Tao Te Ching #18: “When the Great Way is deserted”

When the Great Way is deserted,
then there is humanitarian duty.
When intelligence comes forth,
there is great fabrication.
When relations are discordant,
then there is family love.
When the national polity
is benighted and confused,
then there are loyal ministers.

– Thomas Cleary


When the Great Way disappears
we meet kindness and justice
when reason appears
we meet great deceit
when the six relations fall
we meet obedience and love
when the country is in chaos
we meet upright officials

– Red Pine


And when the olden way of rule declined,
The words for love and serve came in.
Next came knowledge and keen thought,
Advent of lying, sham, and fraud.
When kinsmen lost their kind concord,
They honored child- and parent-love.
In a dark disorder ruling houses
Turned to loyal devoted vassals.

– Moss Roberts


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