Thursday, October 16, 2008
Leveling of All Things into One
Only the truly intelligent understand the principle of the leveling of all things into One. They discard the distinctions and take refuge in the common and ordinary things. The common and ordinary things serve certain functions and therefore retain the wholeness of nature. From this wholeness, one comprehends, and from comprehension, one to the Tao. There it stops. To stop without knowing how it stops -- this is Tao.
But to wear out one's intellect in an obstinate adherence to the individuality of things, not recognizing the fact that all things are One, -- that is called "Three in the Morning."
What is "Three in the Morning?" A keeper of monkeys said with regard to their rations of nuts that each monkey was to have three in the morning and four at night. At this the monkeys were very angry. Then the keeper said they might have four in the morning and three at night, with which arrangement they were all well pleased. The actual number of nuts remained the same, but there was a difference owing to subjective evaluations of likes and dislikes. It also derives from the principle of subjectivity. Wherefore the true Sage brings all the contraries together and rests in the natural Balance of Heaven. This is called following two courses at once.
Beyond the limits of the external world, the Sage knows that it exists, but does not talk about it. Within the limits of the external world, the Sage talks but does not make comments. With regard to the wisdom of the ancients, as embodied in the canon of Spring and Autumn, the Sage comments, but does not expound. And thus, among distinctions made, there are distinctions that cannot be made; among things expounded, there are things that cannot be expounded.
How can that be? The true Sage keeps his knowledge within him, while men in general set forth theirs in argument, in order to convince each other. And therefore it is said one who argues does so because he cannot see certain points of view.