Shun asked Ch'eng, "Is it possible to gain possession of the Way?”We don't consciously make our hearts beat or our blood to circulate. Many times we don't even make our brains think! These functions typically happen of their own accord. Ch'eng is right; we don't truly possess our own bodies.
"You don't even have possession of your own body - how could you possibly gain possession of the Way!"
"If I don't have possession of my own body, then who does?" said Shun.
"It is a form lent you by Heaven and earth. You do not have possession of life - it is a harmony lent by Heaven and earth. You do not have possession of your inborn nature and fate they are contingencies lent by Heaven and earth. You do not have possession of your sons and grandsons - they are castoff skins lent by Heaven and earth. So it is best to walk without knowing where you are going, stay home without knowing what you are guarding, eat without knowing what you are tasting. All is the work of the Powerful Yang in the world. How then could it be possible to gain possession of anything?"
~ Burton Watson translation ~
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