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Cultivating mind and body as one — can you stay undivided?
Focusing effort and achieving flexibility — can you become childlike?
Polishing subtle code — can you ensure no bugs remain?

Working with the developers and writing code, can you avoid cleverness?
Amidst acquisitions and reorganizations, can you remain creative?
When you grok the entire system, do you mistake your knowledge for wisdom?

Begin the project, develop it;
build the team though you do not manage it;
bring the product to market, though you do not control it:
this is called Subtle Virtue.

 


chapter notes:

The second verse has two exhortations to be “without knowledge”. The first has been converted to a (contextually appropriate) warning against “cleverness”, while the second introduces an unfavorable comparison to “wisdom”.

Both are common dodges among more straightforward translations.

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