. A brave and calm man will always preserve life. Of these two which is good and which is harmful?

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If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself, if you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have...

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Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

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If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be truly fulfilled.

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Knowing constancy, the mind is open. With an open mind, you will be openhearted. Being openhearted you will act royally. Being royal, you will attain the divine. Being divine, you will be at one with...

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Laozi

My teachings are easy to understand and easy to put into practice. Yet your intellect will never grasp them, and if you try to practice them, you'll fail. My teachings are older than the world. How can...

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Laozi

All things issue from it; all things return to it. To find the origin, trace back the manifestations. When you recognize the children and find the mother, you will be free of sorrow. If you close your...

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Laozi

One's own self or material goods, which has more worth? Loss (of self) or possession (of goods), which is the greater evil? He who loves most, spends most, He who hoards much loses much

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Laozi

Free from desire, you realize the mystery, caught in the desire, you see only the manifestations.

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Laozi

Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.

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Laozi

If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.

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Laozi

The wise stand out because they see themselves as part of the Whole. They shine because they don't want to impress. They achieve great things because they don't look for recognition. Their wisdom is contained...

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Laozi

Speaking with kindness creates confidence, thinking with kindness creates profoundness, giving with kindness creates love.

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Laozi

In this world, there is nothing softer or thinner than water. But to compel the hard and unyielding, it has no equal. That the weak overcomes the strong, that the hard gives way to the gentle - this everyone...

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Laozi

Throw away profit and greed, and there won't be any thieves.

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Laozi

Governing a large state is like boiling a small fish.

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Laozi

As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.

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Laozi

Great acts are made up of small deeds.

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Laozi

Can you dissolve your ego? Can you abandon the idea of self and other? Can you relinquish the notions of male and female, short and long, life and death? Can you let go of all these dualities and embrace...

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Laozi

If you can let go of (the Tao) with your mind and surround it with your heart, it will live inside you forever.

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Laozi

Man, when living, is soft and tender; when dead, he is hard and tough. All animals and plants when living are tender and delicate; when dead they become withered and dry. Therefore it is said: the hard...

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Laozi

The sage seeks freedom from desire. He does not collect precious things. He learns not to hold on to ideas. He brings men back to what they have lost.

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Laozi

Of the second-rate leaders people speak respectfully saying, "He has done this, he has done that." Of the first-rate leaders, they do not say this. They say, "We have done it all ourselves."

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Laozi

The master does his job and then stops. He understands that the universe is forever out of control, and that trying to dominate events goes against the current of the Tao.

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Laozi

Although most people spend their entire lives following this biological impulse (i.e. the sex drive), it is only a tiny portion of our beings. . . . If we remain obsessed with seeds and eggs, we are married...

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Laozi

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.

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Laozi

Stretch the bow to the very full, and you will wish you had stopped in time.

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Laozi

Fame or integrity: which is more important? Money or happiness: which is more valuable? Success or failure: which is more destructive? If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled....

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Laozi

Nature doesn't make long speeches.

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Laozi

Nothing on earth is so weak and yielding as water, but for breaking down the firm and strong it has no equal.

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Laozi

Nothing is weaker than water, Yet for overcoming what is hard and strong, Nothing surpasses it.

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Laozi

As for the "proper way:" it is the beginning of disorder.

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Laozi

Between yea and nay, how much difference is there?

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Laozi

Freedom from desire leads to inner peace.

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Laozi

Treat the large as the small and the few as the many.

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Laozi

I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be...

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Laozi

Once upon a time a man whose ax was missing suspected his neighbor's son. The boy walked like a thief, looked like a thief and spoke like a thief. But the man found his ax while digging in the valley,...

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Laozi

Be humble and you will remain entire. The sages do not display themselves, therefore they shine. They do not approve themselves, therefore they are noted. They do not praise themselves, therefore they...

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Laozi

To be worn out is to be renewed.

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Laozi

Keep behind, and you shall be put in front; keep out, and you shall be kept in.

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Laozi

Follow diligently the Way in your own heart, but make no display of it to the world.

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Laozi

When merit has been achieved, do not take it to yourself; for if you do not take it to yourself, it shall never be taken from you.

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Laozi

ALL things in Nature work silently. They come into being and possess nothing. They fulfil their functions and make no claim.

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Laozi

Reputation should be neither sought nor avoided.

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Laozi

Returning to the source is serenity.

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Laozi

Men are born soft and supple; dead, they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft...

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Laozi

If you understand others you are smart. If you understand yourself you are illuminated. If you overcome others you are powerful. If you overcome yourself you have strength. If you know how to be satisfied...

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Laozi

The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.

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Laozi

When goodness is lost, it is replaced by morality.

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Laozi

Try to change it and you will ruin it. Try to hold it and you will lose it.

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Laozi

The usefulness of a pot comes from its emptiness.

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Laozi

The best people are like water, which benefits all things and does not compete with them. It stays in lowly places that others reject. This is why it is so similar to the Way.

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Laozi

To understand the limitation of things, desire them.

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Laozi

Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.

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Laozi

Accomplish but do not boast, accomplish without show, accomplish without arrogance, accomplish without grabbing, accomplish without forcing.

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Laozi

There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.

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Laozi

Your own positive future begins in this moment. All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here.

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Laozi

He who acts, spoils; he who grasps, lets slip.

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Laozi

The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms.

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Laozi

Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect.

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Laozi

Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.

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Laozi

The difficult problems in life always start off being simple. Great affairs always start off being small.

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Laozi

A good traveler leaves no tracks. Good speech lacks fault-finding.

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Laozi

The Wise Man is square but not sharp, honest but not not malign, straight but not severe, bright but not dazzling.

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Laozi

Watch your thoughts, they become words...

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Laozi

A man is born gentle and weak. At death, he is hard and stiff. Green plants are tender and filled with sap. At death, they are withered and dry. Therefore, the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death,...

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Laozi

Goodness strives not, and therefore it is not rebuked.

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Laozi

He that humbles himself shall be preserved entire. He that bends shall be made straight. He that is empty shall be filled. He that is worn out shall be renewed. He who has little shall succeed. He who...

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Laozi

Therefore the Sage embraces Unity, and is a model for all under Heaven. He is free from self-display, therefore he shines forth; from self-assertion, therefore he is distinguished; from self-glorification,...

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Laozi

He who, conscious of being strong, is content to be weak, he shall be the paragon of mankind. Being the paragon of mankind, Virtue will never desert him. He returns to the state of a little child.

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Laozi

He who is great must make humility his base. He who is high must make lowliness his foundation. Thus, princes and kings in speaking of themselves use the terms "lonely," "friendless," "of small account."...

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Laozi

Thus it is that "Some things are increased by being diminished, others are diminished by being increased." What others have taught, I also teach; verily, I will make it the root of my teaching.

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Laozi

What makes a kingdom great is its being like a down-flowing river,--the central point towards which all the smaller streams under Heaven converge; or like the female throughout the world, who by quiescence...

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Laozi

Therefore, if a great kingdom humbles itself before a small kingdom, it shall make that small kingdom its prize. And if a small kingdom humbles itself before a great kingdom, it shall win over that great...

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Laozi

The reason why rivers and seas are able to be lords over a hundred mountain streams, is that they know how to keep below them. That is why they are able to reign over all the mountain streams.

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Laozi

Therefore the Sage, wishing to be above the people, must by his words put himself below them; wishing to be before the people, he must put himself behind them. In this way, though he has his place above...

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Laozi

The Sage expects no recognition for what he does; he achieves merit but does not take it to himself; he does not wish to display his worth.

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Laozi

But in the present day men cast off gentleness, and are all for being bold; they spurn frugality, and retain only extravagance; they discard humility, and aim only at being first. Therefore they shall...

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Laozi

Gentleness brings victory to him who attacks, and safety to him who defends. Those whom Heaven would save, it fences round with gentleness.

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Laozi

The best soldiers are not warlike; the best fighters do not lose their temper. The greatest conquerors are those who overcome their enemies without strife. The greatest directors of men are those who yield...

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Laozi

To practice virtue is to selflessly offer assistance to others, giving without limitation one's time, abilities, and possessions in service, whenever and wherever needed, without prejudice concerning the...

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Laozi

Only by working within the laws that govern the flow of water will happiness be achieved.

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Laozi

When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people's hearts.

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Laozi

By letting go, it all gets done.

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Laozi

A journey of a thousand leagues begins beneath one's feet.

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Laozi

When great armies go to war, Sorrow is the sole winner.

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Laozi

Hold on to the center and make up your mind to rejoice in this paradise called life.

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Laozi

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.

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Laozi

The Way to Heaven has no favorites. It is always with the good man.

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Laozi

He who overcomes others has force; he who overcomes himself is strong.

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Laozi

It is better to do one's own duty, however defective it may be, than to follow the duty of another, however well one may perform it. He who does his duty as his own nature reveals it, never sins.

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Laozi

One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.

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Laozi

The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, 'We did it ourselves.'

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Laozi

Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge.

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Laozi

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.

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Laozi

Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.

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Laozi

Do not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance. Thorns spring up when an army passes. Years of misery follow a great victory. Do only what needs to be done without using violence.

