Wednesday, August 2, 2006

The Insufficiency of Morality

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Stephen Mitchell translation)
Chapter 38

The Master doesn't try to be powerful;
thus he is truly powerful.
The ordinary man keeps reaching for power;
thus he never has enough.

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 kind man does something,
yet something remains undone.
The just man does something,
and leaves many things to be done.

The moral man does something,
and when no one responds
he rolls up his sleeves and uses force.

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.

Therefore the Master concern himself
with the depths and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower.
He has no will of his own.
He dwells in reality,
and lets all illusions go.

It is this morality that is the shadow of true goodness, masquerading as righteousness. And it is that corrupted morality that has destroyd so many good people. It's that rightousness that pretends to offer salvation with so many conditions and strings attached. It is a rightousness created by scared people, trying to assure themselves that G*d has certain rules and that they alone will be saved by knowing and following them.

G*d's heart is so much bigger than morality and righteous indignation and whatever else we can imagine to hate each other for.

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