What is firmly established cannot be uprooted.
What is firmly grasped cannot slip away.
It will be honored from generation to generation.
(The world’s physical things, built on the outside, will be unplugged, for since you can hold it in your hand, it will certainly be taken off.)
However, Tao and Te are invisible.
Therefore, if you build Te in the heart
It will not be unplugged.
If you can embrace it,
Hugging Tao to your chest,
It will not be taken away.
(With Tao and Te in you, not only can you enjoy the blessings, but also blessings will be passed down to the future generations, the worshipping the ancestors will last forever.)
Cultivate Virtue(Te) in your self,
And Virtue(Te) will be real.
Cultivate it in the family,
And Virtue(Te) will abound.
Cultivate it in the village,
And Virtue(Te) will grow.
Cultivate it in the nation,
And Virtue(Te) will be abundant.
Cultivate it in the universe,
And Virtue(Te) will be everywhere.
(Cultivate yourself, and his Te will be fulfilled. When it comes to a family, his Te is bound to be generous. To spread to a village, his Te will surely come a long way; When it comes to a country, his Te will be abundant. When it comes to the world, his Te is bound to prevail.)
Therefore look at the body as body;
Look at the family as family;
Look at the village as village;
Look at the nation as nation;
Look at the universe as universe.
(So, as long as I cultivate Te in me, I can look at other people. From my family to observe other families; From my village, observe other villages; From my present world, I look at the past and the future.)
How do I know the universe is like this?
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)
(How can I know the situation of the world? This is the reason.)
The imag eisfrom Lynn Yang
Lao Tzu explained that cultivating Te starts from oneself, then moves to family, then the village, then to the world. It coincides with Chinese saying:
“Cultivate oneself, keep one’s family in order, then run the country well and ultimately you will conquer and bring peace to the world.” (修身,齊家,治國,平天下)