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 confusion. The true master understands that enlightenment is not the end, but the means. Realizing that virtue is his goal, he accepts the long and often arduous cultivation that is necessary to attain it. He doesn’t scheme to become a leader, but quietly shoulders whatever responsibilities fall to him.
Unattached to his accomplishments, taking credit for nothing at all, he guides the whole world by guiding the individuals who come to him. He shares his divine energy with his 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 Tao.
– Lao Tzu