Tao Te Ching by LAO TSU

Thirty-Eight

Truly good people are not aware of their goodness,
And are therefore good.
Foolish people try to be good,
And are therefore not good.

Truly good people do nothing,
Yet leave nothing undone.
Foolish people are always doing,
Yet much remains to be done.

When truly kind people do something, they leave nothing undone.
When just people do something, they leave a great deal to be done.
When disciplinarians do something and no one responds,
They roll up their sleeves and try to enforce order.

Therefore when Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is kindness.
When kindness is lost, there is justice.
When justice is lost, there is ritual.
Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao.
It is the beginning of folly.

Therefore truly great people dwell on what is real and not what is on the surface,
On the fruit and not the flower.
Therefore accept the one and reject the other.

Share