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Laozi

Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.

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Laozi

Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.

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Laozi

Kind words elicit trust. Kind thoughts create depth. Kind deeds bring love.

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Laozi

The Way to do is to be.

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Laozi

When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning...

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Laozi

Deal with it before it happens. Set things in order before there is confusion.

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Laozi

Thirty spokes meet in the hub, but the empty space between them is the essence of the wheel. Pots are formed from clay, but the empty space within it is the essence of the pot. Walls with windows...

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Laozi

Yield and overcome; Bend and be straight; Empty and be full; Wear out and be new; Have little and gain; Have much and be confused. ...The ancients say, "Yield and overcome." Is that an empty saying? Be...

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Laozi

Distortion upon distortion: . . . the more one uses the mind, the more confused one becomes.

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Laozi

He who knows enough is enough will always have enough.

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Laozi

Confidence is the greatest friend.

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Laozi

The inner is the foundation of the outer. The still is master of the restless. The Sage travels all day yet never leaves his inner treasure.

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Laozi

He who is able to conquer others is powerful; he who is able to conquer himself is more powerful.

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Laozi

A good manager is best when people barely know that he exists. Not so good when people obey and acclaim him. Worse when they despise him.

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Laozi

The Way begets one; one begets two; two begets three; three begets the myriad creatures.

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Laozi

When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish.

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Laozi

A good calculator does not need artificial aids.

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Laozi

Learn to lead in a nourishing manner. Learn to lead without being possessive. Learn to be helpful without taking the credit. Learn to lead without coercion.

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Laozi

Go to the people. Learn from them. Live with them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. The best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, the people will say we...

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Laozi

The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, Having bestowed all he has on others, he has yet more; having given all he has to others, he is richer still.

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Laozi

Can you let go of words and ideas, attitudes and expectations? If so, then the Tao will loom into view.

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Laozi

Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.

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Laozi

A tree that is unbending, is easily broken.

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Laozi

Throw away sacredness and wisdom and people will be one hundred times happier.

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Laozi

The greatest revelation is stillness.

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Laozi

Darkness within darkness. The gateway to all understanding.

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Laozi

A sound man is good at salvage, at seeing nothing is lost

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Laozi

The fourth (of the four cardinal virtues) is supportiveness: this manifests as service to others without expectation of reward. (Paraphrased: Such service is not a mere conforming to some external rule...

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Laozi

Because clarity and enlightenment are within your own nature, they are regained without moving an inch.

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Laozi

Remember: if you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear.

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Laozi

He who knows how to be aggressive, and yet remains patient, becomes a receptacle for all of Nature's lessons.

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Laozi

The Way that can be walked is not the eternal Way.

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Laozi

The Way is empty, yet inexhaustible, like an abyss!

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Laozi

Obscure, like muddy waters.

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Laozi

The Way is eternal. Until your last day, you are free from peril.

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Laozi

I do not know its name. I call it the Way. For the lack of better words I call it great.

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Laozi

The Way is ever nameless.

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Laozi

The great Way is all-pervading. It reaches to the left and to the right. All things depend on it with their existence. Still it demands no obedience.

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Laozi

It (Tao) is eternally without desire. So, it can be called small. All things return to it, although it does not make itself their ruler. So, it can be called great.

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Laozi

Words spoken about the Way have no taste. When looked at, there's not enough to see. When listened to, there's not enough to hear. When used, it is never exhausted.

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Laozi

Returning is the movement of the Way.

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Laozi

The light of the Way seems dim.

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Laozi

The progress of the Way seems retreating.

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Laozi

The Way is hidden and nameless. Still only the Way nourishes and completes.

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Laozi

The whole world says that my Way is great like nothing else. It is great because it is like nothing else. If it were like everything else, it would long ago have become insignificant.

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Laozi

Heaven's Way does not contend, yet it certainly triumphs. It does not speak, yet it certainly answers. It does not summon, yet things come by themselves. It seems to be at rest, yet it certainly has a...

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Laozi

Heaven's net is very vast. It is sparsely meshed, yet nothing slips through.

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Laozi

The nameless is the beginning of Heaven and Earth. The named is the mother of all things.

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Laozi

From now back to antiquity, its (Tao's) name has not been lost. Thereby, see the origin of all.

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Laozi

There was something that finished chaos, born before Heaven and Earth.

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Laozi

All things in the world are born out of being. Being is born out of non-being.

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Laozi

The world's beginning is its mother. To have found the mother is also to know the children. Although you know the children, cling to the mother. Until your last day you will not be harmed.

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Laozi

Can you make your soul embrace the One and not lose it?

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Laozi

Hold on to the ancient Way to master the present, and to learn the distant beginning.

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Laozi

Knowledge of the eternal is all-embracing. To be all-embracing leads to righteousness, which is majestic.

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Laozi

I alone am different from the others, because I am nourished by the great mother.

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Laozi

The greatest virtue is to follow the Way utterly.

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Laozi

The sage embraces the one, and is an example to the world.

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Laozi

Hold on to the great image, and the whole world follows, follows unharmed, content and completely at peace.

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Laozi

If I have just an ounce of sense, I follow the great Way, and fear only to stray from it.

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Laozi

Profound virtue is indeed deep and wide. It leads all things back to the great order.

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Laozi

When the great Tao is abandoned, benevolence and righteousness arise.

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Laozi

Things exalted then decay. This is going against the Way. What goes against the Way meets an early end.

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Laozi

The great Way is very straight, but people prefer to deviate.

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Laozi

Heaven and Earth are not kind. They regard all things as offerings.

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Laozi

Is not the space between Heaven and Earth like a bellows? It is empty, but lacks nothing. The more it moves, the more comes out of it.

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Laozi

All things arise in unison. Thereby we see their return.

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Laozi

All things flourish, and each returns to its source.

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Laozi

Strong winds do not last all morning, hard rains do not last all day.

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Laozi

If Heaven and Earth are unable to persist, how could man?

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Laozi

Man is ruled by Earth. Earth is ruled by Heaven. Heaven is ruled by the Way. The Way is ruled by itself.

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Laozi

What the Way is to the world, the stream is to the river and the sea.

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Laozi

If Heaven were not clear it might rend. If Earth were not firm it might crumble.

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Laozi

All things carry yin and embrace yang. They reach harmony by blending with the vital breath.

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Laozi

Of all things, none does not revere the Way and honor virtue. Reverence of the Way and honoring virtue were not demanded of them, but it is in their nature.

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Laozi

The river and the sea can be kings of a hundred valleys, because they lie below them.

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Laozi

Conquering the world and changing it, I do not think it can succeed.

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Laozi

The world is a sacred vessel that cannot be changed. He who changes it will destroy it. He who seizes it will lose it.

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Laozi

Never take over the world to tamper with it. Those who want to tamper with it are not fit to take over the world.

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Laozi

When wisdom and knowledge appear, great pretense arises.

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Laozi

Those who understand others are clever, those who understand themselves are wise.

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Laozi

The more clever and cunning people are, the stranger the events will be.

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Laozi

People are difficult to rule, because of their knowledge.

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Laozi

Not knowing of the eternal leads to unfortunate errors.

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Laozi

Those who know it do not speak about it. Those who speak about it do not know it.

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Laozi

Correct becomes defect. Good becomes ominous. People's delusions have certainly lasted long.

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Laozi

Knowing that you do not know is the best. Not knowing that you do not know is an illness.

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Laozi

Truly, only those who see illness as illness can avoid illness.

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Laozi

The sage is not ill, because he sees illness as illness.

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Laozi

True words seem false.

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Laozi

True words are not pleasing. Pleasing words are not true.

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Laozi

Those who are right do not argue. Those who argue are not right.

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Laozi

Those who know are not learned. Those who are learned do not know.

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Laozi

Abandon wisdom, discard knowledge, and people will benefit a hundredfold.

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Laozi

Abandon knowledge and your worries are over.

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Laozi

I have the mind of a fool, understanding nothing.

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Laozi

Those who seek knowledge, collect something every day. Those who seek the Way, let go of something every day.

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Laozi

My words are very easy to understand and very easy to practice. Still, no one in the world can understand or practice them.

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Laozi

My words have an origin. My deeds have a sovereign. Truly, because people do not understand this, they do not understand me.

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Laozi

That so few understand me is why I am treasured.

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Laozi

A good person is the bad person's teacher. A bad person is the good person's task.

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Laozi

The one who does not honor the teacher and the one who does not honor the task, although ever so knowledgeable, they are confused.

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Laozi

The superior student listens to the Way and follows it closely. The average student listens to the Way and follows some and some not. The lesser student listens to the Way and laughs out loud. If there...

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Laozi

When everyone in the world sees beauty, then ugly exists.

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Laozi

What is and what is not create each other.

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Laozi

High and low rest on each other.

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Laozi

First and last follow each other.

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Laozi

What's the difference between yes and no?

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Laozi

You cannot receive what you don't give. Outflow determines inflow.

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Laozi

What's the difference between beautiful and ugly?

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Laozi

Heavy is the root of light.

