the world is full of half-enlightened masters

now get funkier


The world is

full of half-enlightened masters.

Overly clever, too “sensitive” to live in the real

world, they surround themselves with selfish pleasures and

bestow their grandiose teachings upon the unwary. Prematurely

publicizing themselves, intent upon reaching some spiritual

climax, they constantly sacrifice the truth and deviate

from the Tao. What they really offer

the world is their own



The true master

understands that enlightenment

is not the end, but the means. Realizing that

virtue is her goal, she accepts the long and

often arduous cultivation that is

necessary to attain



She doesn’t

scheme to become a leader,

but quietly shoulders whatever

responsibilities fall to her. Unattached

to her accomplishments, taking credit for

nothing at all, she guides the whole world by

guiding the individuals who come to her. She

shares her divine energy with her students,

encouraging them, creating trials to

strengthen them, scolding them to

awaken them, directing the

streams of their lives

toward the infinite

ocean of the



If you

aspire to this

sort of mastery, then

root yourself in the Tao.

Relinquish your negative habits

and attitudes. Strengthen your sincerity.

Live in the real world, and extend your virtue

to it without discrimination in the daily round.

Be the truest father or mother, the truest brother

or sister, the truest friend, and the truest disciple.

Humbly respect and serve your teacher, and

dedicate your entire being unwaveringly

to self-cultivation. Then you will surely

achieve self-mastery and be able

to help others in doing

the same.


from Hua hu Ching, Chapter 80


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