May 11th, 2011

38

A man of sure fitness, without making a point of his fitness,
Stays fit;
A man of unsure fitness, assuming an appearance of fitness,
Becomes unfit.
The man of sure fitness never makes an act of it
Nor considers what it may profit him;
The man of unsure fitness makes an act of it
And considers what it may profit him.
However a man with a kind heart proceed,
He forgets what it may profit him;
However a man with a just mind proceed,
He remembers what it may profit him;
However a man of conventional conduct proceed, if he be not complied with
Out goes his fist to enforce compliance.
Here is what happens:
Losing the way of life, men rely first on their fitness;
Losing fitness, they turn to kindness;
Losing kindness, they turn to justness;
Losing justness, they turn to convention.
Conventions are fealty and honesty gone to waste,
They are the entrance of disorder.
False teachers of life use flowery words
And start nonsense.
The man of stamina stays with the root
Below the tapering,
Stays with the fruit
Beyond the flowering:
He has his no and he has his yes.

The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (The Witter Bynner version), Terebess Asia Online (TAO)
goban

38

A truly good man is not aware of his goodness,
And is therefore good.
A foolish man tries to be good,
And is therefore not good.

A truly good man does nothing,
Yet leaves nothing undone.
A foolish man is always doing,
Yet much remains to be done.

When a truly kind man does something, he leaves nothing undone.
When a just man does something, he leaves a great deal to be done.
When a disciplinarian does something and no one responds,
He rolls up his sleeves in an attempt to enforce order.

Therefore when Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is kindness.
When kindness is lost, there is justice.
When justice is lost, there ritual.
Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao.
It is the beginning of folly.

Therefore the truly great man dwells on what is real and not what is on the surface,
On the fruit and not the flower.
Therefore accept the one and reject the other.
-
-
People with integrity
don't even think about it.
That's how you can tell
they have integrity.
Other people talk about
how much integrity they have,
when they really don't have much.
If any.

Truly powerful people
don't do anything,
but they get the job done.
Other people are always busy
doing something,
but nothing ever gets done.

When kind people act,
they do so without thinking about it.
When the just act,
they're always sure
they're doing the right thing.
But when the righteous act,
and nobody reacts,
they try to force everyone
to do things their way.

If you're not in touch with Tao,
at least you can still have integrity.
If you don't have integrity,
there's always kindness.
If you don't have kindness,
there's always justice.
If you don't have justice,
all you have left is righteousness.

Righteousness is an pale imitation
of true faith and loyalty,
and always leads to trouble.
If you've already made up your mind,
you don't know the first thing about Tao,
and you never will.

The Masters pay attention
to what's beneath the surface.
They'll look at a tree's leaves,
but eat the fruit.
They turn all that down,
so they can accept this.
-

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