The time came, however, when Virtue began to dwindle and decline, and then Sui Jen and Fu Hsi stepped forward to take charge of the world. As a result there was compliance, but no longer any unity. Virtue continued to dwindle and decline, and then Shen Nung and the Yellow Emperor stepped forward to take charge of the world. As a result, there was security, but no longer any compliance. Virtue continued to dwindle and decline, and then Yao and Shun stepped forward to take charge of the world. They set about in various fashions to order and transform the world, and in doing so defiled purity and shattered simplicity. The Way was pulled apart for the sake of goodness; Virtue was imperiled for the sake of conduct. After this, inborn nature was abandoned and minds were set free to roam, mind joining with mind in understanding; there was knowledge, but it could not bring stability to the world. After this, "culture" was added on, and "breadth" was piled on top. "Culture" destroyed the substantial, "breadth" drowned the mind, and after this the people began to be confused and disordered. They had no way to revert to the true form of their inborn nature or to return once more to the Beginning.Rules are made to be broken! Anytime a rule, law or regulation is created, people immediately try to figure out a way to get around it. Some people set out to violate the rule to the nth degree possible, while others just try to fudge around the edges.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
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