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p. 119


1. What is still at rest is easily kept quiet. What has not as yet appeared is easily prevented. What is still feeble is easily broken. What is still scant is easily dispersed.

2. Treat things before they exist. Regulate things before disorder begins. The stout tree has originated from a tiny rootlet. A tower of nine stories is raised by heaping up [bricks of] clay. A thousand miles' journey begins with a foot.

3. He that makes mars. He that grasps loses.

The holy man does not make; therefore he mars not. He does not grasp; therefore he loses not. The people when undertaking an enterprise are always near completion, and yet they fail.

4. Remain careful to the end as in the beginning and you will not fail in your enterprise.

5. Therefore the holy man desires to be desireless, and does not prize articles difficult to obtain. He learns, not to p. 120 be learned, and seeks a home where multitudes of people pass by.

6. He assists the ten thousand things in their natural development, but he does not venture to interfere.

Next: 65. The Virtue of Simplicity