Tao 78

Water is unquestionably soft and yielding,
Yet it can carve massive canyons
And sweep away entire cities with ease.

This is because it does not rise up in solid fragility like the structures of humanity,
But flows in low places, fluid and flexible like humanity itself.

There is great strength in what seems weak,
Great instability in what seems strong.

The creation of grand structures implies their inevitable destruction.
Humble, flexible, tranistory existence implies true continuity.

In this way, things imply their opposites.

We all know this, because we have seen it.
Somehow, in living our lives, we forget.

The sage would remind us of the following:
None should rule who hold themselves above the people.
Only by living, working, suffering alongside them can one truly be a leader.


All 81 chapters of our version of the Tao Te Ching are available online for free here. If you are so inclined, an updated version of our translation is available as an e-book, here.

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