August 20th, 2012

End benevolence? No Wait! I'm Not Quite Ready To Do That.

“what should a jew do if he is not a pious man?”  the rabbi asked.  and answered: “let him play the pious man.  the almighty does not require good intentions.  the deed is what counts.  it is what you do that matters.  are you angry perhaps?  go ahead and be angry, but speak gentle words and be friendly at the same time.  are you afraid of being a dissembler?  so what if you pretend to be something you aren’t?  for whose sake are you lying?  for your father in heaven.  his holy name, blessed be he, knows the intention and the intention behind the intention, and it is this that is the main thing.”  I. B. Singer, "A Piece of Advice"

summer patriot, winter soldier: a piece of advice ... isaac bashevis singer ... a short story


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From the Tao Te Ching

End sagacity; abandon knowledge
The people benefit a hundred times

End benevolence; abandon righteousness
The people return to piety and charity

End cunning; discard profit
Bandits and thieves no longer exist

These three things are superficial and insufficient
Thus this teaching has its place:
Show plainness; hold simplicity
Reduce selfishness; decrease desires

                   Translated by Derek Lin

Accurate Translation of the Tao Te Ching