Monday, November 4, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 23, Part 17

Trey Smith

Out of the murk, things come to life. With cunning you declare, "We must analyze this!" You try putting your analysis in words, though it is not something to be put into words. You cannot, however, attain understanding. At the winter sacrifice, you can point to the tripe or the hoof of the sacrificial ox, which can be considered separate things, and yet in a sense cannot be considered separate. A man who goes to look at a house will walk all around the chambers and ancestral shrines, but he will also go to inspect the privies. And so for this reason you launch into your analysis.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
Life is beyond words.  So too is death.  We fill in the space between these two points with philosophizing and religion.  For all the centuries of verbiage, life and death remain beyond words.

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

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