Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 11, Part 12

Trey Smith

Master Kuang Ch'eng sat up with a start. "Excellent, this question of yours! Come, I will tell you about the Perfect Way. The essence of the Perfect Way is deep and darkly shrouded; the extreme of the Perfect Way - is mysterious and hushed in silence. Let there be no seeing, no hearing; enfold the spirit in quietude and the body will right itself. Be still, be pure, do not labor your body, do not churn up your essence, and then you can live a long life. When the eye does not see, the ear does not hear, and the mind does not know, then your spirit will protect the body, and the body will enjoy long life. Be cautious of what is within you; block off what is outside you, for much knowledge will do you harm. Then I will lead you up above the Great Brilliance, to the source of the Perfect Yang; I will guide you through the Dark and Mvsterious Gate, to the source of the Perfect Yin. Heaven and earth have their controllers, the yin and yang their storehouses. You have only to take care and guard your own body; these other things will of themselves grow sturdy. As for myself, I guard this unity, abide in this harmony, and therefore I have kept myself alive for twelve hundred years, and never has my body suffered any decay."

The Yellow Emperor bowed twice and said, "Master Kuang Ch'eng, you have been as a Heaven to me!"

~ Burton Watson translation ~
Would you want to live "for twelve hundred years?" Not me. I would have to watch every person who I ever loved or thought well of, die. I don't know about you, but that is not a very comforting feeling!

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

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