not take credit for letting it alone. He asks help from no man, but takes no credit for his self-reliance, neither does he despise those who seek preferment through friends. He acts differently from the vulgar crowd, but takes no credit for his exceptionality; nor because others act with the majority does he despise them as hypocrites. The ranks and emoluments of the world are to him no cause for joy; its punishments and shame no cause for disgrace. He knows that positive and negative cannot be distinguished,
- What is positive under certain conditions will be negative under others. These terms are in fact identical. See ch. ii.
that great and small cannot be defined.
- They are infinite.
"I have heard say, the man of Tao has no reputation; perfect virtue acquires nothing; the truly great man ignores self;—this is the height of self-discipline."
- Clause 2 of the above quotation appears with variations in ch. xxxviii of the Tao-Te-Ching. The variations settle the correctness of the rendering already given in The Remains of Lao Tzŭ, p. 26.
"But how then," asked the Spirit of the River, "are the internal and external extremes of value and worthlessness, of greatness and smallness, to be determined?"
- With no standard of measurement.
"From the point of view of Tao," replied the Spirit of the Ocean, "there are no such extremes