"Here is a man of the Middle Kingdom, neither yin nor yang, living between heaven and earth. For a brief time only, he will be a man, and then he will return to the Ancestor. Look at him from the standpoint of the Source and his life is a mere gathering together of breath. And whether he dies young or lives to a great old age, the two fates will scarcely differ - a matter of a few moments, you might say. How, then, is it worth deciding that Yao is good and Chieh is bad?Each life is but a drop in timeless sea. From the perspective of each individual human ego, a life may seem eternal...until death pays its inevitable visit. Who knows? Death may seem eternal...until transformation or rebirth comes to visit.
"The fruits of trees and vines have their patterns and principles. Human relationships too, difficult as they are, have their relative order and precedence. The sage, encountering them, does not go against them; passing beyond, he does not cling to them. To respond to them in a spirit of harmony - this is virtue; to respond to them in a spirit of fellowship - this is the Way. Thus it is that emperors have raised themselves up and kings have climbed to power.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
To view the Index page for this series, go here.