Therefore the sage contemplates Heaven but does not assist it. He finds completion in Virtue but piles on nothing more. He goes forth in the Way but does not scheme. He accords with benevolence but does not set great store by it. He draws close to righteousness but does not labor over it. He responds to the demands of ritual and does not shun them. He disposes of affairs and makes no excuses. He brings all to order with laws and allows no confusion. He depends upon the people and does not make light of them. He relies upon things and does not throw them aside. Among things, there are none that are worth using, and yet they must be used.One of the great impediments for most of us is that we get set in our ways. We find some method that works for us and we stick with it. That may be well and good as long as all the variables in our lives remain the same. The problem is that the variables tend to change frequently, but we don't. Instead of relating to the world in a fluid manner, we meet it with rigidity.
He who does not clearly understand Heaven will not be pure in Virtue. He who has not mastered the Way will find himself without any acceptable path of approach. He who does not clearly understand the Way is pitiable indeed!
~ Burton Watson translation ~
To view the Index page for this series, go here.