When you want to contract something


When you want to contract something,
you must first let it expand.
When you want to weaken something,
you must first strengthen it.
When you want to tear something down,
you must first raise it up.
When you want to take something,
you must first give.
This is called the subtle light.

The soft and weak
overcome the hard and strong.
Fish cannot live out of water.
The nation’s sharp weapons
should not be displayed.

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