Tao te Ching, Chapter 69
1. A master of the art of war has said, 'I do not dare to be the host (to commence the war); I prefer to be the guest (to act on the defensive). I do not dare to advance an inch; I prefer to retire a foot.' This is called marshalling the ranks where there are no ranks; baring the arms (to fight) where there are no arms to bare; grasping the weapon where there is no weapon to grasp; advancing against the enemy where there is no enemy.
2. There is no calamity greater than lightly engaging in war. To do that is near losing (the gentleness) which is so precious. Thus it is that when opposing weapons are (actually) crossed, he who deplores (the situation) conquers.
Tao te Ching, Chapter 70
1. My words are very easy to know, and very easy to practise; but there is no one in the world who is able to know and able to practise them.
2. There is an originating and all-comprehending (principle) in my words, and an authoritative law for the things (which I enforce). It is because they do not know these, that men do not know me.
3. They who know me are few, and I am on that account (the more) to be prized. It is thus that the sage wears (a poor garb of) hair cloth, while he carries his (signet of) jade in his bosom.
Tao te Ching, Chapter 71
1. To know and yet (think) we do not know is the highest (attainment); not to know (and yet think) we do know is a disease.
2. It is simply by being pained at (the thought of) having this disease that we are preserved from it. The sage has not the disease. He knows the pain that would be inseparable from it, and therefore he does not have it.
Tao te Ching, Chapter 72
1. When the people do not fear what they ought to fear, that which is their great dread will come on them.
2. Let them not thoughtlessly indulge themselves in their ordinary life; let them not act as if weary of what that life depends on.
3. It is by avoiding such indulgence that such weariness does not arise.
4. Therefore the sage knows (these things) of himself, but does not parade (his knowledge); loves, but does not (appear to set a) value on, himself. And thus he puts the latter alternative away and makes choice of the former.
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