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In olden times those who were competent to be Masters were intelligent, subtle, profound and spiritual. Their thoughts could not be easily fathomed. Since their thoughts were hard to comprehend, I will try to reveal their virtue by some explanation. They were as cautious as a man crossing a river in winter; they were as suspicious as a man who fears his neighbors; they were as circumspect as a guest in the presence of his host; they were as ready to adapt themselves as ice at the point of melting; they were as true and sound as the trunk of a perfect tree; they were as open and broadminded as a spacious valley; their thoughts were obscure like troubled waters.

Who can enlighten himself by slowly quieting the

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troubled waters of his mind? After gaining calmness of mind by concentration, who can gradually pass from its calmness into the activities of life and always retain the same calmness of mind? Only those who keep themselves from self-sufficiency and who control their lives by the principle of TAO. Being free from self-sufficiency, their spirit and energy will never fail, but will ever be refreshed and renewed.

Next: Chapter 16