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Laozi

What should be shrunken must first be stretched.

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Laozi

Misery is what happiness rests upon. Happiness is what misery lurks beneath.

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Laozi

The highest virtue is not virtuous. Therefore it has virtue. The lowest virtue holds on to virtue. Therefore it has no virtue.

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Laozi

The purest white seems stained.

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Laozi

The grandest virtue seems deficient.

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Laozi

The sturdiest virtue seems fragile.

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Laozi

The most fundamental seems fickle.

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Laozi

The perfect square lacks corners.

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Laozi

The highest tone is hard to hear.

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Laozi

The great image lacks shape.

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Laozi

Sometimes gain comes from losing, and sometimes loss comes from gaining.

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Laozi

What has no substance can penetrate what has no opening.

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Laozi

The most complete seems lacking. Yet in use it is not exhausted.

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Laozi

The most straight seems curved.

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Laozi

The most able seems clumsy.

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Laozi

The most eloquent seems to stutter.

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Laozi

Make the small big and the few many.

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Laozi

Thirty spokes are joined in the wheel's hub. The hole in the middle makes it useful.

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Laozi

Mold clay into a bowl. The empty space makes it useful.

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Laozi

Cut out doors and windows for the house. The holes make it useful.

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Laozi

The value comes from what is there, but the use comes from what is not there.

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Laozi

The sage acts by doing nothing.

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Laozi

Can you comprehend everything in the four directions and still do nothing?

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Laozi

Because he (the Sage) opposes no one, no one in the world can oppose him.

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Laozi

The Way is ever without action, yet nothing is left undone.

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Laozi

The highest virtue does nothing. Yet, nothing needs to be done. The lowest virtue does everything. Yet, much remains to be done.

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Laozi

The value of teaching without words and accomplishing without action is understood by few in the world.

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Laozi

The sage knows without traveling, perceives without looking, completes without acting.

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Laozi

When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

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Laozi

Use justice to rule a country. Use surprise to wage war. Use non-action to govern the world.

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Laozi

I do not act, and people become reformed by themselves.

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Laozi

I am at peace, and people become fair by themselves.

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Laozi

I do not interfere, and people become rich by themselves.

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Laozi

Those who act will fail. Those who seize will lose.

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Laozi

He (the sage) wants all things to follow their own nature, but dares not act.

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Laozi

The sage does not act and therefore does not fail, does not seize and therefore does not lose.

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Laozi

Cautious, like crossing a river in the winter.

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Laozi

Wary, as if surrounded by strangers.

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Laozi

Although he travels all day, the sage never loses sight of his luggage carts.

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Laozi

The best way to carve is not to split.

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Laozi

Those who know when to halt are unharmed.

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Laozi

Seal the openings, shut the doors, and until your last day you will not be exhausted. Widen the openings, interfere, and until your last day you will not be safe.

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Laozi

The sage is sharp but does not cut, pointed but does not pierce, forthright but does not offend, bright but does not dazzle.

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Laozi

Pursue without interfering.

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Laozi

Lightly given promises must meet with little trust.

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Laozi

Taking things lightly must lead to big difficulties.

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Laozi

The sage regards things as difficult, and thereby avoids difficulty.

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Laozi

Those who have the courage to dare will perish. Those who have the courage not to dare will live.

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Laozi

The sage's Way is to act and not to contend.

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Laozi

Moderation means prevention. Prevention means achieving much virtue.

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Laozi

Meet the difficult while it is easy.

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Laozi

Meet the big while it is small.

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Laozi

The most difficult in the world must be easy in its beginning.

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Laozi

The biggest in the world is small in its beginning.

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Laozi

The brittle is easy to shatter.

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Laozi

The small is easy to scatter.

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Laozi

What has not yet emerged is easy to prevent.

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Laozi

Solve it before it happens. Order it before chaos emerges.

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Laozi

A tree as wide as a man's embrace grows from a tiny shoot.

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Laozi

A climb of eight hundred feet starts where the foot stands.

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Laozi

Who can wait in stillness while the mud settles?

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Laozi

Who can rest until the moment of action?

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Laozi

Filling all the way to the brim is not as good as halting in time.

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Laozi

Pounding an edge to sharpness will not make it last.

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Laozi

Racing through the field and hunting make the mind wild.

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Laozi

He who holds on to the Way seeks no excess. Since he lacks excess, he can grow old in no need to be renewed.

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Laozi

Those who stand on their toes are not steady.

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Laozi

Those who take long steps cannot keep the pace.

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Laozi

The sage avoids extremity, excess, and extravagance.

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Laozi

Those who know when it is enough will not perish.

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Laozi

Those who are content suffer no disgrace.

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Laozi

To have enough of enough is always enough.

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Laozi

Seal the openings, shut the doors, dull the sharpness, untie the knots, dim the light, become one with the dust. This is called the profound union.

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Laozi

When leading people and serving Heaven, nothing exceeds moderation.

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Laozi

The sage never strives for greatness, and can therefore accomplish greatness.

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Laozi

By moderation one can be generous.

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Laozi

Let the country be small, and the inhabitants few.

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Laozi

Because he (the Sage) demands no honor, he will never be dishonored.

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Laozi

Not praising the deserving prevents envy.

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Laozi

He (the Sage) does not show off, therefore he shines.

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Laozi

Those who show off do not shine.

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Laozi

Those who are self-righteous are not prominent.

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Laozi

Those who boast are not respected.

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Laozi

Those who praise themselves do not prevail.

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Laozi

The sage does not strive to be great. Thereby he can accomplish the great.

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Laozi

Do not strive for the shine of jade, but clatter like stone.

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Laozi

The sage wears coarse clothes, concealing jade.

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Laozi

The sage knows himself, but does not parade. He cherishes himself, but does not praise himself.

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Laozi

The sage acts without taking credit. He accomplishes without dwelling on it. He does not want to display his worth.

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Laozi

Those who stay where they are will endure.

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Laozi

Without stepping out the door, you can know the world.

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Laozi

Without looking through the window, you can see Heaven's Way.

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Laozi

The longer you travel, the less you know.

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Laozi

They can see their neighbors. Roosters and dogs can be heard from there. Still, they will age and die without visiting one another.

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Laozi

Supreme good is like water. Water greatly benefits all things, without conflict. It flows through places that people loathe. Thereby it is close to the Way.

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Laozi

Other people are joyous, like on the feast of the ox, like on the way up to the terrace in the spring. I alone am inert, giving no sign, like a newborn baby who has not learned to smile.

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Laozi

I am wearied, as if I lacked a home to go to.

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Laozi

Other people have more than they need, I alone seem wanting.

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Laozi

Only I am clumsy, like drifting on the waves of the sea, without direction.

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Laozi

Other people are occupied, I alone am unwilling, like the outcast.

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Laozi

Knowing the bright, but clinging to the dark, you become a model to the world.

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Laozi

Knowing honor, but clinging to disgrace, you become the valley of the world.

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Laozi

The high must make the low its base.

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Laozi

The highest virtue seems as low as a valley.

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Laozi

If the sage wants to stand above people, he must speak to them from below. If he wants to lead people, he must follow them from behind.

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Laozi

The highest benevolence acts without purpose.

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Laozi

The sage has no concern for himself, but makes the concerns of others his own.

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Laozi

People turn their eyes and ears to him (the sage), and the sage cares for them like his own children.

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Laozi

See others as yourself. See families as your family. See towns as your town. See countries as your country. See worlds as your world.

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Laozi

Return animosity with virtue.

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Laozi

I have three treasures that I cherish. The first is compassion. The second is moderation. The third is not claiming to be first in the world.

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Laozi

By compassion one can be brave.

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Laozi

The sage honors his part of the settlement, but does not exact his due from others.

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Laozi

Lessen selfishness and restrain desires.

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Laozi

Without desire there is stillness, and the world settles by itself.

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Laozi

There is no greater crime than desire.

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Laozi

I have no desire to desire, and people become like the uncarved wood by themselves.

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Laozi

The sage desires no desire, does not value rare treasures, learns without learning, recovers what people have left behind.

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Laozi

Not valuing wealth prevents theft.

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Laozi

Keeping plenty of gold and jade in the palace makes no one able to defend it.

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Laozi

Displaying riches and titles with pride brings about one's downfall.

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Laozi

Searching for precious goods leads astray.

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Laozi

Abandon cleverness, discard profit, and thieves and robbers will disappear.

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Laozi

Gain or loss, what is worse?

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Laozi

Greed is costly. Assembled fortunes are lost.

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Laozi

There is no greater misfortune than greed.

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Laozi

When the palace is magnificent, the fields are filled with weeds, and the granaries are empty.

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Laozi

The career of a sage is of two kinds: He is either honored by all in the world, Like a flower waving its head, Or else he disappears into the silent forest.

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Laozi

Some have lavish garments, carry sharp swords, and feast on food and drink. They possess more than they can spend. This is called the vanity of robbers. It is certainly not the Way.

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Laozi

The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way...

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Laozi

People starve. The rulers consume too much with their taxes. That is why people starve.

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Laozi

Without stirring abroad, One can know the whole world; Without looking out of the window One can see the way of heaven. The further one goes The less one knows.

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Laozi

Heaven's Way is like stretching a bow. The high is lowered and the low is raised. Excess is reduced and deficiency is replenished. Heaven's Way reduces excess and replenishes deficiency. People's Way is...

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Laozi

Who has excess and supplies the world? Only the one who follows the Way.

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Laozi

The virtuous carry out the settlement, but those without virtue pursue their claims.

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Laozi

When everyone sees good, then bad exists.

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Laozi

He (the sage) is good to those who are good. He is also good to those who are not good. That is the virtue of good.

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Laozi

The Way is the source of all things, good people's treasure and bad people's refuge.

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Laozi

Fine words are traded. Noble deeds gain respect. But people who are not good, why abandon them?

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Laozi

What Heaven detests, who knows why? Even the sage considers it difficult.

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Laozi

Heaven's Way gives no favors. It always remains with good people.

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Laozi

Ancient masters of excellence had a subtle essence, and a depth too profound to comprehend.

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Laozi

The ancients said: Hulk to be whole.

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Laozi

Why did the ancients praise the Way? Did they not say it was because you find what you seek and are saved from your wrongdoings?

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Laozi

In ancient times, those who followed the Way did not try to give people knowledge thereof, but kept them ignorant.

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Laozi

Dignified, like a guest.

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Laozi

The noble must make humility his root.

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Laozi

Cultivate virtue in yourself, and it will be true.

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Laozi

When much virtue is achieved, nothing is not overcome.

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Laozi

To retreat after a work well done is Heaven's Way.

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Laozi

A good wanderer leaves no trace.

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Laozi

A good speaker does not stutter.

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Laozi

A good counter needs no calculator.

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Laozi

A good door needs no lock, still it can't be opened.

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Laozi

A good mooring needs no knot, still no one can untie it.

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Laozi

Being a model to the world, eternal virtue will never falter in you, and you return to the boundless.

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Laozi

When the uncarved wood is split, its parts are put to use. When the sage is put to use, he becomes the head.

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Laozi

Those who are unswerving have resolve

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Laozi

The sage governs by emptying senses and filling bellies.

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Laozi

The sage attends to the belly, and not to what he sees.

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Laozi

Simple, like uncarved wood.

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Laozi

Behave simply and hold on to purity.

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Laozi

Let people return to making knots on ropes, instead of writing.

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Laozi

Attain utmost emptiness. Abide in steadfast stillness.

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Laozi

Returning to the source is stillness. It is returning to one's fate. Returning to one's fate is eternal.

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Laozi

Stillness is the ruler of haste.

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Laozi

Stillness overcomes heat.

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Laozi

Stillness is easy to maintain.

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Laozi

A multitude of words is tiresome, unlike remaining centered.

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Laozi

Those who are quiet value the words. When their task is completed, people will say: We did it ourselves.

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Laozi

To be of few words is natural.

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Laozi

Peace and quiet govern the world.

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Laozi

Where there is no conflict, there is no fault.

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Laozi

Those who are one with deprivation are deprived of deprivation.

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Laozi

The sage is one with the world, and lives in harmony with it.

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Laozi

Harmony is called the eternal. Knowing the eternal is called clarity.

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Laozi

Praise and disgrace cause fear.

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Laozi

Praise leads to weakness. Getting it causes fear, losing it causes fear.

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Laozi

The reason for great distress is the body. Without it, what distress could there be?

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Laozi

Must one dread what others dread?

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Laozi

If people are not afraid of dying, why threaten them with death?

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Laozi

If people live in constant fear of death, and if breaking the law is punished by death, then who would dare?

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Laozi

When the Way is lost there is virtue. When virtue is lost there is benevolence. When benevolence is lost there is righteousness. When righteousness is lost there are rituals.

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Laozi

Rituals are the end of fidelity and honesty, and the beginning of confusion.

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Laozi

When people are unsettled, loyal ministers arise.

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Laozi

There is no greater disaster than discontent.

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Laozi

Letting the mind control the vital breath is called force.

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Laozi

The valley spirit never dies. It is called the mystical female.

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Laozi

Can you open and close the gate of Heaven and act like a woman?

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Laozi

A great country is like the lower outlet of a river. It is the world's meeting ground, the world's female.

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Laozi

The female always surpasses the male with stillness. In her stillness she is yielding.

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Laozi

Can you gather your vital breath and yet be tender like a newborn baby?

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Laozi

The one who is filled by virtue is like a newborn baby.

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Laozi

When family ties are disturbed, devoted children arise.

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Laozi

Abandon benevolence, discard duty, and people will return to the family ties.

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Laozi

Yielding, like ice about to melt.

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Laozi

Wear down to be renewed.

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Laozi

The soft and weak overcome the hard and strong.

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Laozi

Yielding is the manner of the Way.

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Laozi

The softest in the world surpasses the hardest in the world.

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Laozi

Holding on to the weak is called strength.

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Laozi

The rigid tree will be felled.

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Laozi

The rigid and big belong below. The soft and weak belong above.

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Laozi

The weak overcomes the strong. The soft overcomes the hard. Everybody in the world knows this, still nobody makes use of it.

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Laozi

Can you care for the people and rule the country and not be cunning?

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Laozi

He who treasures his body as much as the world can care for the world.

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Laozi

In the world there are four greats, and the king is one of them.

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Laozi

Good leaders reach solutions, and then stop. They do not dare to rely on force.

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Laozi

If princes and kings could follow it (Tao), all things would by themselves abide, Heaven and Earth would unite and sweet dew would fall. People would by themselves find harmony, without being commanded.

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Laozi

If princes and kings were not exalted they might be overthrown.

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Laozi

What people loathe the most is to be orphaned, desolate, unworthy. But this is what princes and kings call themselves.

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Laozi

Cultivate virtue in the world, and it will be universal.

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Laozi

The one who rules like the mother lasts long.

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Laozi

When the world is ruled according to the Way, the ghosts lose their power. The ghosts do not really lose their power, but it is not used to harm people.

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Laozi

When the emperor is crowned or the three dukes are appointed, rather than sending a gift of jade carried by four horses, remain still and offer the Way.

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Laozi

When the sage stands above people, they are not oppressed. When he leads people, they are not obstructed. The world will exalt him and not grow tired of him.

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Laozi

By not claiming to be first in the world one can rule.

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Laozi

Excellent leaders of people lower themselves.

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Laozi

To bear the country's disgrace is to rule the shrines of soil and grain. To bear the country's misfortunes is to be the king of the world.

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Laozi

The supreme rulers are hardly known by their subjects. The lesser are loved and praised. The even lesser are feared. The least are despised.

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Laozi

In lightness the root is lost. In haste the ruler is lost.

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Laozi

As soon as rules were made, names were given. There are already many names. One must know when it is enough.

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Laozi

The more sharp weapons people have in a country, the bigger the disorder will be.

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Laozi

When the government is quite unobtrusive, people are indeed pure. When the government is quite prying, people are indeed conniving.

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Laozi

If a great country yields to a small country, it will conquer the small country. If a small country yields to a great country, it will be conquered by the great country.

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Laozi

A great country needs more people to serve it. A small country needs more people to serve. So, if both shall get what they need, the great country ought to yield.

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Laozi

To rule by knowledge ravages the country.

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Laozi

To be brave without compassion, generous without moderation, and rule without refraining from being first in the world, are certain deaths.

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Laozi

When people do not dread authorities, then a greater dread descends.

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Laozi

Do not make them (people) weary at their work. If you do not make them weary, they will not be weary of you.

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Laozi

People are hard to govern. The rulers interfere with too much. That is why people are hard to govern.

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Laozi

Those who die without being forgotten get longevity.

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Laozi

We go from birth to death. Three out of ten follow life. Three out of ten follow death. People who rush from birth to death are also three out of ten. Why is that so? Because they want to make too much...

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Laozi

Filling life exceedingly is called ominous.

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Laozi

There is one appointed supreme executioner. Truly, trying to take the place of the supreme executioner is like trying to carve wood like a master carpenter. Of those who try to carve wood like a master...

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Laozi

People take death lightly. They expect too much of life. That is why people take death lightly.

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Laozi

Truly, only acting without thought of one's life is superior to valuing one's life.

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Laozi

People are born soft and weak. They die hard and stiff.

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Laozi

All things such as grass and trees are soft and supple in life. At their death they are withered and dry.

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Laozi

The hard and stiff are death's companions. The soft and weak are life's companions.

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Laozi

Let people take death seriously, and not travel far.

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Laozi

Seeing the small is called clarity.

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Laozi

Use the light to return to clarity.

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Laozi

Knowing the future is the flower of the Way, and the beginning of folly.

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Laozi

The truly great ones rely on substance, and not on surface, hold on to the fruit, and not to the flower.

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Laozi

Your name or your body, what is dearer? Your body or your wealth, what is worthier?

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Laozi

The separate parts make no carriage.

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Laozi

The greatest vessel takes long to complete.

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Laozi

Movement overcomes cold.

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Laozi

What is well planted will not be uprooted.

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Laozi

Those who advice the ruler on the Way, do not want the world subdued with weapons.

