19

To help humanity:
Spurn holiness,
Discard cleverness,
Abandon the doctrine of kindness,
And relinquish moral duty.
After rejecting these external injunctions,
A natural piousness and compassion will be allowed to flourish.

Moreover, if we:
Disregard academic knowledge,
And spurn ceremony,
We will be freed from anxiety over status,
And distress over details.

Furthermore, when we:
Root out artifice,
And banish profiteers,
Hustlers and thieves will be obliged to find their targets elsewhere.

However, these are just outward policies.
Within ourselves we must also come to:
Value the unadorned,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce self-consciousness,
And curtail our craving.

___________
You may order or download The Tao Te Ching here.
List of verses here



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