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What is your favorite passage in the Tao Te Ching?

Mine is:
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 and yielding
is a disciple of life

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

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Ryunyomagpieix A.L.M.N.Clay Recent comment authors
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Ryunyo
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Ryunyo

It varies. With the local election coming up, mine is “Govern a large country like you cook small fish” (i.e., mostly leaving them alone).

magpieix A.L.M.N.
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magpieix A.L.M.N.

When people see things as beautiful,
ugliness is created.
When people see things as good,
evil is created.

Being and non-being produce each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low oppose each other.
Fore and aft follow each other

Clay
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Clay

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 is in harmony with the Way.

So the sage:
Lives within nature,
Thinks within the deep,
Gives within impartiality,
Speaks within trust,
Governs within order,
Crafts within ability,
Acts within opportunity.

He does not contend, and none contend against him.