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Daodejing Lunbing Yaoyishu, The Tao of War

By Wang Zhen

Quotes from Daodejing Lunbing Yaoyishu, The Tao of War

“Even with the strength of a large state, it is necessary to always make oneself humbly insignificant.”

Chapters: 80. A Golden Age

Themes: Humility

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“Everyone wants precious items and beautiful women but the Sage doesn’t allow them to throw his mind into chaos.”

Chapters:

Themes: Beauty Karma Wealth

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“First, eliminate the diseases of being chaotic and contrary, resolute and strong, brutal and overbearing, enraged, extravagant, profligate, boastful, ambitious, courageous, licentious, favored or favoring; then, grounded in noncontention, warfare will cease.”

Chapters:

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“I believe that this chapter constitutes the ultimate one among the other 80 and this single sentence ('The Tao of the Sage is to act, not contend.') is similarly the ultimate one among his 5000 words.”

Chapters:

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“If rulers disdain something as easy, misfortune and trouble are sure to arise from it. If they do not pay attention to small matters, eventually they will overwhelm even the greatest virtue.”

Chapters: 63. Easy as Hard

Themes: Less is More

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“It isn’t hard for an army to achieve victory. But it is hard to hold on to victory. There is no great army that has not brought on its own defeat through its victories.”

Chapters: 76. The Soft and Flexible

Themes: Victory

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“No unintentional transgression is too great for his leniency… No intentional crime is too small for his punishment.”

Chapters: 73. Heaven’s Net

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“Nothing results in greater droughts, plagues, or famines than the scourge of warfare. A good general wins only when he has no choice, then stops. He dares not take anything by force.”

Chapters: 30. No War

Themes: War

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“People who are favored are honored. And because they are honored, they act proud. And because they act proud, they are hated… Hence sages consider success as well as failure to be a warning.”

Chapters: 13. Honor and Disgrace

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“Put an end to wisdom that leaves tracks and reason that deceives and people will benefit greatly.”

Chapters: 19. All Methods Become Obstacles

Themes: Deception

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“Realizing that fully-convinced 'knowing' creates suffering and delusion begins the healing.”

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

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“Since water can bore through rock and float metal, there is nothing it does not conquer.”

Chapters: 78. Water

Themes: Water

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“The last line summarizes the entire 5,000 words of the previous eighty verses. It doesn’t focus on action or inaction but simply on action that doesn’t involve struggle.”

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

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“The rich and successful who become arrogant bring calamity upon themselves; the wise do not try to possess their achievements.”

Chapters:

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“Those who treasure the Way fit in without making a show and stay forever hidden. Hence, they don’t leave any tracks.”

Chapters: 27. No Trace

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“When fighting and quarreling cease in the family, military deployments cease in the states, and punitive expeditions cease throughout the realm"”

Chapters:

Themes: Family Conflict

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“When kings do not act out of happiness and anger, their punishments and rewards will not be excessive, nor will metal weapons and leather armor arise.”

Chapters:

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“When one family has weapons, it affects its village. When a village has weapons, it affects its state. When a state has weapons, it affects All under Heaven. When All under Heaven have weapons, chaos is preordained.”

Chapters: 75. Greed

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“When ordinary officials and the common people have no fear, punishment occurs. When ministers and high officials have no fear, banishment occurs. When princes and kings have no fear, warfare occurs.”

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

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“When right and wrong, other and self exist in their midst, love and hate will arise and attach each other. When love and hate arise and attack each other, warfare will flourish.”

Chapters: 2. The Wordless Teachings

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“When soldiers become farmers, wealth naturally distributes and equalizes.”

Chapters: 77. Stringing a Bow

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“When the Sage's wealth accumulates, he gives it away. When his Virtue accumulates, he acts.”

Chapters:

Themes: Wealth Virtue

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