Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Huainanzi - Entry 87

Trey Smith
When nature has been lost, humanitarianism is valued; when the Way has been lost, duty is valued.
~ a passage from
The Book of Leadership and Strategy by Thomas Cleary ~
The problem with morality and ethics is that they involve calculus. We encounter a situation or circumstance and then try to figure out -- via external rules or standards -- the least we can do and yet still come out smelling like a rose! It's like filling out a tax return. Most people try to get creative in manufacturing deductions, so that a tax refund is the result.

It seems like most of us have lost the ability to do what needs to be done WITHOUT thinking about all of the possible ramifications, both positive and negative. This is not to suggest that we should go through our lives like emotionless robots -- it is more to suggest that this constant human calculus lessens our capabilities to be genuinely compassionate and just people.
To read the introduction to this ongoing series, go here.

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