38th Verse

38th Verse

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.

The master does nothing,
yet he leaves nothing undone.
The ordinary man is always doing things,
yet many more are left to be done.

The highest virtue is to act without a sense of self.
The highest kindness is to give without condition.
The highest justice is to see without preference.

When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is morality.
When morality is lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the husk of true faith,
the beginning of chaos.

The great master follows his own nature
and not the trappings of life.
It is said:
“He stays with the fruit and not the fluff.”
“He stays with the firm and not the flimsy.”
“He stays with the true and not the false.”

The Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu