Friday, November 30, 2012

From the Book of Tzu-Youzi: The Stream of Transformation

Scott Bradley

Wenzi inquired of Tzu-youzi, "Master, please tell me more of your transformation."

Tzu-youzi answered, "Yesterday you were born, tomorrow you will die; what more do you need to know? This morning you were young, this afternoon you are old. One moment you are strong, the next you are weak. Does anything exist that yesterday did not or tomorrow will not? What other transformation do you seek?"

"But, Master," replied Wenzi, "you are not like other men, having become one with transformation. The sky might fall and it would not disturb you. The world laughs at you and presses on without you, but you do not care. Surely, your transformation is more than the course of everyday decay?"

"Ah," exclaimed Tzu-youzi, "I see you would make of transformation some constant thing! Still you seek a guarantor of what has never been. Transforming into transformation all imagined constancy is left behind. Should the sky fall, would it miss this hoary head? It would not; only there is no one whose head it is, so why should anyone distress?"

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