Taoteching 18

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When the nameless way is lost, people resort to wisdom.

When wisdom is lost, people resort to tradition.

When tradition is lost, people resort to law.

When law is lost, people resort to equilibrium morality.

When equilibrium morality is lost, people resort to brute force.

Gabhopper asked, "Can a warrioress still be loving?"

Xena said, "We have the name 'loving' for someone who loves, to distinguish them from people who hate, because in this dark age we have many people who hate."

"Has hatred not always been with us, Xena?"

"Long ago everyone loved, so the word 'loving' did not yet exist. Love was as abundant as the air we breath, like the water a fish lives and moves in. Only the absence of love demanded the invention of the word 'loving' to describe those who still held to my path."

"Could the same be said of the wise?"

"Or the honest, or the just. As more and more people fell away from my path, the names for more and more virtues began to appear, where before there had been only formless innocence."

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