Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 23, Part 5

Trey Smith

Nan-Jung Chu said, "The eyes are part of the body -- I have never thought them anything else -- yet the blind man cannot see with his. The ears are part of the body -- I have never thought them anything else -- yet the deaf man cannot hear with his. The mind is part of the body -- I have never thought it anything else -- yet the madman cannot comprehend with his. The body too must be part of the body -- surely they are intimately connected. Yet is it because something intervenes? I try to seek my body, but I cannot find it. Now you tell me, `Keep the body whole, cling fast to life! Do not fall prey to the fidget and fuss of thoughts and scheming.' As hard as I try to understand your explanation of the Way, I'm afraid your words penetrate no farther than my ears."

"I've said all I can say," exclaimed Master Keng-sang. "The saying goes, mud daubers have no power to transform caterpillars. The little hens of Yueh cannot hatch goose eggs, though the larger hens of Lu can do it well enough. It isn't that one kind of hen isn't just as hen-like as the other. One can and the other can't because their talents just naturally differ in size. Now I'm afraid my talents are not sufficient to bring about any transformation in you. Why don't you go south and visit Lao Tzu?"

~ Burton Watson translation ~
Others can assist us with guidance, but, in the end, we must transform ourselves. It really is not something anyone can do FOR us.

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

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