Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu

Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

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The best [man] is like water.
Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them.
It dwells in [lowly] places that all disdain.
This is why it is so near to Tao.
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To know that you do not know is the best.
To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.
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He who knows does not speak.
He who speaks does not know.
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He who knows others is wise;
He who know himself is enlightened.
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I have three treasures. Guard and keep them:
The first is deep love,
The second is frugality,
And the third is not to dare to be ahead of the world.
Because of deep love, one is courageous.
Because of frugality, one is generous.
Because of not daring to be ahead of the world, one becomes the leader of the world.
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Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.
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The more laws and order are made prominent,
The more thieves and robbers there will be.
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The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.
Through this I know the advantage of taking no action.
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The Way of Heaven is to benefit others and not to injure.
The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.
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There is no calamity greater than lavish desires.
There is no greater guilt than discontentment.
And there is not greater disaster than greed.
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To have little is to possess.
To have plenty is to be perplexed.
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When armies are mobilized and issues are joined,
The man who is sorry over the fact will win.
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When the highest type of men hear Tao,
They diligently practice it.
When the average type of men hear Tao,
They half believe in it.
When the lowest type of men hear Tao,
They laugh heartily at it.
Without the laugh, there is no Tao.
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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.
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