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Idea 4: Know Yourself (Tao Te Ching)

Rather than try to influence others, study and manipulate them, focus on knowing yourself. There is nothing wrong with studying others, but it is insufficient. True power comes from knowing yourself. When you know yourself, you can overcome anxiety, and you can understand human nature more deeply.

CHAPTER 33

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.

To trust your natural responses means to trust your body. Nietzsche said that there is more wisdom in your body than your deepest philosophy. The body is a remnant of

CHAPTER 23

Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.
Be like the forces of nature:
when it blows, there is only wind;
when it rains, there is only rain;
when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.
If you open yourself to the Tao,
you are at one with the Tao
and you can embody it completely.
If you open yourself to insight,
you are at one with insight
and you can use it completely.
If you open yourself to loss,
you are at one with loss
and you can accept it completely.
Open yourself to the Tao,
then trust your natural responses;
and everything will fall into place.

The more you information you know about the world, the less you understand yourself. Self-knowledge comes from studying yourself.

CHAPTER 47

Without opening your door,
you can open your heart to the world.
Without looking out your window,
you can see the essence of the Tao.
The more you know,
the less you understand.
The Master arrives without leaving,
sees the light without looking,
achieves without doing a thing

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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