Tao Te Ching #54: “What you plant well can’t be uprooted, what you hold well can’t be taken away”

Good construction does not fall down,
a good embrace does not let go;
their heirs honor them unceasingly.
Cultivate it in yourself, and that virtue is real;
cultivate it in the home, and that virtue is abundant;
cultivate it in the locality, and that virtue lasts;
cultivate it in the nation, and that virtue is rich;
cultivate it in the world, and that virtue is universal.
So observe yourself by yourself,
observe the home by the home,
observe the locality by the locality,
observe the nation by the nation,
observe the world by the world.
How do I know the world is as it is?
By this.

– Thomas Cleary


What you plant well can’t be uprooted
what you hold well can’t be taken away
your descendants will worship this forever
cultivated in yourself virtue becomes real
cultivated in your family virtue grows
cultivated in your village virtue multiplies
cultivated in your state virtue abounds
cultivated in your world virtue is everywhere
thus view others through yourself
view families through your family
view villages through your village
view states through your state
view other worlds through your world
how do you know what other worlds are like
through this one

– Red Pine


Virtue well-founded nothing uproots;
Virtue fast-bound no one can steal;
And this ensures through generations
The sacred services be not cut off.
Cultivated in his character,
His virtue is pure and simple.
Cultivated in his clan,
His virtue well suffices.
Cultivated in his district,
His virtue offers leadership.
Cultivated in his kingdom,
His virtue brings prosperity.
Cultivated in this realm below,
His virtue knows no limitation.
This is the reason to consider
Character in terms of character,
Clan in terms of clan,
District in terms of district,
Kingdom in terms of kingdom,
And the world below as the world below.
How do I know this is true of the realm?
By this very means.

– Moss Roberts