October 1st, 2009

goban
  • trevoke

18

When the great Tao is forgotten,
Kindness and morality arise.
When wisdom and intelligence are born,
The great pretense begins.

When there is no peace within the family,
Filial piety and devotion arise.
When the country is confused and in chaos,
Loyal ministers appear.
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When people lose touch with Tao,
they start talking about
"righteousness" and "sanctity."

When people forget what's true,
they start talking about
"self-evident truths."

When people have no respect
for one another,
they start talking about
"political correctness"
and "family values."

When the nation is unstable,
people start talking about "patriotism."
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

Chapter eightteen: Second bests

In the degradation of the great way
come benevolence and righteousness.
With the exaltation of learning and prudence
comes immense hypocrisy.
The disordered family
is full of dutiful children and parents.
The disordered society
is full of loyal patriots.

Ursula Le Guin, 1998