Tao Te Ching (Chapter 53)
The path of the Tao
is easy to follow.
Only a little wisdom is needed
to walk its ancient and constant way.
But people are easily lured
from the safe and the certain
To the narrow and the dangerous.
When luxury and excess begin in high places,
the effects spread everywhere.
Soon the cultivated fields are untended,
and the country’s granaries are empty.
When leaders have more wealth than wisdom,
they prefer fancy clothes and exotic foods,
foolish amusements and self-indulgence.
When they place their own well-being
above the care of others,
They are worse than common thieves.
When leaders follow a course of folly,
the whole country walks a perilous path.
(By Lao Tsu, translated by Ray Grigg)
Wall Street Psychopathy
In Roger Ebert’s review of the movie Margin Call he states, “It has now been established that some firms created hedge funds intended to fail, so they could make money betting against them.” That kind of behavior is psychopathic. The Tao Te Ching speaks against using people. “When they place their own well-being above the care of others, they are worse than common thieves.”
Another quote from Ebert’s movie review refers to a character named John and shows the depth of psychopathy in the firm. “It is up to John to make the margin call. In other words, to order his company to start dumping worthless holdings before the word spread that they are worthless — essentially, betraying their customers.” Certain Wall Street firms’ amoral behaviors point to a deterioration in the values of our society . . . our country. “When leaders follow a course of folly, the whole country walks a perilous path.”
“The path of the Tao is easy to follow.” Partly, this is true because when your behavior is aligned with your conscience, then you can walk the spiritual path with integrity. “Only a little wisdom is needed to walk its ancient and constant way.” This wisdom comes from deep within and urges you to follow your heart . . . not your pocketbook.