Thursday, February 24, 2011

54: Cultivate Virtue


What is well planted will not be uprooted.
What is well held will not escape.
Children and grandchildren will not cease to praise it.
Cultivate virtue in yourself,
And it will be true.
Cultivate virtue in the family,
And it will be overflowing.
Cultivate virtue in the town,
And it will be lasting.
Cultivate virtue in the country,
And it will be abundant.
Cultivate virtue in the world,
And it will be universal.
See others as yourself.
See families as your family.
See towns as your town.
See countries as your country.
See worlds as your world.
How do I know that the world is such?
By this.

Cultivate Virtue

The last line of this chapter is almost a riddle: "By this." The two words are not very explanatory. By what? The scholars have different ideas about it. The most likely answer is that Lao Tzu simply refers to what he has stated in the preceding lines of the chapter...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 54 Translation and Commentary

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