Journey to Enlightenment

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

CHUANGTSE ....Who can argue this ?

When Knowledge traveled north, across the Black Water and over the Dark Steep Mountains, he met Do-nothing Say-nothing and asked him about Tao, and Do-nothing Say-nothing did not reply.

He turned back and went to the south of the White Water, up the Fox Hill and asked All-in-extremes about Tao. "Ha! I know. I will tell you..." But just as he was about to speak, he seemed to forget what he was going to say and Knowledge also received no reply.

Then he came back to the royal palace and asked Yellow Emperor concerning Tao. And the latter said, "Man becomes alive from the collection of the vital spirit. When the vital spirit collects, he is alive, and when it scatters, he dies. If life and death are steady companions, why should I care?"

Therefore all things are one. What we love is the mystery of life. What we hate is corruption in death. But the corruptible in turn becomes mysterious life, and mysterious life once more becomes corruptible. The world is permeated by one spirit. Therefore the Sage places value upon unity."

"Then you and I know Tao, and they don't," said Knowledge.

"Do-nothing Say-nothing was right," replied the Yellow Emperor.
"All-in-extremes was quite near it. But you and I are still far from Tao. He who knows does not speak, and he who speaks does not know."

"I asked Do-nothing Say-nothing about Tao," said Knowledge, "but he did not answer me. Not that he would not, but he could not. So I asked All-in-extremes. He was just going to tell me, but he did not tell me. Not that he would not, but just as he was going to do so, he forgot what he wanted to say. Now I ask you and you are able to tell me. Why do you say, therefore, that you are far from Tao??"

"Of the two," repiled the Yellow Emperor, "the former was genuinely right, because he really did not know. The latter was quite near it, because he had forgotten. You and I are still far from Tao, because we know."

When All-in-extremes heard this remark, he praised the Yellow Emperor for knowing what he was talking about.


posted by Judith on the HTS site.

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