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- A way is made by walking it. A thing is so by calling it.
- Cherish that which is within you, and shut off that which is without; for too much knowledge is a curse.
- Easy is right. Begin right and you are easy. Continue easy and you are right. The right way to go easy is to forget the right way and forget that the going is easy.
- Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.
- Great truths do not take hold of the hearts of the masses. And now, as all the world is in error, how shall I, though I know the true path, how shall I guide? If I know that I cannot succeed and yet try to force success, this would be but another source of error. Better then to desist and strive no more. But if I do not strive, who will?
- Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech cantankerous.
- Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.
- Variant: Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
- He who pursues fame at the risk of losing his self is not a sage.
- I know the joy of fishes in the river through my own joy, as I go walking along the same river.
- If a made-up mind counts as a teacher, then who doesn't have a teacher?
- If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.
- Knowledge that stops at what it does not know is perfect.
- Nourish your middle by accepting what cannot be avoided: that's perfection.
- Our lives are limited, while knowledge is not. Pursuing the unlimited with the limited would be tiring. If you already knew that, it would be even more tiring.
- Perfect people have no self, spiritual people have no accomplishment, and sagely people have no name.
- Resolve your mental energy into abstraction, your physical energy into action. Allow yourself to fall in with the natural order of phenomena, without admitting the element of self, and the empire will be governed.
- Rewards and punishments are the lowest form of education.
- The mountain trees bring about their own demises [by being useful], burning oil exhausts itself in fire [when people use it in oil lamp]. The fruits of the cinnamon tree can be eaten, hence the trees are cut down; the varnish tree is useful, hence incisions are made in it. Everyone knows the usefulness of being useful, but no one knows the usefulness of being useless.
- Those who value what is on the outside are clumsy on the inside.
- To stop leaving tracks is easy. Not to walk upon the ground is hard.
- There is order in chaos, and certainty in doubt. The wise are guided by this order and certainty.
- Using a point to show that a point is not a point is not as good as using a nonpoint to show that a point is not a point.
- We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.
- To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven.