To give without seeking reward
To help without thinking it is virtuous—
therein lies the great virtue
To keep account of your action
To help with the hope of gaining merit—
therein lies no virtue
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 Tao is lost one must learn the rules of virtue
When virtue is lost, the rules of kindness
When kindness is lost, the rules of justice
When justice is lost, the rules of conduct
And when the high-blown rules of conduct are not followed
people are seized by the arm and it is forced on them
The rules of conduct
are just an outer show of devotion and loyalty—
quite confusing to the heart
And when men rely on these rules for guidance—
Oh, what ignorance abounds!
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"