east and west

[click image]


Funny how they try to intersect sometimes.
Higher virtue is not ingratiating;
that is why it has virtue.
Lower virtue does not forget about reward;
that is why it is virtueless.
Higher virtue is uncontrived,
and there is no way to contrive it.
Lower virtue is created,
and there is a way to do it.
Higher humanity is created,
but there is no way to contrive it.
Higher duty is done,
and there is a way to do it.
Higher courtesy is done,
but no one responds to it;
so there is forceful repetition.
Therefore virtue comes after loss of the Way;
humanity comes after loss of virtue;
duty comes after loss of humanity;
courtesy comes after loss of duty.
Manners mean loyalty and trust are thin,
and disarray is beginning.
Foresight is the flower of the Way,
and the beginning of ignorance too.
Therefore great people dwell in the thick,
not the thin.
They abide in the substance,
not the flower.
So they leave the latter and take the former.
— Lao Tzu [translation by Thomas Cleary]
Ain't it?