“When the greatness of the Tao is present, action arises from one’s own heart. When the greatness of the Tao is absent, action comes from the rules of “kindness and justice.”
(From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being Experiencing the Tao Te Ching)
Actions that arise from a heart that is plugged in to the Tao, the Holy Spirit, or Truth transcend the realm of laws, rules, or regulations. And yes, this implies that one can choose to ignore the presence of the Tao – not that the Tao whimsically comes and goes.
If one needs to know what the prevailing thought is on a course of action, or what would be most “kind” or “just”, one has missed the chance to follow the deeper mystery that resides in the secret places within us all.
Rules? We don’t need no stinking rules.
22-23But what happens when we live God‘s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. (Galatians 5:22-23, The Message)