When people are born with good looks, you may hand them a mirror, but if you don't tell them, they will never know that they are better looking than others. Whether they know it or don't know it, whether they are told of it or are not told of it, however, their delightful good looks remain unchanged to the end, and others can go on endlessly admiring them - it is a matter of inborn nature. The sage loves other men, and men accordingly pin labels on him, but if they do not tell him, then he will never know that he loves other men. Whether he knows it or doesn't know it, whether he is told of it or is not told of it, however, his love for men remains unchanged to the end, and others can find endless security in it - it is a matter of inborn nature.Attributes -- actually any descriptive term -- means nothing in a vacuum. Strong would mean nothing if not for weak. Good must be juxtaposed to evil. While we are urged in the Zhuangzi not to discriminate between things, it is a truly unreachable ideal. The individual who couldn't distinguish a beneficial path from a dangerous one would soon perish.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
To view the Index page for this series, go here.