February 15th, 2013

  • trevoke


That which shrinks
Must first expand.
That which fails
Must first be strong.
That which is cast down
Must first be raised.
Before receiving
There must be giving.

This is called perception of the nature of things.
Soft and weak overcome hard and strong.

Fish cannot leave deep waters,
And a country's weapons should not be displayed.
To make something smaller,
you need to appreciate its size.
To make something weaker,
you must recognize its strength.
To get rid of something,
you need to hold it tight.
To take something,
you must give it up entirely.

To put it another way:
Sensitivity and weakness
overcome unfeeling strength.

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

Chapter 36

36.1 Should you want to contain something,
       you must first deliberately let it expand.
      Should you want to weaken something,
       you must deliberately let it grow strong.
       Should you want to eliminate something,
       you must deliberately allow it to flourish.
36.2 This is called subtle illumination.
       Flexible and yielding overcome adamant coerciveness.
36.3 Fish shouldn't be taken from the depths;
       the effective tools of the nation shouldn't be shown to others.

Tao Teh Ching - Cleary Translation