From this we may see that the world has lost the Way, and the Way has lost the world; the world and the Way have lost each other. What means does a man of the Way have to go forward in the world? What means does the world have to go forward in the Way? The Way cannot go forward in the world, and the world cannot go forward in the Way. So, although the sage does not retire to dwell in the midst of the mountain forest, his Virtue is already hidden. It is already hidden, and therefore he does not need to hide it himself.For me, this snippet is about estrangement. We often know that we are behaving in disharmonious ways, but we feel as if we can't help ourselves. It's like eying a third piece of luscious chocolate cake. In our mind, we are very certain that consuming it will lead to indigestion, but our desire takes over and, before we know it...burp...it disappears. Later, we beat ourselves up as we roil with gut pain.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
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