"Then I played it with the harmony of yin and yang, lit it with the shining of sun and moon; its notes I was able to make long or short, yielding or strong, modulating about a single unity, but bowing before no rule or constancy. In the valley they filled the valley; in the void they filled the void; plugging up the crevices, holding back the spirit, accepting things on their own terms. Its notes were clear and radiant, its fame high and bright. Therefore the ghosts and spirits kept to their darkness and the sun, moon, stars, and constellations marched in their orbits. I made it stop where there is an end to things, made it flow where there is no stopping. You try to fathom it but can't understand, try to gaze at it but can't see, try to overtake it but can't catch up. You stand dazed before the four-directioned emptiness of the Way, or lean on your desk and moan. Your eyes fail before you can see, your strength knuckles under before you can catch up. It was nothing I could do anything about. Your body melted into the empty void, and this brought you to an idle freedom. It was this idle freedom that made you feel weary.We can decide if we like or dislike a certain song or tune, but we actually can't describe it. Oh, we can say the song is lively, slow or beautiful, but all we are doing is categorizing it. It is next too impossible to define how we experience it. The same is true for much of life!
~ Burton Watson translation ~
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