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Laozi

Thorn bushes grow where armies have camped.

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Laozi

Battles are followed by years of famine.

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Laozi

Weapons are ominous tools. They are abhorred by all creatures. Anyone who follows the Way shuns them.

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Laozi

Weapons are ominous tools. They are not the noble ruler's tools. He only uses them when he can't avoid it.

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Laozi

Peace and quiet are preferred. Victory should not be praised.

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Laozi

Those who praise victory relish manslaughter. Those who relish manslaughter cannot reach their goals in the world.

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Laozi

When many people are killed, they should be mourned and lamented. Those who are victorious in war should follow the rites of funerals.

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Laozi

Those who defeat others are strong, those who defeat themselves are mighty.

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Laozi

The fish cannot leave the deep waters. The state's weaponry should not be displayed.

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Laozi

The forceful and violent will not die from natural causes.

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Laozi

When the Way governs the world, the proud stallions drag dung carriages. When the Way is lost to the world, war horses are bred outside the city.

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Laozi

Those who have compassion when they do battle will be victorious. Those who likewise defend themselves will be safe. Heaven will rescue and protect them with compassion.

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Laozi

Excellent warriors are not violent.

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Laozi

Excellent soldiers are not furious.

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Laozi

Excellent conquerors do not engage.

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Laozi

Warriors say: I dare not be like the host, but would rather be like the guest. I dare not advance an inch, but would rather retreat a foot.

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Laozi

No misfortune is worse than underestimating the enemy. Underestimating the enemy, I risk losing my treasure.

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Laozi

When equal armies battle, the grieving one will be victorious.

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Laozi

The unyielding army will not win.

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Laozi

When bitter enemies make peace, surely some bitterness remains.

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Laozi

Although there are weapons for tens and hundreds of soldiers, they will not be used.

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Laozi

Failure is the foundation of success: success is the lurking place of failure.

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Laozi

When a country is in harmony with the Tao, the factories make trucks and tractors. When a country goes counter to the Tao, warheads are stockpiled outside the cities. There is no greater illusion than...

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Laozi

Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear. What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure? Whether you go up the ladder or down it, you position is shaky. When you...

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Laozi

If you are untrustworthy, people will not trust you.

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Laozi

The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.

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Laozi

Yielding is the way of the Tao.

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Laozi

The things that have acquired unity are these: Heaven by unity has become clear; Earth by unity has become steady; The Spirit by unity has become spiritual; The Valley by unity has become full; All things...

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Laozi

Great accomplishment seems imperfect, Yet it does not outlive its usefulness. Great fullness seems empty, Yet it cannot be exhausted.

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Laozi

True perfection seems imperfect, yet it is perfectly itself. True fullness seems empty, yet it is fully present. True straightness seems crooked. True wisdom seems foolish. True art seems artless. The...

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Laozi

In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep in the heart. In dealing with others, be gentle and kind. In speech, be true. In ruling, be just. In daily life, be competent. In action, be aware...

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Laozi

Carrying body and soul and embracing the one, Can you avoid separation?

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Laozi

Once you arrive {at a spontaneous awareness of the Great Oneness}, remember: it isn't necessary to struggle to maintain unity with it. All you have to do is participate in it.

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Laozi

He who possess virtue in abundance may be compared to an infant.

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Laozi

Of all that is good, sublimity is supreme. Succeeding is the coming together of all that is beautiful. Furtherance is the agreement of all that is just. Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.

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Laozi

Only fools seek power, and the greatest fools seek it through force.

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Laozi

How could man rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men?

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Laozi

He who tip-toes cannot stand; he who strides cannot walk.

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Laozi

Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.

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Laozi

The world is won by those who let it go.

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Laozi

When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.

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Laozi

Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can. I wish you Happy New Year and diary full of best stories ever...

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Laozi

The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.

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Laozi

There is no calamity greater than lightly engaging in war.

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Laozi

If lightning is the anger of the gods, then the gods are concerned mostly about trees.

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Laozi

Activity conquers coldness. Stillness conquers heat.

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Laozi

Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins.

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Laozi

When you stand with your two feet on the ground, you will always keep your balance.

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Laozi

I confess that there is nothing to teach: no religion, no science, no writings which will lead your mind back to Spirit. Today I speak this way, tomorrow that, but always the Path is beyond words and beyond...

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Laozi

When armies are mobilized and issues joined, the man who is sorry over the fact will always win.

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Laozi

Man at his birth is supple and tender, but in death, he is rigid and hard. Thus, suppleness and tenderness accompany life, but rigidity and hardness accompany death.

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Laozi

Softness triumphs over hardness, feebleness over strength. What is more malleable is always superior over that which is immoveable. This is the principle of controlling things by going along with them,...

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Laozi

When one gives whatever one can without restraint, the barriers of individuality break down. It no longer becomes possible to tell whether it is the student offering himself to the teacher, or the teacher...

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Laozi

The generals have a saying: "Rather than make the first move it is better to wait and see. Rather than advance an inch it is better to retreat a yard." This is called going forward without advancing, pushing...

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Laozi

All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.

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Laozi

The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.

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Laozi

There is nothing softer and weaker than water, and yet there is nothing better for attacking hard and strong things.

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Laozi

To have little is to possess.

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Laozi

Even the longest journey must begin where you stand.

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Laozi

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely...

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Laozi

The leader's main job is to make themselves obsolete.

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Laozi

If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

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Laozi

Countless words count less than the silent balance between yin and yang

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Laozi

There is a thing inherent and natural which existed before heaven and earth. Motionless and fathomless, It stands alone and never changes; It pervades everywhere and never becomes exhausted. It may be...

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Laozi

Giving to others selflesly and anonymously, radiating light throughout the world and illuminating your own darkness, your virtue becomes a sanctuary for yourself and all beings.

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Laozi

He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.

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Laozi

Every human being's essential nature is perfect and faultless, but after years of immersion in the world we easily forget our roots and take on a counterfeit nature.

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Laozi

If you want everything, you first have to give everything up.

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Laozi

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.

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Laozi

By the accident of fortune a man may rule the world for a time, but by virtue of love and kindness he may rule the world forever.

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Laozi

Kindness in giving creates love.

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Laozi

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.

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Laozi

Observe how endings become beginnings.

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Laozi

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple.

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Laozi

If you want to become full, let yourself be empty.

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Laozi

If you want to be given everything, give everything up.

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Laozi

The Master's power is like this. He lets all things come and go effortlessly, without desire. He never expects results; thus he is never disappointed. He is never disappointed; thus his spirit never grows...

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Laozi

Is not the action of nature like the stretching of a bow? The high, it pulls down; the low, it lifts up; It takes from what is in excess In order to make good of what is deficient. Who can take what they...

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Laozi

The Great Tao flows everywhere, to the left and to the right, all things depend on it to exist, and it does not abandon them. To its accomplishments it lays no claims. It loves and nourished all things,...

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Laozi

The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas. Tolerant like the sky, all-pervading like sunlight, firm like a mountain, supple like a tree in the wind, he has no destination in view and makes...

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Laozi

The more you know the less you understand.

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Laozi

Those who know don't talk. Those who talk don't know. Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity....

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Laozi

People are difficult to govern because they have too much knowledge.

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Laozi

Goodness in words creates trust, goodness in thinking creates depth, goodness in giving creates love.

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Laozi

The more laws that are written, the more criminals are produced.

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Laozi

A tree that can fill the span of a man's arms grows from a downy tip; A terrace nine stories high rises from level earth; A journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath one's feet.

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Laozi

Why is the tao so valuable? Because it is everywhere, and everyone can use it. This is why those who seek will find, And those who reform will be forgiven; Why the good will be rewarded, And the thief...

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Laozi

Without the tao, Kindness and compassion are replaced by law and justice; Faith and trust are supplanted by ritual and ceremony.

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Laozi

We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it liveable.

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Laozi

All men desire to free themselves solely from death; they do not know how to free themselves from life.

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Laozi

If you scramble about in search of inner peace, you will lose your inner peace.

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Laozi

Heaven and Earth last for ever. Why do Heaven and Earth last for ever? They are unborn, so ever living. The sage stays behind, thus he is ahead. He is detached, thus at one with all. Through selfless action,...

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Laozi

Do you think you can make the world a better place? I do not think you can. It is already perfect.

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Laozi

When you are one with loss, the loss is experienced willingly.

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Laozi

The truest sayings are paradoxical.

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Laozi

The Master views the parts with compassion, because he understands the whole. His constant practice is humility. He doesn't glitter like a jewel but lets himself be shaped by the Tao, as rugged and common...

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Laozi

So the unwanting soul sees what's hidden, and the ever-wanting soul sees only what it wants.

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Laozi

Stop trying to control. Let go of fixed plans and concepts, and the world will govern itself.

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Laozi

Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. When we don't see the self as self, what do we have to fear?

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Laozi

From wonder into wonder existence opens.

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Laozi

Great indeed is the sublimity of the creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.

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Laozi

There are many paths to enlightenment. Be sure to take the one with a heart.

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Laozi

(The mature person) pours himself out in service to others.

