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From the beginning there has been a law of unity. Heaven attained unity and thereby its perfect clearness; earth attained unity and thereby its solidity; spirit attained unity and thereby its subtilty; valleys attained unity and thereby became the source of rivers; everything in the world attained unity and thereby their power of growth; princes and kings attained unity and thereby attained to moral conduct. Everything unfolds by the same law into some form of unity.

For if heaven were not purity it would differentiate; if earth were not solidity it would crumble and fall apart; if spirit were not subtilty it would lose its vitality; if valleys were not ever flowing out, they would soon fill up; if things were not growing, they would soon come to destruction; when princes and kings decline in moral conduct, they soon lose the respect of their subjects and forfeit their kingdoms.

Unless nobles serve the interests of the common people, they are no longer noble; the high need the low for a foundation. The reason why princes and kings refer to themselves as "the forlorn," "the inferior," and "the unworthy," is because they understand the principle that nobles require common people as a basis for their nobility.

When a carriage is separated into its parts it is no longer a carriage, its unity is lost. The superior man

p. 49

should not desire to become cultivated and shine as a gem, neither should he become gross and dull as stones. There should be a unity of ideals and usefulness.

Next: Chapter 40