Life and death are fated - constant as the succession of dark and dawn, a matter of Heaven. There are some things which man can do nothing about - all are a matter of the nature of creatures. If a man is willing to regard Heaven as a father and to love it, then how much more should he be willing to do for that which is even greater! If he is willing to regard the ruler as superior to himself and to die for him, then how much more should he be willing to do for the Truth!Each being is born and, in its own time, will die. There are no magic elixirs, incantations, prayers or rituals that we can appeal to or practice that will change this dynamic. As far we know, this is just the way it is. For me, knowing that I don't know and most likely can't know the WHY of life brings a high degree of peace of mind.
When the springs dry up and the fish are left stranded on the ground, they spew each other with moisture and wet each other down with spit - but it would be much better if they could forget each other in the rivers and lakes. Instead of praising Yao and condemning Chieh, it would be better to forget both of them and transform yourself with the Way.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
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