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Laozi

If you have truely attained wholeness, everything will flock to you.

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Laozi

Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.

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Laozi

Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.

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Laozi

He who knows he has enough is rich.

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Laozi

The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world. Through this I know the advantage of taking no action.

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Laozi

See simplicity in the complicated. Achieve greatness in little things

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Laozi

Seek not happiness too greedily and be not fearful of happiness.

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Laozi

Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest....

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Laozi

Man's enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself.

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Laozi

The wise man looks back into the past, and does not grieve over what is far off, nor rejoice over what is near; for he knows that time is without end.

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Laozi

Whatever one cultivates, is what one becomes.

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Laozi

The greatest teacher has nothing to say. He simply gives himself in service, and never worries.

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Laozi

If you want to shrink something, you must first allow it to expand. If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish. If you want to take something, you must first allow it to be...

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Laozi

Be truly whole, and all things will return to you.

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Laozi

He who hoards much loses much.

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Laozi

To know you have enough is to be rich.

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Laozi

Do nondoing, strive for non-stiving, savor the flavourless, make much of little, repay enmity with virture; plan for difficulty when it is still easy, do the great while it is still small.

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Laozi

A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants.

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Laozi

It is as though he listened and such listening as his enfolds us in silence in which at last we begin to hear what we are meant to be.

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Laozi

Chanting is no more holy than listening to the murmur of a stream, counting prayer beads no more sacred than simply breathing. . . . If you wish to attain oneness with the Tao, don't get caught up in spiritual...

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Laozi

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

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Laozi

Take time to listen to what is said without words, to obey the law too subtle to be written, to worship the unnameable and to embrace the unformed.

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Laozi

The way to use life is to do nothing through acting, The way to use life is to do everything through being.

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Laozi

One cannot reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.

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Laozi

We are all capable of much more than we think we are.

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Laozi

The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.

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Laozi

The best soldier does not attack. The superior fighter succeeds without violence. The greatest conqueror wins without struggle. The most successful manager leads without dictating. This is intelligent...

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Laozi

Much knowledge will corrupt the heart,/When partly understood,/And so the people grow too smart,/But neither wise nor good.

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Laozi

How can one liberate the many? By first liberating his own being. He does this not by elevating himself, but by lowering himself. He lowers himself to that which is simple, modest, true; integrating it...

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Laozi

Be merciful, moderate, and modest.

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Laozi

Find a teacher who is an integral being, a beacon who extends his light and virtue with equal ease to those who appreciate him and those who don't. Shape yourself in his mold, bathe in his nourishing radiance,...

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Laozi

When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

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Laozi

. . . the mind is desperate to fix the river {of events} in place: Possessed by ideas of the past, preoccupied with images of the future, it overlooks the plain truth of the moment.

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Laozi

Nature is not human hearted.

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Laozi

Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

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Laozi

He who has achieved this state Is unconcerned with friends and enemies, With good and harm, with honor and disgrace. This therefore is the highest state of man.

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Laozi

Practice non-action. Work without doing.

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Laozi

Without going outside, you may know the whole world!

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Laozi

Simply see that you are at the center of the universe, and accept all things and beings as parts of your infinite body. When you perceive that an act done to another is done to yourself, you have understood...

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Laozi

Stay at the center and let all things take their course.

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Laozi

Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle. A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

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Laozi

Force is followed by loss of strength. This is not the way of the Tao. That which goes against the Tao comes to an early end.

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Laozi

Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it. The soft overcomes the hard; the gentle overcomes the rigid. Everyone knows this...

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Laozi

Seeing the small is called Clarity. Keeping flexible is called Strength. Using the shining Radiance, You enter the Light, Where no harm can come to you. This is called Enlightenment.

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Laozi

The wise man, after learning something new, is afraid to learn anything more until he has put his first lesson into practice.

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Laozi

Understanding others is knowledge, Understanding oneself is enlightenment; Conquering others is power, Conquering oneself is strength.

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Laozi

A man's excellence is like that of water; It benefits all things without striving; It takes to the low places shunned by men. Water is akin to Tao. . . . In all the earth nothing weaker than water, Yet...

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Laozi

A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.

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Laozi

Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish, too much handling will spoil it.

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Laozi

People who have to fight for their living and are not afraid to die for it are higher persons than those who, stationed high, are too fat to dare to die.

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Laozi

If you correct your mind the rest of your life will fall into place.

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Laozi

Those who are highly evolved, maintain an undiscriminating perception. Seeing everything, labeling nothing, they maintain their awareness of the Great Oneness. Thus they are supported by it.

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Laozi

In ancient times, people said that imperfect moves to becoming perfect. Are these words vain? No! Truly, by gaining Unity you come to Perfection!

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Laozi

The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things. Free from desire,...

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Laozi

Health is the greatest possession.

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Laozi

A tree trunk the size of a man grows from a blade as thin as a hair. A tower nine stories high is built from a small heap of earth.

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Laozi

Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame. Therefore the Master fulfills her own obligations and corrects her own mistakes. She does what she needs to do and demands...

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Laozi

He who knows others is clever; He who knows himself has discernment.

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Laozi

Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner.

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Laozi

Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking.

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Laozi

If there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, There...

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Laozi

The group will not prosper if the leader grabs the lion's share of the credit for the good work that has been done.

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Laozi

A vessel is formed from a lump of clay with care, however, it is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful.

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Laozi

If you go searching for the Great Creator, you will come back empty-handed. The source of the universe is ultimately unknowable, a great invisible river flowing forever through a vast and fertile valley....

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Laozi

We put thirty spokes to make a wheel: But it is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges. We make a vessel from a lump of clay; But it is the empty space within the vessel that makes it...

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Laozi

The best leaders are those their people hardly know exist. The next best is a leader who is loved and praised. Next comes the one who is feared. The worst one is the leader that is despised ... The...

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Laozi

The Way of Tao is this: It strives not, but conquers; It speaks not, but all is made clear; It summons not, but its house is crowded; It contrives not, but the design is perfect.

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Laozi

The Tao gives birth to One. One gives birth to yin and yang. Yin and yang give birth to all things... The complete whole is the complete whole. So also is any part the complete whole... But forget about...

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Laozi

My own words are not the medicine, but a prescription; not the destination, but a map to help you reach it. When you get there, quiet your mind and close your mouth. Don't analyze the Tao. Strive instead...

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Laozi

The Tao's principle is spontaneity.

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Laozi

Do you think that you can clear your mind by sitting constantly in silent meditation? This makes your mind narrow, not clear. Integral awareness is fluid and adaptable, present in all places and at all...

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Laozi

When you accurately perceive the fluidity of things, you can also begin to perceive the constancy behind them: the creative, transformative, boundless, immutable Tao.

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Laozi

The Tao of the sage is work without effort.

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Laozi

The one who can dissolve her mind will suddenly discover the Tao at her feet...

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Laozi

The first practice is the practice of undiscriminating virtue: take care of those who are deserving; also, and equally, take care of those who are not. When you extend your virtue in all directions without...

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Laozi

Act without expectation.

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Laozi

Loss is not as bad as wanting more.

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Laozi

Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habit.

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Laozi

The wise man is one who knows what he does not know.

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Laozi

Every step is on the path.

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Laozi

The way of heaven is to help and not harm.

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Laozi

Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river.

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Laozi

The Tao principle is what happens of itself.

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Laozi

The Tao is told is not the Tao.

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Laozi

The Tao never acts with force, yet there is nothing that it can not do.

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Laozi

The great Way is easy, yet people prefer the side paths. Be aware when things are out of balance. Stay centered within the Tao.

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Laozi

As it acts in the world, the Tao is like the bending of a bow. The top is bent downward; the bottom is bent up. It adjusts excess and deficiency so that there is perfect balance.

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Laozi

Tao loves and nourishes all things, but does not dominate it over them.

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Laozi

When good thing are accomplished, it does not claim (or name) them. This is Te, which is close in meaning to power or virtue. It is something within a person, and it is enhanced by following the Tao, or...

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Laozi

When Simplicity is broken up, it is made into instruments. Evolved individuals who employ them, are made into leaders. In this way, the Great System is United.

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Laozi

Intelligent people know others. Enlightened people know themselves.

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Laozi

The Master observes the world, but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. His heart is as open as the sky.

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Laozi

If you can find true contentment, it will last forever.

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Laozi

Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things?

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Laozi

Embrace simplicity. Put others first. Desire little.

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Laozi

No disaster is worse than being discontented.

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Laozi

When you have accomplished your goal simply walk away. This is the path way to Heaven.

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Laozi

Love the whole world as if it were your self; then you will truly care for all things.

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Laozi

A sage is skilled at helping people without excluding anyone.

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Laozi

The Master doesn't seek fulfillment. For only those who are not full are able to be used which brings the feeling of completeness.

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Laozi

Quiet your mind and stop judging and resisting and manipulating the natural way.

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Laozi

Allow your softer, more intuitive, and less dominating feminine qualities to rise to the fore, so that you're surrendering rather than dominating, receiving rather than broadcasting, loving rather than...

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Laozi

That which offers no resistance, overcomes the hardest substances.

