The Dao De Jing
Chapter 78

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 is true,
but few can put it into practice.

Therefore the Sage remains
serene in the midst of sorrow.
Evil cannot enter his heart.
Because he has given up helping,
he is people's greatest help.

True words seem paradoxical.

The Dao De Jing
Chapter 2

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things must become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things must become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Sage
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and they let them come;
things disappear and they let them go.
They have but doesn't possess,
act but doesn't expect.
When their work is done, they forget it.
That is why it lasts forever.

The Dao De Jing
Chapter 81

True words aren't eloquent;
eloquent words aren't true.
Wise persons don't feel the need to prove their point;
those who feel they must prove their point aren't wise.

Sages have no possessions.
The more they do for others,
the happier they are.
The more they give to others,
the wealthier they are.

The Dao nourishes by not forcing.
By not dominating, the Sage leads.

The Dao De Jing
Chapter 38

The Sage doesn't try to be powerful;
thus they are truly powerful.
The ordinary person keeps reaching for power;
thus they feel they never has enough.

The Sage does nothing,
yet they leave nothing undone.
The ordinary person is always doing things,
yet even more are left undone.

The highest Virtue is not aware of Virtue yet
acts that way naturally;
thus is truly Virtuous.
The next highest Virtue does Virtuous things,
because it is aware of Virtue
and tries to do what is right.
The lowest Virtue does things
because it is the law.
When virtue is absent,
there is only tradition,
and when no one responds
they roll up their sleeves and use force.

When the Dao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is morality.
When morality is lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the husk of true faith,
the beginning of chaos.

Therefore the Sage concerns their self
with the depths and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower.
They have no will of their own.
They dwell in reality,
and let all illusions go.

The Dao De Jing
Chapter 42

The Dao gave birth to the One.
One gave birth to the Two.
Two gave birth to the Three.
Three gave birth to all things.

All things have their backs to the female
and stand facing the male.
When male and female combine,
all things achieve harmony.

Ordinary people hate solitude.
But the Sage makes use of it,
embracing the aloneness, realizing that
they are one with all things.

The Dao De Jing
Chapter 16

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

All things in the universe
return to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don't realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Dao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.

The Dao De Jing
Chapter 10

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

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

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.

The Dao De Jing
Chapter 4

The Dao is like a well:
used but never used up.
It is like the eternal void:
filled with infinite possibilities.

It is hidden but always present.
I don't know who gave birth to it.
It is older than any god.

The Dao De Jing
Chapter 25

There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the all things.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Dao.

It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.

The Dao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Humankind is great.
These are the four great powers.

Humankind follows the Earth.
Earth follows the universe.
All things follow the Dao.
The Dao follows only itself.

The Dao De Jing
Chapter 10

Can you coax your mind from its wandering
and keep to the original oneness?
Can you let your body become
supple as a newborn child's?
Can you cleanse your inner vision
until you see nothing but the light?
Can you love people and lead them
without imposing your will?
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,
acting with no expectations,
leading and not trying to control:
this is the supreme virtue.
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