Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 25, Part 2

Trey Smith

"The true sage, now - living in hardship, he can make his family forget their poverty; living in affluence, he can make kings and dukes forget their titles and stipends and humble themselves before him. His approach to things is to go along with them and be merry; his approach to men is to take pleasure in the progress of others and to hold on to what is his own. So there may be times when, without saying a word, he induces harmony in others; just standing alongside others, he can cause them to change, until the proper relationship between father and son has found its way into every home. He does it all in a spirit of unity and effortlessness - so far is he removed from the hearts of men. This is why I say you should wait for Kung Yueh-hsiu."
~ Burton Watson translation ~
Wouldn't it be nice to meet someone like the idealized person described above?

On second thought, maybe it wouldn't be so nice. Most of us probably wouldn't accept him or her. Such a person would underscore how petty and self-centered the rest of us are. We wouldn't sit in awe at the guru's feet -- we would try to figure out the best way to discredit, humiliate and/or imprison such an individual.

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

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