Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chapter 11, Part 7 - Chuang Tzu

What is lowly and yet must be used - things. What is humble and yet must be relied on - the people. What is irksome and yet must be attended to - affairs. What is sketchy and yet must be proclaimed - laws. What seems to apply only to distant relationships and yet must be observed - righteousness. What seems to apply only to intimate relationships and yet must be broadened - benevolence. What is confining and yet must be repeatedly practiced - ritual. What is already apt and yet must be heightened - Virtue. What is One and yet must be adapted - the Way. What is spiritual and yet must be put into action - Heaven.

Therefore the sage contemplates Heaven but does not assist it. He finds completion in Virtue but piles on nothing more. He goes forth in the Way but does not scheme. He accords with benevolence but does not set great store by it. He draws close to righteousness but does not labor over it. He responds to the demands of ritual and does not shun them. He disposes of affairs and makes no excuses. He brings all to order with laws and allows no confusion. He depends upon the people and does not make light of them. He relies upon things and does not throw them aside. Among things, there are none that are worth using, and yet they must be used.

He who does not clearly understand Heaven will not be pure in Virtue. He who has not mastered the Way will find himself without any acceptable path of approach. He who does not clearly understand the Way is pitiable indeed!

What is this thing called the Way? There is the Way of Heaven, and the way of man. To rest in inaction, and command respect - this is the Way of Heaven. To engage in action and become entangled in it - this is the way of man. The ruler is the Way of Heaven; his subjects are the way of man. The Way of Heaven and the way of man are far apart. This is something to consider carefully!
~ Burton Watson translation via Terebess Asia Online ~
Go here to read the introductory post to the chapters of the Book of Chuang Tzu.

1 comment:

  1. This actually is very relevant to the dialogue comments at Tao of Dinosaurs Part 2.


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