"as Tao appeared before time was. I was to him as a great blank, existing of itself. He knew not who I was. His face fell. He became confused. And so he fled."
Upon this Lieh Tzŭ stood convinced that he had not yet acquired any real knowledge, and at once set to work in earnest, passing three years without leaving the house. He helped his wife to cook the family dinner, and fed his pigs just like human beings. He discarded the artificial and reverted to the natural. He became merely a shape. Amidst confusion.
- Of this material world.
he was unconfounded. And so he continued to the end.
By Inaction, fame comes as the spirits of the dead come to the boy who impersonates the corpse.
- See ch. i. In the old funeral rites of China, a boy was made to sit speechless and motionless as a corpse, for the reason assigned in the text.
By Inaction, one can become the centre of thought, the focus of responsibility, the arbiter of wisdom. Full allowance must be made for others, while remaining unmoved oneself. There must be a thorough compliance with divine principles, without any manifestation thereof.
- Non mihi res, sed me rebus, subjungere conar.
All of which may be summed up in the one word passivity. For the perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing: it refuses nothing.