Friday, November 8, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 23, Part 21

Trey Smith

The Way is virtue's idol. Life is virtue's light. The inborn nature is the substance of life. The inborn nature in motion is called action. Action which has become artificial is called loss. Understanding reaches out, understanding plots. But the understanding of that which is not to be understood is a childlike stare. Action which is done because one cannot do otherwise is called virtue. Action in which there is nothing other than self is called good order. In definition the two seem to be opposites but in reality they agree.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
To my way of thinking, this is an odd way to explain the concept of wu wei. It would seem to contradict the way the concept is described by Laozi and Zhuangzi. (It should be remembered that, thought these words are part of the Zhuangzi, it is understood by scholars that they are not the words of Zhuangzi himself.)

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