“One of subtle universal virtue
Is not conscious of being virtuous,
Therefore, he is truly virtuous.
One of partial virtue attempts to live up to
An external standard of virtue,
Therefore, he is not truly virtuous.
One of whole virtue does not need to do anything
In order to be virtuous,
Because virtue is the very essence
Of one’s true nature.
But one of partial virtue believes that something
Must be done in order to prove that he is virtuous.
Thus, partial virtue becomes prevalent
When people fail to follow their own true nature.
Benevolence becomes prevalent
When people fail to be naturally kind.
Etiquette becomes prevalent
When people fail to be righteous and considerate.
When people find no response with etiquette,
They roll up their sleeves
And force others to respond to them.
When people stray from the subtle way of universal nature,
They cannot longer perceive their own true nature.
Thus they emphasize relative virtue
When natural virtue is lost,
Society depends on the doctrine of humanism
When humanity becomes corrupted,
Social and religious teachings appear
And become powerful forces.
When social and religious teachings become corrupted,
What is left behind is the empty shell
Of superficial ceremonies and artificial etiquette.
When etiquette is emphasized,
It is because people lack the simple qualities
Of fairness and kindness
This is the starting point of people of confusion
All of these man-made, partial virtues
Are merely superficial flowers, a false nature.
When people begin to move away
From their own true nature,
It is the beginning of hypocrisy.
Therefore, one who integrates
his own individual being
with the deep nature of the universe
sets his heart upon the root of reality
rather than the husk,
and upon the nourishment of the fruit
rather than the fleeting beauty of the flowers.
Truly, he cherishes what is deep within
Rather than what is shallow without.
He knows what to accept and what to reject.”
Tao teh Ching Ch 38 – translation by Hua-Ching Ni from “The complete works of Lao Tzu.”
If we are capable of “understanding” the above without analyzing it, but just by looking into our own experience of life, then we could find its usefulness and appreciate that.
Virtue is not something to achieve by doing a practice. Virtue is already present when we integrate our sentiments or feelings with the whole totality of life; that is when we feel that unity with all. As long as the mind interferes with ideas, philosophies, information, analysis, logic and all of that man made business; there can only be separation. In that separation virtue cannot bloom. The seed is already within us. The water and sunshine of pure feelings is what that seed needs to grow, develop and thrive.
Is avyakt7 a taoist? No just that… but more than that… a human being 🙂