Tao Te Ching
When the best student hears about the way
He practices it assiduously;
When the average student hears about the way
It seems to him one moment there and gone the next;
When the worst student hears about the way
He laughs out loud.
If he did not laugh
It would be unworthy of being the way.
Hence the Chien yen has it:
The way that is bright seems dull;
The way that leads forward seems to lead backward;
The way that is even seems rough.
The highest virtue is like the valley;
The sheerest whiteness seems sullied;
Ample virtue seems defective;
Vigorous virtue seems indolent;
Plain virtue seems soiled;
The great square has no corners.
The great vessel takes long to complete;
The great note is rarefied in sound;
The great image has no shape.
The way conceals itself in being nameless.
It is the way alone that excels in bestowing and in accomplishing.
The way begets one; one begets two; two begets three; three begets the myriad creatures.
The myriad creatures carry on their backs the yin and embrace in their arms the yang and are the blending of the generative forces of the two.
There are no words which men detest more than 'solitary', 'desolate', and 'hapless', yet lords and princes use these to refer to themselves.
Thus a thing is sometimes added to by being diminished and diminished by being added to.
What others teach I also teach. 'The violent will not come to a natural end.' I shall take this as my precept.
The most submissive thing in the world can ride roughshod over the hardest in the world - that which is without substance entering that which has no crevices.
That is why I know the benefit of resorting to no action. The teaching that uses no words, the benefit of resorting to no action, these are beyond the understanding of all but a very few in the world.
Your name or your person,
Which is dearer?
Your person or your goods,
Which is worth more?
Gain or loss,
Which is a greater bane?
That is why excessive meanness
Is sure to lead to great expense;
Too much store
Is sure to end in immense loss.
And you will suffer no disgrace;
Know when to stop
And you will meet with no danger.
You can then endure.
Great perfection seems chipped,
Yet use will not wear it out;
Great fullness seems empty,
Yet use will not drain it;
Great straightness seems bent;
Great skill seems awkward;
Great eloquence seems tongue-tied.
Restlessness overcomes cold; stillness overcomes heat.
Limpid and still,
One can be a leader in the empire.
...Excerpt from the Tao Te Ching
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Daily Words of Wisdom
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