Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/113

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The Great Supreme

"I fear not," said Nü Yü. "You are not the sort of man. There was Pu Liang I. He had all the qualifications of a sage, but not Tao. Now I had Tao, though none of the qualifications. But do you imagine that much as I wished it I was able to teach Tao to him so that he should be a perfect sage? Had it been so, then to teach Tao to one who has the qualifications of a sage would be an easy matter. No, Sir. I imparted as though withholding; and in three days, for him, this sublunary state had ceased to exist.

With all its paltry distinctions of sovereign and subject, high and low, good and bad, etc.

When he had attained to this, I withheld again; and in seven days more, for him, the external world had ceased to be. And so again for another nine days, when he became unconscious of his own existence. He became first etherealised, next possessed of perfect wisdom, then without past or present, and finally able to enter there where life and death are no more,—where killing does not take away life, nor does prolongation of life add to the duration of existence.

In Tao life and death are One.

In that state, he is ever in accord with the exigencies of his environment;

Literally, there is no sense in which he is not accompanying or meeting, destroying or constructing. That is, in spite of his spiritual condition as above described, he can still adapt himself naturally