When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish.
What’s softest in the world rushes and runs over what’s hardest in the world. The immaterial enters the impenetrable. So I know the good in not doing. The wordless teaching, the profit in not doing— not many people understand it.
When things are murky, quiet down, and they will gradually clear. Proceed, and momentum gradually builds.
When one gives undivided attention to the (vital) breath, and brings it to the utmost degree of pliancy, he can become as a (tender) babe.
When two great forces oppose each other, the victory will go to the one that knows how to yield.
When wealth and honours lead to arrogancy, this brings its evil on itself.
When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty, there arises the recognition of ugliness. When they all know the good as good, there arises the recognition of evil.
When superior people hear guidance, they carry it out diligently and ably. When mediocre people hear guidance, it seems vague and uncertain. When lesser people hear guidance, they laugh.