Friday, January 25, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 6, Part 25


Trey Smith

Yen Hui said, "I'm improving!"

Confucius said, "What do you mean by that?"

"I've forgotten benevolence and righteousness!"

"That's good. But you still haven't got it."

Another day, the two met again and Yen Hui said, "I'm improving!"

"What do you mean by that?"

"I've forgotten rites and music!"

"That's good. But you still haven't got it."

Another day, the two met again and Yen Hui said, "I'm improving! "

"What do you mean by that?"

"I can sit down and forget everything!"

Confucius looked very startled and said, "What do you mean, sit down and forget everything.'-"

Yen Hui said, "I smash up my limbs and body, drive out perception and intellect, cast off form, do away with understanding, and make myself identical with the Great Thoroughfare. This is what I mean by sitting down and forgetting everything."

Confucius said, "If you're identical with it, you must have no more likes! If you've been transformed, you must have no more constancy! So you really are a worthy man after all! With your permission, I'd like to become your follower."

~ Burton Watson translation ~
When we are ever watchful of anticipated results, it is rare that we meet up with our expectations.  The reason for this is that our attention is divided.  We don't give ourselves over completely to the experience of learning. 

It is when we aren't caught up in the target of specific results that we are able to succeed fantastically.  Our attention, in these cases, is not undivided.  We lose ourselves in the experience of learning and, by not focusing on anticipated results, we find that we have accomplished them and so much more.

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

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