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Laozi

That which offers no resistance can enter where there is no space.

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Laozi

Can you love or guide someone without any kind of expectation?

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Laozi

Nurture the spontaneous peaceful life.

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Laozi

Don't impose your will through manipulation of aggressive emotions and actions.

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Laozi

If you worry more for others' beliefs, then you will be their slave.

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Laozi

Rule your mind with serenity rather than with force and manipulation.

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Laozi

Approach your own inner life with a loving quality that accepts who you are without trying to change who you are.

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Laozi

Having reached a high level of realization (or having accomplished anything in life), don't get excited or puffed up with pride but remain calm, humble, and in "perfect equanimity" if you want to continue...

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Laozi

If good happens, good; if bad happens, good.

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Laozi

Praise of power leads to weakness; Love of things leads to loss; The wise one leads by filling people's hearts; He destroys illusion and disturbs those who believe they are wise; He does nothing yet everything...

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Laozi

...the more you talk of it, the less you understand.

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Laozi

The Tao is like a well; used but never used up.

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Laozi

The Way of Heaven does not complete, and yet it skillfully achieves victory. It does not speak, and yet it skillfully responds to things. It comes to you without your invitation.

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Laozi

Why do the people think so little of death? Because the rulers demand too much of life. Therefore the people take death lightly.

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Laozi

Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death. The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.

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Laozi

Deal with difficult tasks while they are easy. Act on large issues while they are small.

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Laozi

Why are the people starving?- Because their grain is being eaten up by the taxes That's why they're starving Why are people rebellious?- Because those above them meddle in their lives That's why...

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Laozi

When life begins we are tender and weak When life ends we are stiff and rigid All things, including the grass and trees, are soft and pliable in life and dry in brittle in death So...

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Laozi

What honor can there be without humility? What heights can be reached without being low? The pieces of a chariot are useless unless the work in accordance with the whole A man's life brings...

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Laozi

The Master gives himself up to whatever the moment brings. He knows that he is going to die, and her has nothing left to hold on to: no illusions in his mind, no resistances in his body. He doesn't think...

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Laozi

Look, and it can't be seen. Listen, and it can't be heard. Reach, and it can't be grasped. Above, it isn't bright. Below, it isn't dark. Seamless, unnamable, it returns to the realm of nothing. Form...

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Laozi

The wise are not learned, the learned are not wise.

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Laozi

Thirty spokes meet in the hub. Where a wheel isn't is where it's useful. Hollowed out, clay makes a pot. Where the pots not is where it's useful. Cut doors and windows to make a room. Where the room isn't,...

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Laozi

Conduct your triumph as a funeral.

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Laozi

Build up virtue, and you master all.

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Laozi

When superior people hear of the Way, they carry it out with diligence. When middling people hear of the Way, it sometimes seems to be there, sometimes not. When lesser people hear of the Way, they ridicule...

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Laozi

(The Tao) is always present and always available. . . . If you are willing to be lived by it, you will see it everywhere, even in the most ordinary things.

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Laozi

{The cleansing of spiritual contamination} is accomplished by offering one's talent, resources, and life to the world.

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Laozi

If you attach yourself to gross energies - loving this person, hating that clan, rejecting one experience or habitually indulging in another - then you will lead a series of heavy, attached lives. This...

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Laozi

Because he is a living divinity, when he acts, the universe acts.

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Laozi

The new life created by the final integration is self-aware yet without ego, capable of inhabiting a body yet not attached to it, and guided by wisdom rather than emotion. Whole and virtuous, it can never...

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Laozi

When taxes are too high, people go hungry.

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Laozi

The more laws and restrictions there are, the poorer the people become.

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Laozi

I let go of all desire for the common good, and the good becomes as common as the grass.

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Laozi

For all things difficult to acquire, the intelligent man works with perseverance.

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Laozi

Be as the still mountain; Move like the great river.

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Laozi

In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired. In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.

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Laozi

Intellectual knowledge exists in and of the brain. Because the brain is part of the body, which must one day expire, this collection of facts, however large and impressive, will expire as well. {But spiritual...

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Laozi

...The sage, traveling all day, Does not lose sight of his baggage. Though there are beautiful things to be seen, He remains unattached and calm.

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Laozi

Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory. - Diane Arbus...

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Laozi

Face the simple fact before it comes involved. Solve the small problem before it becomes big.

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Laozi

Fame of self: Which matters more? Self or wealth: Which is more precious? Gain or loss: Which is more painful?

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Laozi

So sometimes things are ahead and sometimes they are behind; Sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily; Sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness; Sometimes one is up and sometimes...

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Laozi

To realize that our knowledge is ignorance, This is a noble insight. To regard our ignorance as knowledge, This is mental sickness. Only when we are sick of the sickness Shall we cease to be sick. The...

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Laozi

To know people is wisdom, but to know yourself is enlightenment. to master people takes force, but to master yourself takes strength. to know contentment is wealth, and to live with strength resolve. to...

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Laozi

My words are easy to understand and easy to perform, Yet no man under heaven knows them or practices them.

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Laozi

The very highest is barely known. Then comes that which people know and love, Then that which is feared, Then that which is despised. Who does not trust enough will not be trusted.

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Laozi

. . . integral wisdom involves a direct participation in every moment: the observer and the observed are dissolved in the light of pure awareness, and no mental concepts or attitudes are present to dim...

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Laozi

. . . Intelligence is not the same thing as wisdom.

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Laozi

There is a time to go ahead and a time to stay behind. There is a time to breathe easy and time to breathe hard. There is a time to be vigorous and a time to be gentle. There is a time to gather and a...

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Laozi

Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness.

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Laozi

Gently eliminating all obstacles to his own understanding, he constantly maintains his unconditional sincerity. His humility, perseverance, and adaptability evoke the response of the universe and fill...

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Laozi

Stop thinking, and end your problems.

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Laozi

Rule a kingdom as though you were cooking a small fish - don't overdo it.

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Laozi

Every being in the universe is an expression of the Tao. It springs into existence, unconscious, perfect, free, takes on a physical body, lets circumstances complete it. That is why every being spontaneously...

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Laozi

The Tao which you know is not the eternal Tao

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Laozi

When men lack a sense of awe, there will be disaster.

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Laozi

The truly great man dwells on what is real and not what is on the surface.

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Laozi

Attending fully and becoming supple, Can you be as a newborn babe?

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Laozi

Giving birth and nourishing, Bearing yet not possessing, Working yet not taking credit, Leading yet not dominating, This is the Primal Virtue.

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Laozi

It is fitting for a great nation to yield.

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Laozi

What is a good man? A teacher of a bad man. What is a bad man? A good man's charge?

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Laozi

Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man's tools. He uses them only when he has no choice.

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Laozi

I am good to people who are good. I am also good to people who are not good. Because Virtue is goodness.

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Laozi

In caring for others and serving heaven, There is nothing like using restraint.

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Laozi

Approach the universe with Tao, And evil will have no power. Not that evil is not powerful, But its power will not be used to harm others.

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Laozi

Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature. The way of nature is unchanging. Knowing constancy is insight.

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Laozi

Better stop short than fill to the brim. Oversharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt. Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it.

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Laozi

The Tao is always at ease. It overcomes without competing, answers without speaking a word, arrives without being summoned, accomplishes without a plan. Its net covers the whole universe. And though its...

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Laozi

If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you aren't afraid of dying, there is nothing you can't achieve. Trying to control the future is like trying to take...

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Laozi

When taxes are too high, people go hungry. When the government is too intrusive, people lose their spirit. Act for the people's benefit. Trust them; leave them alone.

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Laozi

When they lose their sense of awe, people turn to religion. When they no longer trust themselves, they begin to depend upon authority. Therefore the Master steps back so that people won't be confused....

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Laozi

The best athlete wants his opponent at his best. The best general enters the mind of his enemy. The best businessman serves the communal good. The best leader follows the will of the people. All of the...

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Laozi

The ancient Masters didn't try to educate the people, but kindly taught them to not-know. When they think that they know the answers, people are difficult to guide. When they know that they don't know,...

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Laozi

If a country is governed with tolerance, the people are comfortable and honest. If a country is governed with repression, the people are depressed and crafty. When the will to power is in charge, the higher...

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Laozi

The Tao is the center of the universe, the good man's treasure, the bad man's refuge. Honors can be bought with fine words, respect can be won with good deeds; but the Tao is beyond all value, and no one...

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Laozi

Act without doing; work without effort. Think of the small as large and the few as many. Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish the great task by a series of small acts. The Master never...

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Laozi

The great Way is easy, yet people prefer the side paths. Be aware when things are out of balance. Stay centered within the Tao. When rich speculators prosper While farmers lose their land; when government...

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Laozi

Without opening your door, you can open your heart to the world. Without looking out your window, you can see the essence of the Tao. The more you know, the less you understand. The Master arrives without...

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Laozi

The Master has no mind of her own. She works with the mind of the people. She is good to people who are good. She is also good to people who aren't good. This is true goodness. She trusts people who are...

