Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 7, Part 3

Trey Smith

T'ien Ken was wandering on the sunny side of Yin Mountain. When he reached the banks of the Liao River, he happened to meet a Nameless Man. He questioned the man, saying, "Please may I ask how to rule the world?"

The Nameless Man said, "Get away from me, you peasant! What kind of a dreary question is that! I'm just about to set off with the Creator. And if I get bored with that, then I'll ride on the Light-and-Lissome Bird out beyond the six directions, wandering in the village of Not-Even-Anything and living in the Broad-and-Borderless field. What business do you have coming with this talk of governing the world and disturbing my mind?"

But T'ien Ken repeated his question. The Nameless Man said, "Let your mind wander in simplicity, blend your spirit with the vastness, follow along with things the way they are, and make no room for personal views - then the world will be governed."

~ Burton Watson translation ~
It seems to me that T'ien Ken wanted to know how to rule the world at large. The Namesless Man suggested the path to rule the world of T'ien Ken. When we learn to "rule" our own world, what need is there to "rule" others?

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

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