Monday, November 25, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 24, Part 14

Trey Smith

Tzu-ch'i of Nan-po sat leaning on his armrest, staring up at the sky and breathing. Yen Ch'eng-tzu entered and said, "Master, you surpass all other things! Can you really make the body like a withered tree and the mind like dead ashes?"

"Once I lived in a mountain cave. At that time, T'ien Ho came to pay me one visit and the people of the state of Ch'i congratulated him three times. I must have had hold of something in order for him to find out who I was; I must have been peddling something in order for him to come and buy. If I had not had hold of something, then how would he have been able to find out who I was? If I had not been peddling something, then how would he have been able to buy? Ah, how I pitied those men who destroy themselves! Then again, I pitied those who pity others; and again, I pitied those who pity those who pity others. But all that was long ago."

~ Burton Watson translation ~
Okay, this is another one of those tales in which the main thesis eludes me.  Sorry, but I don't have anything to offer.

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

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