This chapter compares the highest excellence with that water since water flows into the benefit of all. For example, there has been an expression that ‘water is life’ and people should also ensure they act in a way that contributes to a better life. Therefore, an individual seeking excellence should seek it and ensure that it will be at the benefit of all without striving. In addition, this chapter also reflects that water only occupies the lowest point without striving. However, men behave contrary in search for excellence since they always seek for the high places, rather than lowly. The Tao principles advocate for people finding the way to generate a better future regardless of the means, but the normal behavior and conduct of men is contrary (Lin and Wagle).
In the second part, it provides a reflection of a good residence, where the mind is still. The suitability of occupation and association with such residence is based creating a still and virtuous environment for the occupants. The other aspect is the importance of the government to secure order and conduct its affairs in its best ability for the benefit of the citizens. It also reflects that, the success of any association or movement of people is based on the timelines of such movements; this can be based on the ultimate goal of establishing the movements (Mason).
In the third part, it provides a reflection of the need for a person to remain lowly if one wants to achieve the highest excellence. Tao principles are based on establishing harmonious actions and peaceful coexistence between people (Philippe and Shapiro). Therefore, an individual should avoid wrangles even when it means remaining lowly even when one has the power as people will not find fault with such people.
The first aspect states that when Taoism prevails the world will be peaceful, and this reflected in the expression that swift horses will only be sent draw dung-carts. However, when Tao principles are disregarded the world will plunge into war. This is reflected in the statement stating that the war-horses would breed in the border land when fighting (Diane and Laozi). The principles of Tao express on the importance one establishing harmonious relations with their neighbors while discarding the bad seeking and embracing the good. Therefore, existence of Tao will enhance the world peace and peaceful coexistence of the people around the globe. Absence of the principles of Tao would also be an avenue that would make the world break into war (Mason). Tao principles are based on the hope of ensuring great unity in the world, which will ensure that peace prevails in the whole world.
Taoism is also based on the principle of ensuring restoration of one’s nature and self, as well as ensuring perfect conscience. In addition, it also states that there is also a need for one to establish him/her self, as well as help others, establish their self, achieving one’s goal and also aid others in achieving their goals. Therefore, sanctioning an ambition is one of the greatest calamities as it leads to discontentment with self. Therefore, the greatest contentment is associated with the ability of an individual to achieve his/her goal, as well as helping others achieve their goals, as well. In addition, contentment with oneself is also based on the ability of an individual to establish his self, as well as helping other establish (Lin and Wagle). Therefore, the guilt of an individual ends when they establish themselves and achieves their goals.
Diane, Dreher and Laozi. The Tao of Personal Leadership. New York: HarperBusiness Print., 2006.
Lin, Derek and Frank Wagle. "The Principles of I-Kuan Tao." 2013. 6 May 2013
Mason, Bill. "Taoist Principles." 2013. 6 May 2013
Philippe, Gross. L and S I Shapiro. The Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2001.