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The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion, by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, [1905], at

p. 110


From the most ancient times those who have practised the Tao have depended on the simplicity of the people rather than on their adroitness.

When the people are difficult to control it is because they possess too much worldly wisdom.

Who governs by worldly wisdom is a robber in the land; who governs without it is a blessing to the state.

To know these two axioms is to become a model. To understand how to be a model is indeed the mystery of energy.

Verily, deep and far-reaching is this mystery of energy. It is the opposite of all that is visible, but it leads to universal concord.

The Christ-man seeks nothing for himself; the world-man ever cries "mine," rather than "my neighbor." The former is simple, the latter adroit. Wise indeed is that man who understands the "Mystery of Energy," the power of action which is desireless. Action which is desireless divert; no portion of its force toward bringing fruit to its author, hence, in the language of Paul, it is the foolish things and the weak things which confound the wise and the mighty. (Vid. I. Cor. i, 27, 28.) Because men fail to comprehend this, their best efforts, like Nebuchadnezzar's image, are part iron and part clay. No politician has yet risen to these sublime heights, no state has yet proven superior to the glamor of "worldly wisdom"; therefore, while seeking to cure the ills they know, they create fresh evils, the end of which they do not see. Who governs by worldly wisdom is a robber in the land.

Next: Chapter LXVI