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Our minds naturally perceive the beauty of things on account of their beautifulness; so they also have

p. 26

a feeling of disgust for their ugliness on account of their ugliness. It is the same with goodness and badness. Everything in the world is mutually opposing and revealing itself.

So existence and non-existence are mutually related; the difficult and the easy are always in combination; the long and the short always qualify each other; the high and the low are always in opposition; the loud and the soft are loud and soft only in contrast with each other; the before and the behind are contrasted but always keep company.

Therefore the perfect Sage in avoiding the limitations of relativity resorts to no compulsion, nor does he make invidious comparisons in teaching his people. Whatever he does is done in harmony with the principle of TAO. Whatever he produces is not kept in his own possession; whatever he does is not exhibited with pride; whatever he accomplishes is not dwelt upon with self-conceit. Because he avoids possession, and pride and self-conceit, his accomplishments are kept in lasting memory.

Next: Chapter 3