Tao Te Ching Chapter 58

58th Chapter
Whoever does a lot of things to benefit the people without fanfare, will help his people to be simple and pure.
Whoever is too demanding of his people and does not appreciate their effort, will cause his people to lose interest in working.
Woe and felicity are interrelated with each other.
Behind woe, there is a blessing. (If a lesson is learned from woe, then the woe becomes a blessing. Letting go of control seems dangerous, but it is good if it benefits others, challenges can lead to transformation.)
Behind felicity, there is woe. (If felicity becomes a desire for comfort, then it becomes a woe, because it leads to more desire and can stop one’s spiritual progress.)
Who knows if the end of everything is woe or felicity? There is no right answer to that.
Sometimes we see right things suddenly become weird, and sometimes good becomes evil.
This causes confusion among the people and has for a long time.

Therefore, the sage that follows Tao makes choices carefully and with moderation.
That is why we see he chooses to do the right things and cause no harm to others.
He administers justice (like a sharp knife) in a way that is not intended to hurt anyone.
He is straightforward but not presumptuous, because he does things straight from his heart and that nature has wisdom.
His light inspires others, but he does not show off.

Implications from the Holy Books

The Great Being saith: O ye children of men! The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity. This is the straight Path, the fixed and immovable foundation. Whatsoever is raised on this foundation, the changes and chances of the world can never impair its strength, nor will the revolution of countless centuries undermine its structure. Our hope is that the world’s religious leaders and the rulers thereof will unitedly arise for the reformation of this age and the rehabilitation of its fortunes. Let them, after meditating on its needs, take counsel together and, through anxious and full deliberation, administer to a diseased and sorely-afflicted world the remedy it requireth.… It is incumbent upon them who are in authority to exercise moderation in all things. Whatsoever passeth beyond the limits of moderation will cease to exert a beneficial influence. Consider for instance such things as liberty, civilization and the like. However much men of understanding may favorably regard them, they will, if carried to excess, exercise a pernicious influence upon men.── Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh 110

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