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way of water

The book of Daoism, the Daodejing describes the way of water, and of the wise man who adopts the virtues of water:

'The highest good is like that of water. The goodness of water is that it benefits the ten thousand creatures; yet itself does not scramble, but is content with the places that all men disdain.

The wise man does not show himself, therefore he is seen everywhere. He does not define himself, therefore he is distinct. He does not boast of what he will do, therefore he succeeds. He is not proud of his work, and therefore it endures. He does not contend. And for that reason no one under heaven can contend with him.'

Quoted Bamber Gascoigne The Treasures and Dynasties of China, Cape 1973, page 46

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