June 2nd, 2010



Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom,
And it will be a hundred times better for everyone.

Give up kindness, renounce morality,
And men will rediscover filial piety and love.

Give up ingenuity, renounce profit,
And bandits and thieves will disappear.

These three are outward forms alone; they are not sufficient in themselves.
It is more important
To see the simplicity,
To realize one's true nature,
To cast off selfishness
And temper desire.
Get rid of sanctity.
People will understand the truth
and be happier.

Get rid of morality.
People will respect each other
and do what's right.

Get rid of value and profit.
People will not steal
if they do not desire.

If that's not possible, go to Plan B:
Be simple. Be real.
Do your work as best you can.
Don't think about what you get for it.
Stay focused. Get rid of all your crap.

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

Chapter 19

Let the people be free from discernment and relinquish intellection
Then they will be many times better off.
Stop the teaching of benevolence and get rid of the claim of justice.
Then the people will love each other once more.
Cease the teaching of cleverness and give up profit.
Then there will be no more stealing and fraud.
Discernment and intellection, benevolence and justice, cleverness and profit are nothing but outward refinements.
Hence we must seek something other than these.
Reveal simplicity.
Hold to one's original nature,
Rid one's self of selfishness.
Cast away covetousness.
Eliminate artificial learning and one will be free from anxieties.

                                      translated by Chang Chung-yuan. 1975.