At this point, Grand Puritv asked No-End, "Do you understand the Way?"None of us genuinely understands The Mysterious Way. Oh, some people present themselves as if they do, but that's just their ego talking and the ego impedes the understanding of much of anything! The wise among us admit to their ignorance and, by admitting their ignorance, prove that they are wise beyond measure indeed!
"I don't understand it," said No-End.
Then he asked No-Action, and No-Action said, "I understand the Way."
"You say you understand the Way - is there some trick to it.
"What's the trick?"
No-Action said, "I understand that the Way can exalt things and can humble them; that it can bind them together and can cause them to disperse. This is the trick by which I understand the Way.'
Grand Purity, having received these various answers, went and questioned No-Beginning, saying, "If this is how it is, then between No-End's declaration that he doesn't understand, and No-Action's declaration that he does, which is right and which is wrong?"
No-Beginning said, "Not to understand is profound; to understand is shallow. Not to understand is to be on the inside; to understand is to be on the outside."
Thereupon Grand Purity gazed up and sighed, saying, "Not to understand is to understand? To understand is not to understand? Who understands the understanding that does not understand?"
~ Burton Watson translation ~
To view the Index page for this series, go here.