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Selections from Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu. 
Translation 1891 by James Legge

 


"Thus it was that when faith (in the Tao) was deficient (in the rulers) a want of faith in them ensued (in the people)."

Tao Te Ching, Chapter Seventeen

In the highest antiquity, (the people) did not know that there were (their rulers). In the next age they loved them and praised them. In the next they feared them; in the next they despised them. Thus it was that when faith (in the Tao) was deficient (in the rulers) a want of faith in them ensued (in the people). 

How irresolute did those (earliest rulers) appear, showing (by their reticence) the importance which they set upon their words! Their work was done and their undertakings were successful, while the people all said, 'We are as we are, of ourselves!' 

 

Tao Te Ching, Chapter Eighteen

When the Great Tao (Way or Method) ceased to be observed, benevolence and righteousness came into vogue. (Then) appeared wisdom and shrewdness, and there ensued great hypocrisy. 

When harmony no longer prevailed throughout the six kinships, filial sons found their manifestation; when the states and clans fell into disorder, loyal ministers appeared. 

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