Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bit by Bit - Chapter 25, Part 20

Trey Smith

Little Understanding said, "Well, then, if we call these [general concepts] the Way, will that be sufficient?"

"Oh, no," said Great Impartial Accord. "If we calculate the number of things that exist, the count certainly does not stop at ten thousand. Yet we set a limit and speak of the `ten thousand things' - because we select a number that is large and agree to apply it to them. In the same way, heaven and earth are forms which are large, the yin and yang are breaths which are large, and the Way is the generality that embraces them. If from the point of view of largeness we agree to apply [the name `Way'] to it, then there is no objection. But if, having established this name, we go on and try to compare it to the reality, then it will be like trying to compare a dog to a horse - the distance between them is impossibly far."

~ Burton Watson translation ~
Every belief we hold and every fact we know is nothing but an approximation of a reality that may...or may not even exist.

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

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