Great music is lost on the ears of the villagers, but play them "The Breaking of the Willow" or "Bright Flowers" and they grin from ear to car. In the same way, lofty words make no impression on the minds of the mob. Superior words gain no hearing because vulgar words are in the majority. It is like the case of the two travelers tramping along in confusion and never getting where they are going. With all the confusion in the world these days, no matter how often I point the way, what good does it do? And if I know it does no good and still make myself do it, this too is a kind of confusion. So it is best to leave things alone and not force them. If I don't force things, at least I won't cause anyone any worry.Humanity hasn't changed much, has it? The Zhuangzi was written eons ago and humankind is just as confused today!
~ Burton Watson translation ~
To view the Index page for this series, go here.