“Tao Teh Ching: Chapter 54” by Lao Tzu

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What is well planted cannot be uprooted.
What is well embraced cannot slip away.
Your descendants will carry on the ancestral sacrifice for generations without end.

Cultivate Virtue in your own person,
And it becomes a genuine part of you.
Cultivate it in the family,
And it will abide.
Cultivate it in the community,
And it will live and grow.
Cultivate it in the state,
And it will flourish abundantly.
Cultivate it in the world,
And it will become universal.

Hence, a person must be judged as person;
A family as family;
A community as community;
A state as state;
The world as world.

How do I know about the world?
By what is within me.

This passage is pretty straight-forward. A good and spiritual life must be cultivated and tended. You must nurture that which you want to flourish in your life. The closing couplet, though, seems to express a little bit more.

In the last two lines, it appears that Lao Tzu is asserting that an individual’s view of the world is based upon the sum of his or her experiences. I wholeheartedly agree with this. I know that personally I am the culmination of all the things I’ve read, all the people I’ve met, all the places I’ve been, all my joys and sorrows, and on and on. And my understanding of the world is constantly evolving, as I continue to travel the path of life. As long as I am alive and conscious, I suspect that the way I see the world will continue to change.

This past year, I have seen a lot of change in my life. Some of it was painful, but they were all experiences that I can learn from, and that’s what life is about, learning and growing.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have an amazing day.


Filed under Literature, Spiritual

5 responses to ““Tao Teh Ching: Chapter 54” by Lao Tzu

  1. Beautiful passage. I do not see a lot of virtue being cultivated on a global level right now, unfortunately, but there is hope if more and more individuals cultivate the Tao within their hearts.

    Good to see you back cultivating your wordpress field, Jeff


    • Hi Monika! Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read and comment. I agree, the world seems to be cultivating a lot of “non-virtue,” but I think that is just us collectively transitioning. I just hope we transition soon.

      I’m getting settled in California. I like it out here, and hope to spend more time reading, meditating, and exploring. Hope you are well. Many blessings!

  2. Gald your hanging in there Jeff! Keep on doing what you are doing!