The Book of the Right Way of Laozi – 39



In former times the people were one.
The celestial beings were one because they were clear.
The earth beings were one because they were peaceful.
The spirit beings were one because they were intelligent.
The empty (valley) was one because it became full.
Everything was one because they grew.
The princes and kings were one because they acted as celestial pure beings.
Is this not true?
I fear that because the celestial beings are not clear, the cosmos will crack.
I fear that because earth is not peaceful, it will be destroyed.
I fear that because spirit is not intelligent, it will become stagnant.

I fear that because the empty (valley) is not full, it will be exhausted.
I fear that because everything ceases to grow, they will die.
I fear that because the princes and kings are not pure, they will err.
Therefore, it is because of the noble that the lowly is its basis.
Because of the high, that which is underneath is its basis.
Truly, because the princes and the kings call themselves “lonely,” “few,” and “needy,”
Because they are not lowly, their basis behaves as though it were wicked.
Is this not true?
The most reputable have the least reputation.
Do not desire wealth for its own sake.
A necklace of jade is just stones.