ruled the empire. There was peace, but the natural adaptation was gone.
Again virtue declined. Yao and Shun ruled the empire. Systems of government and moral reform were introduced. Man's original integrity was scattered. Goodness led him astray from Tao;
- But for goodness, evil could not exist.
his actions imperilled his virtue.
- As opposed to inaction.
Then he discarded natural instinct and took up with the intellectual. Mind was pitted against mind, but it was impossible thus to settle the empire. So art and learning were added. But art obliterated the original constitution, and learning overwhelmed mind; upon which confusion set in, and man was unable to revert to his natural instincts, to the condition in which he at first existed.
Thus it may be said that the world destroys Tao, and that Tao destroys the world. And the world and Tao thus mutually destroying each other, how can the men of Tao elevate the world, and how can the world elevate Tao? Tao cannot elevate the world; neither can the world elevate Tao. Though the Sages were not to dwell on mountain and in forest, their virtue would still be hidden;—hidden, but not by themselves.
Those of old who were called retired scholars, were not men who hid their bodies, or kept back their words, or concealed their wisdom. It was that the age was not suitable for their mission. If