Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/244

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Chuang Tzŭ

"Those who understand Tao," answered the Spirit of the Ocean, "must necessarily apprehend the eternal principles above mentioned and be clear as to their application. Consequently, they do not suffer any injury from without.

They never oppose, but let all things take their course.

"The man of perfect virtue cannot be burnt by fire, nor drowned in water, nor hurt by frost or sun, nor torn by wild bird or beast. Not that he makes light of these; but that he discriminates between safety and danger. Happy under prosperous and adverse circumstances alike, cautious as to what he discards and what he accepts;—nothing can harm him.

Plato taught that it was impossible to make a slave of a wise man, meaning that the latter by virtue of his mental endowment would rise superior to mere physical thrall. "A wise and just man," said he, "could be as happy in a state of slavery as in a state of freedom."

"Therefore it has been said that the natural abides within, the artificial without. Virtue abides in the natural. Knowledge of the action of the natural and of the artificial has its root in the natural, its development in virtue. And thus, whether in motion or at rest, whether in expansion or in contraction, there is always a reversion to the essential and to the ultimate."

Those eternal principles which embody all human obligations.