Your Destiny Is Not Predetermined

  • Virtue is a powerful but overlooked principle of Tao cultivation.
  • Virtuous choices plant the seeds of success.
  • Virtue and karma (cause and effect) form the creative process for well-being and Longevity.
  • A successful Longevity Lifestyle is one created through Harmony created through virtue/Karma.

A Different Way to view Virtue

Virtue in popular culture can be defined as a word that describes the quality of good behavior and morality. Taoism has much deeper meanings that carry the power to determine your destiny. Tao cultivators work diligently to “accumulate virtue”.

Submitting early is called emphasis on accumulating virtues

Accumulating virtues means there is nothing one cannot accomplish

Verses 4-5, Chapter 59, Tao Te Ching

When I first saw these verses, I immediately wondered what “accumulating virtues” meant. And the phrase “there is nothing one cannot accomplish” really got my attention. The statement implies that by accumulating virtue Longevity becomes possible. Remember Lao Tzu’s promise that

They have no determined outcome.

Who knows their ultimate outcome?

Verses 7-8, Chapter 58, Tao Te Ching

You can see that the Tao principle of Virtue plays a key role in cultivating Longevity as well as other areas of life.

Inherent Power

The word Inherent is defined as something that is embedded in something and not easily displaced. In the verse from Chapter 59 above, “submitting early is called emphasis on accumulating virtues”, which means one should begin accumulating virtue as soon as possible so that it becomes deeply rooted or embedded in your psyche or second nature. The inherent power of virtue can be understood by examining the phrase “by virtue of”, or by stating “because of” before a successful accomplishment. Examples:

“By virtue of her patience and self-discipline, she was able to lose 100 pounds.”

“Because of his reputation for honesty, he was able to gain the trust and respect of the team, so that victory was at hand.”

In the first example, because of the virtues of patience and self-discipline, she was able to be successful in losing weight and achieving a weight goal. By accumulating patience and self-discipline, their power became her inherent power, or embedded and not easily lost.

In the second example, by virtue of his reputation for honesty, he gained the respect of his team members who so that his team trusted his leadership and followed his guidance so that victory was the result.

Cause and Effect (Karma)

In every waking moment of every day, we all make choices that determine our future. When we want to achieve success, we must make choices and take actions that will achieve our goals. Causation is the initiating action that will end with a result. The principle works for both the tangible and the intangible.

Tangible: Think of seeds being planted in a garden. To grow a garden, you must plant the seeds for the plants you want to harvest. Causation is the planting of seeds; Effect is the reaping of fruit from the plant when it has matured. The action of planting seeds results in the growing of food. This is the cause and effect utilized for growing plants.

Intangible: Cultivating and accumulating Virtue, is action or causation that will result in success, as in the examples above. Cultivating the virtues of patience and discipline results in losing weight. Cultivating honesty results in a reputation that team members trusted and followed.

Your current life situation is a result of cause and effect from the past. The choices you make, and the actions you take have resulted in what you are experiencing in the present moment. Because of the inherent power of virtue, the choices, and actions you take for longevity will have the greatest chance of success. Therefore, you should practice cultivating virtue because your future, Longevity depends directly upon it. While it is true that there are circumstances that happen that are out of your control, how you react to the inevitable obstacles and challenges in life will affect your future.

There are many different virtues to learn and cultivate that will enhance your ability to succeed in life. It is not hard seeing virtues, yet it can be challenging in implementing them. This is because virtue tends to not be an aspect of the desire-seeking ego mind. When I looked up what the opposite of virtue was online, the list was:

  • Vice
  • Iniquity
  • Wickedness
  • Sinfulness
  • Immorality
  • Impropriety
  • Sin

These are all immoral descriptions which are qualities of the Ego mind. But rather than see Virtue as moral, try to see its inherent power for cultivating a long successful life. Here is a short list of Virtues to consider:

  • Conservation, Compassion, and Humility (Lao Tzu’s Three Treasures) [1]
  • Kindness
  • Patience
  • Honesty
  • True Courage [2]
  • Fidelity
  • Integrity
  • Self-control

Now try visualizing the practice of these virtues in everyday life. Think of the success you have had and consider how they helped you. Specifically, think of how practicing some of these virtues can create a destiny of Longevity. Remember, your destiny is created in each choice you make, so if your Longevity goals are to lose weight, exercise more, lower your blood pressure or avoid toxic foods, what virtues must you practice to achieve it.

To accumulate a virtue means that you have practiced so many times that it has become second nature. You don’t have to think about using them when you make your life choices.

Accumulating virtues means there is nothing one cannot accomplish

If you want to prevent or cure disease, work on accumulating virtue, and harness the mystic power of virtue. This is the Tao of Virtue.

Summary: To Cultivate a Successful Destiny, Integrate virtue into your life.

  • The way you live your life, Lifestyle, either promotes or corrupts Longevity.
  • Virtue leads to Harmony which leads to well-being and Longevity
  • Your Lifestyle is a reflection of your life choices. Virtuous choices lead to successful living.

[1] See Chapter 67, Tao Te Ching “I have three treasures, I hold on to them and protect them”

[2] See the Chapter “True Courage” Chapter 16, “in my book: Sovereignty – The Tao Principle of Self-Management,