When the great Tao is forgotten,
Stephen Mitchell, Translator
When the great way falls into disuse
D. C. Lau, Translator
When the Geat Tao is forgotten
separation is created.
People play at goodness and piety,
forgetting what is good and holy.
People forget their common destiny
and become separately sly.
People turn their minds to what they see
and ignore what they know.
When our oneness is forgotten
people seek favor and pay obeisance
and maneuver for advantage.
When oneness is lost and chaos results,
when community is lost and the land is insane,
the people claim the land for themselves
and no-one else.
They have no other place.
They have forgotten their place.
They have become small.
They are separated.
The great Tao is forgotten.
Our Oneness. They don’t count.
Be yourself. Be someone else.
Contribute. Take away.
Get real. Pretend.
Love the earth Pave the earth.
Come in. Keep out.
We’re in it together. Look out for # 1.
What you see is what you get. What you see is my best mask.