The Laws of Nature are such that things at their peak must decline and those at their lowest point must rise up, just as the sun and moon follow one another ceaselessly through the skies. Man also follows these Laws.
The kind man discovers it and calls it kind. The wise man discovers it and calls it wise. The people use it day by day and are not aware of it, for the way of the superior man is rare.
That which is bright rises twice: The image of Fire. Thus the great man, by perpetuating this brightness, Illumines the four quarters of the world.
Calmness and irony are the only weapons worthy of the strong.
It is an inexorable Law of Nature that bad must follow good, that decline must follow a rise. To feel that we can rest on our achievements is a dangerous fallacy. Inner strength can overcome anything that occurs outside.
There is always danger in circumstances of abundance. The inferior man pushes forward through excessive ambition, thereby losing touch with men of talent and virtue in positions below him.
The man is indecisively unable to deal with adversity and is oppressed by something which should not oppress him. He leans on things like thorns and thistles, which are hazardous yet cannot support him.
Instead of solid accomplishments, the man pursues pleasures and self-gratification. He will never achieve anything so long as he is surrounded by dissipating temptations.
At the outset, a righteous cause, as well as a proper method for conducting the war, is essential for military success.
The man is quiet, but firm as a rock, yet sensitive to the first imperceptible signs of impending changes. He does not delay in taking action.