The Tao is the hidden reservoir of all things.
A treasure to the honest, it is a safeguard to the erring.
A good word will find its own market. A good deed may be used as a gift to another.
That a man is straying from the right path is no reason that he should be cast away.
Hence, at the Enthronement of an Emperor, or at the installation of the Three Ministers, let others offer their discs of jade, following it up with teams of horses; it is better for you to offer the Tao without moving your feet!
Why did the ancients prize the Tao? Is it not because by virtue of it he who seeks finds, and the guilty are forgiven? That is why it is such a treasure to the world.
(Tao Teh King 62–Wu translation)
The Tao is the hidden reservoir of all things.
Though it contains all, the Tao is not only just unseen, it is hidden from what a Christian hymn calls “earth-dimmed vision.” The Tao in this aspect is referred to in a mantra that is recited daily by Hindus:
Purna means total, full and complete, which is what our English term “perfect” used to mean, rather than just without fault. In this verse, the word “Complete” (Purna) refers to the Tao. Here, as best I can, is a translation into English:
This is the Complete; That is the Complete.
The Complete has come out of the Complete.
If we take the Complete away from the Complete,
Only the Complete remains.
Let us say it another way: the Absolute is the Tao; the Relative is the Tao. The Relative has emanated from the Absolute. Yet if we “take away” either of these and consider only the one or the other, we will find that each is the Tao; even more, we will discover that the Absolute is the Relative, and the Relative is the Absolute. For both are the Tao.
A treasure to the honest, it is a safeguard to the erring. The Tao fosters and even enriches the honest and true. The more we vibrate in harmony with the Tao, the more we have access to its abundance and the more it empowers and guides us. The Tao is benevolent to all. Certainly it responds to the wise and virtuous but it is a protector of those that stray from the path of the Tao. Despite all the chaos and suffering in the world, still its basic construction ensures eventual evolution and escape from earthly bondage and eventual freedom into boundless life.
A good word will find its own market. A good deed may be used as a gift to another. Good will lead us to its appreciation. Extensive as degradation can be in society, yet that which is good will be recognized and even honored. Doing good is the greatest gift we can give to the world, even though the deed may be small. It is the vibration of goodness that purifies and corrects both us and the world around us.
That a man is straying from the right path is no reason that he should be cast away. In the Liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church we find these words: “O Lord, thou hast created man to be immortal and made him to be an image of thine own eternity; yet often we forget the glory of our heritage and wander from the path which leads to righteousness. But thou, O Lord, hast made us for thyself and our hearts are ever restless till they find their rest in thee. Look with the eyes of thy love upon our manifold imperfections and pardon all our shortcomings, that we may be filled with the brightness of the everlasting light and become the unspotted mirror of thy power and the image of thy goodness; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” There is no mention of casting away or cutting off of anyone, because Bishops Wedgwood and Leadbeater knew from their study of Indian scriptures that it is the inviolable nature of a human being to evolve into Christhood. So although someone may be living in a foolish or negative way, he is a sleeping god of infinite value and never to be cast away. In truth, he cannot be cast away.
Hence, at the Enthronement of an Emperor, or at the installation of the Three Ministers, let others offer their discs of jade, following it up with teams of horses; it is better for you to offer the Tao without moving your feet! Feng and English: “But remain still and offer the Tao.” Certainly the greatest gift that can be given to a society is a life lived in perfect conformity with the Tao and the offering of knowledge of the Tao to any who will listen.
Why did the ancients prize the Tao? Is it not because by virtue of it he who seeks finds, and the guilty are forgiven? That is why it is such a treasure to the world. Mabry: “Why did the Sages of old value the Tao so much? Because when you seek, you find and when you sin, you are forgiven. That is why the Tao is the greatest treasure of the Universe.” Legge: “Why was it that the ancients prized this Tao so much? Was it not because it could be got by seeking for it, and the guilty could escape (from the stain of their guilt) by it? This is the reason why all under heaven consider it the most valuable thing.” The Tao can be attained; and in that attainment all defilement and guilt are dissolved, for they are illusions and only the Tao inside and outside us is real. How great is the Tao!
Next in the Tao Teh King for Awakening: Difficult and Easy