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In respect of the negative aspects of the Dao of man, Lao Zi recommends the Dao of Heaven not only as a counterbalance to the former, but also as an ultimate criterien or frame of reference owing to its great virtues such as the universal heart of selflessness and the noble spirit of balancing all things under the sky. That is to say, the Dao of Heaven must be imitated, followed and acted upon by man. This is merely Lao Zi's ideal as a result of his deep concern and sympathy for the tragic human condition in his era. However, good-intentioned as it may be, this recommendation is after all wishful thinking, in striking contrast with hard reality. But this does not necessarily mean that his wish and hope have no instructive message with regard to the keenly competitive and frustratingly problematic society in which we live nowadays.
It is worth mentioning in passing that the Dao of Heaven is also reflected in Lao Zi's remark that "Heaven and earth unite to drop sweet dew which falls evenly over all things without being forced." All this could be seen as the source of the notion of egalitarianism or equal division of property which is deeply rooted in the mentality of the Chinese people. Hence, when its merit is appreciated from a sociological perspective (i.e. social stability), its demerits should not be neglected in an economic sense (i.e. economic development). The Chinese are fairly sensitive and highly conscious of the painstaking efforts made so far to break up the "iron rice bowl" (i.e. "equal pay for unequal work") in the course of China's current program of social and economic reform.
The sage is "the only one who has the Dao" (i.e. the Dao of Heaven) and is characterized by such virtues as universal love and generosity, as usually embodied in an absolute giver. The Dao of the sage is the realization or extension of the Dao of Heaven in society or human praxis, according to Lao Zi. All men alike are encouraged not simply to admire the virtues of the Daoist sage, but to model their personal development upon him via practical activities. Only by so doing, according to Lao Zi, can society be at peace and people enjoy harmonious relations.

5.2 (Chapter 79)
To reconcile two sides in deep hatred
Is surely to leave some hatred behind.
If one returns good for evil,[1] How can this be taken as a proper solution?[2]
Therefore the sage keeps the counterfoil of the tally,[3] Yet he does not demand payment of the debt.
The virtuous man is as kind and generous as the tally keeper
While the non-virtuous is as harsh and calculating as a tax collector.
The Dao of Heaven has no preference.[4]
It is constantly with the good man.[5]

[1] This expression has been transposed here from Chapter 63 (DDJ) upon the recomendation of Yan Lingfeng and Gu Di, as a result of their textual analyses and philological studies.
[2] This "solution" refers to the situation implied in the first two lines. Lao Zi holds that its efficacy is so limited that it can not clear away all the hatred involved. He therefore proposes that one returns good for evil so as to make it impossible for hatred to recur.
[3] The Chinese term zuo qi is translated as "the counterfoil of the tally." The latter was something like a modern contract. It used to be inscribed on a piece of wood and cut into two parts held respectively by the two parties concerned. They would be produced later as proof or evidence concerning the contract.
[4] "The Dao of Heaven has no preference" (tian dao wu qin) is close in meaning to "Heaven and earth are not humane"-They both suggest the essence of the Dao which treats all things alike.
[5] "The good man" (shan ren) here stands for the virtuous man who has achieved the Dao and its potency (De). In the final analysis, he can be identified as the Daoist sage.

That "one should return good for evil" is well-noted as Lao Zi's idealized solution to hatred. It is offered to the people in general and the ruler in particular. In a totalitarian country the government tends to be power-oriented and property-hungry. Thus it is apt to apply policies of heavy taxation and severe punishments. This brings about an accumulation of complaints and growth of hatred which may some day explode as suddenly as a dormant volcano. The history of China is full of instances of revolts and rebellions caused by such policies.
The Dao of Heaven that "has no preferences" is clearly personified by Lao Zi. It serves as a mirror of Daoist naturalism in contrast to the Dao of man, which has preferences. The former is positive while the latter is negative; likewise, he (e.g. a ruler) who practices the former is "kind and generous" to the extent that he will be supported and beloved, whereas he (e.g. a ruler) who adopts the latter is "harsh and calculating" to the extent that he will be cursed and overthrown. This is moral lesson still valid for leaders nowadays.



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