06 June 2011

Fifty-One

Tao gives them life.
Virtue gives them nourishment.
The manifest world gives them form.
The tendencies of each make them what they are.

Therefore, the ten thousand things honor Tao and esteem Virtue.
This honor and esteem are not commanded.
It is just the nature of things.

And so, all things arise from Tao.
By Virtue they are nourished, developed, clothed,
sheltered, soothed, aged, and buried.

To create without possessing,
to act without making claims,
to lead without taking command –
this is timeless virtue.