Article Index

61.1 A large country is the low level of interflowing rivers. It draws people to the sea-end of a valley As the female draws the male, Receives it into absorbing depth Because depth always absorbs.
61.2 And so a large country, inasfar as it is deeper than a small country, Absorbs the small - Or a small country, inasfar as it is deeper than a large country, Absorbs the large.
61.3 Some countries consciously seek depth into which to draw others. Some countries naturally have depth into which to draw others:
61.4 A large country needs to admit, A small country needs to emit,
61.5 And so each country can naturally have what it needs If the large country submit.

62.1 Existence is sanctuary: It is a good man's purse, It is also a bad man's keep.
62.2 Clever performances come dear or cheap, Goodness comes free; And how shall a man who acts better deny a man who acts worse This right to be.
62.3 Rather, when an emperor is crowned, let the three Ministers whom he appoints to receive for him fine horses and gifts of jade Receive for him also the motionless gift of integrity,
62.4 The gift prized as highest by those ancients who said, 'Only pursue an offended to show him the way.' What men in all the world could have more wealth than they?

63.1 Men knowing the way of life Do without acting, Effect without enforcing, Taste without consuming;
63.2 'Through the many they find the few, Through the humble the great;' They 'respect their foes,'
63.3 They 'face the simple fact before it becomes involved. Solve the small problem before it becomes big.'
63.4 The most involved fact in the world Could have been faced when it was simple, The biggest problem in the world Could have been solved when it was small.
63.5 The simple fact that he finds no problem big Is the sane man's prime achievement.
63.6 If you say yes too quickly You may have to say no, If you think things are done too easily You may find them hard to do:
63.7 If you face trouble sanely It cannot trouble you.

64.1 Before it move, hold it, Before it go wrong, mould it, Drain off water in winter before it freeze, Before weeds grow, sow them to the breeze,
64.2 You can deal with what has not happened, can foresee Harmful events and not allow them to be.
64.3 Thought - as naturally as a seed becomes a tree of arm-wide girth -/ There can rise a nine-tiered tower from a man's handful of earth Or here at your feet a thousand-mile journey have birth,
64.4 Quick action bruises, Quick grasping loses. Therefore a sane man's care is not to exert One move that can miss, one move that can hurt.
64.5 Most people who miss, after almost winning, Should have 'known the end from the beginning.'
64.6 The cultured might call him heathenish, This man of few words, because his one care Is not to interfere but to let nature renew The sense of direction men undo.

65.1 Sound old rulers, it is said, Left people to themselves, instead Of wanting to teach everything And start the people arguing.
65.2 With mere instruction in command, So that people understand Less than they know, woe is the land; But happy the land that is ordered so
65.3 That they understand more than they know. For everyone's good this double key Locks and unlocks equally.
65.4 If modern man would use it, he Could find old wisdom in his heart And clear his vision enough to see From start to finish and finish to start The circle rounding perfectly.

66.1 Why are rivers and seas lords of the waters? Because they afford the common level And so become lords of the waters.
66.2 The common people love a sound man Because he does not talk above their level, Because, though he lead them, He follows them,
66.3 He imposes no weight upon them; And they in turn, because he does not impede them, Yield to him, content:
66.4 People never tire of anyone Who is not bent upon comparison.

67.1 Everyone says that my way of life is the way of a simpleton. Being largely the way of a simpleton is what makes it worth while. If it were not the way of a simpleton It would long ago have been worthless,
67.2 These possessions of a simpleton being the three I choose And cherish: To care, To be fair, To be humble.
67.3 When a man cares he is unafraid, When he is fair he leaves enough for others, When he is humble he can grow;
67.4 Whereas if, like men of today, he be bold without caring, Self-indulgent without sharing, Self-important without shame, He is dead.
67.5 The invincible shield Of caring Is a weapon from the sky Against being dead.

68.1 The best captain does not plunge headlong Nor is the best soldier a fellow hot to fight.
68.2 The greatest victor wins without a battle: He who overcomes men understands them.
68.3 There is a quality of quietness Which quickens people by no stress: 'Fellowship with heaven,' as of old, Is fellowship with man and keeps its hold.

69.1 The handbook of the strategist has said: 'Do not invite the fight, accept it instead,' 'Better a foot behind than an inch too far ahead,'
69.2 Which means: Look a man straight in the face and make no move, Roll up your sleeve and clench no fist, Open your hand and show no weapon, Bare your breast and find no foe.
69.3 But as long as there be a foe, value him, respect him, measure him, be humble toward him; Let him not strip from you, however strong he be, Compassion, the one wealth which can afford him.

