"Verily, God is great! I wonder what he will make of you now. I wonder whither you will be sent. Do you think he will make you into a rat's liver
- The Chinese believe that a rat has no liver.
or into the shoulders of a snake?"
"A son," answered Tzŭ Lai, "must go whithersoever his parents bid him. Nature is no other than a man's parents.
- The term "Nature" stands here as a rendering of Yin and Yang, the Positive and Negative Principles of Chinese cosmogony, from whose interaction the visible universe results.
If she bid me die quickly, and I demur, then I am an unfilial son. She can do me no wrong. Tao gives me this form, this toil in manhood, this repose in old age, this rest in death. And surely that which is such a kind arbiter of my life is the best arbiter of my death.
"Suppose that the boiling metal in a smelting-pot were to bubble up and say, 'Make of me an Excalibur;' I think the caster would reject that metal as uncanny. And if a sinner like myself were to say to God, 'Make of me a man, make of me a man;' I think he too would reject me as uncanny. The universe is the smelting-pot, and God is the caster. I shall go whithersoever I am sent, to wake unconscious of the past, as a man wakes from a dreamless sleep."
Tzŭ Sang Hu, Mêng Tzŭ Fan, and Tzŭ Ch'in