Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 24, Part 16

Trey Smith

These were men who followed what is called the Way that is not a way, and this exchange of theirs is what is called the debate that is not spoken. Therefore, when virtue is resolved in the unity of the Way and words come to rest at the place where understanding no longer understands, we have perfection. The unity of the Way is something that virtue can never master; what understanding does not understand is something that debate can never encompass. To apply names in the manner of the Confucians and Mo-ists is to invite evil. The sea does not refuse the rivers that come flowing eastward into it - it is the perfection of greatness. The sage embraces all heaven and earth, and his bounty extends to the whole world, yet no one knows who he is or what family he belongs to. For this reason, in life he holds no titles, in death he receives no posthumous names. Realities do not gather about him, names do not stick to him - this is what is called the Great Man.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
I suppose that the Great Man or Great Woman knows without knowing, understands that which cannot be understood. In this regard, I have never met a Great Man or Great Woman!

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

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