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Selections from Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu. 
Translation 1891 by James Legge

 


"We should blunt our sharp points, and unravel the complications of things; we should temper our brightness, and bring ourselves into agreement with the obscurity of others."

Tao Te Ching, Chapter Three

Not to value and employ men of superior ability is the way to keep the people from rivalry among themselves; not to prize articles which are difficult to procure is the way to keep them from becoming thieves; not to show them what is likely to excite their desires is the way to keep their minds from disorder. 

Therefore the sage, in the exercise of his government, empties their minds, fills their bellies, weakens their wills,
and strengthens their bones. 

He constantly (tries to) keep them without knowledge and without desire, and where there are those who have knowledge, to keep them from presuming to act (on it). When there is this abstinence from action, good order is
universal. 

 

Tao Te Ching, Chapter Four

The Tao is (like) the emptiness of a vessel; and in our employment of it we must be on our guard against all
fullness. How deep and unfathomable it is, as if it were the Honoured Ancestor of all things! 

We should blunt our sharp points, and unravel the complications of things; we should temper our brightness, and bring ourselves into agreement with the obscurity of others. How pure and still the Tao is, as if it would ever so continue! 

I do not know whose son it is. It might appear to have been before God. 

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