Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 23, Part 22

Trey Smith

Archer Yi was skilled at hitting the smallest target but clumsy in not preventing people from praising him for it. The sage is skilled in what pertains to Heaven but clumsy in what pertains to man. To be skilled in Heavenly affairs and good at human ones as well - only the Complete Man can encompass that. Only bugs can be bugs because only bugs can abide by Heaven. The Complete Man hates Heaven, and hates the Heavenly in man. How much more, then, does he hate the "I" who distinguishes between Heaven and man.

If a single sparrow came within Archer Yi's range, he was sure to bring it down - impressive shooting. But he might have made the whole world into a cage, and then the sparrows would have had no place to flee to. That was the way it was when T'ang caged Yi Yin by making him a cook and Duke Mu caged Po-li Hsi for the price of five ram skins. But if you hope to get a man, you must cage him with what he likes or you will never succeed.

~ Burton Watson translation ~
Okay, this is one of those passages that befuddles me. I'm unsure what point the author is trying to get across.

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

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