The Spirit of the Clouds when passing eastwards through the expanse of Air
- The term here used has also been explained to mean some supernatural kind of tree, over which we may imagine the Cloud-Spirit to be passing.
happened to fall in with the Vital Principle. The latter was slapping his ribs and hopping about; whereupon the Spirit of the Clouds said, "Who are you, old man, and what are you doing here?"
"Strolling! " replied the Vital Principle, without stopping.
- Activities ceaseless in their imperceptible operation.
"I want to know something," continued the Spirit of the Clouds.
"Ah!" uttered the Vital Principle, in a tone of disapprobation.
"The relationship of heaven and earth is out of harmony," said the Spirit of the Clouds; "the six influences do not combine,
- The positive and negative principles, wind, rain, darkness, and light.
and the four seasons are no longer regular. I desire to blend the six influences so as to nourish all living beings. What am I to do?"
"I do not know!" cried the Vital Principle, shaking his head, while still slapping his ribs and hopping about; "I do not know!"
So the Spirit of the Clouds did not press his question; but three years later, when passing eastwards through the Yu-sung territory, he again fell