Mencius:  The difference between my dao and Xun’s is that he takes rightness as external and I take it as internal. His wei is an imposition of rightness from without, since he takes human nature as evil; mine is a self-cultivation that uncovers the rightness within, since I believe that rightness is found in the human heart. And that, I think, makes for an altogether different sort of wei.

Scott:  It does. But it is wei just the same. It is a tyranny imposed most immediately on oneself, rather than on others, but that still naturally lends itself to a similar tyranny imposed on others. If we are hard on ourselves, we are typically hard on others.

Zz:  Perhaps Meng has fully realized his ideal, in which case he would not do as you say. The problem, however, is that by his own admission people are far estranged from their natural humaneness and therefore that which is intended as only an inner cultivation easily becomes an externalized tyranny. Humans are a mess of entangled rights and wrongs, and the enthronement of a right quickly lends itself to wrong.

Scott: And the same problem applies to the doctrines of wuwei and the transcendence of right and wrong. We tend to make a mess of whatever dao we follow. What are we to do?

Zz:  Live the mess. Be the mess.

Mencius:  Be the mess even while cultivating less of a mess. I can go along with that. And now I think I will move along. It’s been a pleasure meeting Scott. Let your heart grow! Goodbye.

Scott: Goodbye!

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