Commentary on The Principles of the Tao
venerate Heaven and Earth
Value and respect both the Heavens and the Earth. Be a good steward of
the planet and its resources.
revere the divine beings
- Hold in highest esteem the Tao, the eternal source. Appreciate and
honor all of the good role models, Buddhas, sages, and teachers, who
have come before us.
be patriotic and responsible
Respect and honor the good things about your country and its government
and to work to change things that could be done better; fulfill your
To be virtuous and courteous
Always act in a virtuous and courteous manner and uphold the Rules of
Propriety. Practical guidelines regarding propriety of Demeanor,
Deportment, Speech, Conduct, Example, and Sexual activity can be found
in the Analects of Confucius.
honor the parents -
Love, honor, respect, support, and be obedient to one's parents to let
them live worry-free lives.
value the teachers -
Honor and respect one's teachers and elders for their efforts to educate
you and for the wisdom of their years.
keep faith with friends
trustworthy, dependable and honest with your friends.
live harmoniously with neighbors
a good neighbor. Be helpful and friendly with those who share your
discard the bad and seek the good
oneself of bad habits and pursue good thoughts and deeds.
clarify the Five Relationships and the Eight Virtues
Expound upon the Five Bonds of Human Relationships and the Eight
Five Bonds of Human Relationships - between
sovereign and minister, parents and children, husband and wife, between
siblings, and between friends
Eight Cardinal Virtues - filial piety,
brotherly love, loyalty, truthfulness, courtesy, righteousness,
integrity, and a sense of shame
11. To spread the teachings of the Five
Recognize as valid all significant spiritual or philosophical traditions
that have the potential to uplift and inspire people to do good.
follow the ancient practice of the Four Ethics, the Mainstays and the
Constant Virtues -
To obey and respectfully practice the Four Ethical Principles, the Three
Mainstays of Social Order, and the Five Constant Virtues.
The Four Ethical Principles - courtesy,
righteousness, integrity, a sense of shame
The Three Mainstays of Social Order - between
sovereign and minister, parents and children, husband and wife
The Five Constant Virtues - benevolence,
righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, and truthfulness
cleanse the mind and purify the spirit
Eliminate harmful/destructive thoughts. Maintain a happy positive
utilize the illusory world in cultivating the truth
“Illusory” refers to the Buddhist idea that the world is just an
illusion. By studying the world we can learn about the Tao.
restore the nature of the self
recognize, value, and respect one's original Buddha-nature.
That is, you are a sentient being with
an infinite potential for understanding, or “enlightenment” if you
prefer, and for doing good.
develop the perfection of conscience
Continually work to develop one's innate wisdom with respect to acting
in harmony with the Tao.
establish oneself and help others in establishment
First secure for yourself a stable position in society and then help
those less fortunate to secure a stable position too.
achieve goals and help others in achievement
and reach one's own goals and help others do so too.
bring the world into peace
Work to transform the world into a peaceful, honest, and orderly
transform hearts into goodness
Enlighten the minds of people, by your actions and your words, and
enable them to return to a natural state of benevolence.
hope for the world of Great Unity
pursuing this path, we hope to bring the world into a state of harmony,
equality, fraternity, and justice.