In the ancestral temple, parents rank before all; at court, the most honourable; in the village, the elders; in matters to be accomplished, the most trustworthy. Such is the order which appertains to Tao. He who in considering Tao disregards this order, thereby disregards Tao; and he who in considering Tao disregards Tao, — whence will he secure Tao?
Therefore, those of old who apprehended Tao, first apprehended God. Tao came next, and then charity and duty to one's neighbour, and then the functions of public life, and then forms and names, and then employment according to capacity, and then distinctions of good and bad, and then discrimination between right and wrong, and then rewards and punishments. Thus wise men and fools met with their dues; the exalted and the humble occupied their proper places. And the virtuous and the worthless being each guided by their own natural instincts, it was necessary to distinguish capabilities, and to adopt a corresponding nomenclature, in order to serve the ruler, nourish the ruled, administer things generally, and elevate self. Where knowledge and plans are of no avail, one must fall back upon the natural. This is perfect peace, the acme of good government. Therefore it has been written, "Wherever there is form, there is also its name." Forms and names indeed the ancients had, but did not give precedence to them.
Thus, those of old who considered Tao, passed