Monday, March 18, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 11, Part 14

Trey Smith

Cloud Chief was traveling east and had passed the branches of the Fu-yao when he suddenly came upon Big Concealment. Big Concealment at the moment was amusing himself by slapping his thighs and hopping around like a sparrow. When Cloud Chief saw this, he stopped in bewilderment, stood dead still in his tracks, and said, "Old gentleman, who are you? What is this you're doing?"

Big Concealment, without interrupting his thigh-slapping and sparrow-hopping, replied to Cloud Chief, "Amusing myself."

"I would like to ask a question," said Cloud Chief.

"Oh dear!" said Big Concealment, for the first time raising his head and looking at Cloud Chief.

"The breath of heaven is out of harmony, the breath of earth tangles and snarls," said Cloud Chief. "The six breaths do not blend properly," the four seasons do not stay in order. Now I would like to harmonize the essences of the six breaths in order to bring nourishment to all living creatures. How should I go about it?"

Big Concealment, still thigh-slapping and sparrow-hopping, shook his head. "I have no idea! I have no idea!"

~ Burton Watson translation ~
This snippet speaks to my great aversion to those amongst us who hold themselves out as enlightened gurus. The way I see it is that, if you need a pr machine to convince others that you are "in the know," then you aren't. If you must spend all your time self-promoting yourself as an enlightened guru, then you are anything but.

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