These things from ancient times arise from one:
The sky is whole and clear.
The earth is whole and firm.
The spirit is whole and strong.
The valley is whole and full.
The ten thousand things are whole and alive.
Those in power are whole, and the country is upright.
All these are in virtue of wholeness.
The clarity of the sky prevents it from falling.
The firmness of the earth prevents it from splitting.
The strength of the spirit prevents it from being exhausted.
The fullness of the valley prevents it from drying up.
The growth of the ten thousand things prevents their extinction.
Good leadership by those in power prevents the country from failing.
Therefore the humble is the root of the noble.
The low is the foundation of the high.
The wise consider themselves “orphaned,” “widowed,” and “worthless.”
Their humility is the source of their strength.
Too much success is not an advantage.
Do not tinkle like jade
Or clatter like stone chimes.