Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 17, Part 1

Trey Smith

The time of the autumn floods came and the hundred streams poured into the Yellow River. Its racing current swelled to such proportions that, looking from bank to bank or island to island, it was impossible to distinguish a horse from a cow. Then the Lord of the River was beside himself with joy, believing that all the beauty in the world belonged to him alone. Following the current, he journeyed east until at last he reached the North Sea. Looking east, he could see no end to the water.

The Lord of the River began to wag his head and roll his eyes. Peering far off in the direction of Jo, he sighed and said, "The common saying has it, `He has heard the Way a mere hundred times but he thinks he's better than anyone else.' It applies to me. In the past, I heard men belittling the learning of Confucius and making light of the righteousness of Po Yi, though I never believed them. Now, however, I have seen your unfathomable vastness. If I hadn't come to your gate, I would have been in danger. I would forever have been laughed at by the masters of the Great Method!"

~ Burton Watson translation ~
The human propensity for thinking we know most all there is to know is stupefying. For all the knowledge we've accumulated and all the technology we've created, we've barely scratched the surface of the Grand Mystery. It would be like dumping out the contents of a salt shaker and realizing that all of our know-how is equal to one grain of salt!

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

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