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Laozi

In harmony with the Tao, the sky is clear and spacious, the earth is solid and full, all creature flourish together, content with the way they are, endlessly repeating themselves, endlessly renewed. When...

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Laozi

The Tao gives birth to One. One gives birth to Two. Two gives birth to Three. Three gives birth to all things. All things have their backs to the female and stand facing the male. When male and female...

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Laozi

The gentlest thing in the world overcomes the hardest thing in the world. That which has no substance enters where there is no space. This shows the value of non-action. Teaching without words, performing...

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Laozi

The great Tao flows everywhere. All things are born from it, yet it doesn't create them. It pours itself into its work, yet it makes no claim. It nourishes infinite worlds, yet it doesn't hold on to them....

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Laozi

She who is centered in the Tao can go where she wishes, without danger. She perceives the universal harmony, even amid great pain, because she has found peace in her heart. Music or the smell of good cooking...

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Laozi

The Tao never does anything, yet through it all things are done. If powerful men and women could venter themselves in it, the whole world would be transformed by itself, in its natural rhythms. People...

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Laozi

Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. The world is sacred. It can't be improved. If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it. There is...

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Laozi

Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men doesn't try to force issues or defeat enemies by force of arms. For every force there is a counterforce. Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon...

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Laozi

The Tao can't be perceived. Smaller than an electron, it contains uncountable galaxies. If powerful men and women could remain centered in the Tao, all things would be in harmony. The world would become...

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Laozi

When the ancient Masters said, "If you want to be given everything, give everything up," they weren't using empty phrases. Only in being lived by the Tao can you be truly yourself.

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Laozi

Express yourself completely, then keep quiet. Be like the forces of nature: when it blows, there is only wind; when it rains, there is only rain; when the clouds pass, the sun shines through. If you open...

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Laozi

The Tao is great. The universe is great. Earth is great. Man is great. These are the four great powers. Man follows the earth. Earth follows the universe. The universe follows the Tao. The Tao follows...

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Laozi

The heavy is the root of the light. The unmoved is the source of all movement. Thus the Master travels all day without leaving home. However splendid the views, she stays serenely in herself. Why should...

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Laozi

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants. A good scientist has freed himself of concepts and keeps his mind open to...

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Laozi

Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace. Watch the turmoil of beings, but contemplate their return. Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source. Returning to the...

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Laozi

When the great Tao is forgotten, goodness and piety appear. When the body's intelligence declines, cleverness and knowledge step forth. When there is no peace in the family, filial piety begins. When the...

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Laozi

The Tao is infinite, eternal. Why is it eternal? It was never born; thus it can never die. Why is it infinite? It has no desires for itself; thus it is present for all beings. The Master stays behind;...

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Laozi

If you overesteem great men, people become powerless. If you overvalue possessions, people begin to steal. The Master leads by emptying people's minds and filling their cores, by weakening their ambition...

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Laozi

Throw away holiness and wisdom, and people will be a hundred times happier. Throw away morality and justice, and people will do the right thing. Throw away industry and profit, and there won't be any thieves....

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Laozi

In the Golden Age, Rulers were unknown. In the following age Rulers were loved and praised. Next came the age When rulers were feared. Finally the age When rulers are hated.

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Laozi

Accept disgrace willingly... Accept being unimportant... Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things. Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.

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Laozi

The higher the sun ariseth, the less shadow doth he cast; even so the greater is the goodness, the less doth it covet praise; yet cannot avoid its rewards in honors.

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Laozi

The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes.

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Laozi

If you wish to become a divine immortal angel, then restore the angelic qualities of your being through virtue and service. This is the only way to gain the attention of the immortals... These angelic...

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Laozi

There are three layers to the universe. In the lower, Tai Ching, and the middle, Shan Ching, the hindrance of a physical bodily existence is required. Those who fail to live consistently in accord with...

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Laozi

When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad. Being and non-being create each other. Difficult and easy support each...

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Laozi

Clay is fashioned into vessels; it is on their empty hollowness that their use depends. Doors and windows are cut out to make a dwelling, and on the empty space within, its use depends. Thus, while the...

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Laozi

No thought, no action, no movement, total stillness: only thus can one manifest the true nature and law of things from within and unconsciously, and at last become one with heaven and earth.

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Laozi

A government can be compared to our lungs. Our lungs are best when we don't realize they are helping us breathe. It is when we are constantly aware of our lungs that we know they have come down with an...

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Laozi

Acting without design, occupying oneself without making a business of it, finding the great in what is small and the many in the few, repaying injury with kindness, effecting difficult things while they...

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Laozi

The named was born from the unnamed . . . all being flows from non-being . . . the describable world emanates from an indescribable source.

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Laozi

Know the white, But keep the black, Be an example to the world! Being an example to the world, Ever true and unwavering, Return to the infinite.

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Laozi

From What-is all the world of things was born But What-is sprang in turn from What-is-not.

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Laozi

Creating without claiming, Doing without taking credit, Guiding without interfering, This is Primal Virtue.

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Laozi

If your virtue is especially radiant, it can be possible to open a pathway to the subtle realm and receive these celestial teachings directly from the immortals.

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Laozi

In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep in the heart.

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Laozi

The wise man puts himself last and finds himself first.

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Laozi

Whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. What is soft is strong.

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Laozi

He who talks more is sooner exhausted.

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Laozi

I do not concern myself with gods and spirits either good or evil nor do I serve any.

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Laozi

To the good I would be good; to the not-good I would also be good, in order to make them good.

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Laozi

Weapons are the tools of violence;all decent men detest them.Weapons are the tools of fear;a decent man will avoid themexcept in the direst necessityand, if compelled, will use themonly with the utmost...

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Laozi

If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.

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Laozi

When the highest type of people hear Tao (Truth), they diligently practice it. When the average type of people hear Tao, they half believe in it. When the lowest type of people hear Tao, they laugh at...

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Related quote

Laozi

Look, and it can't be seen. Listen, and it can't be heard. Reach, and it can't be grasped. Above, it isn't bright. Below, it isn't dark. Seamless, unnamable, it returns to the realm of nothing. Form...

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Ron Currie Jr.

Jay Wexler is my kind of writer--a weird one, and a wry one, and one who isnt afraid to act silly in a sort of bait-and-switch that, to the readers surprise, moves him as much as it makes him laugh. Like...

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

You may depend upon it, religion is, in its essence, the most gentlemanly thing in the world. It will alone gentilize, if unmixed with cant; and I know nothing else that will, alone. Certainly not the...

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Wendie Malick

I think there is something for all of us where you find a balance in your life, where you feel that everything you do isnt about your own creature comforts or satisfying your own appetites. Some of it...

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Haven Kimmel

I honestly believe that people who never have children or never love a child are doomed to a sort of foolishness because it cant be described or explained, that love. I didnt know anything before I had...

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Cormac McCarthy

I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt...

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Harriet Martineau

All women should inform themselves of the condition of their sex and of their own position. It must necessarily follow that the noblest of them will, sooner or later, put forth a moral power which shall...

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Cormac McCarthy

You can tell it any way you want but that's the way it is. I should of done it and I didn’t. And some part of me has never quit wishin I could go back. And I cant. I didn’t know you could steal your...

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Graeme McDowell

Thats the thing about better. You cant own it. You can only pursue it. Stalk it. But once youve tasted it, better is never truly beyond your reach.

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Charles Dickens

Man," said the Ghost, "if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall...

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Nas

But whats it all worth, cant take it when you under this earth Rich men died and tried, but none of it worked They just rob your grave, Id rather be alive and paid Before my numbers called, historys...

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Cormac McCarthy

It takes very little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people cant be governed at all. Or if they could I never heard of it.

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Natsuki Takaya

I hate this fear. I hate this. I hate this world. I hate it that nobody needs me. I don’t own this world. I’ve had enough. It’s not supposed to be my fault. Only now.. Only now that I realized.....

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Peggy Noonan

In a president, character is everything. A president doesn't have to be brilliant... He doesn't have to be clever; you can hire clever... You can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks....

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John Berger

Everything in life, is a question of drawing a life, John, and you have to decide for yourself where to draw it. You cant draw it for others. You can try, of course, but it doesn't work. People obeying...

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Nick Nolte

You do come to a point where you can get your life in control a bit. But going through life, you discover these deep, dark things in yourself that you cant run away from, so you have to learn to embrace...

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Calvin Coolidge

Under our institutions the only way to perfect the Government is to perfect the individual citizen. It is necessary to reach the mind and soul of the individual. I know of no way that this can be done...

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William Faulkner

Gettysburg. . . . You cant understand it. You would have to be born there.

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Margaret Fuller

Truth is the nursing mother of genius. No man can be absolutely true to himself, eschewing cant, compromise, servile imitation, and complaisance without becoming original.

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Francesca Lia Block

Okay. I wish for world peace,” Weetzie said. “I am sorry,” the genie said. “I cant grant that wish. Its out of my league.” “Then I wish for an infinite number of wishes!” Those people on...

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Amy Winehouse

I dont ever want to do anything mediocre. I hear the music in the charts and I dont mean to be rude, but those people have no soul. Learning from music is like eating a meal - you have to pace yourself....

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss