Tao Te Ching Chapter 36

36th Chapter
To diminish something, one must temporarily allow it to expand.
To reduce someone’s power, one must temporarily allow it to increase.
To downgrade someone’s position, one must temporarily allow his position to be raised.
To take away someone’s possessions, one must temporarily allow him to possess more.
(This is an attribute of Tao, to test one with temptation and see if he has developed virtues. It leads to the middle way.)
If a man knows these attributes of Tao and is not tempted by material power, then we call him “understanding”.
Softness overcomes rigidity, gentleness overcomes aggressiveness.

Like a fish cannot leave the pond, a being cannot survive away from Tao.
The law can constrain immoral action but can’t be used to intimidate people. (Being soft and gentle is better than being rigid and aggressive.)

Implications from the Holy Books

O SON OF MAN!
Transgress not thy limits, nor claim that which beseemeth thee not. Prostrate thyself before the countenance of thy God, the Lord of might and power. —Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words, Arabic 24

It is incumbent upon them who are in authority to exercise moderation in all things. Whatsoever passeth beyond the limits of moderation will cease to exert a beneficial influence. Consider for instance such things as liberty, civilization and the like. However much men of understanding may favorably regard them, they will, if carried to excess, exercise a pernicious influence upon men. ── Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh 110

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