Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 65

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 65 – Taoism.net

In the beginning those who knew the Tao did not try to enlighten others,
But kept them in the dark.
Why is it so hard to rule?
Because people are so clever.
Rulers who try to use cleverness
cheat the country.
Those who rule without cleverness
are a blessing to the land.
These are the two alternatives.
Understanding these is Primal Virtue.
Primal Virtue is deep and far.
It leads all things back
toward the great oneness.

He begins with a strange statement which is to do with Tao, those who knew the Tao do not try from the beginning to pass this most precious commodity to tall humanity who are in need so much for it. So he starts immediately with a big contradiction, if you have the most precious thing that the life of people in the dark without it – why not pass it on?
Then in the next 6 lines he pinpoints the reason: cleverness, and it is on both sides, the people you pass the Tao to them are too clever and the rulers or the sages (he mixes sometimes between the two) are too clever too. Soo he positions cleverness as the greatest blockage and minefield on the way of passing the Tao onwards.
We are too clever. The wise teachers and the seekers after truth and people who want simply to improve their life are suffering fron the disease of over cleverness.
And if you try to rule or teach by cleverness you actually cheat. Whereas ruling or passing on the Tao without being clever is a blessing.
Now what does he mean by being clever: knowing too much, having too much irrelevant information to human life, putting intellectual learning above wisdom and the love of truth, worshiping intellectualism above and beyond understanding and deep comprehension. You cannot work two masters, either you worl the master of learning and rationality and logic which he calls: cleverness, or you choose understanding, knowing, truth, and wisdom. If you give up being clever it must mean that you choose the other: love the truth, and this is the primal virtue, and then you can can receive the Tao.

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