68. He who simulates spiritual knowledge merely by the utterance of words filches the mind of those who hear him in order to boost his own reputation. Similarly, he who simulates virtue in his outward behavior pilfers the sight of those who look at him, once more in order to promote his own self-glory. Both steal by means of deceit, the first perverting his audience’s mind, the second the bodily sense of those who see him.
This idea of obligation to and interconnection with each other is largely foreign to our modern sensibilities. In short, if our actions do not match our words, or if our heart does not match our actions, we have actually stolen something valuable from those we have deceived. We have distorted their ability to perceive truly. If you take a moment and try to wrap your mind around it, I think you’ll see the value of this insight, though.