The best of man is like water,
Which benefits all things, and does not contend with them,
Which flows in places that others disdain,
Where it holds fast to Tao.
So the sage:
In dwelling holds fast to the land,
In governing holds fast to order,
In talking holds fast to truth,
In dealing holds fast to men,
In acting holds fast to opportunity,
In crafting holds fast to competence,
In feeling holds fast to the heart;
He does not contend, and so is without blame.
Excessive desire is the cause of a problem
Not praising the worthy prevents cheating
Not esteeming the rare prevents theft
Not flaunting beauty prevents lust
So the sage controls people by:
Emptying their hearts,
Filling their bellies,
Weakening their ambitions,
And strengthening their bodies.
If people lack knowledge and desire
The crafty among them can not act;
If no action is taken
Then all live in peace.
Selfish is the
first hurdle of one's success
Nature is everlasting because it does not have a
In this way the sage:
Serves his Self last and finds it served first;
Sees his body as accidental and finds it endures.
Because he does not serve his Self, he is
Let nature take its own course and no
When Beauty is
recognized in the World
Ugliness has been
When Good is recognized in the World
has been learned.
In this way:
dead are abstracted from growth;
Difficult and easy are
abstracted from progress;
Far and near are abstracted
Strong and weak are abstracted from control;
speech are abstracted from harmony;
After and before are
abstracted from sequence.
sage controls without authority,
And teaches without
He lets all things rise and fall,
Nurtures, but does not interfere,
Control or Nurture the
The saints said: "Praise and blame cause anxiety;
The objects of hope and fear are within your Self."
"Praise and blame cause anxiety"
For you must hope and fear to receive or to lose them.
"The objects of hope and fear are within your Self"
For, without Self, neither fortune nor disaster can befall.
He who regards the World as the Self is able to control the World;
He who loves the World as the Self is able to nurture the World.
The world can not be changed by one's
Those who wish to change the World
with their desire
The World is shaped by Tao;
It cannot be shaped by
If one tries to shape it, one damages it;
tries to possess it, one loses it.
And sometimes they do not.
Sometimes life is hard
sometimes it is easy.
Sometimes people are
And sometimes they are weak.
Sometimes you get where you
And sometimes you fall by the way.
sage is not extreme, extravagant, or complacent.
Violence upon others will be returned the
Powerful men are well advised not to use violence,
For violence has a habit of returning;
Thorns and weeds grow wherever an army goes,
And lean years follow a great war.
A general is well advised
To achieve nothing more than his orders,
No matter how strong his army;
To carry out his orders
But not glory, boast or be proud;
To do what is dictated by necessity,
But not by bloodlust;
For even the fiercest force will weaken with time,
And then its violence will return, and kill it.
Self and The
The sage does not distinguish between Self and World;
Therefore the needs of the people of the World are as his own.
He is good to those who are good;
He is also good to those who are not good;
For love is goodness.
He trusts those who are trustworthy;
He also trusts those who are not trustworthy;
For love is trust.
He is in harmony with the World;
So he nurtures the Worlds of others
As a mother does her children.
Love, Restraint, Acceptance and Harmony
Tao bears love;
Love bears restraint;
Restraint bears acceptance;
Acceptance bears the World;
All things begin with love and end with restraint,
But it is acceptance that brings harmony.
As others teach, I teach,
"Those without harmony end with violence";
This is my teacher.