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38

When you know the proper use of a virtue,
You use that virtue attractively, and
You will soon have even more of that virtue available to you.
When you are controlled by a virtue,
That virtue is attracted away from you, and
You will soon lose what little virtue you possessed.
When you use a virtue with invisible attractiveness,
You may accomplish actions with attractive acts. But
When you use a virtue visibly with actions,
The deeds you do will be seen and will generate their opposites.
When you control benevolence,
You are more than benevolent,
But never let your actions show it.

When you control justice – You are more than just,
But never let your actions show it; and
When you control expediency
You are more than expedient. But
If your actions show it, you will encounter resistance.

When you follow the secret way of Tao, special voids appear within you.
When you personify these voids, benevolence appears in others;
When you personify benevolence, justice appears in others;
When you personify justice, expediency appears in others.

Expediency’s methods bring on a withering of loyalty and honesty.
They herald social disorder.
When others see this sequence in action,
They drift away from the proper path.
That heralds universal ignorance.

Be creative when dwelling in your self’s heavy core. And
Carry on attractive actions with your external self.
Plant your seeds quietly, and
Succeed with the fruit of real accomplishment, but
Arrange with the flowers of visible non-accomplishment.

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