this was the secret of Yao's success as a ruler, and of Shun's success as his minister. Due perception of this constitutes the virtue of sovereigns on the throne, the Tao of the inspired Sage and of the uncrowned King below. Keep to this in retirement, and the lettered denizens of sea and dale will recognise your power. Keep to this when coming forward to pacify a troubled world, and your merit shall be great and your name illustrious, and the empire united into one. In your repose you will be wise; in your movements, powerful. By inaction you will gain honour; and by confining yourself to the pure and simple, you will hinder the whole world from struggling with you for show.
To fully apprehend the scheme of the universe.
- Lit.: "the virtue of heaven and earth," meaning their inaction by which all things are brought to maturity.
this is called the great secret of being in accord with God, whereby the empire is so administered that the result is accord with man. To be in accord with man is human happiness; to be in accord with God is the happiness of God.
Chuang Tzŭ said, "O my exemplar! Thou who destroyest all things, and dost not account it cruelty; thou who benefitest all time, and dost not account it charity; thou who art older than antiquity and dost not account it age; thou who supportest the universe, shaping the many forms therein, and dost not account it skill;—this is the happiness of God!"