70.1 My way is so simple to feel, so easy to apply, That only a few will feel it or apply it.
70.2 If it were not the lasting way, the natural way to try, If it were a passing way, everyone would try it. But however few shall go my way Or feel concerned with me, Some there are and those are they Who witness what they see:
70.3 Sanity is a haircloth sheath With a jewel underneath.

71.1 A man who knows how little he knows is well, A man who knows how much he knows is sick. If, when you see the symptoms, you can tell, Your cure is quick.
71.2 A sound man knows that sickness makes him sick And before he catches it his cure is quick.

72.1 Upon those who defy authority It shall be visited,
72.2 But not behind prison walls Nor through oppression of their kin; Men sanely led Are not led by duress.
72.3 To know yourself and not show yourself, To think well of yourself and not tell of yourself, Be that your no and your yes.

73.1 A man with outward courage dares to die, A man with inward courage dares to live;
73.2 But either of these men Has better and a worse side than the other. And who can tell exactly to which qualities heaven objects?
73.3 Heaven does nothing to win the day, Says nothing - Is echoed, Orders nothing - Is obeyed, Advises nothing - Is right:
73.4 And which of us, seeing that nothing is out side the vast Wide-meshed net of heaven, knows just how it is cast?

74.1 Death is no threat to people Who are not afraid to die;
74.2 But even if these offenders feared death all day, Who would be rash enough To act as executioner?
74.3 Nature is executioner. When man usurps the place, A carpenter's apprentice takes the place of the master: And 'an apprentice hacking with the master's axe May slice his own hand.'

75.1 People starve If taxes eat their grain,
75.2 And the faults of starving people Are the fault of their rulers. That is why people rebel.
75.3 Men who have to fight for their living And are not afraid to die for it Are higher men than those who, stationed high, Are too fat to dare to die.

76.1 Man, born tender and yielding, Stiffens and hardens in death.
76.2 All living growth is pliant, Until death transfixes it.
76.3 Thus men who have hardened are 'kin of death' And men who stay gentle are 'kin of life.'
76.4 Thus a hard-hearted army is doomed to lose. A tree hard-fleshed is cut down:
76.5 Down goes the tough and big, Up comes the tender sprig.

77.1 Is not existence Like a drawn bow? The ends approach, The height shortens, the narrowness widens.
77.2 True living would take from those with too much Enough for those with too little, Whereas man exacts from those with too little Still more for those with too much.
77.3 Now what man shall have wealth enough to share with all men Save one who can freely draw from the common means?
77.4 A sane man needs no better support, no richer reward, Than this common means, Through which he is all men's equal.

78.1 What is more fluid, more yielding than water? Yet it comes back again, wearing down the rigid strength which cannot yield to withstand it.
78.2 So it is that the strong are overcome by the weak, The haughty by the humble. This we know But never learn,
78.3 So that when wise men tell us, 'He who bites the dust Is owner of the earth, He who is scapegoat Is king,' They seem to twist the truth.

79.1 If terms to end a quarrel leave bad feeling, What good are they?
79.2 So a sensible man takes the poor end of the bargain Without quibbling.
79.3 It is sensible to make terms, Foolish to be a stickler:
79.4 Though heaven prefer no man, A sensible man prefers heaven.

80.1 If a land is small and its people are few, With tenfold enough to heave and do, And if no one has schooled them to waste supply In the country for which they live and would die,
80.2 Then not a boat, not a cart Tempts this people to depart, Not a dagger, not a bow Has to be drawn or bent for show,
80.3 People reckon by knots in a cord, Relish plain food on the board, Simple clothing suits them well, And they remain content to dwell In homes their customs can afford.
80.4 Though so close to their own town another town grow They can hear its dogs bark and its roosters crow, Yet glad of life in the village they know, Where else in the world shall they need to go?

81.1 Real word are not vain, Vain words not real;
81.2 And since those who argue prove nothing A sensible man does not argue.
81.3 A sensible man is wiser than he knows, While a fool knows more than is wise.
81.4 Therefore a sensible man does not devise resources: The greater his use to others The greater their use to him, The more he yields to others The more they yield to him.
81.5 The way of life cleaves without cutting: Which, without need to say, Should be man's way.