July 4th, 2010



All things arise from Tao.
They are nourished by Virtue.
They are formed from matter.
They are shaped by environment.
Thus the ten thousand things all respect Tao and honor Virtue.
Respect of Tao and honor of Virtue are not demanded,
But they are in the nature of things.

Therefore all things arise from Tao.
By Virtue they are nourished,
Developed, cared for,
Sheltered, comforted,
Grown, and protected.
Creating without claiming,
Doing without taking credit,
Guiding without interfering,
This is Primal Virtue.
Tao is the source of all living things,
and they are nourished
by Tao's power.
They are influenced
by the other living things around them,
and they are shaped
by their circumstances.

Everything respects Tao
and honors its power.
That's just the way it is.

Tao gives life to all things,
and its power watches out for them,
cares for them, helps them grow,
protects them, and comforts them.

Create something
without holding on to it.
Do the work
without expecting credit for it.
Lead people
without giving them orders.
That's the secret of the power of Tao.

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

Chapter 51

Tao creates all things,
Te cultivates them.
Things are shaped according to their natures;
Relational conditions fulfill them.
Therefore, ten thousand things all venerate the source of Tao
And value the potentialities of Te.
Tao is venerated and Te is valued spontaneously;
No one orders that it be so.
Thus Tao creates all things;
Te cultivates them.
They give them birth.
They nourish them.
They give them shape.
They give them quality.
They shelter them.
They guard them.
They create them but do not possess them.
They work for them but expect no reward.
They bring them to maturity but do not control them.
This is called invisible attainment.

                Translated by Chang Chung-yuan, 1975.