No-Beginning said, "The Way cannot be heard; heard, it is not the Way. The Way cannot be seen; seen, it is not the Way. The Way cannot be described; described, it is not the Way. That which gives form to the formed is itself formless - can you understand that? There is no name that fits the Way."Whatever you, me or anyone else says about Tao is not Tao. Tao is everything and so it would take a zillion lifetimes just to begin to scratch the surface. We can talk about and debate the manifestations, but that's about it!
No-Beginning continued, "He who, when asked about the Way, gives an answer does not understand the Way; and he who asked about the Way has not really heard the Way explained. The Way is not to be asked about, and even if it is asked about, there can be no answer. To ask about what cannot be asked about is to ask for the sky. To answer what cannot be answered is to try to split hairs. If the hair-splitter waits for the sky-asker, then neither will ever perceive the time and space that surround them on the outside, or understand the Great Beginning that is within. Such men can never trek across the K'un-lun, can never wander in the Great Void!"
Bright Dazzlement asked Non-Existence, "Sir, do you exist or do you not exist?" Unable to obtain any answer, Bright Dazzlement stared intently at the other's face and form - all was vacuity and blankness. He stared all day but could see nothing, listened but could hear no sound, stretched out his hand but grasped nothing. "Perfect!" exclaimed Bright Dazzlement. "Who can reach such perfection? I can conceive of the existence of nonexistence, but not of the nonexistence of nonexistence. Yet this man has reached the stage of the nonexistence of nonexistence. How could I ever reach such perfection!"
~ Burton Watson translation ~
To view the Index page for this series, go here.