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39

The following things have been maintained since ancient times
through action of the unifying principle:
Heaven is clarified;
The earth is held together;
The gods endure;
The valleys function;
The living things cycle on; and
The princes remain princes.
That principle which generates so much unity is marvelous.

Without clarity, the Heavens would fall;
Without stability, the Earth would disintegrate;
Without granted being, the gods would vanish;
Without functioning, the valleys would disappear;
Without the life cycle, all life would perish;
Without using the mass unifying principle,
The princes would cease to be princes.

The princes appear even lower than common people,
So common people may follow them.
Princes depend on common people for support.
This is why they appear to be
Orphaned-friendless-unable.
Isn’t it true that princes depend on common people for support?

Remove the unifying principle from a wheel, and
There isn’t a void left at the center either. So
Do not set yourself up to be respected;
Respect is like a precious gem.
Seek to be low,
Like a common stone.

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