Having returned to his given name, Cheng, the wandering sage Tzu-yu joined the community of Zhouzi as a simple novice, but his sagacity was not so easily hid; soon his wisdom was sought on a par with that of Zhouzi. Fearing some rift in the community and a diminution of the authority of Zhouzi, Tzu-lu approached the master saying, "Master, I find no fault in the words of Cheng, but does he not threaten the unity of the community?"
"What purpose does a community have, if not the nurture of its members?" answered Zhouzi. "Are not many springs better than a single source? Have I not seen many come to you in search of wisdom? "
"It is true that we many speak for you," replied Tzu-lu, "but, Master, all that come do so as to tributaries of a single source. Yet Chen would seem to draw from another source, one that does not recognize your authority."
"The only 'authority' I would wish to have is that which is recognized by heart in response to heart," said Zhouzi. "Is not the 'authority' of Cheng just this? And if it is so, how could we not encourage the same? If the purpose of our community is to assist its members on the path to freedom, then freedom must reign, come what may."
"Yet have I not seen you turn away those of other teaching?" replied Tzu-lu.
"You have," answered Zhouzi. "And did they not assume an authority born not of wisdom, but of self? You have found no fault in the words of Cheng because we share a common source; let us listen together."
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