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p. 46




The teh (power, or virtue) of the perfect Sage is not revealed intentionally. It naturally and spontaneously meets the needs of the world and, therefore, it is the true teh of TAO. The teh of inferiors simply makes an outside show of power which is assumed to be virtue, therefore, it falls short of the true Teh.

The Teh of the perfect Sage does not interfere, it cooperates with open and sympathetic mind, while the teh of inferiors acts with intention and under conditions and is influenced by desires. The benevolence of the perfect Sage flows out naturally in acts of kindness and is unconditioned by desires, or ideas, or conditions; while righteousness, even of superior men, is done under conditioning desires and ideas. This evil is aggravated when these righteous ideas of superior men are made up into social codes, which if not obeyed willingly are enforced by law.

Therefore, when one loses TAO, he makes use of teh as a standard of living; when he loses teh, he makes use of benevolence as a standard; when one loses benevolence, he makes use of righteousness; when he loses righteousness he makes use of social codes as his standard of conduct. Thus social codes take the place of loyalty and faith and there is the beginning of disorder. Cultural civilizations are a mere shadow of TAO and are the source of allurements and foolishness.

Therefore, the superior man of affairs conforms to

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the spirit of Teh and not to its reduction into codes of loyalty and righteousness. He abides in the reality of TAO and not in its shadow.

Next: Chapter 39