The best of all rulers is but a shadowy presence to his subjects.
Next comes the ruler they love and praise;
Next comes the one they fear;
Next comes the one with whom they take liberties.
When there is not enough faith, there is lack of good faith.
Hesitant, he does not utter his words lightly.
When his task is accomplished and his work done
The people all say, “It happened to us naturally.”
The faith is the faith in the way, and faith in the ruler is a substitute for faith in the way. This is not good faith. Finally, there is not only lack of faith in the way, but worse, lack of faith in the ruler, and this is subversion. A ruler who is sticks to the way will tend to do that which consists in taking no action, this is his shadowy action and his shadowy presence.